Archives November 20, 2017

Travel back in time with a tour in the Metro: Yellow Line

Have you thought that your thirst for explorations can be quenched by not making a hole in your pocket? The metro yellow line lets you cover at least seven historically relevant places in a span of some hours, without worrying about the chock-a-block traffic or an unpredictable weather. Does that sound impossible to you? India City walks, is here to make this happen!

‘Metro Walks’ is an interesting new way to experience your heritage offering world class comfort and convenience where in a zipped air-conditioned comfort you can listen to stories of your city while you are on transit from one destination to another. No need to worry, just hop into the metro to make the metro ride full of memorable experiences with utmost diverse yet intriguing history and legacy. So before you hop on with us, get a glimpse of what you will be going to see on our carefully curated pit stops. Handpicked by us to block your day for some history of Delhi and an exciting ride around the city!

Starting from the Southern part of the long line, one of the first brick minarets of Delhi, Qutub Minar, is something which you can see even from the metro, while reaching towards Qutub Minar metro station. A short rickshaw ride from the metro station towards the ticket counter of Qutub Minar, would lead us to the 72 metre high brick minaret which is also UNESCO World Heritage site, is the tallest brick minaret. Roughly 700 mts away is another off beat place which is overshadowed by the world heritage site. Spread over 200 mts of lush greenery, it has layers of history trapped in it, which was also the first city of Delhi.

From Qutub Minar, our next stop can be Hauz Khas, where we travel ahead in time, come to the ruler who built the Hauz-i-Illahi tank and the fort city of Siri? Baffled? Don’t be, we are talking about Allauddin Khilji, who was famous for having an eye on a beautiful Rajput princess Rani Padmini, and building the second city of Delhi which was known as Siri. He understood the importance of reservoirs in Delhi, which is why he had built a huge tank called Hauz-i-Illahi, later name by Feroz Tughlaq as Hauz Khas. The tank overlooked an educational centre of the 14th century which was built by Feroz Tughlaq, as well as houses the tomb of Feroz Tughlaq, inside the Huaz Khas complex. Hauz Khas, now, is a go-to place for upbeat café’s, pubs and clubs. This compact village is aperfect blend of history and urban culture.

Right from the 14th century monuments we can travel ahead in time, towards the gardens which houses heritage of the Sayyids and Lodhis unknowingly. Lodhi Garden can be easily accessible from Jor Bagh metro station, by taking a rickshaw ride from the metro station. Packed in greenery and rooted in history, the garden houses grandiose structures, which are possibly the last remains of Lodhis in Delhi. Nearby is Safdarjung’s tomb, which is a stone throw away from the metro station, a last ray of light in the lamp of Mughal architecture, this mid 18th century mausoleum was built by the Nawab of Awadh for his father, Safdarjung.

Hopping back to the metro and travelling further, we come across a station called central secretariat, which will transport you to the last city of Delhi known as Lutyen’s Delhi . The eighth city built by the British, between 1911and 1931. Of all of Lutyen’s Delhi, the main landmarks buildings are Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate and the Viceregal Lodge which were the headquarters of imperial authorities of pre-Independent India.

Going further towards the north of Delhi, get down at either Chawri Bazaar or Chandni Chowk to access the heart of Dilli, Old Delhi. The bustling 16th century Mughal Walled city will suck you in its colours, and culture. So come, breathe in the living fabric of Delhi!

The Greenery of the Metropolitan Delhi!

A usual metropolitan city is an image of being overpopulated concrete jungles. Delhi reflects these characteristics but it also has a lot of green covers and refuge from the hustle and bustle of a city life. One such example of a protected green cover is Lodhi Garden, a name which already provides a hint to the characteristic of the place. One of the beautiful landscapes with perfect manicured gardens in Delhi has a good mix of history, nature and gives a sense of peace whenever someone decides to spend time there. It is this location, where people, from all walks of life, come, interact and have a good time, during the afternoon. Mornings are quite hustled as joggers getting their morning exercise routine on the stone path, or families coming for a garden picnic next to the lake for an exquisite quality time, while photography enthusiasts can delve in taking different angles of the pictures coupled with beautiful tomb structures in the background dating back to the Lodhi period as one can explore the serenity of the garden only on a leisurely walk.

Lutyen’s Delhi is another area which is filled with greenery. The wide roads, built around 18th century by the British, which reflects the colonial as well as neo-classical architecture. The prowess of the British Empire can be seen in the way the roads have been laid as well as the monuments which were built by them. You can imagine, if you have a separate elaborate gateway for King George the Vth, which is the India Gate, the amount of prowess they would have had is humungous.

Delhi offers opportunity to even deep dive in history and simultaneously enjoy the greenery at Mehrauli Archaeological Park. With the clearly visible Qutub Minar in distance greeting everyone and beckoning them to explore the 200 acres’ area sprawling with greenery and ruins from seven historic cities of Delhi. In terms of history and the city of Delhi having a character we have provided enough examples to prove that there is more to Delhi than just the traffic and its metropolitan status.

Even the area we refer to as Lutyens Delhi was built in the late eighteenth century by the British, so the modern and colonial architectural style that one sees in Connaught Place or the area around Rashtrapati Bhawan or the Civil Lines area are part of the built heritage of the city and add to its characteristics.

Travel back in time with a tour in the Metro: Purple Line

Have you thought that your thirst for explorations can be quenched by not making a hole in your pocket? The metro yellow line lets you cover at least seven historically relevant places in a span of some hours, without worrying about the chock-a-block traffic or an unpredictable weather. Does that sound impossible to you? India City walks, is here to make this happen!

‘Metro Walks’ is an interesting new way to experience your heritage offering world class comfort and convenience where in a zipped air-conditioned comfort you can listen to stories of your city while you are on transit from one destination to another. No need to worry, just hop into the metro to make the metro ride full of memorable experiences with utmost diverse yet intriguing history and legacy. So before you hop on with us, get a glimpse of what you will be going to see on our carefully curated pit stops. Handpicked by us to block your day for some history of Delhi and an exciting ride around the city!

The Purple line has been termed by the metro itself a heritage line because the line is travelling through the history of Delhi from Sultanate to Mughals and back. The originating station which is Kashmiri Gate is itself a historical site, offers a plethora of places to look around and unravel a lot of stories related to the British Empire in India.

From Kashmiri Gate, we can hop into the metro, and travel Lal Qila, which is the Hindi name for Red Fort. Qila-e-Mubarak was the residential complex for Shahjahan. Commissioned in 1638, the palace was conceptualized after the decision to shift the capital from Agra to Delhi was taken by the emperor. The precincts surrounding the residential complex later was supposed to be the seventh city of Delhi, called Shahjahanabad, which is in modern times called as Old delhi.

Walking a little ahead from Red Fort towards main street Chandni Chowk, is one of the picturesque mosques in the country. Commissioned by Shahjahan, located right at the beginning of Chawri Bazaar street, the mosque is one of the main spots of the city of Shahjahanabad. Feast your eyes on the magnificent four towers and beautiful architecture of the mosque. Walking through Jama Masjid towards the Red fort area, you can stumble upon a small mosque, which was built by the Mughal 18th century nobleman Roshan-ud-Daulah, later repaired by Bahadur Shah Zafar II. The prominence of the mosque is of the fact that the invader Nadir Shah would sit and watch the massacre of Delhi, from this mosque precinct.

Traveling right from the Red Fort complex towards the Delhi gate area, to enjoy a plethora of anecdotes that the monuments carries with itself. Once a gate, out of the total 14 gates which were part of the walled city had a lot of heritage significance till the British period.

At Janpath, when we get down and look around, we can understand that the place has lot to tell you. While you are preparing to get spooked by the Khooni Darwaza, the gate of the Walled city which was believed to be haunted, we are quick to take you out, and transport you to a beautiful stepwell of the 14th century which again is haunted but a favourite spots amongst the nearby schools.

Taking an auto from Agrasen ki baoli, we can travel to one of Delhi’s eccentric historic site, which is a collection of curving geometric buildings that are carefully calibrated to monitor the movement of stars and planets. The observatory was constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh II in around 1725. The first one was built by the Maharaja in Jaipur which was later replicated in Delhi.

Delhi’s Hidden Museums

Museums form a part and parcel of our lives, as they are the show window to the culture and heritage of our past. A place where the material remains of our past are kept, reflecting the cultural legacy that we come from. Delhi being the heart of India has been the most preferred place for showcasing the cultural heritage of India. While people were mourning for the burning down of the National Museum of Natural History, there are many lesser known Museums which many people don’t know about. There is a list of gems which celebrate the artistic, cultural and historical importance of these treasure troves.

Replica Museum:

Replica Museum inside the Siri Fort complex gives us a glimpse of ancient and unique replicas which give us a hint of the rich and cultural traditions of our historical past. It was inaugurated during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, the conception and execution was done under Indian Archaeologist K.K Muhammad. The replicas focus on Indian heritage, and are made by the students of Patna’s College of Arts and Crafts. The replicas made with fiberglass are no less majestic than the original pieces. Right from the Fasting Buddha of the Kushana period to other modern day artefacts, it is a great experience to visit the place. The museum not only has the replica artifacts but also houses the Astitva Gallery, which keeps having exhibitions time to time.

Where: Siri Fort Sports Complex
Entry: Free
Timings: 10 am to 5 pm

Archaeological Museum:

Qila-e-Mubarak or the Red Fort which was the residential complex of the Mughal Emperors since Shahjahan’s time, is now a main tourist spot in Delhi. The grandeur of the Fort, houses a Museum which is less known amongst people. The Archaeological Museum which is also called as the Mumtaz Mahal houses gems for history lovers, as it stocks relics like pottery, antiquities from the Mughal times, coins, jewellery, seals and a lot more artefacts which were interestingly, found in the excavations at Purana Quila in 1955 and then again from 1969 to 1973. There are also objects dating back to to the Mauryas, Sungas to those from Kushanas and Rajput era and even the Sultanate period. While one section displays the artifacts from 2nd and 3rd century, there is another section which focuses on the relics of the First War of Independence of 1857.

Where: Red Fort
Entry: Free
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm Daily (Closed on government holidays)

Ghalib Museum:

The Museum as the name suggests, is dedicated to the poet Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, his time and life. Situated in Nizamuddin, as we walk towards the dargah, the museum is seen on the third floor of the academy, which has an auditorium and a library. Two rooms of the museum are dedicated to with a statue of Mirza Ghalib smoking a hookah at the entrance. There is also a storehouse which houses the replica’s of Ghalib’s favourite food like shahi kofta, murghmusallan and jalebi along with his plate and glass tumbler. Ghalibs books, rare photographs and important documents along with his handwritten pages are kept there. There are seals and coins which date back to the Mughal era are also kept in the museum. The rooms only happen to be open if you only ask the officials to open it for you.

Where: Nizamuddin, Near Dargah
Entry: Free
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

National Police Museum:

Established in 1991, this museum is located in the ground floor of CBI headquarters. The museum is a real reflection of the tough world of the police force and a detailed insight into the skills along with the investigative methods used by both, the Indian as well as an insight into the International investigative methods. The museum is a showcase of all objects and methods used by Indian as well as International Police Forces. In the museum, don’t get scared if you stuble upon gruesome pictures of criminals, weapons and even counterfeiter equipments used by police over the years. Apart from equipments, remnants of challenging case studies are also in display. The cherry on the cake being, the different uniforms from different countries. The only thing to remember is, you need special permission for photography.

Where: CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
Entry: Free
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Saturday, Sunday and government holidays

Musical Instruments Gallery Museum :

If you have an ear for music, do visit the Musical Instruments Gallery at FerozShah Road. It is a treat for music enthusiasts, showcasing around four hundred instruments which provide an information on these instruments and other collectibles kept for display.

A walk around the Haveli’s of Old Delhi

The beauty of the Old Havelis in Chandni Chowk lie in the crumbling state as they are in, today who have stood the test of time. Walking past the Old city of Shahjahanabad, the almost broken and haunted looking havelis have a certain magnet which has the power to attract you towards them. Take out some time, to admire the elaborate arcades, colossal doors, which take you back to a long by-gone era.


Situated in Chhota Bazaar, opposite old St.Stephen’s College building, Seth Ram Lal Khemka Haveli was once a place where wealth and power concentrated. It was built in 1850, the mansion has been a witness to the plunder during sepoy mutiny and the revolt of 1857. The present owners, Baglas, inherited the mansion in around 1905. The mansion is built using two types of brickworks from colonial era and the thinner ones, being the Lakhori bricks.

This 19th century mansion welcomes you with an open-air aourtyar with stairways leading towards the large rooms. The effort of the present family can be seen in keeping the old charm alive of the mansion.
How to get there: Ten minutes walk from Kashmere Gate metro station


A textile from the Mughal era, one of the wealthiest people in Delhi, Lala Chunnamal’s haveli was built in 1848. The positioning of the haveli, is interesting as it is situated in the Walled city of Shahjahanabad, the commercial hub of the city, but as you enter the quiet lanes, you forget the hustle and the chaos around you. Although a neglected haveli, it still sparks the erstwhile opulence and an unrestricted entrance welcome you whole heartedly. The mansion consists of 128 rooms which still consists of the chandeliers, antique wall hangings, family pictures on the wall with wooden chimneys. Currently, the 10th generation is staying as well as has the ownership of the mansion

How to get there: Five minutes walk from Chawri Bazaar metro station via Nai Sarak Marg


A mansion near the canal, as you walk through Daryaganj road, is a mansion which was owned by the forefathers of Pervez Musharraf,the ex-President of Pakistan. The mansion is said to be spread over 24,800 sq.ft the structure is dilapidated even though it was once a seat of muslim culture and traditions.
How to get there: Ten minutes walk from Chawri Bazaar


The traffic at Lal Kuan might let you walk past through the quaint place which was once a haveli of Begum zeenat Mahal, the favourite wife of Bahadur Shah Zafar. Towards the west of Hauz Qazi, the mansion dates back to 1846, when it was ordered by the empress herself. After her death, the Mahal was not taken care by anyone, till it was sold to the Indian Government by the Maharaja of Patiala. It stands in complete disarray and houses the famous school for Muslim girls, which happened with encroachments over the years.

How to get there: Ten minutes walk from Chawri Bazaar metro station via NaiSarakMarg


Bhagirath Palace, one of the biggest markets for electrical, was also a mansion for someone. While we still use the place for our shopping, much less is known about the mansion. The mansion was constructed in 1`8th century for a French mercenary Walter Reinhart. His wife’s name was Begum Samru. Pondering over the architecture you might see that it reflects quite a lot of both, the Greek and Roman architecture, with Corinthian columns.
How to get there: Ten minutes walk from Chandni Chowk metro station

Delhi: A haven for Foodies!

Delhi loves to eat as well as boast about the street food that it showcases. Be it Sweet, Salty, Spicy, Mughlai, Chinese, Italian, Mexican or the local flavors, we love the food as much as we love to make you taste the cuisine. Delhi is probably the only place where three different restaurants open with their contributions to the flavors at various corners of the city. The capital of India might be tiny on the map but it is the show window of the country, where we get representations from different parts of the country, in various corners of the city. Right from delectable pork chops to simple chhole bhature or rajma Chawal, you get the best of the best flavors here!

Old Delhi being the heart of non vegetarian foodies, who like their meat cooked with a lot of spices, and thick gravy would love their time around Old Delhi, the lanes of which smell of the mouthwatering kebabs which are a complete gastronomical delight to your tummy.

Delhi being a mélange of cultures, and with each culture comes its specific cuisine, especially during the month of Ramzaan, there are people at the Jama Masjid to break their fast but also there are people who make a trip solely to savour the delicacies of Iftaar, whether the slow cooked nihari which is served in the morning with Sheermal or Shahi Tukda cooked in milk and sugar, with a lot of dry fruits, the flavours are rich and unique enough to attract every Dilliwalah to the narrow lanes of Shahjahanabad.

For some, food is the essential part of social life of a resident in this city that we are willing to travel kilometres kilometres in distance and get stuck in traffic for hours to try the newly opened up restaurant in a separate corner of the city which promises to offer unique cuisine in a unique ambience. Whether it’s heritage your heart desires or experiencing the social life of the people Delhi has it all, by day a traveller or tourist can explore the culture and heritage of the city and by night they can choose to visit their nearby watering holes for a relaxed meal and reminisce on the day spent soaking in Delhi’s soul perhaps slowly revising your outlook towards Delhi.

Whether you want to explore the heritage, or experience the local culture of Delhi, it has ALL; a throbbing metropolitan city with a composite culture and a wide range of attractive and diverse experiences. Following a guide book becomes meaningless in this city where experiences are easily customizable. Pick and choose from a wide range of itineraries that have been designed by ‘Delhi walks’ bearing in mind this inherent element of flexibility, in-depth knowledge of the heritage, history and culture that the historic city has to offer as well as the comfort and safety of the travelers who come to explore the city of Delhi.

An experiment with Gastronomic Delights of Old Delhi

‘India City Walks’ an organization with excellence, takes Old Delhi food tasting experiences, to a different level by ingenuously blending the taste of the city of Shahjahanabad with the comfort of our cushy rickshaws as you hop into the royal carriages that the Old city has to offer for an exquisite, out of the world experience through the cultural alleys.
A Food tour coupled with rickshaw tour lets you taste some delicacies, while you explore the history of these delicacies, how they were curated and consequently went on to become the family secrets. Unlike the regular experiences, this memorable experience is curated by ‘Rickshaw Tours’, a flagship vertical of ‘India City Walks’ was conceptualized to let you sit back, relax while we take you through the history of the place in a comfortable ride. The custom made rickshaws which are owned by ‘India City Walks’ have been designed keeping in mind the culture, heritage, history that the historic city has to offer, coupled with comfort and safety of the travellers who come to explore the city.
We begin our journey with a brief history about the emperor who built the city, with the imposing grand structure Jama Masjid in the background. As we climb onto our beautiful carriages painted in the bright colours of the Mughal structures we take you through the bustling lane of the beautiful, colourful Kinari bazaar amidst the romantic glittering laces which will instantly transport you back to an old world. With all that rush, a stopover at Naughara or the lane of nine houses to experience serenity within excitement before we head to taste delectable fried flat breads.
As we enter the paranthewali gali, a narrow lane filled with shops selling flat breads of different flavours, we enjoy the overload of senses and fight between heart and brain to taste the delicious fried paranthas or kachoris or glassful of lassi as much as you would be enjoying having them. But the taste enhances once we tell you about the story of how it was conceptualized. You could try one of the stuffed breads with equally delicious gravies or kachoris filled with a mix of lentils and secret spices swimming in tomato gravy or perhaps have a glassful of thick lassi. We are sure to make you absolutely spoilt for choice and can taste everything keeping in mind the plethora of delicacies we have kept lined up for you.
This is was just a trailer. After satisfying your initial hunger pangs we hop on to our rickshaws and ride towards Fatehpuri Masjid, the end of the main street ChandniChowk, which has various experiences to offer for our taste buds through the many lanes as we stop in front of the Town Hall or Begum kiSarai for an interesting story about the colonial structure by our explorer as you sip away on an ice cold banta (lemon soda).
From Town Hall, we ride towards Asia’s largest Spice Market, where you can smell the freshly grounded spices the smell of which lingers in the air as you dig into the concoction of vermicelli in cooked milk and dry fruits giving a frozen cold feeling in the mouth. If you thought the thick glass of Lassi was the only sweet that the walled city had to offer, you might be proven wrong!
The city is known and proven haven for non-vegetarian delicacies, as we head towards another part of the walled city which has lines of shops selling non vegetarian food, you have a plethora of choice to choose from. Right opposite Jama Masjid, the aroma of the charcoal grilled kebabs and the spicy, sweet gravies reach you even before you reach the place! To finish it off, we have kulfi, Rabrifaluda, as desert to finish your meal in a royal manner!
This gastronomical journey comes to an end at Jama Masjid, from where we started our journey and we bid you farewell with lots of memories and cultural imprints of Shahjahanabad!
The advantages of taking a food Rickshaw Tour with ‘India City Walks’ is that you can gorge into the delicacies without exhausting yourself physically and our promise is by the end of our tour, you and your belly will be left satisfied and the soul fulfilled!

The Ram who’s Leela is our favourite Drama: Ram Leela experience

A day at the famous Ram Leela Ground of Delhi, was spent looking around the huge space. A quiet evening walk, led me towards a group who were rehearsing their lines of various characters, quietly in a corner. There’s still a month to go for the Dussehra celebrations. Ram Leela and the fanfare attached to it, is an experience which is incomparable. A vibrant costumes that the characters wear, to the set settings, everything is a part of keeping alive the tradition of reiterating to young children what our mythology reminds us, which is ‘the victory of the good over the evil’.

Ram Leela is a dramatic celebration of one of the famous mythological epics of India, which is the Ramayana. Raja Dasharath was the king of a province called Ayodhya. The king had four sons from three wives. Prince Rama was the eldest son of all. Now normally, the law of succession would tell you that the eldest son succeeds the throne after his father. But you need to wait for the twist in the story.

Rama’s stepmother, who also happened to be the Kings third wife, wanted to see her son, Bharata on the throne, for which she had asked a wish to the King, for the eldest to go on an exile. As a righteous son, who obeyed his elders’ he did what he was told. For straight 14 years, Rama was in exile with his younger brother Lakshman and his wife Sita who had begged to accompany Rama for his retreat.

When Bharata had come to know about what his mother had asked the king as a wish, he made no delays in going and getting the rightful heir to the throne. “The eldest must rule” is what Bharata had reminded Rama, when he insisted Rama to come back to Ayodhya. Bharata was more than happy to be a regent under Rama’s rule. But before he could go back to his homeland, he was stuck when his wife was abducted.

Rama, by defeating the demon king Ravana, and after mustering the aid of monkey army to free his wife, all had finally reached safely their homeland back to Ayodhya. Rama, Sita and Bharata are fine examples of persons who followed their Dharma above anything else.

A Ram-Leela experience entails wonderful dramatic retellings of various episodes from Ramayana, where the performances culminate on to a festival of Vijayadashami day, which happens to be the 10th day which commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. Processions are taken throughout the city, which leads to a particular ground or a square, where the final battle takes place. Giant effigies of Ravana are set on fire, on the 10th day which is with much fan fare.

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