Delhi, the capital city of India, strikingly evokes the ancient past while at the same time showcases India's modern future. It's divided into two parts -- the crumbling old city of Old Delhi, and the orderly and well planned New Delhi -- which exist side by side, but feel like they're worlds apart. This Delhi travel guide and city profile is full of useful information and tips.
Delhi hasn't always been the capital of India, nor has it always been called Delhi. At least eight cities have preceded the Delhi of today, the first being the settlement of Indraprastha, which featured in the great Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Archaeological evidence suggests that it was located where the Red Fort now stands in Old Delhi. Delhi's long history has seen many empires and rulers come and go, including the Mughals who ruled northern India for over three centuries. The last were the British, who decided to construct New Delhi in 1911 and relocate India's capital there from Kolkata.
Delhi is located in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, in northern India.
The population of Delhi is just over 17 million people, making it the second largest city in India. Mumbai
is the largest city.
Delhi has an extreme climate
. It gets unbearably hot in the summer, with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the shade, between April and June. The monsoon
rain cools things down somewhat between June and October, but when it isn't raining the temperature still reaches 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). The weather starts becoming noticeably cooler in November. Winter temperatures can reach around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in the day time, but can be much colder. Nights are cold, with the temperature dropping below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
Delhi Airport Information:
Delhi's Indra Gandhi International Airport
is located in Palam, 23 kilometers (14 miles) south of the city. Its international and domestic terminals are 5 kilometers (3 miles) apart, and are connected by shuttle bus. It takes around 45 minutes to travel from the airport to the city center. The easiest way to do this is by taking a prepaid taxi
from outside the front of the international arrivals area. However, be sure not to give the receipt to the driver until you reach your desired destination, as Delhi prepaid taxi drivers are well known for their scams.
Fog often causes flight delays at airport in December.
Transport in Delhi has undergone significant development in recent years to become the best in India. Visitors can look forward to air conditioned trains and buses, computerized tickets, and dial-a-cab services. The usual taxis and auto rickshaws are available as well. However, auto rickshaw drivers will rarely put their meters on, so it's a good idea to have an idea of the correct fare for the place you want to go to and agree on it with the driver beforehand.
Delhi Top Attractions:
Delhi's top attractions
feature spellbinding mosques, forts, and monuments left over from the Mughal rulers that once occupied the city. Many of these are set in beautiful landscaped gardens that are perfect for relaxing. The contrast between rambling Old Delhi and well planned New Delhi is immense, and it's interesting to spend time exploring both. Whilst doing so, adventurous eaters shouldn't miss sampling some delicious Delhi street food
in Chandni Chowk. Delhi also has some of the best markets
in India, as well as one of the country's award winning luxury spas
, Amatrra Spa. Check out the top Delhi bars
and Delhi restaurants
too. To explore Delhi on foot, take one of these top Delhi walking tours.
Otherwise, book one of these popular Delhi tours.
Wondering where to take the kids? These 5 fun things to do in Delhi with kids
will keep them entertained and occupied!
Delhi Health and Safety Information:
As well as being India's capital city, Delhi is also unfortunately the country's crime capital. It's rated as the most unsafe city in India for women, and sexual harassment and molestation are common occurrences. Men can often be found lurking around tourist areas, and greatly enjoy staring at and approaching foreigners. Therefore, very conservative standards of dress are recommended. Women should wear loose clothing and cover their arms and legs. A shawl that covers the breasts is also beneficial. Women should also take care not to be out alone at night. Where ever possible, try and travel with a male companion.
Tourist scams are also widespread in Delhi, particularly overcharging and commission rackets. Pickpocketing is another big problem, so do take extra care of your valuables.
As always in India, it's important not to drink the water in Delhi. Instead buy readily available and inexpensive bottled water to stay healthy. In addition, it's a good idea to visit your doctor or travel clinic well in advance of your departure date to ensure that you receive all the necessary immunizations and medications, especially in relation to illnesses such as malaria and hepatitis.
Check out 8 Reasons Why You Might Dislike Delhi to get a perspective on the city's unfavorable side.