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Top 5 Destinations in New Delhi: Travel Opinion and Analysis

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qutub minar iron pillar

Qutub Minar and Iron Pillar, Photo by Dmitry B

New Delhi, the capital of the largest democracy in the world has a lot to offer to a traveler who is first time visiting India. Architectural relics dating back to Mauryan Period (300 BC) and its earliest reference as Indraprastha from the Mahabharat times, Delhi has been captured, sacked and rebuilt many times as the capital of the various kingdoms. With the kingdoms coming and going, Delhi has a significant history which can be seen from the historic monuments spread all over the city.

Traveling around Delhi you will also understand the way India has transformed itself from poor known country to the world’s third largest economy in terms of GDP (PPP). You will see some of the strangest things happening here, but still you will wonder how this diverse, huge and largely populated country has survived peacefully, efficiently since independence with the highest growth outputs. Traveling around New Delhi is easy due to availability of variety of modes of public transport. Delhi is not an expensive city compared to other Indian and international cities of the same level. However, in this guide we will still be stressing on making your stay and traveling even more economical and comfortable with the help of certain tips, information on travel and hotel coupons and other services provided officially by the government of Delhi or other private and commercial organizations.

How to Reach Delhi?

Delhi being one of the largest business, financial, tourist, educational and political hub of South Asia has one of the busiest airports and railway stations in the world.

buddha delhi airport
Buddha at Delhi Airport

 

Indira Gandhi International Airport is only 16 KM away from the city centre. The cheapest and fastest way to reach the city centre from the Airport is through Airport Express Metro Rail. It connects the New Delhi railway Station (adjacent to the city centre Connaught Place) with the Airport. A single trip costs mere ₹150 and around 30-40 minutes. If you are a frequent traveler on this line you can also buy a 45 trip or 60 trip monthly coupon pass which costs ₹2000 and ₹2300 respectively for traveling between these two stations.

Radio taxis are also a comfortable and easy way to commute from the Airport which have good and fixed fair and you will not have to bargain or fight with the drivers. You may find the coupons for Radio taxi in the stalls established as soon as you come out of the arrival section. Other cheaper taxi option is Government prepaid taxi, they will provide you prepaid coupon for much cheaper rate from the stalls inside the arrival section, before coming out.

Where to Stay in Delhi?

From low budget to high budget, Delhi has large number of options available for the travelers. There are large number of lodges to five star hotels on par with international standards. Almost all the big names in the category of luxurious and corporate five star hotels have their presence in the capital of India. But, if you are looking for the cheaper ones head to Pahargunj or Karol Bagh. Pahargunj has some of the cheapest lodges in Delhi and is strategically situated adjacent to New Delhi Railway Station and the centre Connaught Place. Pahargunj is often termed as the back side of New Delhi (not so good part of the city) the area is extremely crowded and the streets are narrow, however you will find cheapest food and lodges close to the central Delhi. (Note: Be careful when eating outside, always drink packaged mineral water).

There are also large number of normal and high budget hotels which often come up with schemes, try to grab those deal and keep checking travel and hotel coupons websites.

Top 5 Destinations and Places to Visit in New Delhi

 

1. Connaught Place

central park connaught place
TWR team at Central Park in Connaught Place, Delhi

Located in the central Delhi, Connaught place is one of the major financial and business hub of Delhi which reflects a flavour of English rule. The place has some of the best night clubs, bars, pubs and multi-cuisine restaurants in Delhi. Rajiv Chowk metro station of the Delhi Metro opens right at the central park in the Connaught Place. Use metro coupon passes issued as smart card in all the metro station to get 10% discount on your every trip in Delhi Metro.

Connaught place is coupled with Janpath Marktet and Emporium street (Baba Khadak Singh Marg). Janpath market has everything that you would need to give your friends once you return your home. From high quality souvenirs, Indian Jewellery and Aromas and other traditional items to low cost daily wear clothes. Be ready to bargain here, one tip is to directly reduce the price you are willing to pay to the half of what the shopkeeper told you. It would be good if you have an Indian friend to help you. Baba Khadak Singh Marg has some of the quality emporiums from different states of India exhibiting their culture and traditions. You can buy home decorative things to traditional clothes and souvenirs. All prices are fixed and maintained by the Government, no need to bargain. On the way to emporiums you will find Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan or Khadi Emporium, buy India’s pure and original herbal products and cosmetics from here, again it is a government shop and closes by 6 PM.

Places near Connaught Place: India Gate, Jantar Mantar, Railway Museum, President House

2. India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan ( President House)

Take a taxi or Auto Rickshaw (tuk tuk) from Connaught Place to reach Rashtrapati Bhawan, or get down at Central Secretariat metro station (Yellow and Violet Line) from Rajiv Chowk metro station and walk a bit to North Block/South Block (cheaper and recommended). Rashtrapati Bhawan is the largest residence of any chief of the state in the world. It is accompanied by huge twin structures of North block and South block. The view of Rashtrapati Bhawan is magnificent as you climb up the Raisena hill from the Vijay Chowk, as you climb you will feel the magnificent structure rising in the sky. Getting down to the same road will lead you to India Gate.

india gate
India Gate

India gate is walk able from Rashtrapati Bhawan, the road connecting these two is known as Rajpath where every year military parade occurs on Republic Day (26th January). India Gate is an arch monument, a first world war memorial dedicated to the Indian soldiers who were killed in action during first world war. Surrounded by the lush green grasses and wide roads of Delhi. India gate is one of the most popular destination for the tourists in Delhi. Best time to go there is in the evening and stay here till the dark. You will have one of the best experience here if you visit this place and Rashtrapati Bhawan between January 26th to January 29th at night, as these places are well lit because of Republic Day celebrations.

3. Akshardham Temple

akshardham temple
Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple in New Delhi is the world’s largest comprehensive Hindu Temple. Officially opened in November  2005, the temple is relatively new and has modern features. With its big size, big area, and beautiful carvings and paintings all over, you need at least one whole day to spend here to see, learn and admire most of the things presented here.

Apart from the regular temple functionality, this religious place offers more entertaining and informative ways to involve in the spiritual environment. There is a video presentation on a large IMAX theater featuring the early life of Swaminarayan. There is a boat ride in the cave exhibiting Indian culture and ancient Indian science and mathematical achievements. And there is musical fountain presentation after aarti based on the messages of Upanishads.

Please beware that camera, mobile phone or any baggage except female hand bag is not allowed inside the temple complex. Leave them in your car or in the cloak room. The earlier you go the better it is, as the crowd increases by time. There would be a huge queue for security check up. The complex is closed on Monday.

4. Qutub Minar

qutub minar
TWR Team at Qutub Minar

72.5 metres (237.8 ft) high, Qutub Minar is the tallest free standing brick minaret in the world. The complex is easily reachable from Qutub Minar metro station of Delhi Metro (Yellow Line). The main gate is however slightly far, but walk able from the metro station. The complex consists of variety of architecture from ancient Indian to relatively newer Islamic architecture including Qutub Minar built in 1193 A.D. The entry fees for Indians is Rs 10 and for Foreigners is Rs 250.

The complex has lush green lawns and other ancient and medieval period temple ruins. Qutub Minar was itself built with the materials of these ruins. Just nearby there exists an Iron Pillar which belongs to medieval Hindu period of Delhi. Standing tall for past 1600 years, this 7 m tall iron pillar has attracted the attention of metallurgists and archaeologists, as it has not rusted yet. The pillar has been called as “a testament to the skill of ancient Indian blacksmiths.”

If you are planning to go here, make it little earlier as this complex will start closing from 5:30 PM. After this if you have some time you can head to Delhi haat, which is a beautiful traditional style themed market where you will find handicraft and other traditional things and authentic Indian food, sweets and snacks from all over India. The best time to go to haat is March-April and September to December, as at this time weather is good, tourists are more and there are more stalls and colorful nights. We have been there in winters and I heard complaints from the people who were in stalls about the extreme weather, less number of tourists and pale environment.

Delhi Haat
TWR team at Delhi Haat

5. Lotus Temple

lotus temple
Lotus Temple

Completed in 1986, the temple has its faith associated with the Bahai community. With its popular lotus shape design, the temple has won several architectural awards. Come to this  place if you want to sit in peace and meditate. There are periodically short prayers in the temple sung by the members. Temple is open to the people of all faiths or religions to meditate together under the same roof. In 2002, the temple became one of the most visited buildings in the world surpassing Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower. The temple is easily reachable from Kalka Ji Mandir Metro station (Violet Line).

The temple requires extreme discipline from the visitors, you can enter inside the main temple building in batches making queue. Mobile phones should be on silent mode and conversation or talking is not allowed inside the temple.

In the proximity of the temple, another internationally famous temple of ISKCON is present which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is worth visiting their during the time of Aarti. The temple is closed on Mondays.

Some Tips and Warnings

For experiencing Delhi properly you need at least two weeks dedicated to this city. Delhi has the ability to make you travel in time from ancient period to the modern era.

All the places which we have mentioned are connected with Delhi’s state of the art HOHO bus service (Hop On Hop Off) except the Akshardham Temple. You can buy HOHO bus travel coupon on their website HoHo Delhi. There are two dedicated bus routed (Red and Green), and covers a vast number of attractions.

Be careful before planning a week long trip for Delhi. Keep your Mondays free as on Monday almost all the major attractions in Delhi are closed including the HOHO bus service. On Monday you can plan to visit places like world class malls in Saket, Gurgaon and Noida where you can try ice skating, freeze lounge  amusement parks, an experience of being in the sea cruise and authentic Indian food or movie within these malls. Also visit Kingdom of dreams in Gurgaon which is a complete package of all entertainment.

Delhi at present is considered unsafe for women due to increasing number of crimes against women in recent days and it is recommended to be cautious on the street against eve teasers, it is better to be in group and avoid late nights outside.

There are a lot of places of interest in Delhi, please share your favourite destination or food joint in the comments section below.

Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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The Main Safety Concerns For Frequent Travellers

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Air travel

If you are someone who tends to enjoy travelling as much as you possibly can, you might well be keen on ensuring that you also remain perfectly safe. This can sometimes be hard to do, but the main thing is that you know what to expect, what to look out for, and what you can do to remain as safe as possible. As it turns out, there are a number of the most common safety concerns, and as long as you pay attention to those in particular, you should find that you are able to remain perfectly safe on your travels. Let’s take a look at what they are, and what you should be doing to keep safe.

Flying

For many people, flying can be a particularly scary part of travelling. This can even be a concern, sometimes, for those who fly all the time. After all, there is little you can do in a flying emergency, besides following the received wisdom of the airlines, and it can be worrying when you hear horror stories of flights going awry. However, the statistics do show that you are safer in the air than on the ground, so the main thing to be concerned with here is trying to keep your own sense of concern and worry down. Above all, try not to panic, and enjoy the flying experience for what it is. If something happens which you feel could have been prevented, or you are not sure about, consider contacting aviation lawyers like Slack & Davis. They will be able to inform you of whether what happened was up to standard, or if you might even have a legal case against the airline in the works. Above all, do what you need to to keep calm during the flight, and you should be fine.

Pickpocketing

If you have ever been mugged, you will know that it is a truly terrifying experience. However, it’s not just muggings to watch out for when you are travelling, but the much harder to detect act of pickpocketing. This is when someone takes your belongings without you knowing, and it is obviously hard to protect against in most circumstances. However, you can ensure that you are a much less likely target simply by making sure that you are not displaying your valuables while you are travelling. This is generally good advice when you are travelling anyway, so it’s something that you should ensure you are doing at all times. As long as you do that, you are a less likely target, and you will also be much more likely to minimize your losses if you do still get targeted. Nobody wants to be stolen from, so be sure to think about this when you are going travelling in the future.

Illness

Depending on where you are thinking about travelling, there might or might not be certain illnesses you need to be wary of. In some cases, the advice of your government will be to get certain immunizations, and in those cases you must ensure that you pay attention to that advice. Not getting them could result in serious illness or even death, so it’s not a gamble that you want to take. But keeping safe from illnesses does not stop there either – you also need to make sure that you are practising basic hygiene while you are travelling too. As long as you do that, you will find that you are much less likely to get ill, and as well as being generally better for you this will also mean that you are much more likely to enjoy your travels as well. It is a win-win situation when you take care of your health.

Diet & Water Changes

Going to certain countries means that you should be careful about the water, as in many cases it can lead to illness or worse. This is generally true in Asian countries and African countries, but you should always check before you go even in more trusted places. The same kind of approach should also always be taken towards food, as you never know what kind of a reaction you are going to have to foreign foods. The general rule of thumb is to try a little before you dive right in with new and exotic foods. That way, you hopefully won’t be too ill if you do get ill at all. Paying attention to your diet and water consumption is hugely important if you plan on travelling extensively, so take care.

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The Down-Low on Keeping Safe on a Winter Vacation

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The travel industry is huge, with millions and millions of people go abroad each year. While summer does tend to be the season of choice for more people to go away, there are still plenty of people that embrace a winter vacation in the cold and the snow. But due to the weather conditions and risk for things like skiing and snowboarding, it is important that you are looking after yourself and your loved ones when you go away on a winter vacation. Accidents can and do happen. So here are some of the best ways to protect yourself. Do you have a winter vacation planned?

Protect Your Health

Medical care can be expensive when you’re abroad. Even if you’re just in another part of the country, it can add up to more than you were hoping for. Cost aside, it can be difficult if there is a language barrier, as well as of questionable quality in less developed countries. So if you can avoid going to a hospital, then all the better. So to start with check if there are any recommended vaccinations for the country that you’re visiting. Take any medication that you have if you need to take them. Eat well and keep hydrated when you’re away too.

Get Travel Insurance

You should also get insurance for travel in winter (well, at all times really). A travel insurance premium can be higher if you’re going to participate in winter sports, but it is better to be safe than sorry. There are more risks in winter, due to the extreme nature of the sports and the risky conditions with ice and snow. So you may also end up in an accident that isn’t your fault. If something like that does happen, then speaking to a firm like Derrick Law Firm could be worth your time. You shouldn’t be out of pocket or health, for something that wasn’t your fault.

Protect Your Valuables

One of the simplest ways to protect your valuables is to simply not take them with you on your trip. It can be easier said than done, but do think carefully about what you are taking with you and if you really need to. If you are going to have things like expensive jewelry or cameras, then it is better to have them with you in hand luggage, rather than checked in baggage, for instance. Use a safe if your accommodation has one to ensure they are kept safe when you’re out and about. You don’t want to run the risk of losing your valuables as it can be tricky (and expensive to arrange) when you’re abroad.

Protect Your Money

It can depend on where you go, but people will know that you are tourists. And to locals, what do they expect tourists to have? Cash, and plenty of it. So to make yourself less of a target, don’t carry around cash. It can make paying for things simpler, and it doesn’t mean getting a wad of cash out when you’re buying something small. Instead, get traveler’s checks from your bank before you go, or get a credit card that enables use abroad. They usually don’t charge when it is a specific travel credit card.

Check the News

Before you travel, it can be a really good idea to check the news and any other travel advice from embassies or the government. In this day and age, anywhere can quickly become a place that you don’t want to be. So to avoid any potentially dangerous or difficult situations, just keep yourself out of the situation in the first place. Natural disasters and civil unrest can happen at any time too. So be vigilant and keep yourself in safe places, with a list of emergency numbers to call.

Do you have a winter vacation planned? I think the only other thing to suggest is to hire your winter sports equipment if that is what you are wanting to do. Though it costs you money, it does stop the chance of damage to your already expensive equipment. So unless it can go in the hand luggage, then hiring might be the best option when you get there. Just plan it in advance to figure out the costs.

Hopefully, though, these tips can help you as you travel to keep yourself safe, those around you safe, as well as your belongings and valuable things. Are there any other tips that you would add to the list here? Have fun on vacation!

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Moving Away from the USA: Top Locations Around the World

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The USA is a huge country with enough states to keep even the most nomadic of individuals occupied for a lifetime. Sure, different regions have different cultures. But sometimes our minds can wander to what lies overseas. With the current situation with the controversial President and majority right-wing views, many of us may feel distressed at the general mindset of the country and the direction it’s heading in. Now could be the ideal time to remove yourself from the torrid political climate. Others may simply want to immerse themselves in completely different cultures, surrounded by other languages, cuisines, and values. What time is better than the present to start expanding your mind and opening your eyes to what else exists beyond your native country’s borders? Regardless of your reasons for intending to leave, you can start out by taking a look at other countries and what potential they hold as a home for you. Here are some top locations from around the world to consider!

Paris, France

Paris live

Paris is one of the romanticised cities in the world. So much so that there’s an actual disillusionment syndrome called “Paris Syndrome”. The Japanese Embassy now has a twenty four hour hotline open for people who are shocked upon arriving in Paris to find that every inhabitant isn’t a chic model; that not everyone survives on a diet of rare wine, specialist cheese, and croissants; that people do indeed have to work rather than lounging in berets around beat cafes. In short, sometime people are shocked that Paris is, well, real. But if you remove unrealistic expectations of glitz and glamour from your mind before arriving, you may find that Paris is indeed a wonderful potential new home for you. The city has so much to offer! Like any other capital city, there are plenty of jobs available. This means that you will be able to sustain yourself and your lifestyle. France runs on a more circadian rhythm when it comes to work, with the majority adopting the general attitude that you should work to live rather than live to work. Working weeks tend to be between thirty and forty hours, lunch breaks are long and you are entitled to thirty days vacation a year plus eleven days off for bank holidays. Apartments may well be small, but bear in mind that you probably wouldn’t actually be spending all that much time in them. After all, there are so many museums, cafes, exhibitions, and other cultural spots waiting to be visited that it would be a crying shame to remain cooped up in your own living space. The quality of French food is superior to most, with bustling marketplaces offering fresh ingredients and restaurants playing host to world-renowned names in cuisine. The one thing that generally puts people off is not knowing the country’s native language. But once you throw yourself in the deep end, you’ll pick it up surprisingly quickly. Plus you can always fit language lessons into your weekly schedule too!

Singapore, Malayasia

live in singapore

Situated on the Southern tip of Malaysia, Singapore is a thriving city in a country that has risen to take the title of the fifth wealthiest place in the world. Now, this may not have been top of your list previously, but you may be surprised to know that people move in droves to Singapore every single year. Once you learn a little more about it, it’s not hard to see why! Not only is it widely considered one of the easiest Asian cities for expats to integrate into, but the general standard of living is high. Crime rates run low, the healthcare services are some of the best in the world, and there’s a brilliant education system for anyone planning on moving with kids or undertaking higher education themselves. As you’d expect, the cost of living is relatively high in this region. However, you do get what you pay for. Whether you move into a Condominium, apartment, or terraced housing further out in the suburbs of the city, housing is usually of high quality. Food and grocery shopping should cost around the same as you’d pay back in the USA. Public transport links are effective and affordable. However, we know that not everyone appreciates this and some would prefer to use their own vehicle to get from A to B. The good news for drivers is that you can use your own licence in the country for up to one year before having to gain a Singapore driving licence. This gives you time to get used to the roads before taking your test without having to take public transport if you don’t wish to get on board with it. The native language is Mandarin. However, many people do also speak English, which will mean that you can start learning the language without being thrown into the deep end of complete immersion in another language.

Reykjavik, Iceland

live in reykjavik

Iceland may well be a small country, but it has a whole lot to offer. Firstly, it is renowned for its gender equality and efforts to help the environment. Unlike the major cities above, Reykjavik also has a whole lot of natural scenery and stunning natural landscapes to offer. From waterfalls and glaciers to extensive hiking paths, pools and hot springs. That’s before you consider destinations such as the Blue Lagoon: a geothermal spa packed with nutrients and minerals that will give you a glowing visage. This all sounds perfect, but unless you have joint citizenships with an EU country, you’re going to have a little work on your hands, so make sure that this is a move that you’re truly invested in. There are three main ways to secure yourself a home in Iceland. The first is to be married to an Icelandic native. Unless you’ve fallen in love on a trip to the country, this may not be an option. The second is to take part in higher education in Iceland. If you’re planning on expanding your knowledge, then this might be a route to consider. Finally, you can secure a work permit for a job. So you’ll need to start applying before you purchase that one-way ticket to this stunning country!

These are just a few different places that you might like to consider. Remember that the world is your oyster and there are seemingly endless places out there that might prove to be the perfect home for you in the future! Just do your research and pick wisely.

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