Dehli, India, is built on layers of history. The city of Delhi consists of two general areas: Old Delhi, the historic city; and New Delhi, in the south. New Delhi began as a project in 1947, when the metropolis was declared the capital of British India. Today, New Delhi is not only the country’s capital. It’s also a very green city, crisscrossed by wide, leafy boulevards.
The streets are packed with entire families on one motorbike. Rickshaws (a.k.a. tuk-tuks), cows, and cramped cars wait in stagnant traffic. I am immediately enticed by the smell of street food and surprised by how my personal space is invaded at least once every ten minutes.
The markets are full of everything you can imagine. The colors are vibrant, and the people are many. I made friends with a beautiful little girl selling necklaces, who lived nearby in “tent city” ― a heartbreaking string of plastic tarp tents for the impoverished. India has no middle class, and the caste system has little mercy. If visiting the markets ends up on your list for what to do in Delhi, be prepared to see the caste system firsthand.
The metro allows for fast travel to long-distance destinations and offers the comfort of air-conditioning. There are also auto-rickshaws that get most people where they need to go.
If you’re planning what to do in Delhi ahead of time, take time to explore the opportunities below. Many of them could make your trip more adventurous and culturally complete.
Markets of Chandni Chowk
Hauz Khas village
The majority of India’s population is Hindu ― a religion whose beliefs help make India magical. One belief is that cows are sacred animals. Cows roam populous city streets and are given gifts and flower necklaces. In my humble opinion, if every human took on this practice toward natural life, we could help sustain our future on this planet, as well as our health.
Always stay current on your shots when traveling. You can also reduce your chance of feeling sick by drinking bottled water, eating freshly cooked food, and avoiding raw foods like salads, which may have been washed in unclean water. Forego ice cubes when you’re getting a drink and use hand sanitizer.
The Lotus Temple is a remarkable architectural structure. Its 27 flower petals are constructed of marble and designed in the shape of the sacred lotus flower. If you enjoy East Indian architecture, make visiting the temple one of your plans for what to do in Delhi, India.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple is the most inviting and comfortable temple I visited. Outside its doors is a pool of water, a dining facility, and a medical care unit. Inside, you may find a Sikh band playing the drums and singing. It’s a peaceful experience for a busy day.
Humayun’s Tomb was built in the mid 1500s to house the Islamic Mughal emperor Humayun. This massive, Persian-designed structure also serves as a tomb for other Mughal rulers. The gardens are a beautiful place for observing the structure. Inside the architectural marvel, have a look at the museum and marble tombstones.
A little over a three-hour drive from Delhi on the Taj Express Highway is the grand Taj Mahal. Commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the remains of his cherished wife, the Taj Mahal stands on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India.
Built over more than 20 years, the famed mausoleum complex is one of the most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture, which combines Indian, Persian, and Islamic influences. At its center is the Taj Mahal itself, built with shimmering, white marble that seems to change color, depending on the quality light.
If you want to experience the indigenous culture of India, seeing the Taj Mahal should be at the top of you list for what to do Delhi, India.
The sari (a.k.a. saree) has been a well-known garment for Indian females for 5,000 years. The Sari is made from of a piece of fabric ― usually 6-9 yards ― that wraps around the waist and drapes over one shoulder. The midriff is typically exposed, and one arm is often covered on the side where the sari is drapes over the shoulder. A petticoat is usually worn beneath a sari.
For women, it is important to cover up their shoulders and legs as a sign of respect ― especially if you visit a mosque or temple. It’s not advisable to wear very short skirts or tight-fitting clothes, as it will bring unwanted attention, and you’ll be uncomfortable in the heat. Wearing loose, Indian-style clothing is a good idea, because these outfits keep you cool. It is always a good idea to respect East Indian culture in terms of fashion.
After you plan what to do in Delhi, India, it’s time buy a vacation wardrobe, so you can travel in style. Visit Packed Perfectly today to find the perfect pieces for the trip!