advice from folks who visited/lived in delhi (from another online forum, thus i'll leave it anonymous) to someone who will be traveling there shortly:
Agra is an easy trip by train to see the Taj. Worth staying a night or two
and getting to Fatehpur Sikri, a great abandoned royal city about and 1.25
hours from Agra. Jaipur is great. There are a few heritage properties in
the area to check out, the Trident Hilton is also a nice moderately priced
western hotel there and best to ask for a room with a view of the lake
palace if staying there. Also worth trying to get to Ranthambore National Park to see the tigers. It's an easy trip by train from Jaipur, Agra and
Delhi and there are a host of small hotels in the area. Udaipur is not
really in the area, but can get there by train or a short flight from Delhi.
It was the highlight of the trip, many moderately priced hotels and good
This one was from me:
be sure to visit a restaurant called Chor Bizarre (
), where every plate, every
piece of silverwear, every last cup is different... Chor Bazaar used to be
'thieves market', where stolen stuff was sold. This restaurant collected all
sorts of items and converted them - one table is made out of a four post
bed, salad bar is inise an old car, there's a staircase leading nowhere,
etc. Plus the food is phenomenal. It's on the boundary of Old and New Delhi
, thus you can have a nice walk into the old part after dinner. Otherwise I
prefer to go for holes-in-the-wall kind of places, where food is absolutely
the best. Watch out for mosquitos (in Delhi malaria is more widespread than
elsewhere in India, though peak season is in August) and for monkeys - who
can be real pests and may have rabies.
I will give you an email of a friend, a New Delhi-ite. He is also
thirty-something, a fascinating creature. He teaches comics technique in
poor rural areas as part of social development projects, lending voice and
bringing issues to to those who are often illiterate.
And, most importantly, suggestions from someone who grew up there:
That's exciting that you are going. I lived in Delhi as a child. It was
greener and quieter then, but alas...
Delhi is full of (mostly Islamic) historic sites, many of which are
really worth the visit.Since I spent most of my time there many years
ago, I will stick to these sites and will leave other tips to others.
In order of beaty and importance (IMHO), I would rank the sites as
1) Humayun's Tomb (when I was a boy, the gardens were beautiful. Now?)
1) Jama Masjid ( Built by Shah Jahan. It is worth negotiating the
madness and the beggars outside to walk in and see the peaceful inside)
3)Qutb Minar, a beautiful minaret from the 11th century, and
surrounding gardens, including the Iron Pillar and the oldest mosque in
India, made from the ruins of destroyed Hindu temples.
4) National museum: fabulous collection, including some treasures from
the Indus Valley Civ and India's early Buddhist period.
5) Red Fort: Although rundown, it is still magnificent. Try to go for
the Son et Lumiere spectacle in the evening (but cover yourself with
6) Rashtrapathi Bhavan (Viceroy's Palace): a gem from British era. It
is the President's palace, so there may not be tours of the inside.
Make sure you see the outside.
7) Connaught Circus/Place: You will definitely go here, as this is the
shopping/dining capital. It is also from the British era. I went to a
very good Indian Chinese (or Chinese as they are called there)
restaurant there a couple of years ago. I can't remember the name,
8) Get lost walking the streets of Old Delhi
9) If you have the time, also see Purana Qila (old fort), Tuglaqabad (
an abandoned ruined city), Feroz Shah Kotla (with the 3rd century BC
All in all, Delhi has a lot to see, but it is also very crowded and
polluted. And it is also not as safe as it used to be, so watch
yourself and the kids, especially around Paharganj.
I assume, since you are going to Jaipur, that you will also go to Agra.
In addition to the Taj and the Red Fort in Agra, you should also not
miss the Itmad-ud-Daula, a beautiful precursor of the Taj, not on most
tourist agendas. Also, if you go to Fatehpur Sikri (also recommended),
Akbar's abandoned Royal City, try to spend at least a day exploring.
Most tour buses from Delhi or Agra take you there for 1 hour, 30
minutes of which is spent at the cool drink stalls in front of the
Last, but most important thing: READ "CITY OF DJINN'S" by William
Dalrymple, the best book about the history of Delhi that I have read.
Hope this helps and have a great time,