I began my trip to India in Delhi. It is the bustling capital of India, with wide boulevards and government buildings. But I really enjoyed exploring Old Delhi with its mosques, bazaars and grand forts. I would suggest spending a day or two to recover from jet lag and your long trip and see the sites before you head out to explore the other wonders of India.
As a suggestion, I just heard a news segment on CBS about the air pollution that can be extremely bad in Delhi. I would suggest that you pack an anti-pollution face mask to protect yourself and your health in case there are air quality issues when you are there.
Jami Masjid Mosque: This is India’s largest mosque built in 1656 that has a huge square. Its two slender minarets flank three marble domes.
The Bazaars: The bazaars are legendary. There are wonderful spices, glittering textiles, tinsel garlands and turbans for weddings and festivals, every variety of handmade paper, colorful glass bangles and flowers. There are people everywhere!
Chandi Chowek: Don’t miss taking a bicycle rickshaw through the narrow streets of the old quarter. The small yellow and green cabs were also colorful to see. Be prepared as the streets are dirty and there are a lot of beggars.
Lahore Gate: This is an imposing red sandstone which is the main entrance to the Red Fort.
Raj Ghat: This is the tomb and memorial to Mahatma Gandhi that is well-worth the visit.
Humayun’s Tomb: This is a tomb for Humayun the second Mughal emperor, built in 1565. It was the inspiration for several other monuments including the famed Taj Mahal. The inlaid marble is really wonderful.
Shopping in Delhi can we wonderful. I recommend Cottage Industries Exposition Ltd, 16 Barakhamba Road. I found some wonderful textiles, throw pillow, table runners and cloth and bedding at this location. In addition to Cottage Industries, I bought a number of great pieces from Saga Department Store, B-5 Jangpura.
I just read about an emerging arts district, Lado Sarai, which has been a must-visit for contemporary Indian art enthusiasts since 2007. Latitude 28 and Gallery Threshold have been recommended. Make sure to check it out!
I am very careful about eating street food in a city like Delhi so stick to the great hotel restaurants or ones that have received great reviews. Cheri, Le Cirque at the Leela Palace and Bukhara all have been recommended.