Quick Upshot:Many a time, the place we know the least about is the one we stay in. Between weekend chores, plans with friends and family and just some general downtime, we end up not experiencing the more “touristy” pleasures of our own city/town. GoPo has collated a list of offbeat experiences one must try in Delhi. So go ahead, give them a shot and the next time you have folks visiting, you’ll have more experiences to recommend.
The immediate association one makes with Delhi when visiting or showing people around is that of certain monuments (Red Fort, Qutab Minar, India Gate, and Akshardham etc.), shopping and food. Here’s our list of top picks for you to try once you’ve covered those.
Sufi Recitals: Did you know that the Nizamuddin Dargah sees Quawaali nights every Thursday evening and on special occasions. Some of the families performing here have been doing so for hundreds of years. Apart from here, one can also experience Sufism at other Dargahs and also understand the stories and history behind it. Dargah of Bakhtiyar Kaki and the Ashiq Allah Dargah in Mehrauli are two such places.
Guided Walking/Cycling City Tours: If you’re up for an early start to the day, this is a fantastic way of exploring the city, understanding the history, sampling local delicacies of that area and great photo ops. Several groups offer these guided tours catering to different parts of Delhi.
Segway Tour of Rajpath: You get to ride on a Segway through the administrative corridors of Delhi and its fun! Need we say more? Again, this one is for the early risers.
Weekly Flea Markets: Even if you’re not a shopaholic, these are great to immerse yourself in some local culture and to experience the city’s hustle bustle and old-worldly charm. Various markets open on different days of the week. Some of the notable ones are the Sunday Book Market at Daryaganj, Sunday Bazaar at Jama Masjid, Monday Market at Karol Bagh, Wednesday Market at Govindpuri, Thursday Market at Masjid Moth, among others.
Agrasen Ki Baoli: One of the larger step wells situated right in the middle of the city (at Hailey Road, Connaught Place), this is an architectural beauty and also has its own set of folklore and superstitions attached. Some stories claim these step wells to be haunted. Ancient folklore has it that the step well used to be filled with black water and used to entice people to commit suicide. Predictably, this place is off limits for visitors post sunset ;)
Majnu Ka Tila: Delhi’s own mini Tibet, this place is a must visit for shoppers and foodies looking to sample Tibetan fare.
Museum Tours: While the city has its fair share of museums to cater to every interest, the one that has piqued our curiosity is the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets! Other museums of interest include the National Museum, Science Museum, Nehru Planetarium, Doll Museum, National Rail Museum, Gandhi Smriti & Craft Museum, among others.
Picnic Outdoors: This one specially holds good during the cooler months. Delhi is blessed to have several parks and ‘city forests’. A lot of these were built around archaeological ruins. These make for an interesting day out with your kids who’ll love the open space to play. You could even pack a picnic hamper and a mat to make it an ideal family outing. These places are popular among fitness enthusiasts as well who come in for a stroll/run. To get you started, here are some of the more popular parks: Mughal Garden, Lodhi Garden, Deer Park, Roshanara Bagh, Qudsia Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Sunder Van (near Vasant Kunj), Jahanpanah Forest (Saket-GK 2), Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary (Surajkund) and the Aravalli Biodiversity Park (Gurgaon-Faridabad Road). Bear in mind this is not an exhaustive list and there are several unexplored parks dotting the city’s landscape.
Light & Sound Show at Red Fort: Though not really offbeat, this one gets missed by several locals and hence, we thought it deserved a mention here.