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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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From Barcelona to Machu Picchu: a guide for travel lovers

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Barcelona is the Spanish most visited city for travelers all over the globe that offers many contrasts and interesting surroundings worth visiting. Although other kind of travelers prefer peaceful and at the same time adventurous walking routes by Machu Picchu.

Barcelona is still the most visited Spanish city attracting visitors from all over the world. Cosmopolitanism, modernity, the sea’s open life, gastronomic offers and culture are elements that attract people from other places, as well as Gaudí’s architecture and many other key points are part of this unique Mediterranean city.

But there’s a lot more to discover. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a beautiful region that has many contrasts worth visiting along with Barcelona as a starting point. To make it possible and smooth, barcelona tours is an agency that besides carrying out general tours, it creates private routes according to your preferences.

To get to know the most emblematic city icons, 3 or 4 days can be enough, although nobody wants to miss live music flamenco night shows in a “tablao” or going to the Catalan music Palau to enjoy classical interpretations in one of its European Sanctuaries.

Barcelona shore excursions: what visitors want

What to visit when traveling to Catalonia? barcelona shore excursions have become very fashionable and visitors themselves like it that way. Rent a boat to go bathing on the high seas or travel from Barcelona to Girona or Tarragona marina’s and get to know two emblematic Catalan cities full of ancient history are very exciting things to do, as it is traveling on a boat to Balearic Islands and discover Ibiza: the island of party and fun, or it’s sisters Majorca and Menorca.

If the aim is adventure then you should certainly go to see the Montserrat mysterious mountains and a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin, the most revered of Catalunya. Some others choose visiting Michelin restaurants in Empordà region, where Celler de Can Roca stands out. Travelers can not miss the most universal Catalan museum in Figueres town dedicated to painter Salvador Dalí.

Wine and cava wineries are very popular in Catalonia, and they are a must visit place for all wine lovers.

How to make the most of your trip

Visiting so much in little time can be tricky and stressful at times, so If you want to make the most of your trip it’s worthwhile to let others do the job and get focused on living every minute of it. Among all agencies dedicated to support tourism, BCN exclusive has a huge amount of positive testimonies and adapts to every customer preference to make the most of all barcelona city tours.

Testimonies from people around the world show gratitude to the agency for an outstanding service and how much they learned in the tours inside and out of the city. Catalonia is a surprise box, and Barcelona as its capital, combines all these contrasts that makes of Barcelona the most modern Mediterranean city. As a result, the city has become the first destination chosen by university and master degree students, well above other European capitals.

Machu Picchu: a natural marvel

Most adventurous travelers may prefer to join the Inca Jungle Trek, a 3 to 4 day road that many consider an initiation and can be done by walking or cycling, but also taking advantage and practise adventure sports as rafting or Tyrolean.

The guide accompanying travelers groups will also regale the group with anecdotes and history of one of the oldest and wise cultures of the world: the Inca. On the last day of excursion, travelers can contemplate the valleys at the foot of Machu Picchu, a natural marvel. Both adventurous and cosmopolitan visitors, if they have decided on one of these two destinations, must begin to organize their trip now and make of this journey an unforgettable time.

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Explore the royal city of Mysore

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Call it the Heritage City or the City of Palaces, the city of Mysore still emanates a feeling of au royale even in a 21st century India. A place of heritage for royal families, sultans, and legendary names in history, every corner of Mysore is steeped in stories of victory, power, and grandeur. A tour of this majestic city is only justified when you explore the royal heritage of the City of Palaces.

Getting there

Conveniently located on the southern edge of the Karnataka State, Mysore is easily accessible from major cities. It takes about three hours to travel the 152 KM distance from Bangalore to Mysore.

History and Heritage

The city of Mysore served as the capital for the Kingdom of Mysore between the 1300s until 1956. These six centuries saw the kingdom change hands of rulers and kings, from the Wadiyar Dynasty, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. But the common element of all the rulers was their penchant for art and culture. Under their patronage, they contributed to the city’s visual and cultural glory which earned Mysore the fame of Karnataka’s cultural capital.

A royal tour

If you want to experience the regal side of Mysore, you cannot but miss these structures of historical and architectural significance. You can join a heritage walking tour to explore the city on foot, or head from Bangalore to Mysore by car and stop by at monuments, palaces, and museums and learn about the legends that made Mysore. You can start your walk from the Town Hall, built in 1884, as a tribute to the first Dewan of the city.

mysore-palace-598472_1280

Mysore Palace- The official residence of the royal family of Wadiyars, the palace itself is a work of marvel. An overwhelming blend of   Indo-Saracenic, neoclassical, Indo-Islamic and Gothic architectural works, the Mysore Palace is a breathtaking sight. Built in 1912, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts delicate works of mirrors, stained glass, mosaic and more. On any given day, you will find more tourists here than even at the Taj Mahal. Every Sunday, the palace comes alive with 97000 light bulbs bedazzling its façade and the premises.

Lalitha Palace– Yet another heritage building, the two-storied Lalitha Mahal sits on a ridge at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, which makes for a great vantage point. The palace was transformed into a hotel and offers a royal stay. If you truly want a feeling of royalty, then a stay here would be an experience.

Jaganmohan Palace– One of the seven prominent palaces of Mysore city, is a stunning work of ancient Indian architecture with intricate interiors and exteriors. The palace, transformed into a royal art gallery since 1915, houses paintings of the royal family, art by Raja Ravi Varma and an array of rare and antique musical instruments.

Museums- Stop by the Rail Museum to explore the archaic steam engines, the Maharani’s saloon, and other railway souvenirs. There’s also the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion showcasing more than 6500 folk artifacts from all parts of Karnataka. The Folk Art Museum, one of the most visited in the city, is also known for its collection of toys, models, and figurines.

Crawford Hall- Built in 1947, this is a must visit historic structure in Mysore. The royal palace is now known as the Mysore University but still renders a rich heritage to its ambiance.

Small, medium or large-scale, every historical building and monument of Mysore has a majestic touch to it. And such architecture speaks of its glorious past, which has left traces for the modern civilization to explore.

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Sightseeing Madrid: personalized and unforgettable life experiences

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Getting to know Madrid on Segway or bicycle is becoming the in demand to discover the best places in the city.

Madrid is the capital of Spain and one of the most cosmopolitan and interesting European destinations. The city has good communications, a great airport with proximity to the city center and an excellent underground service and these are just are some of the key factors that promote tourism in the capital.

The city’s positive perception is influenced by it’s nightlife, cosmopolitan atmosphere and hospitality, it also influences its status as a LGBT friendly city and is known for its top quality restaurants.

A good way to visit the city and make the most of the experience is through segway tour madrid, tours to visit monuments, night tours, gastronomic or tapas tours that will bring the city to life, and once you get to know the city you will want to visit again and again. No city is quite like Madrid.

Segway: an ecological and very dynamic transport

Segway is a lightweight two-wheeled transport vehicle. Electric and Gyro, these personal transporters were invented by Dean Kamen and incorporate a computer-controlled swing. They been presented to the world in 2001 and thought to be used as a way of transport in big cities, leaving motorbikes and cars aside and thus help to combat pollution.

However, segway madrid is very used for leisure and all big Spanish cities have Segway tours, ideal for groups of friends who want to get to know better the city from a different perspective without need to tire yourself with endless walking.

The exciting world of Escape Room has drifted into the escape Street

Street Escape application launching for groups has revolutionized the segway sector and the next tourist season will have a new attraction: an innovative escape outdoor activity that uses a software to geolocate a route that has previously been blocked at different points and participants must unlock through different analogue and digital tests that must be completed in a certain time.

For the application development a software is used that requires a technological device and that groups will have to manage in a completely intuitive way.

And besides this popular activity, other leisure group options such as ginkanas, physical tests related to segway management, cultural and technical activities and even sporting activities like playing polo with Segway can be carried out in Madrid.

Biking is the most effective and economic way to discover a city

Alternatively, madrid bike rental is another great way to get to know Madrid. They are used by citizens and tourists to travel around the city as they do with Segway.

But there is a big difference between one vehicle and another, since bicycles are more often demanded, a good way of exercising while going from one place to another, a must have for a healthy life, that is also a environmentally friendly choice and a very economical option.

Tour the city as you like or by guided bike tours?

You can rent a bike for as long as you want and travel the city to your free will. You can also hire specific itineraries in order to discover the best hidden places and monuments. You can also access the madrid bike tour and get to know iconic places such Bernabeu stadium or Retiro park.

You can also choose night bike tours lit by the street lights of Madrid city center against a backdrop of the stunning sunset in a very special place: Debod Temple, one of the fab meeting points for locals to enjoy the setting of the sun.

Madrid is a city worth discovering and to do it by bike or Segway increases this unique experience, always exciting when it comes to discover new places.

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