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India's capital city is busy, dusty and humid; but once you see the beautiful core of the Indian culture and see Delhi through an open mind you begin to see that the city is in fact full of fantastic museums, monuments, temples and vibrant colourful markets. Delhi is also the entry point for travellers wishing to venture to Jaipur and Agra.
Getting to Delhi
Several international airlines provide flights to Indira Gandhi International Airport, the main gateway to the Delhi region in northern India and the capital city of New Delhi, including UK operators British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
Air India and Jet Airways also fly to the location, along with other major carriers such as Emirates and Lufthansa.
Named after the former prime minister of India, the airport is one of the most important aviation hubs in southern Asia. It has the capacity to handle more than 46 million passengers and aims to increase this to over 100 million by 2030.
The quickest way for travellers to reach the centre of New Delhi, which is 16km away from the airport, is to use the express rail service. Trains run from 05:00 until 23:00 local time, while buses, hire cars and taxis are also available.
Indira Gandhi International Airport also provides a range of amenities for passengers, including restaurants, duty-free shops and lounges.
Delhi, or the National Capital Territory of Delhi as it is officially known, is the largest metropolis in India by area and the second biggest by population after Mumbai, with nearly 17 million people living there.
The region encompasses New Delhi, which has been India's official capital and seat of government since the country gained independence from British rule in 1947. In addition to its government buildings and institutions, the destination is home to a number of national museums, monuments, art galleries and other significant sites.
Travellers visiting Delhi can learn more about the area's fascinating history. Remains of seven major cities have been discovered in this part of India and evidence of continuous habitation stretches back to the sixth century BC.
Other experiences not be missed include sampling local cuisine and exploring busy bazaars.
Five must sees in Delhi
At Delhi's National Museum, visitors can explore some 5,000 years of Indian history. The institution is home to a colourful array of fascinating objects, including relics from past civilisations, Asian antiques, paintings, old coins, textiles and weapons.
Another attraction that should not be missed during a trip to Delhi is the Red Fort, or Lal Qila. This red sandstone structure was made to serve as Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's ruling palace and is now one of the city's top sights. The fort looks impressive from the outside and is home to pretty gardens, halls and other features within.
Travellers can pick up some unique gifts and souvenirs to remember their trip by at Chandni Chowk, a bustling bazaar in the heart of Delhi's old quarter. As well as absorbing the atmosphere of this location and taking in the myriad sounds, smells and tastes, browsers can look out for landmarks including temples and mosques.
In southern Delhi, visitors can see one of the city's three Unesco World Heritage sites - Humayun's Tomb. This striking structure, which has often been described as a prototype for the more famous Taj Mahal in Agra, is the final resting place of the second Mughal emperor.
Another historic location worth checking out is the Qutub complex, which comprises structures dating back to the 13th century and gardens that are popular for picnics and quiet days out. The most famous landmark of all within the grounds is Qutub Minar, an intricately carved minaret that stands at a height of more than 72 metres.
Direct Flights travel tipExplore Delhi in one of the city's distinctive yellow and green auto rickshaws or on the back of a cycle rickshaw. Passengers should never be afraid to haggle with drivers and should agree on a price before starting their journey.
When to go to Delhi
Delhi has hot, long summers that typically begin in early April and continue until mid-October. The monsoon season reaches its peak in the summer months of July and August, bringing heavy rains and humidity.
The months from November to February offer cooler conditions but can also bring thick fog.
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