The Sights of Delhi

When we were planning our route through India, we decided to spend the holiday week of Diwali in Delhi. We figured there’d be lots to see and do related to the holiday and we’d avoid any of the inconvenience we’d experienced by our lack of planning related to Carnival in Ecuador (we’d learned our lesson!).

And yet, when we tell Indians that we are in Delhi for nearly a week they are all very surprised, Diwali or not, that we are spending so much time in the city. I guess ‘regular’ tourists fly through the city and move on to other areas.

But it’s not as though Delhi is some dud of a town with nothing to do but hang at the postoffice. There are lots of things to see in this city of millions!

As per usual, we are pacing ourselves. This is partly because it has become our mantra to go slow, but also because it helps our sanity (India overwhelms and so we take baby-steps…). At max we’ve hit two places in a day, but even if we did cram in as many as we could see, we would still be leaving Delhi after five full days without seeing everything.

What we have seen thus far has been nice. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Delhi is one of my favourite cities or boasts the most impressive monuments, but it is worth a visit. Here are some of the places we’ve checked out:

India Gate and Ewan

India Gate and Ewan

Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar

Red Fort

Red Fort

Red Fort

Red Fort

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid

Humayun's Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun's Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun's Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun's Tomb Humayun's Tomb

Gandhi Smriti - room where Gandhi lived his last days

Gandhi Smriti – room where Gandhi lived his last days

The quirky interactive exhibit upstairs at Gandhi Smriti

The quirky interactive exhibit upstairs at Gandhi Smriti

IMG_0433 IMG_0434

Secretariat Building

Secretariat Building

India Gate

India Gate

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    15 thoughts on “The Sights of Delhi

      • Our shots only cover a small sliver of the city. I guess the benefit of missing out on things is that when we come back to India we’ll be able to visit and have fresh and new things to see.

      • Hey Franca, I would say that if Delhi is your first introduction to India it could be intense. Since we’ve been here for 3 weeks, it was actually nice. The streets were relatively cleaner compared to other cities we’ve been to and people obey traffic rules (mostly), and Diwali wasn’t too in our face (I was worried all the fire crackers going off would have us stay in our guesthouse!). Ultimately I would say it’s a great spot and overwhelming.

    1. The India Gate looks so quiet… maybe you found a moment? When I was there it was PACKED, and people were swarming us for photos. That man sleeping is classic India. I bet that’s the best sleep he’s had in a while!

      • I think that with Diwali going on, the India Gate isn’t really a place locals go to. In fact Delhi overall may have been very different during it…I was worried we’d chicken out with Diwali but all the chaos was not as rough as I’d anticipated.

        It’s incredible all the nappers throughout the city during daylight hours! I think this is a nation of heavy sleeps when the constant noise and smells don’t wake you up!

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    3. It is so nice to read a positive account of Delhi—all of our friends who have been to India and LOVE the country had all advised us to avoid Delhi at all costs, telling us that it was the worst of the country. That’s actually part of why we didn’t visit India after Nepal, because the cheapest flight into the country would have landed us in Delhi and we got scared we wouldn’t be able to handle it. I do think it probably wouldn’t be the very best place to start one’s first trip to India, but I am glad that you consider it a place worth visiting. I started reading a book during our travels by William Dalrymple called City of Djinns that was all about Delhi and the history of the city and it was absolutely fascinating and really made me want to visit; given that you’ve been there, you should check it out!
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      • Ooh – thanks for the book recommendation! I will have to put that on my list.

        I guess if you compare Delhi with the other ‘Golden Triangle’ sights (Jaipur and Agra) people may not be as impressed, but I would have to say that Delhi definitely has assets compared with Chennai and Bangalore (at least based on our experience and time in those cities). Perhaps we were okay with it since we didn’t find it to be so dirty as some other places too!

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