The capital of the country is at its most attractive when the heavens open up and little drops of happiness lift the hearts of Delhiites. Lush greenery along with the delightful smell of damp earth is a feast for the senses. Once you overcome the slight inconvenience and embrace the freshness the monsoons bring, it is a great time to go and see the city’s picturesque beauty through your camera lens. Be it your DSLRs or your smartphone cameras – make the most of every rainy day, as it makes colors more vibrant, locations more panoramic, monuments more intriguing and the streets more interesting. Gear up for the Delhi Showers this Monsoon!!!
The seasonal showers are round the corner and if you happen to be in Delhi, there is a plethora of places you should and must visit to experience and fully become familiar with Delhi. Here are a few hotspots to give you a headstart:
C.P. is located at the heart of the city and doubles as both a place where the youngsters come to chill as well as a business hub for many from the corporate sector. It is a sprawling circular market consisting of the Inner Circle called the Rajiv Chowk and the Outer Circle, the Indira Chowk. The inner circle is made up of Blocks A to F and the Outer circle comprises Blocks G to P. These blocks house famous outlets and showrooms like Adidas Originals, Allen Solly, Bentley, Nike, Park Avenue,Orra etc. There are also Theatres here if Movies interest you. At the Central Park in CP, we find a huge Flag of India waving majestically, representing the unsung glory of the emerging nation.
Other than the high end shops and cafes, it also presents budgeted options for the average shopper in the form of the Janpath Market and Palika Bazaar. These provide a lot of smart street shopping options and are a blessing on the pocket. The Palika Bazaar is an underground, air-conditioned marketplace, one of the first of its kind in Delhi. CP also hosts Raahgiri on its roads every Sunday – an initiative to make the public roads just that – public! This is the place to go to shop, eat, drink and party!
The shops open around 10 – 11 am every day. The nearest Metro Station to reach CP is Rajiv Chowk that leaves you right at the centre of the town.
There are so many eating options in CP that it is often hard to pick! You will find all standard restaurants and Cafes like CCD, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Subway, Nirula’s and Haldiram’s along with many more. You can pick a spot according to your preference be it high-end or street food.
Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
Not very far from CP is a very important house of worship for Sikhs – the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It is a place that is considered holy by many outside of Sikhism too. At the entry one deposits their footwear at a counter, cleans their feet in the tiny stream of water flowing through the walkway and climbs the cool marble steps to reach the glorious sight of the the Gurudwara – which has a golden dome like structure.
A noteworthy feature is the Sarovar or lake inside the grounds. This spot is definitely a must visit in order to revel in the comforting and peaceful ambience the place emanates.
An attribute less known about the Bangla Sahib is that there is an underground health centre as well as an Art Gallery which exhibits the colorful remnants of Sikh history at the basement of this religious sanctum .
The gates are open at all hours and entry is free of cost. Just carry something to cover your head with or buy a stole so as not to hurt the sentiments of the devotees. The nearest Metro Station is Patel Chowk – from where there is about a 15 minute walk till our destination.
If you visit the Gurudwara, one eating option is the Langar which is made and served by Sevaks who volunteer for the service. Once within the temple grounds, all diversity in terms of wealth and race is insignificant and all are treated with equal respect and dignity. The delectable Prasad is worth every drop of its desi-ghee goodness.
Just outside the main gates you will see vendors selling stoles and other trinkets such as amulets and kadas. You will also find people selling traditional Indian snacks such as Aam Papad among others.
Agrasen Ki Baoli
An ancient step-well given the protected status by the Archaeological Survey of India, the Agrasen Ki Baoli is surrounded by an air of intrigue and mystery. This well is 60m in length and 15m in width and is located on Hailey Street near Connaught Place.
Water temples and Temple Stepwells were quite the rage during the Indus Civilisation period but eventually lost their cultural and religious significance. The Agrasen Ki Baoli constructed around the Fourteenth Century takes one back to that age-old charm of a past little known.
It has a three storeyed structure wherein each storey has an arched gateway covered in intricate detailing.The rooms and alcoves along the boundary walls are ideal retreats away from the glare of the sun for visitors. These probably were traditionally used for puja or just to enjoy the pleasant chill when the well was functional. The rooms or pathways that are too beat-up are blocked.
A unique feature is its rectangular shape and its popularity amongst photographers. There are remains of an uncharted mosque at the southwest end of the well waiting to be discovered!
You can visit it at any time, though preferably during the day for ease of travel. Once you get off at the nearest Metro Station, that is Rajiv Chowk, you can easily walk or take an auto till the gates of the Agrasen Ki Baoli.
Since its so near the Connaught Place Outer Circle, you can easily make a pit stop to curb your hunger enroute the Baoli from the Rajiv Chowk metro station or on the way back!
The India Gate – located on the Rajpath, was built in honour of soldiers who lost their lives to the horrors of the First World War when India was under British Raj. Designed by Edward Lutyen, it is considered at par with the French marvel, the Arc-de-Triomphe. Astride the India Gate is the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the flame of the immortal soldier , a memorial to the countless war heroes who sacrificed their lives for the nation during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. Standing tall at the height of 42m, India Gate and the Rajpath are decked up for the conventional celebrations that unite the nation, like the Republic Day parade.
India Gate and it’s surrounding lawns are a popular picnic spot where people welcome hours of leisure. The entire area lights up at night with a spectacular display of lights at the fountain nearby. The boat club here is one of the popular hangouts for couples.The heartwarming sight of kids playing is hardly ever missing. There is also a Children’s Park, named just that, which is among the favorite haunts of the little ones because of the fun slides, swings, aquarium and the joyful company of other kids.
The nearest Metro Station is Central Secretariate. Entry is totally free and there need be no qualms about visiting hours – be it day or night!
There is no dearth of mobile vendors selling Ice Cream, Chuski and other street food all around the complex. There are also a few restaurants near and around India Gate like Shree Rathnam and M.P. Canteen for casual dining.
A 73m high tower dating back to 1193, the Qutub Minar is located at Mehrauli. Despite being in ruins, the beautiful carvings on the walls of all the structures in the complex is an enrapturing sight. It’s architecture narrates the story of an era long gone and it is the second tallest Minar in India. It has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Within the Qutub complex stands the 7m high Iron Pillar which – despite the passage of time – shows no sign of corrosion. An unheard fact about the Qutub Minar is that the mosque located at its foot is the first Mosque in India! The mosque is claimed to have been built from the remnants of 27 Hindu Temples. All in all, if you haven’t photographed the Qutub Minar living in Delhi, what have you done?
The nearest Metro Station is Qutub Minar. The qutub Complex is open on all days, from 6am to 6pm. A nominal entry fee is charged.
Just outside the Qutub Complex is a line of Dhabas for you to choose from, which serve delicious food. Here too, you will find vendors selling Ice Cream and other delicacies near the ticket counter.
This list most certainly does not end here. However as a start, these are our picks of the must visit hotspots to Gear up for the Delhi Showers, starting right at Delhi’s heart to its suburbs. So as you go about being awed by these glorious sights – Keep Clicking!
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