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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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Ibiza: not only a destination for young people but also a natural paradise with dream beaches, exclusive locations, and luxury villas

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Ibiza is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. This stunning island is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its paradisiac beaches and historical monuments. Traditionally, Ibiza has been associated with party tourism, which means that young people would visit the island due to its famous nightclubs or electronic music scene. However, since 2015 the government has stepped in to try and make Ibiza a more family friendly place to visit. With so many beautiful landscapes to discover and luxurious family friendly villas to stay in, Ibiza is without a doubt, one of the best options for your next summer vacations.

The best places to stay in Ibiza

The first and most important you need to decide when planning any trip is where you are going to spend your stay during the travel. Traditionally,when we travel to a foreign country we tend to look for our lodging at hotels. However, in places as touristic as Ibiza, you will often find hotels overcrowded during the summer season. Thankfully, there is a more private alternative for your stay: luxury villas. You can find numerous luxury villas available for rental spreaded across the island, but the ones which users recommend the most are the ones offered by IKH – Ibiza Luxury Villa Rentals. IKH villas offer everything you may need for a luxurious vacation. They are located near some of the most beautiful beaches and villages in the island, such as Es Cubells, Sant Josep, Talamanca, Cala Jondal, Rocallisa, as well as in Ibiza Town, the main city in the island. These villas are family friendly, and most of them either include sea views or are located at a very short distance from it. IKH villas are often equipped with everything you may need for your holidays, such as a fully functioning kitchen, internet and TV service, air conditioner to survive the Spanish heat, etc. 

The luxury features of these stunning villas and the amazing reviews from its customers make IKH villas an option you should definitely consider for your next Ibiza holidays.

The most stunningly beautiful beaches

The main attractive of Ibiza is, without any doubt, its gorgeous beaches. Blessed with pristine waters and white sand, these beaches make out for an otherworldly seaview. The whole island is surrounded in beauty, but if you are looking for some stunning views, we can not stop recommending you check the following beaches during your travel:

  • Es Cubells: this beautiful beach is surrounded by nature. Located near the mountains, it offers the perfect mixture between civilization and untouched nature. This beach is located beyond a cliff, which makes it harder to access. However, this can work as an advantage for us, since with a little more of effort we will have access to a stunning beach away from the main crows, which makes up for the recipe for a perfect beach day.
  • Sant Josep: this place groups some of the most stunning beaches in Ibiza, such as Ses Salines, D’Hort Cove, Compte Cove or Vedella Cove. It is near the international Ibiza airport and the natural reserves of Ses Salines, which means that this zone has an easy access. The beaches in this zone have turquoise waters and fine sand, which makes them some of the favorites among tourists
  • Talamanca: thanks to its easy access and calm waters, this beach is one of the favorites for families with kids. If you do not have access to a rental car, this beach is one of the easier to reach by bus. 
  • Cala Jondal:  a stunning beach of turquoise waters which shore has pebbles instead of sand. This makes up for a stunning beach view. This beach is located near some luxurious clubs, where you will be able to relax and have fun while watching the sea. 
  • Llonga Cove: this cove is located near the luxurious urbanization of Roca LLisa. Its calm waters make it a favorite among families and young people looking to practice water sports
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Dolphin Discovery is the only park with the AZA accreditation in Punta Cana

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The Dominican Republic is a country that has one of the richest biodiversities in the world. This biodiversity manifest itself in Punta Cana, the main tourist area in the country. Most tourists visiting this country do so in order to enjoy its otherworldly beaches with crystalline waters and white sand. But if you want to discover the country’s biodiversity, we invite you to swim with dolphins in Dolphin Discovery, the only dolphin park with the AZA accreditation for the ethical treatment of the animals in Punta Cana.

The importance of the AZA accreditation

The acronym AZA stands for Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This association stands up for animals welfare and demands the higher standards of quality in institutions that work with them. Institutions all around the globe try every year to get their AZA accreditation, but the requirements are so high that only a low percent of the applicants pass the cut. 

In order to get this accreditation, Dolphin Discovery first had to fill an application that would place them on the list of institutions with a pending visit from the AZA expert team. 

During the AZA team visitation, every aspect of Dolphin Discovery Punta Cana was carefully examined in order to determine if they were keeping their quality standards high enough to ensure that the dolphin’s were treated ethically and in the best possible conditions. The AZA experts checked, among others, the following aspects:

  • The safety of the guests that visit these installations
  • The wellbeing of the dolphins, ensuring that they were being taken proper care of
  • The conservation efforts in order to prevent any damage to the biosphere
  • The educational programs to raise awareness about the living conditions of the animals to the visitors
  • The veterinary medicine programs in order to make sure that the animals are healthy and can receive the proper medical care as soon as they may feel ill
  • The organization financial stability, since a lack of resources would affect the dolphins welfare directly.

It is worth to mention that even if Dolphin Discovery earned this accreditation, its validity lasts only for 5 years, so in the future they would have to prove again to be among the best on their field. 

If you are planning to visit any recreational park that works with dolphins during your travel to the Dominican Republic, Dolphin Discovery is definitely the best option since it is the only company in the whole country that received an AZA accreditation. After all, when we visit a foreign country, it is important to be responsible and look out for the local fauna and flora. 

Swimming with dolphins

Dolphins are really fascinating animals. Their high intelligence and natural elegance make them some of the most loved animals in the world. If you want to make memories that will last forever during your visit to The Dominican Republic, we recommend that you try and  Swim with dolphins Punta Cana. On Dolphin Discovery you will be able to find different programs that involve swimming with these majestic creatures. These programs are designed always keeping the needs of the visitors in mind, so you can find the program that will fit you perfectly. Among the most popular visitor programs you will be able to find the following ones:

  • Dolphin Encounter Program: this program is perfect for families with kids, since it was especially designed for all ages. This program includes a small platform for people who can not swim properly, and during the session you will be able to hug and handshake the dolphins.
  • Dolphin Royal Swim Program: during your session you will be able to enjoy the dolphins acrobatic maneuvers, but what really makes this program so special is that the dolphins are trained to do you a foot push, lifting you out of the water. This will make up for a really fun experience you will not be able to forget.
  • Dolphin Swim Adventure Program: on this program you will be able to hug the dolphins, give them a handshake and then swim with them. You will be allowed to hold to the dolphin as he carries you around the beautiful Punta Cana waters.
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Azul Talavera Hotel: the perfect place for your next holidays in Puebla

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Puebla is a beautiful and charming city you should check out for your next holidays. 

Located in the heart of Mexico, Puebla is the most visited coastless city in the country, and there is no wonder why. This city has a very rich history and a lot of monuments for visitors to discover. People wanting to visit this city can count themselves lucky, for there is an hotel with professional staff and an idyllic location: Azul Talavera Hotel. 

An hotel with a lot of history

Azul Talavera Hotel originally opened its doors as Rosewood Puebla Hotel back in 2017, and since then, it has earned its rightful spot as one of the best hotels in Puebla Mexico. The hotel went under this name transition back at 2019, but it was ran smoothly and without causing any inconvenience to the customers. On Azul Talavera Hotel, customers are always the staff priority. Because of that, during the transition the hotel kept its doors open, without affecting in any way at all the previously scheduled bookings or events. The hotel also kept the same staff team, which means that this transition did not affect the quality of the services provided.

But what really makes this hotel a historical place is its building. Azul Talavera Hotel was built  on 3 historical buildings placed in the charming neighborhood of San Francisco. This neighborhood is located right at the city’s historical center and it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987. 

History is key in Azul Talavera Hotel. The hotel is proud of its history and the country’s traditions. Because of that, you can find decorations with traditional mexican themes all across the hotel, and the suites include items of local craftsmanship to reflect Puebla’s traditional market. 

Enjoying the best Mexican cuisine

One of the perks of choosing Azul Talavera Hotel as your place to stay during your holidays, is that you will be able to enjoy one of the best gourmet restaurants in Mexico. The hotel’s restaurant is named Pasquinel Bistrot and it is the perfect place for you to enjoy the best Mexican food. This luxurious restaurant serves original dishes you will not be able to find anywhere else, since the food here mixes local ingredients with European cooking inspirations. 

Let your wedding be handled only by the best professionals 

Puebla has become a popular wedding destination over the last decade. Getting married on a beautiful city abroad is something that each day becomes more and more appealing for many future brides and grooms. In Azul Talavera Hotel they are aware of that, and they have made their best effort to become a referent on Puebla weddings

Azul Talavera Hotel has four different wedding venues to fit the wedding of your dreams: Trinitarias Garden, Patio Azul, Patio Rosa and Patio Verde. All these venues mix traditional mexican elements with modern architecture, all hand in hand with nature. The hotel includes everything you may need to exchange your bows, from a glamorous ballroom to an antique courtyard that features a 300 year old private chapel.

But Azul Talavera Hotel is more than beautiful wedding venues. What makes this place really stand out is its team of professional wedding planners. The hotel’s staff will manage every detail needed in order for your wedding to be perfect. Their catering team will make sure you and your guests enjoy the most delicious food, while their wedding planners will guide you on every step of the process. Azul Talavera Hotel has also a partnership with professionals all across Puebla, from photographers to decorators or entertainers.

This will take a lot of stress away from the future bride and groom, which means that they will have more time to relax at the hotel Spa. It is named Cobalto Spa and it includes beauty and wellness treatments for the bride, groom and the whole bridal party.

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