Delhi, is said to be the heart of India and I feel the capital thrives in winter. The weather and the events that take place in this time make it the best place for holidays from October to December. And for those who love culture, Delhi has a lot to offer.
Many look at the capitals of countries as purely seats of power. However the Indian capital is more about history, legends and heritage. Delhi rocks for most of us. The vibrant cultural extravaganza, the rich history, the modern pubs and the number of beautiful hotels make this a hotspot. And it is also a city which experiences many seasons and extreme weather conditions. Here are the five things you must experience when you visit:
The Gardens I find that every day in Delhi has something new to offer but the city brightens up with flowers in the winter and subsequent spring. There is an annual flower show at Talkatora Stadium. The greens and yellows and reds of Gulmohar trees lights up the streets. A visit to the Garden of Five Senses and the much-talked about Mughal Gardens can be a really refreshing walk. It opens up the body, mind and soul.
Visit Feroze Shah Kotla Fort on a ThursdayA much-neglected monument most of the times, it is said to be the home of supernatural beings like djinns. The isolated fortress was Sultan Feroze Shah Tughlaq’s attempt to build his own Delhi, called Firuzabad in 1351. It also houses a sandstone pillar from the 3rd century BC, one of many pillars of Ashoka left by the Mauryan emperor. This was moved all the way from Pong Ghati Ambala (now in Haryana) in 1356. A walk through the crumbling fortress will reveal lots of rose petals; diyas lit up and incense sticks, letters tied to the Iron Gate. These are offering and pleas sent to the djinns who are called to solve human problems. Thursday is a day dedicated to these invisible helpers and it’s kind of a local celebration. People come with biryanis and offerings. They sit and pray and send out their heartfelt wishes. The pirs and the fakirs also come on this day. The rest of the days are relatively quieter but the buzz is on Thursday.
Get educated on wildlife at Asola Wildlife Sanctuary Not many in Delhi have been to this low-bush sanctuary located on Tughlakabad road. This houses an education centre by the Bombay Natural History Society. The society was formed on 15 September 1883. The education centre here has many voluntary and pocket-friendly programmes for those who want to know more about nature. It organises tree walks, reptile and insect and bird education programmes, cleaning drives and more. The sanctuary also is home to black bucks and some amazing insect life. In the rains, one can even see the snakes crawling about or so I have heard.
Watch a 3D movie at PVR PlazaThough this cinema hall has been around for ages, it now has a PVR touch that has taken it into the 21st century. It is a single auditorium hall, so there’s that old world charm. You can walk up the marble staircase or you can take a lift. Inside, you find a nice waiting lounge. Photographs in black and white of Bollywood stars adorn the walls. The lighting makes you feel at ease. Even the washrooms are good. The audi has plush red seats and the sound system is excellent. The staff is dressed in uniforms. It is an old world experience of watching a work of art and not just about popcorns and Pepsi.
Eat at Lodi: The Garden Restaurant This is another favourite. It offers a really good Sunday brunch and sitting in the sun amidst the flora is a calming experience with the chatter of birds keeping you awake, even as you feel like dozing off. The seating arrangement is also very good. But the environment at night is a completely different one. Little lamps over the trees and along the walls make it one of the most exotic places to eat with your partner. So, this can be a really special place. Besides, it’s well located right next to the Lodi gardens, near the Safdarjung Tomb and near the cultural hubs of India Habitat Centre, India International Centre, Chinmaya Mission and one of the most expensive markets in Asia—Khan Market. So history, romance and culture mingle in this area.
I could go on writing about Delhi, there’s so much more to tempt the visitor in this city. The best way is to experience it yourself.
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