- Area District : 42.7 km² (16.5 sq. mi)
- Area Codes : +91-11
- Currency : Indian Rupee (Rs or INR)
- Population District : 249,998. Metro: 21,753,486 (2011)
- Official Language : Hindi. English for business.
- Time Zones : IST (UTC+5:30)
- Airport : Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
DEL is Indias busiest and biggest airport located in Palam 16km from the heart of New Delhi. To reach the city centre in just 15 minutes take the Metro Express. The cheapest way is by shuttle-buses that depart every half hour and do get packed. Terminal 3 affords access to the Metro, the buses and the Meru and Mega taxis. Easy cabs are located at Terminal 1C. These three taxi operators are partners with DEL (to avoid scams). Car rentals are available from hundreds of providers but its cheaper to pre-book online prior to landing.
Travellers in South Africa can fly to DEL from Cape Town with the following airlines:
- Ethiopian (via Addis Ababa) 14h 40m+
- Emirates (via Dubai) 15h 15m+
- Qatar Airways (via Doha) 16h 5m+
- British Airways, Air Mauritius (via Johannesburg, Mauritius) 16h 55m+
- South African (via Johannesburg) 16h 55m+
The following airlines and others, operate flights to and from DEL:
- Air Berlin
- Air Canada
- Air France
- Air Seychelles
- Cathay Pacific
- Etihad Airways
- Gulf Air
- Hong Kong
- Korean Air
Reasons to Visit New Delhi, India:
- Delhis an immense metropolitan area that served as the financial and political hub for numerous ancient Indian empires, the most notable being the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857. The city boasts a plethora of magnificent temples, mosques, museums, galleries, beautiful lush parks and you can easily lose yourself in the colourful streets that ooze with magical vivacity. Old Delhi, often referred to as the Walled City of Delhi and one of the most beautiful cities on the globe brings your senses to life with enticing aromas, amazing sights, bazaars and experiences like no other. Its worth taking a guided walking tour where youll sample street food, explore markets, see sights, travel in a rickshaw and glean oodles of information from your friendly guide.
- Theres loads of accommodation. Excellent budget, 3, 4 and luxury 5-Star hotels, Inns, B&Bs and a great range of backpackers. Nights are never boring with plenty of cafes, lounges, bars, nightclubs and film theatres. And restaurants aplenty! To savour fabulous Indian cuisine try the high-end Indian Accent at The Manor Hotel or for organic Indian food in a cosy atmosphere, Lodi – The Garden Restaurant located in Lodhi Road is highly recommended.
When to Go New Delhi, India:
The best time is February into April or October and November. The citys hottest months are May and June with unpleasant temperatures in the low 90s (°F) and the monsoon season from late May through July is definitely not a good time to go.
Places to Visit New Delhi, India:
- The beautiful, grand looking Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of Delhis major Sikh houses of worship. It opened in 1783 and is a splendid example of Sikh architectural design. Attend a service or visit the well-known Sarovar pool.
- The regal looking Khirki Mosque with 81 domes and 4 minarets was completed in 1351 using rubble masonry.
Other mosques worth visiting are: Moti Masjid and the massive 17th century Mughal-styled Jama Masjid.
- Safdarjungs Tomb built in 1754 in late Mughal style with sandstone and marble is a magnificent structure to behold. Its located close to picturesque Lodi Gardens, one of Delhis finest parks that comprises an area of over 90 acres with tombs, bonsai trees, herb and rose gardens and a lake. The park is popular for walkers, picnics, photography and tranquillity.
- Completed in 1929, Rashtrapati Bhavan the official residence of Indias president snatches your breath away when first sighting it.
- Chandni Chowks a bustling bazaar thats one of the oldest and busiest in Old Delhi, while there visit The Red Fort, built in 1648 and home of the Mughal emperor for almost 200 years. It also houses numerous museums.
- The Lotus Temple is spectacular with its Expressionist architectural style. Completed in 1986, its a prominent city attraction. Additional impressive temples include Laxminarayan Temple, a famous Hindu temple, the enormous Hare Krishna ISKCON Temple, the Chhatarpur Temple, a massive Hindu complex and Akshardham, a stunning modern temple that celebrates Indian arts and plenty more stunning temples.
- Visit the magnificent Cathedral Church of the Redemption in North Avenue that affords beauty and tranquillity and is especially nice when the choir and youth music band are performing. The Sacred Heart Cathedral is one of Delhis oldest church buildings, set on 14 acres, its also home to two schools.
- The India Gate, built in 1931 is a national monument of India that commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army that lost their lives fighting the British Raj during WW I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.
- Functioning as a museum is Purana Qila, one of Delhis oldest forts that opened in 1538. The National Museum, one of the largest in India displays a variety of items from pre-historic times to modern day masterpieces. The National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum located in Bhairon Marg is one of Indias biggest, operated by the Governments Ministry of Textiles. Other museums comprise the National Rail Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Gallery of Modern Art, Indian Air Force Museum and the National Science Centre.
- Take a worthwhile heritage walk along the North Deli Ridge that has nestled within its lushness some wonderfully preserved monuments and sites where battles took place, a 14th century hunting lodge, a mosque, the British vice regal lodge and memorials erected by the British.
- A hidden gem is Mehrauli Archaeological Park (close to Qutub Minaar Complex) thats home to ruins and more than 72 monuments from medieval settlements that were constructed between the period of Sultanate to Mughals.
Getting Around New Delhi, India:
Public transport comprises the New Delhi Metro, over 2000 buses, taxis and rickshaws.
The New Delhi Metro:
The Metro opened in 2002 and has been branded as the best rapid transit system in Asia. Its fast, efficient, well priced, environmentally and user friendly. Its three lines serve 59 stations around the city.
Managed by the Delhi Transport Corporation buses are cheap with plenty of routes but do get stuffy and crowded.
The city has thousands of taxis that can be waved down or pre-booked. The yellow and black Ambassador taxis are not in the best shape with no air-conditioning but an alternative to these and costing a bit more, are the Mega and Meru taxis. Mostly later model vehicles, theyre metered with air-conditioning and can be phoned for pick-ups from any location. So popular, theyre rarely seen on the road empty.
Costing half the amount of a taxi, these green and yellow tuk tuks, referred to as autos are ideal for two people travelling short distances. Negotiate the fare before getting in. Additionally there are rickshaws – in use for hundreds of years – found mostly in the neighbourhoods but handy for a cheap trip to your destination from the Metro station.