Jaw-dropping ancient monuments rub shoulders with sparkling shopping malls; bicycle rickshaws give way to ultra-luxe cars; and million-dollar homes sit cheek-by-jowl with ever-expanding 'unauthorised' colonies. These two vastly different worlds are best exemplified by Old and New Delhi. Built by the British as the imperial capital of India, the elegant new city is home to tree-lined avenues, grand architecture and wide, open spaces. By contrast, Old Delhi is an unruly warren of narrow alleyways, crumbling buildings and vibrant crowds of people.
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When to go
Delhi shines between October and March, with sunny days, cool evenings and some of the capital’s most colourful festivals. The only blip in the climatic calendar during this stretch is January, when soup-thick fog is not uncommon. From April onwards, the mercury soars, and May and June see temperatures rocket above a scorching 40°C. During July and August, the monsoons arrive and things get sticky.
PlanesDelhi's Indira Ghandhi International Airport (www.newdelhiairport.in) is 35 kilometres from the city centre and is also the departure point for domestic destinations. There are direct international flights from a number of cities including Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Zurich. Major airlines servicing these routes include Cathay Pacific (www.cathaypacific.com), Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com), Jet Airways (www.jetairways.com) and British Airways (www.britishairways.com).
TrainsRiding the rails is a way of life in India and a fabulous way to travel the country. Jaunts to all corners of India, including Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin and Darjeerling all depart regularly from the capital's two main train stations, New Delhi station in Paharganj near Connaught Place, and (Old) Delhi train station. Visit: www.indianrail.gov.in for timetables and fares.
AutomobilesYou'll need wheels of some kind to navigate Delhi's hectic traffic, but self-driving is more for the fool-hardy than the faint-hearted. If you want to travel by road, seek out the services of TWX (+91 11 4379 9700; www.travelworldexperiences.com), who can sort out flights and drivers for jaunts throughout India.
TaxisBlack Ambassador cabs are inexpensive and plentiful, auto rickshaws even more so. If you want to travel in relative comfort, hail a cab from a hotel, otherwise flag down one of the three-wheelers that roam Delhi's roads.