Hear It From Locals

NEW DELHI, INDIA

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JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH RAGHAV MODI FROM NEW DELHI, INDIA!

Raghav is a travel and food writer who enjoys the thrill of discovering new places and writing about them. When he is not working, he can be found wandering in the city with an amateur photography club or driving around his two kids from one
birthday party to another.

 

Which is the best month to visit New Delhi and why?

New Delhi, pretty much like most metropolitan cities of the world, is accessible
throughout the year. Since there is a lack of extreme weather, it can be enjoyed no
matter the season. However, as a local, the months between October till March
work best, for no reason other than that the weather is ideal with a fresh cool breeze
in the air for most parts of the day. In contrast, the summer months can be hot and
extremely humid. The Monsoon brings with it sticky weather, but more than that
visitors can expect long traffic jams and water logging which often bringing the city to
a standstill.

 

Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of New Delhi?

There are a couple of ways to travel within New Delhi; however, the best and most
comfortable has to be the Metro. It’s convenient, easy to use, and covers the entire
city, even going out into the suburbs of Noida, Dwarka, and Gurgaon.
Other than that, although there is a public bus system widely used by the locals, a
visitor might find it slightly stressful. Instead, hiring an Uber or taking a three-wheeler
(very much like a tuk-tuk) is recommended for shorter distances where the Metro
does not work.

What are the top 3 must visit places in New Delhi?

This is a tough one as there is so much to do in Delhi that selecting three is quite
hard. But, keeping in tune with the question, I would start with Lodi Art District.
Large murals of street-art grace the walls of Lodi Colony that anyone can drive or
walk around for free. One of the most Instagrammed spots in the entire city it’s a
burst of colours that showcases some serious artistic talent.

 

Lodi Art District - New Delhi
Lodi Art District, street walls adorned with murals

 

As a city dotted with numerous historical monuments, especially from the Mughal
era, it would be a sin to miss out on the architectural brilliance that has stood the test
of time. Humayun’s Tomb, Safdarjung’s Tomb, Mehrauli Archaeological Park,
and Lodi Garden are all excellent spots to appreciate the culture and art of the
ancient times.

 

Humayun's Tomb.jpg
Humayun’s Tomb
Kids at play - Lodi Colony, New Delhi
Kid’s at play in Lodi Colony

 

Lastly, but certainly not the least, a visit to Old Delhi is essential on any trip to the
city. The aura in this historical part of Delhi is unlike any other place you can
imagine. It’s crowded so expect to walk or take a rickshaw. You can get anything
from wedding cards and bathroom hardware to high-end jewellery in the many
streets of this labyrinth. Old Delhi is the soul of the city and an experience one
should not miss.

Which is the most celebrated holiday of the year in New Delhi?

Delhi is a multicultural city, and as a result, most religious festivals are celebrated
here with equal amounts of passion and happiness. Whether it is Eid, Christmas,
Durga Puja, or the festival of colours Holi, there is some form of festivities engulfing
the city at any point in time. But, the one festival that encapsulates the essence of New Delhi the Festival of Lights, Diwali. A time for giving, thanking, blessing,
decorating houses, and strengthening friendships as well as business relationships,
Diwali and various other festivals around it are a month-long joyous occasion that
most residents look forward to every year.

 

Ganesh idol for Durga Puja.jpg
Ganesh idol

 

 

 

Which is the most happening area in New Delhi and why?

Happening spots in any city are always changing based on new trends. Delhi is no
different, and yet a few places always come to mind when looking for a fun night out.
With more of a hipster vibe that juxtaposes against ancient and often dangerously
crowded buildings, Hauz Khas Village has become the go-to destination for the
Millennials of the city. The crowded streets of HKV consist of quirky Airbnbs, fashion
boutiques, and most importantly eccentric bars and restaurants. No matter the day of
the week, evenings at HKV are a lively affair.

Where can one find amazing street food in New Delhi?

Delhi loves food, and every colony and area has their local favourite street vendor.
However, when it comes to experiencing delicious street food, nothing beats the
variety and tastes of Old Delhi. From the kebabs at Karim’s to the paranthas of Parathe Wali Gali, a gourmand needs a few days to appreciate the culinary heritage of Old Delhi in its entirety.

 

Kebabs and Paranthas.jpg
Kebabs and Paranthas

Where to head for affordable shopping in New Delhi?

The last decade has seen the Mall culture of the city rise and then eventually reach a
plateau. Still a popular destination, especially on hot summer days, malls lack the
charm and personal appeal of the homegrown markets. Once again, Delhi has an
abundance of those ranging in size and what they offer. Places like Sarojini Nagar
and Lajpat Nagar are but two that are extremely popular and frequented by locals
looking for a bargain.

Which is the most loved local food in New Delhi, both sweet and savoury?

Due to Delhi’s diverse population, the question of its culinary favourites is bound to
have many answers. Still, leaving aside classics like Chole Bhature and Gol Gappas,
it is the Butter Chicken of Moti Mahal and Dal Bukhara of Bukhara that are
traditional and legendary dishes to have originated in the city.

 

Gol Gappas.jpg
Gol Gappas

 

For something sweet, the super light and creamy, Daulat Ki Chat found in Old Delhi
shops or India’s best restaurant, Indian Accent, also in Delhi, is recommended.

 

Daulat Ki Chaat
Daulat ki Chaat

Which side of the road does New Delhi drive on? Is it cycle friendly?

We drive on the left side of the road, although going by the frequent traffic jams it’s
sometimes hard to tell. Regarding cycling, as much as I would like to say that the
roads are friendly, they are not. People do cycle, but it’s a risky affair best to avoid.

 

Not Cycle Friendly - New Delhi & Gurgaon.jpg
Old picture of water logged Delhi. City is yet not cycle friendly.

 

Would you recommend any popular local apps to tourists for transport, food and hidden gems in New Delhi?

When it comes to discovering the city, there are always cultural activities taking
place through on a regular basis. Moreover, food walks often held by young
entrepreneurs are quite common too. Regarding apps, Zomato is quite favourable
when searching for an excellent place to eat, and LBB (Little Black Book) is ideal
when on the lookout for hidden spots and happening events across varied genres
and interests.

 

IF YOU ARE VISITING NEW DELHI OR WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT RAGHAV’S ADVENTURES THERE, BE SURE TO FOLLOW HIM ON FACEBOOK/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM

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