Delhi Diaries – Where The HOHO Doesn’t Take You!

Photo of Delhi Diaries – Where The HOHO Doesn’t Take You! 1/6 by Aditi Shukla
Lodhi Garden (Maruthu Pandian)
Photo of Delhi Diaries – Where The HOHO Doesn’t Take You! 2/6 by Aditi Shukla
Tughlaqabad Fort (Harpreet Singh)
Photo of Delhi Diaries – Where The HOHO Doesn’t Take You! 3/6 by Aditi Shukla
Akshardham Temple (Russ Bowling)
Photo of Delhi Diaries – Where The HOHO Doesn’t Take You! 4/6 by Aditi Shukla
Lal Kot (Varun Shiv Kapur)
Photo of Delhi Diaries – Where The HOHO Doesn’t Take You! 5/6 by Aditi Shukla
National Rail Museum (Amber Habib)
Photo of Delhi Diaries – Where The HOHO Doesn’t Take You! 6/6 by Aditi Shukla
Chandni Chowk (Nthy Ramanujam)

People living in Delhi must have heard about or tried the HOHO bus service. It’s a famous tour around Delhi, commonly referred to as ‘Delhi Darshan’ and preferred by tourists who are pressed for time and those who love indulging in old architecture to relive the charm of the city as it was! Since HOHO buses are available anyway, let’s take a twist! Let’s talk about places that are not covered by HOHO buses, though their stops might be very close to these places. Make sure you try out this alternate route to Delhi Darshan...

Delhi, the capital city of India is a cultural hub. Care has been taken to conserve and protect the ruins and remains while glorifying most of the architectural structures of historical importance. Culture, ancestral history, values and information is what these sites project. One must take time out to pay a visit to these places that form a part of the rich Delhi Tourism!

1. Chandni Chowk: An old and traditional market in Delhi, bustling with life – merchants unloading goods early in the morning, endless famous eating joints, lanes sprawling with people buying silver, clothing, books and knick knacks. Consider this a one stop food expedition and try out chaat and dahi bhallas at Natraj, snacks at Samosa and Jalebi Wala, Gali Parathe Wali for fried parathas and savour authentic delicacies like kachori, poori-bhaji, motichoor laddoos, rabri falooda and more at this street packed with eateries. Non-veg lovers don’t forget Karim’s at Delhi’s busiest marketplace. Not just food, but lanes dedicated to hardware, art and craft, jewellery, wedding cards etc. are found here and it is the best place for wholesale buying, while retaining the charm of Old Delhi.

Photo of Chandni Chowk Road, Old Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Aditi Shukla

2. Tughlaqabad Fort: This 6 km fort in Delhi is of much historic significance. Known for its architecture, the stone and rubble walls that are 10-15 metres high represent the typical monuments of the Tughlaq dynasty. The fort was complete with palaces, mosques and more structures. Although most of it lies in ruins with overgrown vegetation, one can admire its beauty divided into three parts: a wide city area, a citadel and royal residences with underground tower passages. Thirteen out of fifty two gates still remain today. Built by Ghazi Malik in 1321, on assuming the title of Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq, it was the beginning of the Tughlaq dynasty. At least half a day picnic here sounds like a good idea. The water reservoir at its Southern part was a vast one and remains connected to the fort even today.

Photo of Tughlaqabad Fort, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Aditi Shukla

3. Akshardham Temple: Akshardham Temple is one of the most famous and talked about monuments situated at Noida, NCR at the banks of River Yamuna. Built in 2005 in a 100-acre land, it is the largest Hindu Temple in the world - not merely a structure of religious offerings, but a beautifully carved monument complete with its IMAX theatre, technological exhibitions, musical fountain, gardens and food court. It easily takes a day to cover every corner of the fabulous temple. Take a stroll along the Garden of India or Bharat Upavan, check out the bronze sculptures, intricate architecture, its sunken garden in the shape of a lotus, watch devotees take blessings with their offerings and rituals and more. You have to be there to believe it!

Photo of Akshardham Temple, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Aditi Shukla

4. Lodhi Gardens: A beautiful garden in the heart of the capital city of India, Lodhi Garden is an amazing place to walk, have a picnic and enjoy with family. It is known for its historical structures like the Tomb of Muhammed Shah, Tomb of Sikander Lodhi, the Bada Gumbad or the Big Tomb etc. Owing to these structures, it is considered a great place for preservation. Needless to say, the garden has well manicured lawns ideal for winter noons and summer evenings. Besides these, Lodhi restaurant serves a brilliant cuisine and is advisable to pre-book a table. Thus, Lodhi Garden has all it takes to make it a perfect spot for handing out – its cultural significance, lush lawn-stretch, walkways and eating joint.

Photo of Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Aditi Shukla

5. National Rail Museum: Want a mini train tour around a museum full of preserved locomotives? Well, head to the National Rail Museum where you will get just that! This brilliant museum is situated at Chanakyapuri and bleeds the railway heritage of India. This 10 acre museum has outdoor as well as indoor exhibits featuring the Electric locomotive 4006 built in 1930, A Beyer Garratt 6594 Engine, a Patiala State Monorail System amongst endless others. The most unique and antique rail engines or locomotives can be found here. A true preservation of our world-renowned railway network, this museum displays railway artefacts along with historical pictures while offering a toy train ride and boat ride: a one-stop spot to gather all the history and pieces of information related to Indian railways.

Photo of National Rail Museum, Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Aditi Shukla

6. Humayun Tomb: Red sandstone and the magnificent marble stone define this tomb. Pay a visit here and you will know what paradise is! This structure has a lush green garden and a clear river flowing –the sight of which is so breathtaking. Known to be a refugee camp in India, it now has many graves within it. Constructed by Bega Begum in memory of her husband Humayun, it is said to have been inspirational for Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal. Just 5 kms off Humayun’s Tomb is the lesser known Agrasen ki Baoli, Baoli meaning ‘step well’. A unique architecture surrounds this 14th century well. A monument protected by the ASI or Archaeological Survey of India, it has over a hundred steps immersed in water. This hidden gem, though a difficult find, is worth spending at least half a day. Walk in and explore...

Photo of Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Aditi Shukla

7. Qila Rai Pithora: This fort is visible from South Delhi, especially Saket and Mehrauli. Remains of this fort from the 12th century lie in scatters across the region around Qutub complex. Better known as Lal Kot by some, this fort was the first red stone fort built in Delhi. Hence, the name! A major part of this fort has been left in ruins. But, it still reflects the glorious past. It has seven gates worth being photographed. A flight of earthen and stone steps leads upwards where one can get a complete view of the Qila. Its gateway and round bastion is of much significance.

Photo of Qila Rai Pithora, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Aditi Shukla

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