How to Get Smitten by the Charms of Delhi

Delhi has been home for more than 20 years. Despite the accusations about its notorious nature, I have a distinct fondness for the city. Delhi angers, agitates, irritates, excites, soothes, all at the same time on any given day. But, it has survived the wrath of time gracefully and has been rebuilt seven times. There’s a stubborn resilience.

One shouldn’t let a sole emotion drive their perception about Delhi because the city deserves more.

CP Travelogy India

Connaught Place (Picture credit: Travelogy India)

Gallant kings & mighty dynasties made their way to Delhi swept by the charms of this city and evaporated into thin air over time. Delhi survived.

In any conversation about Delhi, I have heard complaints about the current inhabitants of the city the most. Loud, obnoxious, unpleasant, and narcissistic are some of the characteristics that define the people of Delhi now.

There was a time when the city’s inhabitants were revered for their poetic finesse, court customs, savoir-faire, affability, and above all class. That era has now become merely words in books, but judging the city by its current state would be unfair without reading those chapters. 

And, when I travel to those corners of the city that still radiate flavors of the old bygone times and read fine books such as the City of Djinns & Twilight in Delhi, I am transported to another time. I realize a city as charming as Delhi would always attract people, of all kinds. When you remove that element, Delhi can shower the best on you. One must have an eye for beauty, as a beholder.

Rashtrapati-Bhavan-make my trip

Rashtrapati Bhavan (Picture credit: Make My Trip)

To start with, you can make a visit to the numerous historic monuments, specifically built by the Mughals, to know how they came, conquered, prospered and left their mark on the city. Reminiscence of their poetic eloquence and artistic inclination can be found in those forts and palaces. Taj Mahal has found its way to the seven wonders of the world list, but the other wonders are waiting for you in Delhi.

safdarjung-tomb-maps of india-

Safdarjung Tomb (Picture credit: Maps of India)

humayun tomb travelkhana

Humayun Tomb (Picture credit: TravelKhana)

lodi-garden-maps of india

Lodhi Garden (Picture credit: Maps of India)

In my travels, I have noticed that food is a mirror to the culture & history of a place. Erstwhile rulers traveled with their butlers to satiate their taste buds and that ensured that recipes traveled from place to place. That’s how Delhi tasted biryani and korma. For Mughlai cuisine, I profusely thank their invasion. 

Their masterpiece, Biryani, is a delicacy revered by tons of people across Asia and Middle-East. Meat (Goat/Beef), basmati rice and whole spices are the ingredients that make this dish, yet it’s not something that everyone can cook, though relished equally by all. To taste the best, make your way to the narrow winding alleys of old Delhi where you can savor a tête-à-tête meal with the locals.


When your soul is satisfied, move to the part known as Lutyens’ Delhi. The English had to leave their mark, albeit elegantly when it came to architecture. Edwin Lutyens, a famed British architect, designed the administrative circle of New Delhi, largely.

The Rashtrapati Bhawan (current residence of India’s President), Rajpath, Connaught Place, Secretariat Building and the Parliament House beam of English architecture, designed by a team of architects led by Edwin Lutyens. All these buildings and spaces are frequented by tourists regularly, however, most of them miss the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone. This zone, brimming with massive mansions and sprawling gardens, would give you a taste of English aristocracy.

LBZ - whats up life

Picture credit: Whats Up Life

Lutyens ZEE news

Picture credit: Zee News

LBZ_Wall street journal

Picture credit: Wall Street Journal

Theaters, art exhibitions, history museums, cultural fairs, and niceties flow throughout the city. Just don’t get an image of Delhi from the chaos, traffic jams, swearing, pollution, and shopping malls.

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10 thoughts on “How to Get Smitten by the Charms of Delhi”

  1. You know me, Anu, based on my travels to India – I don’t have a problem with Delhi in spite of its notorious reputation. That said, I’ve seen the differences between people from Delhi vs those who come from other parts of India – Delhi-ites tend to be louder and sometimes, snooty 🙂 Still, Delhi remains one of the cities that I enjoy visiting, mainly because of friends, Mughal architecture, extensive metro network and food!


    1. I know Kat! Totally my reasons for liking Delhi, also I grew up there so I am always nostalgic. And there’s a stark difference between people in Delhi and people elsewhere in India.


  2. Great post about one of my favourite cities in the world. In some ways the mix of history and arts along with pollution, crime, and other things people complain about in Delhi reminds me of New York City in the 80’s. So much history there, lots of problems, but also a city filled with beautiful and interesting people and the art and lives they create.

    Beautiful pictures as well. Thanks for sharing!


    1. I don’t know about NYC in the 80’s but its interesting and people dream to visit NYC at least once in their lifetime. Delhi was the same way back in the medieval times, maybe! People have been coming in for centuries, and there’s just so much to experience there. That’s why the mixed feelings. Glad you like Delhi!

      Thanks for stopping by, Todd!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Delhi is a beautiful city but is pressurized with migration and congested with ever increasing vehicles. I wish I could do something to save this city from dying slowly. The culture has been diluted also. Your pictures are stunning and so is the description 👌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading through and stopping by, Pooja!
      Delhi has transformed completely over the years and the cultural fabric that tied the city with its erstwhile past is slowly evaporating. I hope I too could create awareness about the historical importance of this great city.


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