The Most Unusual Capital City in the World

If you are a globetrotter, you will come across many unique and unusual places but none quite like the capital city of India- New Delhi. The place was as much of a delight as a puzzle when I first set foot here and has since been a source of immense joy for me.

The New Delhi vs. the Old Delhi

New Delhi, the seat of Indian central government is a cosmopolitan place with high-rise buildings, several amazing hotels, and offices of the biggest Indian corporates. You realize that this is one of the most welcoming of the cities as soon as you land. The people are warm and friendly. Everyone is fluent in English and people like to talk to you.

There is an Old Delhi region as well. It is located just outside the boundaries of the newer, shinier Delhi. The region which comprises of the half-state of Delhi has been the seat of seven elaborate and distinct cities prior. However, its most recent influence of Mughal architecture and practices can be experienced here. The overcrowded place with several small ‘gullies’ or pathways are overwhelming yet so beautiful and welcoming.

Which flavor of Delhi is my favorite?

I always appreciate Old Delhi more than New Delhi. My favorite place in this region is Chandni Chowk. It is fairly easy to reach as well. Once you land at the IGI airport, take the Metro that drops you at Rajiv Chowk. From there, you can either take a cab or an auto or another metro to Karol Bagh and Paharganj. Here you will find several hotels- going from the cheapest with basic amenities to three-star hotels with good amenities, free Wi-Fi and more.

From here, take a metro to Chandni Chowk. It is a very crowded place and I suggest you keep your valuables safe. There is an area dedicated exclusively to books where you can find almost any book you want. The area is chock full of many eateries that serve you delicious and richly spiced foods like Chhole Bhature, Lassi and several authentic Mughlai meat dishes. The Lal Quila or Red Fort and the Jama Masjid are also located in this area, making it a perfect spot for sightseeing too.

What’s unusual about this capital?

You can feel peace while surrounded by hundreds of people. I found this fascinating. There are people, vehicles, cycle rickshaws and even cows on the streets trying to make their way through life. Amid the hot weather, the crowded spaces and noisy vehicles, life seems to be moving on quite simply and easily. People smile at you and if you ask for help, they will go out of their way to ensure that you are at the right place. I often got lost in the streets and asked people for help. On several occasions, people dropped me to my destination straight away.

It was unusual. For a person living in the US, it could turn out to be a very unique experience. Just look out of the metro window once and you will notice how Delhi changes from busy streets to high rise buildings and quickly turns into a dusty place with several projects in progress. A little further, you see empty streets lined with trees, housing everything from museums to offices of political parties. It is fun, although bewildering.