Modern Indian city that breathes history

New Delhi holds several attractions even for the business traveller who has little time to go adventurous in the city.
Tourists leave the historic Red Fort, which dates back to 1639 and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in New Delhi. Anna Zieminski / AFP
Tourists leave the historic Red Fort, which dates back to 1639 and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in New Delhi. Anna Zieminski / AFP

As the capital of India with industrial hubs on its outskirts, New Delhi attracts thousands of business travellers every day.

Visitors can take in a day of historical and cultural sights that can transport them backmore than 1,000 years. If that is not enough, there are museums and art galleries that showcase work from across the country. However, most museums close by 5:30pm.

Delhi, founded in 1911, was designed by the British architect Edwin Lutyens when the British colonial rulers moved the capital from Calcutta, now Kolkata. Yet the area has served as the capital for hundreds of years. It was named New Delhi in the 1920s. Remains of cities found in the area date back to the early 9th century, according to the Archaeological Survey of India. Rulers and emperors have left their marks. The city abounds in historical monuments such as the Qutub Minar and Jama Masjid.

For those with a taste for more contemporary interests, there are a few art galleries as well. The National Gallery of Modern Art showcases contemporary as well as miniature paintings from northern and western Indian schools of art dating back hundreds of years.

There is a dedicated wing for the Bengal School of Art, with paintings from the turn of the 19th century. The Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, is also worth a visit. From there, head to the Red Fort in Old Delhi, where a light-and-sound show starts each day after sunset. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the complex in the 17th century.

No visit to the city is complete without a stop at some of the city's popular restaurants. Chor Bizarre was named the best Kashmiri restaurant two years in a row. If you dare to sample street food and brave Delhi belly, head to Chandni Chowk for north Indian fare.

ssahoo@thenational.ae

Published: September 10, 2012 04:00 AM

SHARE

Most Read