Chanakyapuri is an affluent neighborhood where many embassies and the Prime Minister’s residence are located. Chanakyapuri was developed as official residences for both politicians and civil servants to the Union Government. As such, it has numerous parks and open spaces, and suffers few utility disruptions. It is served by the Chankyapuri metro station.
Mahipalpur is a neighborhood located close to Terminal 1 and within walking distance from the Aero City metro station. There are dozens of hotels in this area at several price points.
Greater Kailash is an affluent residential area in South Delhi. Most of the accommodation here is a bit of a hike to the metro, but the quality of the houses and calmness makes this area an attractive place to stay.
Delhi’s chronic lack of quality hotels has led to a mushrooming of guest houses of widely varying quality and price. The new official ‘Delhi Bed and Breakfast scheme’ has also contributed a range of private rooms available for bed & breakfast accommodation. These rooms range from cheap dumps to classy rooms in the best neighborhoods of Delhi. These areas are a welcome respite from the dirt and touts of the main tourist areas, and thanks to Delhi’s metro system, these are still within an easy reach.
Many first time travellers to India find themselves falling victim to scams and touts, and unfortunately Delhi has it like bigger cities. Be on guard for anybody trying to help you by giving you unsolicited directions or travel advice. Do not believe the advice of taxi and auto drivers. If this is your first time to India, do not openly admit it, as this will make you more vulnerable to touts.
If you are arriving into Delhi at night it may be advisable to either stay in the airport lounge or well lit areas until daybreak if you haven’t booked a hotel and if this is your first trip to Delhi. Women should avoid walking around alone in the night in lanes without many people and be cautious when hiring cabs at night. Radio taxis are a safer option. Dress conservatively. Please don’t let go of your commonsense. Don’t be afraid to raise your voice or shout, if harassed.
Carry your cash, passport, and cards in a secure money belt, with only enough cash for a few hours at a time in your wallet or other accessible place. Some travelers recommend carrying an expendable wallet with a few ten rupee notes in it in an obvious place such as your hip pocket as a decoy to Delhi’s ubiquitous pickpockets.
All but one tourist agency is a scam, Government ‘approved’ or not. Very hefty extra charges hidden as commissions and processing fees are the least that will happen. Two notorious agencies are ‘India tourism voyages’ and ‘shukla enterprises’. Head to the ONLY official government ran agency on Janpath and Connaught Lane. There are many fake ones around here too so make sure you have the right one. The best way to secure train tickets is to queue on the second story of New Delhi train station where there is a desk for tourists. You can also navigate through the Indian Railways Website. Also, you should book you flight tickets online as all the airlines have online booking system. Otherwise, prepare to spend a good hour sorting through the charges that the tourist agency will charge.
The Delhi Police is a 70,000 strong force serving the capital region. Unfortunately, the quality of police officers varies dramatically throughout the force; some officers will be helpful, others are corrupt cops. For police assistance during an emergency dial 100 or 121.
Police vehicles (called PCR vans) are parked on almost every major intersection.
For non-emergencies, or to report a crime, go to the police station.
Delhi is a hot, dusty city and the combination of the two may reduce visibility in the summer. In April through June, temperatures regularly top 40°C, meaning that proper hydration is of the utmost importance. In winter there can be seasonal fog; on particularly foggy days, it can be difficult to see across the street. This is partly because of Delhi’s severe air pollution problem; it is advised that travelers keep informed about the daily air quality in Delhi. If you happen to be travelling in or out of Delhi during the winters, be aware of fog-related flight delays.
Drink only bottled water so you may avoid any water-related illness. Keep yourself covered in summers to avoid a heat stroke. Drink a lot of water, 3 liters a day, particularly in the summer. Sticking to freshly, well-cooked vegetarian food will lessen your chances on acquiring the “Delhi belly.”
Cell phone coverage in the city is excellent in most of the parts. You can purchase two connections t overcome coverage problem. There are many service providers offering a wide variety of plans. Among them are Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, and Tata Indicom. It might be a good idea to buy a cell phone and use one of those prepaid plans to get yourself connected while you are in the city.
Landline phone numbers in Delhi begin with 11, typically followed by eight digits. To call Delhi from outside India you will need to dial the international prefix for your country, followed by India’s country code 91.
Delhi emergency numbers
Here are the Delhi emergency contact numbers
- Police, ☎ 100
- Fire Department, ☎ 101
- Ambulance: ☎ 102, or dial the nearest local hospital
Power outages and water shortages are no longer common in Delhi. Better accommodations have water tanks and generators to alleviate the inconvenience, but keep a flashlight handy at night and do your part by not wasting too much water.
- Laundry service is offered in most hotels, even in budget accommodations. If you would rather save the money and do it yourself, buckets are found in almost all bathrooms – but perhaps wash it out well first.
- Exercising outdoors is not recommended due to the level of pollution and swimming in rivers is also not recommended. Instead, look for a hotel with a gym or a pool since many offer day passes. You can always try a morning or evening walk in the parks.
The native language of the Delhi area is Hindi, which also happens to be the main official language of the Union Government. However, for official purposes, English is more widely used than Hindi. Almost everybody you meet will be able to speak Hindi, quite often with the Bihari and Punjabi accents. However, most educated people will also be fluent in English, and many shopkeepers and taxi drivers will have a functional command of English. Punjabi and Urdu are also official languages, but they are spoken much less widely. The Hindi spoken in Delhi is quite Persianized, similar to the Hindi spoken in Western UP and much less Sanskritized than the Hindi spoken in MP. Signage is usually bilingual in Hindi and English, but some road signs (especially in South and Central Delhi) are in Hindi, English, Punjabi and Urdu. Announcements on the metro are in Hindi (male voice) and English (female voice).
Delhi is a major international transit hub for trains, planes and buses as well as a great connection point for domestic destinations within India. It’s also a great base for exploration of the famous Hill Stations.
- Kurukshetra place of holy war “Mahabharata” and birth place of Srimad Bhagwat Gita. 150km from New Delhi, 3 hrs drive or train ride each way.
- Agra and the Taj Mahal are a 3-6 hr drive or train ride each way. Now there is a new state of art 6-lane express highway connecting Delhi and Agra named “YAMUNA EXPRESSWAY” which shortens the trip to about 2 hours, Book tickets in the train cars with seats far in advance, and look for the seats put aside especially for tourists. You can also rent a car and driver for the day and shouldn’t pay more than ~Rs 6,000 roundtrip (if not less) for small vehicles like dzire or etios, Innova rents starts from 7000 onwards.. The Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.
- Bandhavgarh National Park and the Bandhavgarh Fort, are the “Tiger Reserve” at M.P. This is a Tiger preservation project and has the highest density of Tigers in India.
- Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama’s government in exile, is 10-12 hr to the north. Tickets can be purchased from Main Bazaar Tourist offices, Majnu ka Tilla Tibetan Settlement or the I.S.B.T.
- Shimla, the summer capital of British India and the queen of all hill stations in India. It has many scenic and historic locations and is about an 8 hr drive or 10 hr in a bus. A direct flight from Delhi takes just 1 hr to reach Shimla.
- Jaipur and Rajasthan, are reachable by plane or overnight train.
- Mussoorie, one of the original British hill stations in India; also known as The Queen of the Hills.
- Jim Corbett National Park– 280 km from Delhi, has beautiful terrain, and heaves with wildlife including tiger, elephant and leopards and hornbills, eagles & owls.The place makes you feel lively,the whole feel of the jungle,surrounded by thick dense forest.The Jeep and Elephant safari, including those adventure activities.Perfect place for a adventurous travel.
- Nainital – another beautiful hill station in the Kumaon hills with the magnificent Naini Lake.
- Ride the Maharajas’ Express, a luxury train running between Delhi and Mumbai.
- Visit Pushkar located about 415 Km from Delhi.Pushkar is famous for Jagatpita Brahma Temple. Another tourist attraction at Pushkar is its Camel and livestock fair that takes each year in the month of November
- Salimgarh Fort is at easy reach distance from the Tomb of Humayun.