How to make the most of a weekend in Delhi - the capital city of India

Few days back I wrote about top-3 not to miss places in Delhi if you have a day to explore the city and it’s heritage. After that post, some folks came back and shared some feedback which I wanted to address. Following were some points -  1. Lots of people visit the city during the weekend, so there is a good number of people who would want to explore the city in 2 days. Therefore, a little more comprehensive plan would help.   2. This post only covers heritage and architecture related options, what about people interested in other things like shopping, markets, food, street walks, nature, art & culture etc. There should be a lot more than just heritage sites in the capital city of India.  3. Metro has become one of the most important modes of commute within the city and it’s relatively cheap as well, so why not talk about a plan which can be covered well through the Metro and save 3K+ on taxi for 2 days in Delhi. There is a Metro pass available for a day. Go to Metro ticket counter and inquire.

Few days back I wrote about top-3 not to miss places in Delhi if you have a day to explore the city and it’s heritage. After that post, some folks came back and shared some feedback which I wanted to address. Following were some points -

1. Lots of people visit the city during the weekend, so there is a good number of people who would want to explore the city in 2 days. Therefore, a little more comprehensive plan would help. 

2. This post only covers heritage and architecture related options, what about people interested in other things like shopping, markets, food, street walks, nature, art & culture etc. There should be a lot more than just heritage sites in the capital city of India.

3. Metro has become one of the most important modes of commute within the city and it’s relatively cheap as well, so why not talk about a plan which can be covered well through the Metro and save 3K+ on taxi for 2 days in Delhi. There is a Metro pass available for a day. Go to Metro ticket counter and inquire. 

Before starting with the plan, let me give you an idea about size of the city and which are the most important regions within the city when it comes to exploring its beauty. And keeping that in mind, a 2-day-long plan can be divided as per the regions of interest in the city. Many of the places to be explored are in South Delhi and another interesting region can be Old Delhi. That doesn't mean that other parts of Delhi haven't got anything to explore, but these two are on the top as per my point of view.

Before starting with the plan, let me give you an idea about size of the city and which are the most important regions within the city when it comes to exploring its beauty. And keeping that in mind, a 2-day-long plan can be divided as per the regions of interest in the city. Many of the places to be explored are in South Delhi and another interesting region can be Old Delhi. That doesn't mean that other parts of Delhi haven't got anything to explore, but these two are on the top as per my point of view



When it comes to elements of Delhi, here is what I can think of -

2. Spectrum of neighborhoods from Old Delhi to South Delhi
3. Beautiful parks & Gardens
4. Shopping Options & Malls 
5. Lutyen's Delhi
6. Adventure Parks
7. Night Clubs
8. Things for Kids - Zoo, Museums etc

So let's start with the the plan for the first day, which would be mainly about places to explore in South Delhi and things to do. 

Day-1 Plan :

When it comes to elements of Delhi, here is what I can think of -  1. Architecture 2. Spectrum of neighborhoods from Old Delhi to South Delhi 3. Beautiful parks & Gardens 4. Shopping Options & Malls  5. Lutyen's Delhi 6. Adventure Parks 7. Night Clubs 8. Things for Kids - Zoo, Museums etc  So let's start with the the plan for the first day, which would be mainly about places to explore in South Delhi and things to do.   Day-1 Plan :1. Take the Metro to Qutub Minar station early in the morning and then cycle-rickshaw or auto to the ticket counter of Qutub Minar. Qutub Minar opens around sunrise, so the timing changes from one season to another. It's a beautiful example of history & architecture. To know more about history, architecture, visiting time & entry fee, do check out - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qutb_Minar   Qutub Minar timings - Sunrise to Sunset Qutub Minar Entry ticket fees - 30 Rs for Indians and 500 Rs for Foreigners.  Ticket cost for camera - No Charges Video Camera charges at Qutub Minar - 25 Rs Nearest Metro station : Qutub Minar Metro station

1. Take the Metro to Qutub Minar station early in the morning and then cycle-rickshaw or auto to the ticket counter of Qutub Minar. Qutub Minar opens around sunrise, so the timing changes from one season to another. It's a beautiful example of history & architecture. To know more about history, architecture, visiting time & entry fee, do check out - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qutb_Minar 

Qutub Minar timings - Sunrise to Sunset
Qutub Minar Entry ticket fees - 30 Rs for Indians and 500 Rs for Foreigners. 
Ticket cost for camera - No Charges
Video Camera charges at Qutub Minar - 25 Rs
Nearest Metro station : Qutub Minar Metro station 


2. Humayun Tomb : Humanyun's Tomb is one of the 3 world heritage sites in Delhi and it looks like Taj Mahal but the it's built with red stone while Taj is built with white marble. This is one of my favorite places in Delhi because of the cleanliness and usually it's not as crowded as Qutub Minar and Red Fort.   Humayun's Tomb timings - Sunrise to Sunset Humayun's Tomb Entry ticket fees - 30 Rs for Indians and 500 Rs for Foreigners.  Ticket cost for camera - No Charges  Video Camera charges at Humayun's Tomb - 25 Rs Nearest Metro station : Jor Bag  3. Lunch at Khan Market : I am sure after exploring these 2 beauties of Delhi, you would be craving good food. Khan Market is a good place where you can find variety of food.

2. Humayun Tomb : Humanyun's Tomb is one of the 3 world heritage sites in Delhi and it looks like Taj Mahal but the it's built with red stone while Taj is built with white marble. This is one of my favorite places in Delhi because of the cleanliness and usually it's not as crowded as Qutub Minar and Red Fort. 

Humayun's Tomb timings - Sunrise to Sunset
Humayun's Tomb Entry ticket fees - 30 Rs for Indians and 500 Rs for Foreigners. 
Ticket cost for camera - No Charges

Video Camera charges at Humayun's Tomb - 25 Rs
Nearest Metro station : Jor Bag

3. Lunch at Khan Market : I am sure after exploring these 2 beauties of Delhi, you would be craving good food. Khan Market is a good place where you can find variety of food. 

4. Explore Lutyen's Delhi : After lunch you drive around Shanti Path, Raj Path and see places around India Gate, President's House and Parliament of India. These are good places to drive around and look at the grandeur of houses on Ashoka Road, Aurangzeb Road etc.   India Gate timings - No restrictions  India Gate  Entry ticket fees - None Ticket cost for camera - No Charges Video Camera charges at India Gate  - none Nearest Metro station : Central Secretariat   Indian President House timings - No restrictions  Indian President House Entry ticket fees - None Ticket cost for camera - No Charges Video Camera charges at Indian President House  - none Nearest Metro station : Central Secretariat   5. Would you want to do shopping in the evening or some theatre play?  - If you are interested in shopping, Dilli Haat & Khan Market are decent places to go & explore. Dilli Haat offers great range of handicrafts from various states of India and some unique stuff which talks about India, it's culture and it's diversity.

4. Explore Lutyen's Delhi : After lunch you drive around Shanti Path, Raj Path and see places around India Gate, President's House and Parliament of India. These are good places to drive around and look at the grandeur of houses on Ashoka Road, Aurangzeb Road etc. 

India Gate timings - No restrictions 
India Gate  Entry ticket fees - None
Ticket cost for camera - No Charges
Video Camera charges at India Gate  - none
Nearest Metro station : Central Secretariat 

Indian President House timings - No restrictions 
Indian President House Entry ticket fees - None
Ticket cost for camera - No Charges
Video Camera charges at Indian President House  - none
Nearest Metro station : Central Secretariat 

5. Would you want to do shopping in the evening or some theatre play?  - If you are interested in shopping, Dilli Haat & Khan Market are decent places to go & explore. Dilli Haat offers great range of handicrafts from various states of India and some unique stuff which talks about India, it's culture and it's diversity. 

6. Do you like night clubs? - Delhi has good options for clubbing. Hauz Khas Village & South Delhi has some good places. If interested, check out more on web and decide. Above photograph shows LAP club which is owned by Bollywood star Arjun Rampal.

6. Do you like night clubs? - Delhi has good options for clubbing. Hauz Khas Village & South Delhi has some good places. If interested, check out more on web and decide. Above photograph shows LAP club which is owned by Bollywood star Arjun Rampal. 

I...am time. Men and women all alike, have moved along like shadows and mist. Radha and Salil are two such souls, who meet to separate... And I fly by, from one end to the other and I see them retreat from love to misery and back to love again. From the times when Slaves ruled and Aibak rose to heights with the Qutub Minar, still differences brew in the name of religion, caste and gender to the times when the Mughal sultans would slay those, whose orders they wouldn't abide by..though Love was splurged in money and stones and the Humayun's Tomb became a symbol of Mughal pride.Prayers are still read in the Jama Masjid was read then, the only difference I find is in the hearts of those they call 'divine'. They make laws and practices they define..And yet the ownership of God is given to make them suffice.I see them today as I rest under a tree's shade looking at the risque weather at India Gate.. They are crying in each other's arms, fearing of a tomorrow not together..(Write-up courtesy - Priyanka Dey)Here is a photograph of Jantar Mantar. I loved the way these stairs look through this window. These stairs take to a very high top-point from where whole campus can be seen.Here is a photograph of President's House lit very well on the evening of 'Beating Reatreat Ceremony' on 29th January 2011.Here is a night photograph of Humayun's Tomb in Delhi. This one was done during a project on Lunar Eclipse night. We had to through a long process to get permissions for getting entry into the campus for whole night.A silhouette of RED FORT in Delhi with shining Sun on top of it. One of my friend (Ashu Mittal) captioned it as - 'Like a Diamond in the Sky'One of the rare photograph of Qutub Minar with it's reflection if water @ Delhi, IndiaIndia Gate with wonderful lighting around Republic Day in 2011. During these days, tri-colored light is flashed on top of India Gate and it looks amazing...

I know this plan looks a little hectic, but if weather is good and you are passionate explorer, you would love it. 


  Long time back when started searching about Change of Guards, goolge was suggesting London or Buckinghom Palce. On searching more I got the confirmation that Change of Guards at Indian President's house is open for public on Sturdays. For a long time, the visit remained in plans till I saw the blog by Ruby Singh. So this saturday we planned to visit President's house to witness Change of Guards in morning.     Since the ceremony starts at 8am sharp one needs to plan the day early. All of us were up by 5:30 and started from Noida at 6:30am. It hardly took 30 minutes to reach Rashtrapati House in morning and that gave us enough time to figure out the entry gate and car parking.    We followed the road which connects India Gate to President's house. And when we reached at the entry, police directed us to Dalhousie Road and asked to enter from Gate number 37. When I talked to them, it seemed that no one at entry was very sure. They were sure of one thing that some shooting is happening so entry through gate number 2 is not possible. Anyways we headed to Gate number 37. The security man at Gate number 37 was not sure if entry would happen through this gate. So we requested to confirm so that we head towards the right entry gate. There were 5 more cars following us :). He had few calls and confirmed that entry would happen through gate number 37 and car parking is also available inside. That was a great news because finding parking in this region would be a task (because of security reasons).     As we parked our car, Vibha and I were thinking about the security. No one checked our car and we were already in President's house premises. While we were discussing this, we saw these jawans going towards the ceremony ground. It was a good indication that we should walk fast as it was 7:50 already.      We reached the ceremony and almost all chairs were empty. I headed to the first row and a jawan asked me to move to second row. He mentioned that first row is reserved, while there is no such thing. This is first time I experienced an Armyman cheating in front of me. Anyways, it was not a big deal so I simply moved to second row. By now, only Army band was available at the ceremony ground. And a man was describing about the whole process on loudspeaker.     And then Change of Guard Ceremony started. The Army band started playing 'Saare Jahan se Achha' and these Jawans entered the ceremony ground on their magnificent horses.     At the beginning of the ceremony who see so much disciplined action and feel energetic. There must be a reason why Army ensures that every Jawan is highly disciplined and energetic. Looking at their each action you feel proud.    These horses are amazingly trained. All of them take position and ensure that each one is in row. While standing they hardly do any movement. A few times, you can see some movement around their neck but their legs remain at same position all the time. When we walk, each of them are in sync. I have also seen Beating the Retreat ceremony and was super impressed with camels trained for that ceremony.     Guards already on duty came to foreground of Rashtrapati Bhawan and took their place. Soon after the new set of guards joined them on ground and the formalities started.       All of them were walking with full energy and enthusiasm. Please note the dirt around their feet. All of them were in sync and accurate.       New guards are inspected. It's hard for me to describe each and every ceremony on ground and that's the reason that you should visit Rashtrapati Bhawan on any Saturday to witness the action yourself.     I was super happy to see a Photographer and Videographer who were covering the ceremony. I have never seen Army Photographer earlier and wondering what's the eligibility to become a Photographer with Indian Army :).    The ceremony concluded with some interesting actions by horses. Do check out the video for full action and I found it very interesting.     Some quick details -   Time of Change of Guards - 8 am sharp  When should one reach - By 7:30am (Reason behind this time is explained above) Nearest Metro Station to Indian President's House - Central Secretariat Car Parking around President's House - If entering from Gate-37, parking is available inside. If entering from main gate (Gate no 2, you need to park near water fountains - As per traffic police, it's allowed in morning although I was not very sure ) . Otherwise you can on the road connecting President's House with India Gate.  Entry Ticket for Change of Guards - No ticket or special permission needed Documents to carry - Any valid identity proof in original form.     Mom and dad moving back towards the car after witnessing Change of Guard.     Selfidow or something else. Some creative suggesstions are welcome.    These carved elephants caught my attention and thought of taking a quick shot. The President House has very beautiful carvings all around.     While we were heading towards the car parking we noticed these folks taking some rest in shade. This was the troop, which gave charge to the new team.     This is how Delhi roads look on weekend morning :)  How here is a quiz for you - Which of these photographs are clicked with DSLR and Mobile Camera? Do answer through comment below (And you have to judge through visuals only). The one who answers correctly would get something interesting from Travellingcamera.com Team !!!


If it's a Saturday, you can also plan to visit President's house in the morning to witness 'Change of Guards'. During this time, visitors are allowed to go inside the campus through a specific route. More details are available in the link.

And if Day-1 plan looks hectic, do trim it as per your priorities. 

Day-2 : The charm of Old Delhi 

1. Visit the charm of the city : Chandi Chowk & old part of the city which offers you completely different perspective to the things. Usually Chandni Chowk market is closed on Sundays but I consider that good because this way you avoid the crowd. If you like crowd, flip the plan of Day-1 with Day-2. Visit Old Delhi on day-1. There are lot interesting places to try street food in Chandi Chowk but be careful about the hygiene. Jama Masjid & Fatehpuri Masjid are 2 main mosques in this area. If you want to chose one of them, go to Jama Masjid.  


If it's a Saturday, you can also plan to visit President's house in the morning to witness 'Change of Guards'. During this time, visitors are allowed to go inside the campus through a specific route. More details are available in the link.  And if Day-1 plan looks hectic, do trim it as per your priorities.   Day-2 : The charm of Old Delhi   1. Visit the charm of the city : Chandi Chowk & old part of the city which offers you completely different perspective to the things. Usually Chandni Chowk market is closed on Sundays but I consider that good because this way you avoid the crowd. If you like crowd, flip the plan of Day-1 with Day-2. Visit Old Delhi on day-1. There are lot interesting places to try street food in Chandi Chowk but be careful about the hygiene. Jama Masjid & Fatehpuri Masjid are 2 main mosques in this area. If you want to chose one of them, go to Jama Masjid.  2. After a tour of of Chandi Chowk, its old charm and some of the interesting walks you can head towards Red Fort which is just across the road. Depending on where you are in Chandni Chowk, towards the end, you can get a rickshaw and reach Red Fort ticket counter.   Red Fort House timings - Monday closed. Surise to Sunset  Red Fort House Entry ticket fees - 35 Rs for Indians & 500 Rs for foreigners  Ticket cost for camera - No Charges Video Camera charges at Red Fort  - 25 Rs Nearest Metro station for Red Fort : Chandi Chowk   3. Head to Connaught place for lunch. Connaught place is an interesting open air circular market. This is one of the oldest markets in Delhi and still most visited by locals and tourists. You can find plenty of options to eat. Restaurants in outer circle usually offer good discounts on drinks and food. If you like trying Non-veg, Kake-da-dhaba is a place worth trying.

2. After a tour of of Chandi Chowk, its old charm and some of the interesting walks you can head towards Red Fort which is just across the road. Depending on where you are in Chandni Chowk, towards the end, you can get a rickshaw and reach Red Fort ticket counter. 

Red Fort House timings - Monday closed. Surise to Sunset 
Red Fort House Entry ticket fees - 35 Rs for Indians & 500 Rs for foreigners 
Ticket cost for camera - No Charges

Video Camera charges at Red Fort  - 25 Rs
Nearest Metro station for Red Fort : Chandi Chowk 

3. Head to Connaught place for lunch. Connaught place is an interesting open air circular market. This is one of the oldest markets in Delhi and still most visited by locals and tourists. You can find plenty of options to eat. Restaurants in outer circle usually offer good discounts on drinks and food. If you like trying Non-veg, Kake-da-dhaba is a place worth trying. 


4. If you have kids with you, you may want to plan Zoo although half a day would not be sufficient. If you don't plan for the Zoo, you may want to explore places like Agrasen ki Baoli or Old Fort.

4. If you have kids with you, you may want to plan Zoo although half a day would not be sufficient. If you don't plan for the Zoo, you may want to explore places like Agrasen ki Baoli or Old Fort


Many times people have to catch evening train or flights to go back to their base, so I am not adding more on Sunday evening. If you are in Delhi, certainly there are plenty of things to do.   If you are interested in knowing more places of interest in Delhi, do check out this link and a list of posts from Delhi.   Feel free to drop a comment below with a suggestion or question.

Many times people have to catch evening train or flights to go back to their base, so I am not adding more on Sunday evening. If you are in Delhi, certainly there are plenty of things to do. 

If you are interested in knowing more places of interest in Delhi, do check out this link and a list of posts from Delhi

Feel free to drop a comment below with a suggestion or question.

Comments

Ranjana Shankar said…
5-6 time I have visited this city. Still feel I haven't seen and experienced this city completely.