Archives December 16, 2017

Standing Tall & Proud

Cradling through the shadows of Indian history the city of Delhi is marked by the consecutive dynasties of the royal families in the monuments, shrines, memorials and citadels established by the royals. Today Delhi is one of the most visited cities in India from people all over the world and the city has been successful in continuing these ongoing colorful affairs with its admirers from every nook and corner. The imperial city has been the seat of power from centuries and offers a traveler an insight into the history of India and various places to explore.

Delhi has been a confidante to some of the wealthiest, powerful and controversial royals, princes, princesses, kings and queens. What we see today as a metropolitan was nothing but a mere frontier for the Afghans and Turks coming with aim to plunder and sometimes establish their territory. It is believed that this is how the city got its name. The word “Frontier” in Persian is “Dahleez” which eventually change to Dehli and then Dilli or Delhi as we all know now. The history of Delhi dates back to around 5000 BC but it was in 13th century that started an era of glory, power and major historical events happening here.

The first sultan of Delhi was Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the founder of Slave dynasty in 1206 AD who also erected the famous Qutab Minar, one of the most visited monuments in Delhi as well as India. Though, these were not entirely the Golden times, there was continuous unrest and rebellions by the native rulers. It was in the 14th century with the advent of Mughals a continued Golden period started for the imperial city of Delhi. The Mughal emperors truly converted this city into what one may say today a Heritage City. As times passed and rulers changed, each and every one of them constructed and recorded their own architectural and cultural grandeur & warrior feats.

The history of Delhi is extremely rich and one cannot miss the chance to witness the remains of our Golden past and walk through what remains of those times. Sachin Bansal of Delhi Walks organizes one of the best Heritage Walks in Delhi which take you back in time through stories and tales and lets you explore at your own pace. With the mantra of “Exploring the city’s soul” Delhi Walks is the finest ways to explore and experience the colorful city of Delhi.

As the national capital, Delhi is a geographically well placed city in the map of India and is well connected by air, railways and roads. Different types of packages with affordable and cheap rates for the train and air tickets to the city of Delhi are available in all major cities of India.

Delhi Life

Delhi has always held a special allure for global visitors – thousands stayed on and became Indians! With its amalgamation of diverse cultures, ancient monuments, beautiful parks, broad avenues, bustling markets and shops, the labyrinth of Old Delhi’s lanes, a vibrant nightlife, its inherently friendly, welcoming people and much more, Delhi is assuredly an awaiting kaleidoscope of experiences.
Many a tourist has been enthralled and captivated by Delhi’s vast historical, cultural, culinary and shopping experiences. This city offers its visitors everything from revered temples and mosques to massive, daunting forts, multihued markets to budding parks, not forgetting the pulsating nightlife of Delhi.
Let’s now talk about the life in Delhi, about the people, the places and everything Delhi is about.
Delhi is expansive in its offerings of hotel accommodation categories – suited to each and every explorer’s needs and budget. Royal treatment, excellent hospitality and an outstanding range of services are features of today’s Delhi accommodation providers – bringing guests back time and time again. The hotels of Delhi are located throughout this great metropolis – from Lutyen’s masterpiece of city planning, around Connaught Place and Chanakyapuri, to the lanes of Chandni Chowk.
There are many places is Delhi to visit, the famous Mughal monuments, the towers, minarets and pillars, the markets, the temples which hold their name in Guinness Book of World Records, famous churches, gurudwaras and mosques. The museums and art and craft galleries, the architectural master pieces built during the British Raj. But that is not it, besides that city has many places to visit which are less known but are of equal importance and value.
Shopping and mall culture in Delhi has changed the way people used to shop earlier. There are new shopping complexes and malls in Delhi where you can find all your shopping requirements under one roof. It has a large number of shopping places; all varying from cheapest to costliest, local to brand and almost anything you can think of. Besides shopping malls and shopping centres, there are many markets and some of them are one of the best markets in the country and even some of the best markets in Asia.
Chandni Chowk and Connaught Place are the oldest markets in Delhi. Chandini Chowk is the oldest and most famous market in Old Delhi and is also often mentioned as the haven of shopaholics who prefer bargaining. Khan Market is one of the costliest markets in Asia and is preferred by the elite class living here. There are some trendy markets which are available in Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, South- Ex and Karol Bagh. Sarojini Nagar market is famous for its designer and latest fashion clothes while south extension market is known because of its exclusive showrooms.
Night life in Delhi is another addition to the new lifestyle being embraced by the people of Delhi. Night clubs in the city open till late night and you can eat, drink along with enjoying dance on the floor. There are a number of recreational spots which includes pubs, bars, discotheques, coffee joints where the atmosphere becomes stimulating as the night grows.
For instance Djinns at Ring Road, Shalom is yet another highly popular disco cum bar located at Greater. Others include India International Centre at Max Mueller Marg and India Habitat Centre at Lodhi Road. CJ’s, RPM, Float, Capitol are among the other happening joints.
Some famous bars in Delhi includes: The Maurya Sheraton, Diplomatic Enclave, Henri’s, Windsor Place, Cavalry Bar, Civil Lines, Rick’s, Blues, Buzz, Geoffrey’s, Gola, Tuskers, Golden Dragon. The Tavern on Janpath Road is a restaurant cum bar whereby every evening live performance by famous Indian musicians entertains the crowd.
If you want to get hold of a cup of Cappuccino or Espresso at Barista, Diva, Machan and the Patio. ‘Neighborhood’ has in its menu list both Chinese and Continental stuffs besides coffee, tea and beer.
There is so much to Delhi that cannot be just described in words. Living in Delhi is living an era, a feeling that is none like any other. Even though Delhi has been in controversies and news for the quality of life and the safety issues but still it is the city of people with hearts, with love, affection and enthusiasm.

Street food of Delhi

The culinary and cultural heritage of India illustrates the harmonious blending of diverse influences over the centuries. Indian cuisine displays the genius of our culture and our people. As time has passed, with reducing distances and the hunger for taste and variety the different regions of the country have interacted with one another and influenced each other’s cuisine, flavours and fashion.
Delhi, the imperial capital for many dynasties, has drawn talent in diverse fields to seek their fortune here. The result was the city became a unique merger of multi cultures and cuisines. Its cuisine incorporated the best of Hindu-Rajput, Bania and Kayasthaas well as the Tusrkish, Afghani, Persian and Mughal influences. The interest of Mughal was so deep in their food that today Mughal cuisine is synonymous to the Indian cuisine.
Delhi has a vibrant tradition of snacks and street foods, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian and it truly is the gastronomical capital of India. The best place to have some amazing street food is Old Delhi, the famous paranthewali gali and the lanes of Dilli 6. For some extremely tasty and mouth watering non-vegetarian dishes, walk through the lanes near Jama Masjid. You will find everything from the normal aloo and gobhi to the crazy bhindi and karela to the exotic meva and rabdi filled ones. These paranthas are deep-fried in ghee for that heavenly taste. Chole bhature and jalebi with warm milk are also breakfast favourites.
Being a city of vivid heritage and people from all the states of India here and thus it has turned out to be an alloy of all the sub-cultures in India. People from different states have brought a variety of cuisines to Delhi and there’s nothing you can’t find here. So if one starts Purani Dilli or Old Delhi or what was once called Shahjahanabad, you will find a number shops selling a number of variety of dishes. Some of the streets and places are totally dedicated to these food items only.
The Gali Paranthewali, where you can find a number shops selling various kinds of paranthas, which is actually traditional Indian bread. As you go near Jama Masjid you shall see shops selling variety of non vegetarian items starting from Tandoori items and Kabobs at Karim’s to authentic Mughal sweetmeats at Ghantewala Sweet. Each lane in Purani Dilli has its own range of cuisines. If you go to Ballimaran, you have Nehari at Bismillah and authentic Afghani Pilao and Green tea at Pathanwadi.
Pandara Road Market’s famous kebabs and biryanis and Bengali Market’s sweetmeats & chaats are but a few to be mentioned where you can relish this city’s culinary specialities.
One of the favourites of Old Delhi are the Kulle an unusual chaat made by scooping out the centre of either a tomato, a banana, sweet potato or cucumber and filling it with chick peas, pomegranate seeds, spices and lemon juice, fruit sandwiches,regular tikkis, samosas, kachoris papri chaat and golgappas.
With the amalgamation of cultures over centuries, Delhi today offers an enormous variety of exquisitely prepared cuisines from all over the world – all individually suited to every type of food style preference and budget. During our tours of this city one comes across some of the best of eateries, offering truly sumptuous fare. Be it an elite boutique restaurant located in Chanakyapuri, Qutab Minar, Khan Market or Greater Kailash I & II, the highly popular restaurants around Connaught Place, Hauz Khas and Defence Colony, or the simple, yet bustling & friendly roadside ‘dhabas’, the inquisitive foodie in you will most definitely find delicacies to appeal to and tantalise your taste buds.
Although Delhi’s gastronomic fare is not characteristic of any specific, original food culture, the most popular cuisine enjoyed by Delhi-ites and visitors alike is ‘Mughlai’ Cuisine. Mughlai preparations have always been favoured in Northern India, and today is popular the world over for its distinct aromatic nuances and spicy flavourings.
If you want to have something spicier, then head for Chaat Corner near Chandini Chowk Metro Station. Rabri Faludas at Giani near Fatehpuri Masjid. Apart from it you can taste food of every state at Dilli Haat. You can also go for Continental, European and other Asian cuisines if you like. There are some of the very popular fast-food giants such as Subway and Mc. Donald’s, who have their outlets in Delhi.
For the faint hearted – when it comes to the devilish little ‘Red & Green Chili’ – please do not despair, for Delhi has attracted many, many Continental, European and Asian Master Chefs of distinction to offer friendlier morsels of perfection and familiarity for you. The flavours and textures of European cuisine have now become so popular to Delhi-ites, and other Indians, that the fusion style restaurant has also become highly in vogue.

Cradle of Heritage & Culture

The Lal Quila, also known as the Blessed Fort is one of the finest architectural Marvels of Mughal periods. Built between 1638 and 1648 by Shah Jahan is the seventh Muslim city within the boundaries of Delhi. The fort has 2 gates which open into the city of Delhi; first one is the Lahore, which faces the city of Lahore in Pakistan. The fort was built using the red sandstone which gives it the name “Red Fort”. The walls which are about 2kms in length vary in height from 18 meters to 33 meters.
Like any other fort the Red Fort is also divided into several parts, each one of them has their individual functions and importance. For example, ‘Diwan-i-am’ i.e. the public audience was where the emperor held meetings with the public and his private meetings were conducted in the ‘Diwan-i-khas’. “Rang Mahal” or “The Palace of Colors” was meant to be private quarters for the emperor’s wives and mistresses. The hall is decorated with beautiful mirrors and paintings; the famous “Mumtaz Mahal” has now been converted into a museum. The Turkish styled baths which are known as the ‘Hamams’ and the private working area of Shah Jahan was called the “Shah Burj”. The royal chambers or the ‘Khas Mahal’ is another tourist attraction. A courtyard specially designed for the musicians adds to the grandeur of the fort. Later, Aurangzeb had extended the Fort with the Pearl Mosque or the ‘Moti Masjid’
The fort has witnessed the extravagant lifestyle of the royals during this period, many a people have been rewarded with riches of lifetime by the Mughal, but as we all know nothing lasts forever no matter how powerful and rich you are. The Mughal Empire eventually declined and this falling out resulted in the falling of the fort with the invasion of Nadir Shah and eventually the British Government. The Fort what we see today also houses the settlements constructed by the British within its complex.
“The Blessed Fort” Walk of Delhi Walks takes you through the whole timeline of the Red Fort along with tones of stories and legends associated with them. Ms Nidhi Bansal one of many such walks taking you into an era of glory and power. Explore the rich heritage of Indian History with Delhi Walks.

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