Our trip this time criss crossed the country. From Kerala in extreme south to capital of the nation, Delhi, in the north. My Delhi itinerary had two objectives – VMF (Vacation to Meet Friends) and a historical sojourn for our daughter Arushi; so that she could relate better with her history lessons and her country’s rich heritage.
Delhi cannot be covered in a day, not even in two. But here’s how we charted a path for an optimal ‘Delhi in a day’, including bit shopping at Chandni Chowk, food jewels of the city (will cover in separate blog) and ensure we start at 9am and retire by 6pm, so as not to stretch the kids.
My Friend Arun Agarwal Ji arranged for a car (a must) and our driver guide, Moti, charted the schedule – which I feel now is ideal.
Sept-Oct is a good time to visit Delhi, just after the searing heat & just before the irritating winter foggy season. Choose a weekday and the intent behind 9am to 6pm outing is also to ensure we beat the peak traffic hours.
Since we were staying at Hauz Khas Village this is how our tour went on. If you staying in north of the city (where most hotels are) then your itinerary should be in the reverse. Else this itinerary is best for anyone staying in south or at Gurgaon. This schedule is best of best of Delhi. So for the ones missed out – Jama Masjid, Lodhi Gardens, Akshardham temple, Kalkaji Mandir, Kingdom of dreams – at least a day more is required.
1. Qutb Minar
2. Lotus temple
This temple is religion neutral, has free entry, encourages all to sit and pray their own faith, no idol or book or ritual commercialised, no rules, has decent toilets, beautiful architecture with greenery around. Takes upto 30-40 mins.
3. Humayun’s Tomb
Brilliant structure, architecture marvel and one you need to admire for good 30mins time. The cover picture of this write up also features the majestic entrance door of Humayun’s tomb.
4. Rashtrapati Bhawan
Awesome set of red sandstone structures. Being president’s house you can’t stay beyond 5-7 mins of photography. I must say globally has to be one of the most beautiful political enclaves. The car can then show the Parliament House by the ride. Ever since terrorist attack, a few years ago, tourist cars are prohibited from coming close or standing near Parliament House. But worth a view from the car.
5. Amar Jawan Jyoti (Armed forces memorial)
For respect. More respect. 10 mins stop.
6. India Gate
It’s like the Arc de Triumph you find in all major cities of the world. 10 mins stop.
7. Rajghat (Mahatma Gandhiji memorial)
The fire of truth still burns and the inscribed ‘Hey Ram’ reminds of a person’s famous last words. Toilets are there and so too an economical canteen. Worth spending 30mins in memorial and optional 30mins lunch/snacks. Free entrance.
8. Chandni Chowk
Must go place to experience the real India. Crowded streets, food alleys, street hawkers all falling over each other, traffic almost on standstill – the above am just understating. Spend an hour. Shop. Eat. Soak in the real India. Give yourself an hour plus.
9. Sishganj Gurudwara
Sikh temple where we decided to pray and buy Sikh bangles for the family to imbibe the Sikh never say die spirit – Arushi’s wish. We fulfilled it. Now we all have bangles for Sikh spirit. You won’t find a Sikh lazy person/beggar around the world! Not more than 10 mins stop.
10. Red Fort
Hope the above helped. Enjoy Delhi.