Sisters and ROSL members - Poonam and Rohina Jaiswal tell us about their Delhi.
How long have you lived in Delhi?
We spent a lot of our childhood and youth in New Delhi, almost 25 years.
Describe Delhi in three words?
Massive, Chaotic, Capital! The capital is a massive, thriving cosmopolitan and metropolitan city. Everyone is familiar with scenes of Delhi’s vibrancy – jammed full of people, traffic, cars, bursting markets and fabulous eating places.
What advice would you give a first time visitor?
Stay in a good hotel, this is very important, even if it costs a bit more. You will then have the opportunity to really enjoy your stay. Good hotels will also provide car hire to allow you to explore the city for the day in comfort. And, how ever tempting it looks, do not eat cut-fruit or salads from road side vendors.
With a wealth of historical buildings, forts and temples what are the must-sees for any traveller? And where is the best place to take in the sights and sounds of the city?
Even today, one can have a fascinating glimpse into Delhi’s past, by absorbing the labyrinth of narrow lanes, old havelis, colourful bazars, and rickshaws winding their way through busy streets.
Central Delhi, with its tree lined avenues, imposing structures and buildings, such as India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan (the Presidential Residence) reflect Delhi’s colonial past. However modern Delhi has much more to offer - well planned developments, new shopping malls, and Delhi Haat – a government sponsored - open air food plaza and bazaar which a must for those wanting to sample mouth-watering local dishes and buy traditional handicraft items such as textiles, jewellery and pottery.
Delhi also boasts three world heritage monuments: Qutub Minar, the second highest brick minaret in the world, the Red Fort which was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years and now houses a number of museums, and Humayun’s Tomb, built in 1569 for a Mughal Emperor by a Persian architect; it was the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent.
Those looking for space to contemplate and meditate, should make time to visit the beautiful temples of Akshar Dham, Birla Mandir, and the modern Lotus temple or simply take a walk in the stunning Mughal and Lodhi gardens or Nehru Park.
Tempting smells and aromas of spices will have your taste-buds tingling, and must visit restaurants and places to eat include: Bukhara the multi-award winning restaurant at the ITC Maurya Sheraton – it is expensive but worth it. Gulati at Pandara Road is excellent if you can't make it to the Bukhara. United Coffee House at Connaught Place has offered breakfast, lunch and dinner in an Imperial hotel setting since the British Raj. Khan Market a bustling market with small, small shops and eateries offers cuisines from around the world.
When is the best time to visit, does this coincide with any festivals and celebrations?
November through to March. During this time you’ll experience some of the most vibrant and important festivals in the Hindu calendar – Diwali, the festival of lights in November/December, Holi, a festival of colour in spring.
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