New and Old Delhi Travel Guide

Frédéric Lagrange

Home to the world’s biggest Hindu temple, the country’s largest mosque, and South Asia’s largest shopping mall, India’s capital (population 17 million) is nothing if not outsized. But though its sprawl and chaos can pose a challenge for any visitor, Delhi can also be disarmingly intimate, even tranquil. Despite its recent metamorphosis into a cosmopolitan hub for global business, media, technology, and fashion, it’s also a shockingly green city, where whole swaths are given over to gardens, parks, and protected woodlands. It is also remarkably diverse, with dozens of languages, ethnicities, and influences coexisting—not just Indian but increasingly international ones as well.

DON'T MISS

  • A visit to Humayun’s Tomb, the splendid 16th-century Moghul monument that inspired much of the design of the Taj Mahal. On certain weekday afternoons, the grounds are blissfully uncrowded, and only the flap of pigeon wings breaks the pervasive hush.

  • The entrancing Sufi Qawwali singers who perform every Thursday evening at Nizamuddin’s Shrine (ask your concierge to arrange for a driver and guide to accompany you).

  • A walk down Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi’s historic, half-mile-long bazaar that teeters thrillingly on the brink of chaos at any hour of the day or night.

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