India-0069
India-0069 by Dennis S. Hurd

New Delhi India – Top-10 Most Interesting Activities in the City

Delhi is a young and vibrant city. It offers many sights and experience which are certain to amaze anyone. Being the capital of India, Delhi also has many activities which are a must-do for any traveller who comes here. But in case you are looking for that something extra, then this list will be extremely helpful. Whenever we go to Delhi, we always look to spend time doing something which would just enhance our experience as travellers.

Here is a list of top things to do when you are in Delhi.

1. Lodhi Gardens

One thing you will notice about Delhi is that it has quite a lot of parks and gardens. And the one which stands out most is the Lodhi Gardens. It is a sprawling park spreading over 90 acres and although it is in the middle of the city, once inside, you will not be able to believe that you are in the busy capital of India. The park is extremely well maintained and is a favoured spot for joggers and morning walkers and some even travel here from long distances every morning for a swift walk and some catching up with old friends.

The Lodhi garden also holds some of the tombs from the Lodhi dynasty like that of Sikandar Lodhi, Mohammad Shah along with other monuments like Bada Gumbaj and Shisha Gumbad. It is a wonderful feeling to take a leisurely stroll across the Lodhi garden and reliving the history as one passes these monuments. It is also a good place to just relax with a book surrounded by nature and listening to the music of the birds. The entry to Lodhi garden is from 6 am in the morning to 8 pm in the night and the entry is free. A small nuisance that we come across here is that a number of young couples also use it for their secret escapades. So, we advise you to refrain from going into those cosy corners if any PDA is happening!

2. Spice Market

India is home to spicy foods. And it wouldn’t be wrong to presume that there would definitely be some spice markets around. But the one in Khari Baoli road is perhaps the most impressive because it is the biggest wholesale spice market in Asia. Walking around the market, you will see splashes of colour everywhere in the form of sacks full of spices. From lentils, rice to jars of pickles and nuts, you can indulge yourselves by buying them in small quantities as well as large. An added bonus of the spice market is that the various hues of the spices add that extra bit of glamour to your clicks, so be sure to carry your camera.

A word of advice though. The market is full of spices and it tends to lead to vigorous bouts of coughing. Do carry water when you visit. The market opens around 6 am in the morning till about 9 pm at night and if you are looking to take some of these spices home, do bargain your heart out!

Agra and Taj Mahal

No list of things to do in Delhi would ever be complete without a mention of the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Although it is technically not in Delhi, but a 4 hour drive is not too much to ask for a visit to this astonishing piece of architecture. And if we are to be honest, then the drive up to the city of Agra is perhaps the best in India. The roads are magnificent and when you finally lay your eyes on the Taj, it is just breath taking. Built from the Makrana marbles, the structure is a standing testament to the love of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

The place is extremely well maintained and walking through the corridors of the Taj, you cannot help but be awed by its grandeur. No wonder that the famous Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore called it “The tear drop on the cheeks of time.” Entry to the Taj Mahal costs INR 1000 and is open from Sunrise till Sunset on all days except Fridays, when you need a special permission to attend the prayers. Visiting the Taj is well worth the 4 hour drive that it is from Delhi.

4. Power Paragliding

Who can say no the experience of viewing the Earth like the birds do? That is why the power paragliding which one can do in Sohna finds its name on this list. The paragliding is operated under expert supervision and makes the use of motored para-gliders to make up for the absence of high peaks. We have also indulged in the Air Safari here which took us on an aerial tour of the Delhi suburbs.

This is a privately operated facility and costs INR 2800 per head. Be advised though that the weight limit for this activity is 85 kgs and if you are packing a few extra kilos, be sure to lose them before heading to Sohna.

5. Kingdom of Dreams

If you are artistically inclined, and well, even if you aren’t, do visit Kingdom of Dreams when you visit Delhi. It is a magical place. Located in Gurgaon, Kingdom of Dreams is India’s first live entertainment, theatre and leisure destination. It spreads over a huge 6 acres, and has many wonders like Culture Gully, a skydrome, which hosts stalls capturing the essence of 14 states of India with the help of two international standard theatres and latest technologies. The Nautanki Mahal, Showsaa theatre and the Maikhana Bar are an experience in themselves and you can also watch some breathtakingly spectacular shows like Zangoora and Jhumroo. Kingdom of Dreams is a celebration of the performing arts, and it is well worth its entry fee of INR 1250 and upwards and you can check out their website for the timings of the various shows.

6. Segway Tour

A highly entertaining and different experience to be had in Delhi is the Rajpath Segway tour. Segways are the newest trends in travel and to experience the rich heritage of India on these battery powered vehicles is simply refreshing.

We first had to learn how to use the Segway properly, and trust us, it isn’t as hard as it looks. A 3 hour tour, it takes you on a ride through the Secretariat, Parliament, India Gate and Vijay Chowk. With expert guides who help you understand the political history and significance of India, these rides are an awesome amount of fun and present you with a number of photographic options. The tour costs about INR 1,900 per person and we advise you to take a booking in advance.

7. Shah Jahan Bicycle Tour

Shah Jahan was known as the builder prince and the Mughal King has left us with many monuments of wonder. His capital, Shahjahanabad, is perhaps the best place where you can get a glimpse into the life of this visionary ruler. And what better way to do that than riding along on a bicycle?

There is a bicycle tour of Shahjahanabad will take you through the lanes of old Delhi as you wouldn’t have experienced before. Delite Cinema, Turkman Gate, Fatehpur Masjid, Chandni Chowk and a breakfast at the iconic Karim’s are just some of the fun things to do on this tour. It is conducted from 6.30 am to 10.00 am every day for a fee of INR 1850 and is an absolute delight.

8. Kathputli Colony

Before the advent of Films, Television and the Internet, street performances were perhaps the only source of entertainment for most. And any place where they have congregated is definitely worth a visit. The Kathputli colony is place where magicians, snake charmers, acrobats, singers, musicians and puppeteers reside. It is the largest community of street performers anywhere in the world and we could almost feel the love for street performances permeate through the air. As is to be expected, the place is a splash of colour and if you are lucky like us, some very interesting conversations await you there. There are no entry fee or timings for Kathputli colony as it is home to many streets artists but do show a little care here. Most of them are now struggling to make ends meet and any help you can give them, especially a friendly smile, is most appreciated by them.

9. Cook and Dine with local family

They say that the best place to enjoy a local meal is at the table of a local resident. And what could be a more fun or authentic activity than cooking the food that you want to discover? This very interesting and fun activity, organised by viator.com, offers a golden opportunity to learn the culture of Delhi first hand by spending some time with the locals. As you help around in the kitchen and exchange stories, you will get a slice of life in Delhi like never before. The experience costs INR 5000 and upwards, but is a really lovely experience.

10. Indian Dance Lessons

If you have ever seen a Bollywood movie, you know that dance is an integral part of the cinema. And it is very easy to feel your feet tapping to the peppy music. So when we heard about the Namaste India Dance workshop, we couldn’t resist. It’s a 2 hour crash course on Bollywood dance, Bhangra and Dandiya. And what’s more, a 2 minute dance video is also made at the end of the workshop for you to view with your friends and family! Organised by Delhi Dance Academy for INR 2500, this is an experience we absolutely enjoyed!

These are just some of the fun activities that you can do when you are in Delhi for a truly enriching experience!