TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
Exploring Delhi: Volume III
Deepanshi Ahuja, Travel Writer, India
27 January 2018
Catch a cultural show at India International Centre
Established in 1962, the India International Centre, just a stone’s throw from Khan Market, is one of the must visit culture spots of the Capital. Lectures, symposiums, dance recitals and food facilities showcase the intellectual, cultural and social faces of India.
The center is a must visit for travelers as it has plenty of exhibition halls, museums and a cultural center having a daily special program
Find peace at Begumpuri Masjid
The Begumpuri Masjid is deemed to be one of the 7 mosques built by Khan -i-Jahan Junan Shah during AD 1351 and 1388. The mosque has 24 arched openings, flanked by minarets which are tapered, as in Tughlaq architectures type.
A must for architecture freaks, this medieval masjid is only one of its kind in the whole of Delhi. The mosque is located in a by lane near the Aurobindo Ashram in south Delhi
Visit Lahori Gate
The main entrance to the iconic Red Fort, Lahori Gate, is as steeped in history as the famous fort itself. While one entrance leads to the bustling market of Chandni Chowk, the road led all the way to the city of Lahore, hundreds of miles away in Pakistan.
The gate was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and was one of the chief 14 entrances of the city of Shahjahanabad. There are only 3 other gates left now namely Kashmiri gate, Mori gate and Ajmeri gate.
Go birdwatching at Okhla
Conveniently nestled on the banks of the river Yamuna, Okhla Bird Sanctuary is a haven for naturalists and bird watchers. The area was declared a sanctuary in 1990 and has more than 320 bird species on record. Apart from this there are more than 188 plants, 10 kinds of shrubs and 30 tree species in the park.
This wetland came into existence when the barrage at Okhla was constructed. The habitat which consists of thorny shrubs and grasslands, became home to many different birds that had earlier been using the area as passing migrants.
Okhla is a great place for birding throughout the year, though the winter months are best for migratory species.
Spend time at the Sacred Heart Cathedral
The Sacred Heart Cathedral lies in the center of Edwin Lutyens Delhi and vies for attraction in comparison with the other stately structures surrounding it.
This was only the second Catholic church in Delhi after St. Mary’s church in Old Delhi. The cathedral, which is a haven of peace, is visited daily by devotees from India and abroad.
The church is best visited during Easter and Christmas when the surroundings are lit up. The prime mission of the cathedral is to experience the live of God in practical life.
The church is open seven days a week from 0630 – 1800 hrs and entry is free. Designed by the British architect Henry Medd, the central altar is made of pure white marble and radiates a soothing and spiritual feeling.
Hang out at Khan Market
Khan Market, in Central Delhi, has both hipster friendly hangouts and excellent street dining options. One of the most upscale retail properties in Delhi, the lively market is full of shoppers at all times of the day.
Khan Market, today is a haven for locals and expats as well, with a variety of Indian and International brands available here. There are special outlets for authentic Indian jewellery and ethnic garments.
Some of the best food joints can be found here. Delicious kebabs at Khan Chacha and mutton berry pulao of Soda Bottle Opener wala are not to be missed.
Ride a segway at Rajpath
A segway tour, is considered to be the coolest way to move around the National Capital and take in the various sights.
The segway tour around Raj Path allows one to view historic buildings, monuments and affords innumerable photo opportunities. Starting from India Gate, through the many ministry buildings on either side, you can ride up to the Parliament Building and onward till the gates of the Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The tour is accompanied by tour supervisors and marshals, who not only look after the safety aspect, but provide valuable information as well.
All safety gear is included on this exciting 45 minutes trip.
A HoHo city bus tour
The Hop on Hop off or HoHo buses, run across Delhi, covering popular tourist destinations. At an extremely nominal charge of Rs 500 or roughly $8, tourists can get on or off from any one of the 19 designated stops.
The buses are low floor, fully air conditioned, with audio commentary in English, flexible boarding and cover more than 20 important spots. There is an on board guide on every bus for attending to any query.
Booking can be done online and the first trip commences at 8 am and continues throughout the day at intervals of around 40 minutes from the Delhi Tourism office at Connaught Place. The visitors really admire the large windows, which offer a panoramic view of the city.
Travel to space at the Nehru Planetarium
The Nehru Planetarium, a vision of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawharlal Nehru, opened its doors to the public in 1977. The planetarium is aptly located on the grounds of Teen Murti house, the former home of Nehru and now converted into a museum.
Over the years, the planetarium has developed into a scientific study centre for astronomy and meetings and lectures concerning astronomical events.
The daily shows running here are aimed at inspiring people to watch and study the various astronomical phenomenon on the screen as well as through the telescopes installed outside. Shows run throughout the day in Hindi, English and Marathi.
Relive your childhood days at the Children’s Park
Located in the backdrop of India Gate, the Children’s Park is a huge playground set in the sprawling lawns of Central Delhi. There are endless playing areas, rides, swings etc which can keep the young and old alike active the whole day.
The park and its environs, light up during the evening hours, enhancing the beauty of the place by giving an enchanting look. Entry is free and unrestricted from dawn to dusk.
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