Once in a life time you get the opportunity to do something you would never otherwise try. When Elysium Magazine got the opportunity to visit India we jumped at the chance. The sights, sounds and smells of the country are very distinctive and the contrast in wealth and poverty is visible as soon as you arrive at the airport. India is a magical country – here is our best picks from our recent visit.
The city is full of individuals attempting to buy, sell or give you something to remember your trip. Delhi stands out due to its wide roads, tree-lined boulevards and majestic monuments.
The Red Fort is unmissable building built in red sandstone. It is the location for a light-and-sound show narrating the history of Delhi on a daily basis.
India Gate at the end of eastern end of Rajpath is a stone arch approximately 138 feet high with names of 85,000 Indian soldiers who gave their lives during World War 1, the North West Frontier war and the 1919 Afghan War. Below the arch is the memorial to the unknown Indian soldier whose name is lost in the pages of history.
The Old Fort, Purana Quilla, which was the center for the emperors during the Mughal period was also the home of the legendary ruler Prithviraj Chauhan. It is believed that Indraprastha, the capital of Pandavas from the mythological Mahabharata, was located at the place where the Old Fort stands now.
Akshardham Temple is a modern wonder and certainly one temple worth a visit. It introduces Indian culture, heritage and values to the outside world. The architecture is amazing and you will see many people spending the day taking pictures of the temple. There is also a boat ride through a display of 800 statues oulining India’s heritage.
Shopping and haggling
For those interested in catching a glimpse of the hustle and bustle of the city life, do visit Connaught Place, one of the most popular shopping and business centre in Delhi. It has the offices of all the major banks, airlines and craft emporia of all the states of India.
The bazaars of Chandni Chowk are hugely congested with shops of varying sizes and several small but famous eateries. Be warned, this is not for everyone as the crowds mean everyone is in close quarters – all the time! However, a visit here gives a feel of the lives of the locals and shoppers of the city. Dilli Haat is an open-air market place with shops and stalls of spicy street food from all regions of India.
The Taj Mahal
A trip to India is not complete without visiting one of the wonders of the world – the Taj Mahal.
You wont be disappointed, its about two hours away from Delhi by car and there are plenty of monuments on the way to keep you occupied.
Shah Jahan started work on the Ta Mahal in 1631 as a tribute to his wife Mumtaz. It took over 20 years to build and more than 20,000 dedicated workers. Depending on what time of day it is and whether or not there is a moon at night, the Taj Mahal appears to be a different colour each time. Some believe that this changing of colours depict the different moods of a woman.
There is a huge amount of restaurants to choose from in Delhi. Here are our favourites from the trip:
Chutney Bar and Tandoor (Metropolitan Hotel)
A fantastic atmosphere with superb service and food. The menu is varied, a great atmosphere and reservations are recommended. Further information can be found from the hotel’s website: www.hotelmetdelhi.com.
A great take on the Indian kebabs. A huge variety which is suitable for anyone craving meat in India. The service is spot on and the option of a buffet takes all you can meat to another level. However, theresis plenty available for vegiterians too. Visit www.barbeque-nation.com for more information.
Three sixty (Hotel Oberoi)
The hotel has three eateries but Three Sixty stood out for us. A fine dinning experience which is favoured for many business tourists in Delhi. The staff were very helpful and were very aware of the menu, providing recommendations. The restaurant does get very busyswitch lunch meetings and guests so reservations are recommended. Information about the restaurant and hotel can be found on its website: www.oberoihotels.com.
The trip to India wouldn’t be complete without a wedding – we were lucky enough to bump into a few! Wedding season in India peaks in the cooler months and you wouldn’t be able to travel for too long without seeing the colourful scenes of a Indian wedding. If you do get an opportunity to see one do take it.