Delhi - is it worth it?

Nov 7th, 2004, 02:48 PM
  #1  
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Delhi - is it worth it?

My family is traveling through India this december - itinerary is Udaipur (2 days), Jaipur (2 days), Agra (2 days), delhi (3.5 days).

I have heard that delhi is really not worth it though because it is just a big bustling city, and can actually be frustrating to navigate through and overwhelming due to the crowds, poverty, etc.

however, i am guessing there is some great shopping opportunities in delhi and also feel it would be neat to see the city. any thoughts? would it be better to see another city instead? after 3.5 days in delhi, will we be fed up and bored?

thanks for your thoughts...
asykes1 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2004, 03:16 PM
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IMHO Delhi is very worth seeing. Yes it is crowded, traffic can be bad and air quality could be better (and is improving so I hear) but OTOH there is tons to see and do, such as:
1. Connaught Place
2. The Lotus temple (not to be missed)
3. Qutab Minar
4. The Red Fort
5. Junter Mundar (spelling?)
6. India Gate
7. Indira Gandhi's home made into a shrine
8. Jama Masjid
9. The tombs of Gandhi, Nehru and Shastri
10. Shopping at CP (above), Chandi Chowk, the Cottage Emporium and various other centers.
11. Fine dining at great prices all throughout Delhi.
I am sure that is not all but sounds like 3.5 days there could be well spent.
jacketwatch is online now  
Nov 7th, 2004, 03:17 PM
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Delhi is an amazing city and I can't imagine anyone being bored there. If you are, you should have stayed at home.

galiano is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 04:09 AM
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I just got back from Delhi..I think it was worth a visit..Not as harsh as the rest of India we visited and i found it not to be that overwhelming with regards to crowds, poverty, etc. compared to Jaipur and Varanasi. I would visit it again...And there is very good shopping..We spent 3 days, but did not have time to do all of the things Jacketwatch recommended, maybe next time!
TracyB is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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I agree with all other who answered; Delhi is very interesting, there are a lot of interesting things to be seen there.
More than this, you will be before at Udaipur, Jaipur and Agra. In all of them you will see beautiful temples, palaces, forts...but not a real big city. To learn a little about India, you should go to Delhi also. It is another world..

Have a very pleasant trip!

N.B. While in Agra, try to visit Faterpuhr Sikri (spelling??) also. It is something special, a dead city very well preserved.

Do you travel to Kajuharu also (to see ~ 40 temples with the famous erotic statues?


Liliana
valtor is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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I think 2 days in Delhi is more than enough but it really depends on what you like. If I were you i would add a day in Udaipur.
Alejandra is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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Having just come back from an almost identical itinerary I would say it is most definitely worth it. However it is also true that it is extremely busy - it seems to take a minimum of 25/30 minutes to go on even the shortest journey because of the congestion. I would also recommend using a car and driver from your hotel as it would be impossible to drive yourself due to the erratic behaviour of other road users and complete disregard for any discipline on the road such as we are used to in Europe.
Yes the beggars take a bit of getting used to. They come and tap on the car windows when it is halted in traffic but we were warned not to give anything to them.
Previous posts have mentioned the shopping in Delhi. We went to Cottage Industries on Janpath which has a very large stock and is well worth a visit. I am now regretting not buying more there instead of thinking I would have more choice as we travelled around.

Udaipur is a lovely place - thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the City Palace. Here again a local guide is a must. Stayed at Udaivilas which has spoiled us for any other hotel.

I would only spend as much time in Agra as it takes to see the Taj Mahal in different light conditions. There is nothing else to recommend the place, apart from the Agra Fort.

Jaipur has a lot of charm and has several things worth seeing. Traffic is still bad here but less daunting than Delhi.
Hope this helps.
Sandiemac is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 10:20 AM
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I agree with Sandimac about Udaipur. And yes, if Udaipur is your first stop and you stay in the Udaivilas, the hotels you will be staying at after wont impress you so much anymore...I loved it. Another great hotel in Jaipur is the Rambagh Palace which is very different and very special too. In Agra there is the Amarvilas where the rooms have a view of the Taj Mahal, but I didnt stay there as I stayed in Agra just 1 day to see the Taj and knew I wouldnt have time for to enjoy the hotel. I went there though for dinner and it is a beautiful hotel too.
Alejandra is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 12:00 PM
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thanks everyone for your thoughts. the reason we are spending 3.5 days in delhi is because it would be too hectic to try and squeeze another city in as well (i.e. varanasi and delhi). so, we have decided to enjoy delhi at a leisurely pace, shop to our hearts content, explore, etc.

if anyone has any suggestions of neat things to do in delhi, please speak up!

also, has anyone stayed in the oberoi in delhi? i realize it won't be as special as the vilas in udaipur, jaipur, etc., but i am hoping it is still a nice experience...
asykes1 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 04:32 PM
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Unless u are booking the Oberoi in Delhi due to some deal u are getting to use all Oberoi hotels I would reco you change to the Imperial. The Oberoi or Maurya are my preferred choice of business hotels in Delhi but for a hol IMO nothing beats the colonial charm of the Imperial. Having said that the Obroi, like all the group's hotels, is comfortable and luxurious so u can stay there if it is due some deal or something similar. IN Delhi def go to Clintons fav eatery, the BUkhara at the Maurya for a great Indian meal. Spend a couple of hours wandering around the Santushti shopping complex opposite the Ashoka/Samrat hotel for some interesting shopping and diff from Cottage. Go to the Mehrauli shopping area after your visit to the Qutub Minar - specifically go to the Ambawatta Complex and check out wares from Indian designers and one of my fav lifestyle stores, Good Earth. For a good fusion meal go to Olive in the same area - one of Conde Nasts best new tables in 2003 but DEF book in advance. I think you will enjoy 3.5 days in Delhi. Our guide took us to see a Hindu temple (the Birla one), a mosque and a very old Sikh gurudwara (Bangla Sahib) on the same day and we really enjoyed the contrast and similarity of the 3 - was a high spot of our sightseeing day.
hobbes is offline  
Nov 9th, 2004, 01:47 AM
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I second Hobbes' comments, which I found extremely helpful before my own recent trip. We stayed at the Maurya Sheraton and found it to be very comfortable and efficiently run. I recommend it. Ate in Bukhara but am not such an expert on Indian food as to comment whether the hype is deserved. I take other people's word for it that it is, although I must say I cannot see what the fuss is about with regard to their daal!

We also visited the Imperial, just for afternoon tea, and that is also a must-see as far as I am concerned although I cannot comment on it as a hotel. The Santushti complex is a delight - set in manicured lawns and completely empty when we went as guards are posted at the gate so you are not pestered in any way. Very reasonable pashminas in Noor Jehan which make great presents.

We also stayed at the Rambagh Palace and I found my stay immeasurably more interesting have read "A Princess Remembers" by Gayatra(?) Devi, the last Maharani, just previously. Even if you don't stay there it's a fascinating insight into how they used to live and gives background knowledge when visiting the various palaces.
Sandiemac is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 01:05 AM
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we are staying at the imperial - i don't know why i stated the oberoi in my previous email. thank you hobbes and sandiemac for your thoughts....very helpful as always.

i am thinking, since we will be there for three and a half days, we also might be able to have some clothing made - saris, etc. if anyone has a good seamstress they can recommend, that would be great...
asykes1 is offline  
Nov 10th, 2004, 05:14 AM
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There is no making of a sari really. Pick what you like and approx. 6 yds. of material is removed from the bolt. Do you mean the blouse pieces and/or the falls or perhaps another garment?
jacketwatch is online now  
Nov 12th, 2004, 10:14 AM
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Yes, sari is not stitched. Only the blouse needs to be stitched and you can always wear a fancy tank top. Typically sari's are individual pieces and anything you cut off a bolt is not a quality sari and nor was it meant to be a sari. Hope this helps...
mvs1 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2004, 03:34 PM
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Also you do need to know how to drape a saree...tricky at best
indie is offline  
Nov 13th, 2004, 04:09 AM
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Disagree with MVS. True, the finer saris are individually packaged, embroidered in some cases and fancier. However TONS of saris are on large bolts and are meant to be nothing else. I wish I had a dollar for everytime I saw approx. 6 yds. of material pulled from a bolt, then cut and handed to the customer. (often my wife) .
jacketwatch is online now  
Nov 13th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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Actaully jacketwatch - I am surprised too that sarees are on bolts - have never seen that. Typically saree material is slightly longer in length - but hey who knows every time I go back now things have changed so much
indie is offline  
Nov 13th, 2004, 07:05 PM
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Asykes I reco u go to a good sari shop on the first day of your trip. While the saree iutself is 6 yards or 5.5 metres of cloth it has 3 parts which need to be stitched or purchased - the first is a fall which is a 4-5 inch piece of material attached to the bottom of the saree to reinforce the fabric so it does not fray when you kick it whilst walking. The second is the blouse which is fit specific. Finally the petticoat on which it is draped. I reco a saree shop like Nallis in South Extension market over say the Cottage Industries - while selection in Cottage Inds may be great they do not keep petticoats or offer a fall attachment service (which most saree shops do). I am also surprised people have bought material by the yard from bales - this is generally true only of plain fabrics eg chiffon. Silk sarees generally have a distinct border and design on the bit that falls over your shoulder i.e. the pallav so are pre woven and not cut off bales. Re draping at Nallis or the saree shop u choose (in case South Ext seems far Kalpana in Connaught Place is near the Imperial) ask the sales staff to give u a crash cpurse.
hobbes is offline  
Nov 13th, 2004, 07:33 PM
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Indie: I am surprised that you have not seen this "bolting" before. Here in Chicago you see it on a regular basis. I grant you better saris are in separate packages and the ones from bolts are mostly synthetic. I have seen it in India as well though our last visit there was 7 yrs. ago. We will be going again in Jan. so perhaps we will discover this is no longer practiced. I also suspect alot has changed in Delhi too. Namaste.
jacketwatch is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2004, 09:18 PM
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There is "Nallis" in connaught place also (nr the Imperial) - if that helps. Has a good variety of stock and helpful salespeople. I have also not seen sari's been cut from bolts (offcourse my sari shopping has ben quite limited)
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