Your travel guide: Welcome to New Delhi!

Delhi is not only the busy and bustling capital city of India, but also known as the city of people with big hearts (dilli dilwalon ki). The capital is known for its multi-cuisine food, heritage and diversity- religious, cultural as well as global.  The city is never bored. Be it any day of the week, there is a show, performance, program, talk, and even processions to suite the needs of a variety of audiences. Many of these theatre performances, talks and workshops usually take place in Delhi’s India Habitat Centre. One can view the events calendar of the center here: http://indiahabitat.org/programmes/

For more options of centers with interesting, one can visit:

http://www.sodelhi.com/sightseeing-guide/best-cultural-centres-in-delhi

This abundance of cultural events led to the emergence of entrepreneurial opportunities for informing the masses about the timings and venues of these events. Of those new ventures, the Little Black Book or LBB is one of the most famous. Also, for a little addition to your vision board and success tips, you can read about the successful entrepreneurial journey of LBB’s founder here: http://yourstory.com/2016/01/little-black-book/

For those who love Heritage, the city famously has plenty to offer. Having been ruled by several different Mughal emperors, and had 7 different names, it has some of the most beautiful Mughal forts, Hindu and Sikh temples, mosques and even churches to visit, which represent an amazing array of religious diversity. Of these, the most popular ones are Himanyu’s tomb, Hauz Khas Fort, Akshardham temple, Bangla Sahib and the Lotus Temple. If you don’t want to miss any of these, you can find various city tours that take tourists through all the major heritage sites across Delhi in a comfortable air-conditioned bus. This is also a nice way to meet fellow new travellers. The top rated day city tours can be found here: https://lbb.in/delhi/walk-this-way-delhi-walking-tours-to-bookmark-culture-food-history/

For food lovers, Delhi is the place for you! Since Delhi is home to people of diverse religions, ethnicities and even nationalities, there are avenues for wondrous foods of many different cuisines. However, special to Delhi are the chaats, Mughlai cuisine and Punjabi food.

Chaats are spicy dishes which are of different types. Some are made from potatoes, some from curd while some are made from fruits. Mughlai cuisine includes different types of spicy meat, kebabs, chutneys or dips.  Punjabi food is a popular cuisine of of cooked vegetables marinated with spices, unique breads and sweet milk with some more spices that is unique to the state of Punjab in North India.

At the same time, you don’t want to get the Delhi belly either! (A popular term for traveller’s diarrhea experienced especially after eating street food in Delhi). To avoid so, you must eat at clean places with high standards of hygiene, and not eat literally from the street.

The following suggestions are the editor’s pick:

Living in GK1, you have easy access to the GK1 M-block and GK1 N-block markets, which are known for shopping and their food! So in this case, you must try the following food in GK1 M-block market- chicken dimsums (popularly known as momos in Delhi) at Brown Sugar Cafe, Delhi’s famous Papdi Chaat at Prince Paan. Also close by, about 1 kilometer away is the most famous Italian restaurant, The Big Chill Café in Kailash colony, where an auto rikshaw can happily take you for less than Rs60. Now for Desserts, another close-by place is Naturals in GK2, Masjid moth known for its famous fruit-based ice cream. The unique feature of the ice creams manufactured by Natural Ice Cream is that they contain no artificial flavors, no preservatives or stabilizers, only fresh fruit pulp or dry fruits.

For good Mughlai food, if you want to travel far enough or risk getting a Delhi Belly, you must try Karim’s in Chandni Chowk. The best dish there, is their Bhakharkhani, which is a sweet bread to be eaten with Jahangiri chicken, a spicy chicken dish wish thick curry made of minced meat. There is a Karim’s in GK1 too, which delivers food home as well, but hasn’t had reviews as good as the Karim’s in Chandni Chowk, which takes about 40 minutes to reach if one uses the Delhi metro.

Some specifically travel-y things to do where you can meet new people and see some trippy art and graffiti would be to visit new travel cafes like The Hippie Trail and Kumzum cafe in Huaz Khas village, which are about 5 kilometers away from your temporary home- Bed and Chai. However, when in Delhi, don’t go by the distance! In peak traffic hours, such as evenings, it could take you more than half an hour just to reach Hauz Khas!

Speaking of Huaz khas village, one, who is 25+ (the legal drinking age in Delhi is 25) can simply not leave the city without visiting it’s most vibrant nightlife spot- HKV! The most beautiful mix of nature, heritage and modernity, Hauz Khas is the place to be if you want to watch Delhi party. It has some of the most creative clubs, like Social where you could try some of the traditional drinks of India, like Sharbat with vodka and tequila mixed in them or take shots in a from a plastic syringe. Hauz Khas is itself an old fort, which can be toured in the daytime before 6pm. In terms of nature, the fort has a huge lake, which can be viewed from all the rooftops of the clubs and cafes in Hauz Khas, contributing to their popularity. It also has a deer park as well as a forest nearby. Daily, the village attracts more than a thousand people for various purposes- food, shopping, drinking or just sight-seeing!

Last but not the least, the best spots for shopping would depend on your need. For cheap western clothes, close home is the M block market of GK1. For street shopping for Indian prints and designs, and souvenirs, visit Jan Path which is about 10 kilometers from GK1. It can be reached easily using the metro, if boarded from the Nehru Place metro station which is about10 minutes and Rs60 away from Bed and Chai if you take an auto. Jan Path is also close the Connaught Place, a beautiful and large complex to eat, shop and see Delhi’s heritage, which includes the Parliament Building, India Gate etc. It also has huge parks where one can see families having picnic. To buy from expensive brands under air-conditioned roofs, visit the Select Citywalk mall in Saket, which is less than 5 kilometers away. It has 2 more malls neighboring it on each side, for more variety and options of stores. To buy Indian suites, kurtas, pants etc, Lajpat Nagar, which is not more than 20 minutes away would be ideal and definitely not heavy on the pockets.

At Startup Safari, we are aware that the capital, despite its beauty and cultural vibrancy has not had the best reputation in the past amongst global travelers, with its name occurring often in the media mentioned in cases of racial violence and women’s safety. Despite these warnings and stories, we will try our best to make sure you have the best possible experience, filled with fun, learning and safety.

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