Morning Visit: It will be a great idea to start your day by exploring the landmark sites of the Rajpath. Start with the citadel of Lutyens' Delhi, the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Spread over 330 acres, the structure was designed by renowned architect Lutyens as the official residence of the Viceroy of India during the British rule. It is now the official residence of the First Citizen of India - the President. You may also stop at the Cathedral Church of the Redemption, located in the quiet Church Lane near Rashtrapati Bhavan.You may reach Central Secretariat by metro line no 2 and then walk down to Rashtrapati Bhavan Your next destination can be the Parliament House , home to the highest law-making body in India.which is at a walking distance.
But remember visitors can move inside the building only if they have special permission. Admiring the beauty of the arterial roads like the Rajpath, you may now visit the National Museum - the largest museum in India by walking or using an auto.
The distnce is about 2kms. The next stop on this art-filled journey is the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) at Jaipur House. You may again walk down throgh Rajpath via India Gate or by auto. The distance is about 2kms. The gallery showcases the changing Indian art forms through the passage of more than 150 years. Standing in front of NGMA, you can see India Gate, the 42-metre-high monument erected as a memorial in honour of the Indian and British soldiers martyred at the North-West Frontier during World War I and Afghan Wars in 1919.
About 4Kms from India Gate is Teen Murti, the official residence of Late Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first prime minister of India.You can take local bus or auto. From there you can then head to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum that houses her personal effects and other belongings.
Rest a while, before moving on to Connaught Place for a wholesome lunch. Use local bus, auto/taxi.
Eat: Connaught Place is a hub for speciality and multi-cuisine restaurants and fast-food joints. You will find good places for any budget and preference.
Shop: While at Connaught Place, go shopping. You can either buy branded stuff or collect souvenirs from the Central Cottage Industries Emporium or the Emporia Complex on Baba Kharak Singh Marg. Those looking for cheaper thrills can shop at Janpath.
Visit: Relish your evening with a slice of history in the bylanes of Old Delhi. Take a metro from Rajiv Chowck to Chandni Chowck which is about 5kms. The best way to explore this area is on a cycle-rickshaw or on foot. Start with Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. From there, go to the Digambar Jain Temple and the bird hospital in it. Next visit the Gauri Shankar Temple, Bhagirath Palace, Central Baptist Church, Gurudwara Sisganj, Sunehri Masjid, Fatehpuri Mosque, Khari Baoli, Ghalib's Haveli and Chunnamal ki Haveli.
The majesty of the Republic End the day with a trip to Red Fort, the most spectacular piece of Mughal architecture in Delhi. To explore the Fort completely it will take at least two hours. So plan accordingly.
Thereafter you must attend the "Sound and Light Show" held in the evenings here, which will take you through the key phases of history.
Eat: After the tour, you can head to Chandni Chowk for snacks and/or an early dinner. Famous for mouth-watering street food - Chaat, Chholey Bhature, Parantha - it even has an alley called Paranthewali Gali, popular for deep-fried, delicious Paranthas. You will also find the city's best lassi here. And do we forget to mention the sweets? Go for the Jalebis, Sohan Halwa and Pinni. And, if street food is not your type, there are the usual restaurants and some fast-food outlets.
Shop: Chandni Chowk is the Old City's famous shopping street, the main wholesale market in Delhi. There are many things that you can pick up from this market.
While at CP, if you have the time and energy, take a short walk from the Patel Chowk metro station to Jantar Mantar, one of the world's oldest astronomical observatories. A short walk from Jantar Mantar, off Hailey Road, in a lane just before the Consulate General of Malta, is Agrasen ki Baoli, a 14thcentury step-well. From there drive on to the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart near Gole Dak Khana, Connaught Place.
Behind it is the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, a Sikh pilgrimage site. Further on, near Gole Market is the Birla Mandir, also known as Laxmi Narain Temple
Morning Visit: Start your day by exploring the Mehrauli Archaeological Park which is well connected by metro line no 2. local buses,auto /taxi. One of its kind, the Archaeological Park is spread over 200 acres and houses about 100 historically significant monuments built over five centuries. Among its attractions are the Jamali Kamali mosque, Quli Khan's tomb, Gandhak ki Baoli, Rajon ki Baoli, Madhi Masjid and Balban's tomb - all within walking distance of each other. Thereafter you can visit the adjacent complex that houses the Qutub Minar, the Quwwat ul-Islam Mosque, the Alai Gate, the Alai Minar, the Iron pillar, and the tombs of Iltutmish, Alauddin Khilji and Imam Zamin, surrounded by Jain temple ruins.
Eat: After your tour of the Qutub Complex, you can head to the Ambavata Complex at Mehrauli by auto for lunch. The distance is about 2kms Ambavata Complex has the very popular Thai High restaurant. Or you go towards Greater Kailash-II, Kalkaji and CR Park areas that have a wide range of eateries from classy restaurants to modest joints. You may travel local bus, auto/taxi.The distance is about 7-8kms.
Shop: For ardent shoppers, Ambavata Complex offers enough choices in the form of fashionable Indian designer stores and boutiques.
Visit: In the evening get up close and personal with nature in the Garden of Five Senses . Reach there by auto/taxi. Distance is about 7-8kms. The Garden is designed to stimulate one's sensory responses to the environment. Developed by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), this unique garden is situated near the Qutub Heritage Zone. It covers an area of 20.5 acres with 14 food stalls, 16 craft stalls and nature aplenty. If you are lucky, you can catch up on the various cultural programmes held here.
Eat: The Garden is home to a few top-end restaurants. You can have a meal at Magique in the Garden itself, or go to Select Citywalk in Saket by auto/taxi and the distance is about 3kms It has a huge food court catering to all tastes and pockets. Another option is GK-II.you have to again take an auto/taxi. Distance is about 5kms.
Shop: The Select Citywalk Mall and DLF Mall have plenty of shops to keep you busy.
Morning Visit: Start the day at 9 in the morning with a visit to the Lotus Temple, another landmark in the capital city. You may have to take local bus,auto/taxi to reach Lotus Temple Resembling a half-open lotus, this is a relatively recent architectural marvel of the Bahai faith. From there, you may move on to visit Humayun's Tomb one of the most impressive Mughal edifices buy local bus or auto/taxi.The distance is about 7kms. Take some time to explore this magnificent structure and the other monuments the complex houses. About 2 km north of the Tomb lies the Nizamuddin Dargah belonging to the famous Sufi saint, Nizamuddin Auliya. Ignore the crowded surroundings and focus on the irresistible eateries around. Your next stop is the Lodi Gardens . Along with an extensive, well-manicured garden, you will see some ornate tombs and structures belonging to the Lodi and Sayyid dynasties.
Eat: If you are tired, you can break for lunch at Khan Market, a paradise for foodies buy auto/taxi. The distance is about 2kms.
Shop: Books, shoes, ethnic stuff, designer wear - you can take your pick at Khan Market.
Late Afternoon / Evening
From Khan Market head towards Safdarjung's Tomb. Buy auto/taxi. The distence is about 2kms. Spread over an area of 300 sq km, the spectacular tomb is enclosed within a garden with tanks and fountains. From there you can go to Hauz Khas by metro which is about 4kms and walk for 12-15 minutes to reach Hauz Khas Village. This area was developed during Feroz Shah Tughlaq's rule.
Eat: The nearby Defence Colony is a good choice. You may have to take local bus,auto/taxi. The distance is about 5kms. You will find all kinds of eating joints from high-end to regular run-of-the-mill restaurants here. Another option is Dilli Haat, where you can savour pan-Indian cuisine. You may reach here by metro, or auto/taxi.
Shop: Set against a rustic backdrop, Hauz Khas Village has many boutiques that sell ethnic clothes and curios. You can also go shopping to Dilli Haat, located on Sri Aurobindo Marg. This craft bazaar is a veritable melting pot of Indian culture.
AGRA: This historical city stands 200 km south of New Delhi, on the banks of river Yamuna. Over three centuries ago, it was a powerful Mughal capital and the most important city of northern India. It was at this time that Agra's many timeless architectural wonders were born: the wonderful Taj Mahal, the awesome Agra Fort, and the sprawling Sikandara - a whole city in itself.
Agra Fort : Built in red sand stone, it is the one of the famous sights of Agra other than Taj Mahal. The semi circular fort was started by Akbhar in 1565, and completed in 1574.
Taj Mahal : The most photographed monument in the world, the Taj stands in its splendor of white marble, an imposing citadel on the banks of river Yamuna. Built in 17th century by Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is an ode to the emperor's eternal love for his wife. It took over 20,000 skilled workers from across the country, working day and night, for 22 years for this architectural wonder to be created.
Fatehpur Sikri: 40 km from Agra, it is a city completely made of red sand stone. Built by Akbar and dedicated to a saint, Fatehpur Sikri was conceived in 1571. Worth visiting are the Jama Masjid, Salim Chisti's tomb, the Diwan- i-Aam, the Diwan- i- Khas and the Queen's palaces within the city.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary:
120 km from Delhi and just 17 km. from Fatehpur Sikri, it is home to over 375 species of birds, serene water bodies, lush woods, majestic lodges, and more. Once the royal hunting reserve of the princely family of Bharatpur, the water bird sanctuary is spread over 29 kms and is one of the best in India. It is best explored on a bicycle, or on a pedal - rikshaw - whose puller will prove to be an expert guide too!
(Included in the itinerary during winter only)
JAIPUR: The Pink City is replete with historical landmarks that echo its past glory and living traditions. Discover palaces and forts, temples and gardens, crafts and pageantry here.
City Palace: Built by Sawai Jai Singh, it became the official seat of the Jaipur royal family after 1922. A large part of the brilliant palace is now a museum, displaying an excellent collection of artifacts used by the Rajput royalty.
Jantar Mantar: Built in 1728, it is one of Sawai Jai Singh's unique observatories. It has instruments that have been scientifically designed to predict the movement of the major stars accurately. It represents the high point of medieval Indian astronomy.
Hawa Mahal: Also called the "Palace of Winds" was built in 1799. It is an unusual five storeyed structure with a facade of extensive lattice- work in stone. Aristocratic Rajput women to look out at the bustling bazaar below while remaining unseen used it.
Amer Fort: It is one of the finest and the best preserved forts, having served as the royal capital for seven long years before the city of Jaipur was built. It has a complex of several palaces, meeting halls, pavilions, gardens and temples. The Fort was built in the later half of the 10th century by Raja Man Singh.
Mr. Amit Ghai
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