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Delhi assaults the senses and ripples with the ebb and flow of humanity. It hits visitors hard and then creeps under their skin. Most new arrivals approach the city with trepidation, breathe a sigh of relief when they leave, but miss its vibrancy within days. Old Delhi, smog-filled, chaotic and crowded, is a portal to India's former Muslim capital, while the old imperial capital of New Delhi offers a brush with modernity and calming pockets of respite. To really get a feel for this city all you need are your legs and the odd rickshaw — pedal or motor powered. When you're ready to plunge into the seething masses, stroll down the shopping ...

Delhi assaults the senses and ripples with the ebb and flow of humanity. It hits visitors hard and then creeps under their skin. Most new arrivals approach the city with trepidation, breathe a sigh of relief when they leave, but miss its vibrancy within days. Old Delhi, smog-filled, chaotic and crowded, is a portal to India's former Muslim capital, while the old imperial capital of New Delhi offers a brush with modernity and calming pockets of respite. To really get a feel for this city all you need are your legs and the odd rickshaw — pedal or motor powered. When you're ready to plunge into the seething masses, stroll down the shopping bazaar, Chandni Chowk, and watch the pandemonium unfolding around you. Delhi's real charisma surfaces along Khari Baolithat, where the waft of exotic aromas trail down to an atmospheric spice market. The mighty Red Fort, filled with museums, pavilions and gardens, seems miles from the crowded streets and is good for rejuvenating personal space: enter through Lahore Gate — the symbolic heart of India's independence struggle.

Alan Murphy
About the Expert

Alan Murphy is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Britain, Scotland, India and North India. He has been writing and updating travel guidebooks for the past 12 years.

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Alan Murphy for Triporati

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Now Happening in Delhi

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located on the banks of the Yamuna River in northern India, it is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.
  • Language: Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayala
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Cool season, October to March