Delhi, the city that never ceases to amaze, is bundled up with several lesser discovered treasures. Those looking for something out of the ordinary can take the road less travelled with these offbeat experiences.
- Shop at the weekly flea markets
Credits: Flickr- bryan t
Enjoy the local essence and brush up your bargaining skills as you amble through the flea markets that rise up from scratch once a week. You can shop for anything and everything from ready-made garments to kitchen and household commodities, toys to spices and more. The prices here are usually much below than what you would get at the regular shops and malls.
zCredits: Flickr- James Southorn
Good to know: Different venues open up during different days of the week. Check out Sunday bazaar near Jama Masjid, Karol Bagh on Mondays, Govindpuri on Wednesdays as well as Lajpat Nagar and Vijay Nagar on Saturdays.
2. Take a tour of Bul-bulaiyan
Stories of sceptres roaming around this ancient and mysterious tomb have since long being looming about. The Adam Khan’s Tomb is also referred to as Bul-bulaiyan and is surrounded by lush wilderness. Though not as popular as Qutub Minar which lies in the same vicinity, this monument belonging to the 16th Century makes for an interesting place of visit. Herein lies the mighty Akbar’s foster brother and his mother, Maham Anga who was the wet nurse of the king.
Credits: Flickr- carol mitchell
Good to know: To get here, head straight from Qutub Minar to Mehrauli. Before you enter Mehrauli, on your left is the Mehrauli Bus Depot and on the right, you will find this tomb.
3. Discover Delhi at night on a Royal Enfield
Credits: Flickr- Renjith Sasidharan
These days, you have rather interesting tours offered with one of them being a chance to discover the city during the night time. What’s more, you get to do it with panache on a Royal Enfield! Be astonished at the contrast from the day time, soak in the starry and lantern views as well as hog on some delectable local street food.
4. Thrill in a segway tour
Give your regular modes of transport a ditch for a while and hop onto a segway (a fun two-wheeled battery-powered electric vehicle) to unravel the marvels of the Rajpath. Glide across scenic sights of the city and get to tour its landmarks such as Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament, Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate and more. Get to witness the capital in a whole new light and enjoy some interesting historic information about the monuments too!
Good to know: This can be an interesting family day out. You can get in touch with operators who organise a two hour tour of the same.
5. Relax by the Agrasen Ki Baoli
Credits: Flickr- Prateek Rungta
Located on Hailey Road, Connaught Place in New Delhi, the Agrasen Ki Baoli shows glimmers of an ancient time. A protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India, the stepwell is said to have its genesis in the epic period of Mahabharata and was believed to be rebuilt during the 14th century. With 103 steps made out of red sandstone and intricate architecture, the sight is a hypnotising one and perfect for photo ops.
Credits: Flickr- Varun Shiv Kapur
Good to know: You can visit here from 9am to 5pm.
6. Observe the rich contemporary art of India
Instead of your regular hangouts, visit the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art to surround yourself with the rich arts of India. Housing masterpieces of the country’s finest contemporary artists, the gallery showcases great paintings, sculptures and modern art forms. Who knows, it may just inspire the creativity in you.
7. Take a stroll through the streets of Paharganj
Credits: Flickr- Michael Scalet
To get a contrasting essence of the old and new, take a stroll through the streets of Paharganj. Look beyond the chaos and you will get a feel of an atmosphere that is distinct as visitors from India and abroad have been living here since several years. The place has seen a lot from Independence turmoil to the Hippie movement. The NGO Salaam Baalak Trust arranges a guided tour with an aim of sensitising one about street life, street children and the issues the society faces today.
Good to know: It is located close to the New Delhi Railway Station. When here, you can also sink your teeth into some fine international cuisine.
8. Visit the National School of Drama
One of its kind, the reputed National School of Drama is where many able performers are trained and groomed. In case you know of someone there or can get access, you can witness a class or play in progress.
Good to know: When here, you can also make a trip to a nearby theatre place such as Triveni Kala Sangam, Little Theatre Group and Kamani Auditorium.
9. Savour serene settings at Bhulla Tal
For a little escape from the city madness, you can head to Bhulla Tal, that lies in Lansdowne, Uttaranchal, about 100km from the main city in Delhi. The 2-3 hour drive to this place is a pleasant one. Simple and delightful, this pictorial setting has a little park, some fountains and a bamboo shelter. Engage in boating to let the time slip by as you savour the serenity of the place.
Good to know: Evenings is the best time to be here.
10. Go birding at Okhla Bird Sanctuary
Credits: Flickr- Debasish Sarmah
The Okhla Bird Sanctuary is a little haven in the city. Situated in Noida, the place is said to boast of more than 300 avian species including water-birds. Though, you might have to be patient to get a glimpse of these feathered friends.
11. Visit the city’s own Tibet
Embark on an engaging tour of the Tibetan settlement situated in North Delhi. The locale acts as a transit point for Tibetans and settlements across the globe. The experience comes with an understanding of their struggle and how they manage to conserve their culture. Also, get to buy some souvenirs and taste a typical Tibetan meal.
12. Unfold ruins at Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Credits: Flickr- Varun Shiv Kapur
Usually overlooked by the tourists, the Mehrauli Archaeological Park lies adjacent to Qutub Minar. In here is a treasure of relics as you will stumble across tombs and other fascinating ruins. There are around 100 historically relevant monuments in this space.
Credits: Flickr- Paul Simpson
Good to know: When at this park, do not miss the sightings of Jamali Kamali mosque, which is attached to Sufi poet Jamali’s tomb.
13. Be inspired by the Sound and Light Show at the Red Fort
Credits: Flickr- Aasif Iqbal J
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Fort constructed by the influential Emperor Shah Jahan is among the prominent landmarks of the city. While a basic tour of this monument is a regular thing, you can opt for witnessing the inspiring Sound and Light show that takes place here. The evening brings its own charm and unfolds the rich heritage of the place too.
Good to know: The show runs for an hour and is played in Hindi and English daily.
14. Tour the Toilet Museum
Credits: Flickr- ccarlstead
Considered as one of the weirdest museums in the world, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets has mixed reviews from people visiting. Displaying the evolution of toilets through the ages, it exhibits basic chamber pots to fancy Victorian toilet seats and even one that appears as a bookcase. The gallery hopes to educate people on the importance of sanitation.
Credits: Flickr- ccarlstead
Good to know: The timings of this museum are 10:30 am to 5 pm from November to March and 10 am to 5:00 pm from April to October.
15. Saunter through Mehar Chand Market
Close to Lodhi Garden, Mehar Chand Market displays a certain charm. Several new shops have opened here giving it the distinction of ’boutique market’. Find an assortment from organic shops to popular flagship stores, Indo-western clothing options to French cuisines and more.
Good to know: Book lovers can visit CMYK for great works on illustrated design, art and travel.
16. Enjoy an outing at Shikar Adventure Park
Credits: Shikhar adventures Park
Escape to the quiet settings of Wazirpur Village to Shikhar Adventure Park for some adventure. A range of exciting indoor and outdoor activities such as rope climbing, wall climbing, tire crossing, badminton, cricket volleyball and more await. The sprawling open spaces and dewy gardens further lend in the air of relaxation.
Credits: Flickr- shikhar adventure park
Good to know: The adventure park is located around 30km from New Delhi airport. Based on the needs of the clients, a custom made itinerary is provided as well.
17. Delight in iSkate
Do something slightly more chilled out and go ice-skating at Ambience Mall in Gurgaon. Ideal for novices and also those who want to hone their skills, it is here one can feel the excitement on gracefully sliding on ice. Other engagements here include a party and karaoke room.
18. Experience Hazrat Nizamuddin
Credits: Flickr- rajkumar1220
Once an important place of craftsmen and traditional shops, Hazrat Nizamuddin still infuses a quaint air. Initially, you may be overwhelmed with the clutter but once you overcome it, you will be able to notice its distinctness. Little markets, authentic Islamic bookshops, old homes and various shrines dedicated to saints and poets dot this locale. You can also get to hear live sufi music.
Good to know: When here, you can take pleasure in the sweet treats at the Mughal Bakeries
19. Spend an early evening at Tughlaqabad Fort
Credits: Flickr-saad akhtar
Located at Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, the Tughlaqabad Fort stretches for a good 6 km. Legend has it that this fortress of 1300s was cursed by a Sufi Saint and was deserted soon after. Today, it makes for a gripping point to visit, being flaked by wild greenery and frequented by peacocks.
Credits: Flickr- Saad Akhtar
Good to know: There are guided heritage walks organised to this fort. The timings are from 5.30 am to 7 pm.