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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Parks in Delhi

Delhi, even though one of the most polluted cities in the world, has a number of green areas within the city. Some of these are fairly big and provide the much needed green lungs for the city. The map below gives geographic location for the various parks. Click on the map if not able to view the map in detail.

Most colonies in Delhi that are somewhat well planned have parks located within the colony premises. I have been to quite a few of these parks, and they remain fairly well maintained, with plenty of greenery and paths for walking/jogging. In addition, in many of these parks, morning time sees a number of people assembling at the parks, either for just getting together, or for activities such as Yoga, Laughter club, etc.

Map of Delhi Parks
Map taken from MapsOfIndia

1. Lodhi Park: This park is adjoining the India International Center, and also contains the tombs of Sayid and Lodhi rulers. This is a very well maintained park. This park also needs some watching out since you will encounter couples in this park who are being affectionate. Given that this park is in the midst of officialdom, a large number of the regular visitors to the park are government employees.

2. Buddha Jayanti Park: This is a sprawling big park, located in the area of the Ridge. Reachable from the Ridge Road, Shankar Road or Sardar Patel Marg.

3. India Gate Lawns: This is not a park in the proper sense. Located in the center of the city, these are sprawling lawns stretching from Vijay Chowk to India Gate. Very popular with families because of the wide open lawns, this is a good place to be at night. Lots of ice-cream vendors available, and seems even more special when India Gate is lighted up.

4. Nehru Park: Located in Chanakyapuri, this is another big park, spread over 85 acres. Very popular with people from the vicinity.

5. Shantipath (Embassy Road): Not a park as such. Shantipath is embassy lane, with a central road and embassies set off a fair distance from the central road. The distance between the embassies and the central road is covered with well maintained lawns.

6. Deer Park: Located in South Delhi, it is a paradise for morning walkers. Close to Hauz Khaz village, Safdarjuang Enclave and IIT.

7. National Zoo Park: The Delhi zoo is spread over a big area of 214 acres. This is a very green area, and the area around the zoo is ideal for a picnic.

8. Garden of Five Senses: This is a project developed by a Delhi Tourism body, and envisages a park with a wide variety of activities, including cultural interactions. Located in south delhi, near Mehrauli.

9. Kalindi Kunj: Located on the boundary between Delhi, Noida and Faridabad, this is a very important park since it is the richest source of greenery in the particular area. It is on the banks of the Yamuna.

10. Kalkaji District Park: Located near the Nehru Place office complex, this is a quiet park with a lake and beautiful terraced gardens.

11. Sultanpur Bird sanctuary: This is a paradise for bird watchers, located 46 kilometers from Delhi in Gurgaon.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Delhi's shopping areas

Delhi, can be considered a shopping paradise. It has shops and establishments catering to all sorts of tastes. The only issue is, Delhi is a very big place, and getting from one of these shopping areas to another of these shopping areas involves going through some high traffic areas. In addition, some of these shopping zones are highly congested areas, and a person not used to a congested area might get surpised mightily. In addition, a visitor from out of Delhi is well adviced to get some local advice before venturing into these markets so as to make the best use of the trip. Some of the more prominent shopping complexes/areas are:

1. Chandni Chowk: Literally meaning 'moonlight bazaar'. Chandni Chowk is the most prominent part of Old Delhi. This market was setup in the time of the Mughals. It is a good place to go to for garments, jewellery, saaris. One of the areas is called Nayi Sadak (New Street) where you can get a range of books. In Chandni Chowk, you will find some excellent eating joints. A bit further ahead is the Lajpat Rai Market for all kinds of electronics.

2. Connaught Place: Not very far from Chandni Chowk is the circular market of Connaught Place. If there is a geographic center of Delhi, this is it. A series of white buildings built in old style with big pillars, this place had gone out of circulation a few years back, but there has been a revival. With the coming of the metro, CP is emerging as a hip shopping center, in addition to the office centre that it already is.

Map located at MapsofIndia location.

3. Karol Bagh: Some distance from Connaught Place is Karol Bagh. This is a fairly big shopping area, but can be very crowded at peak times. Jewellery, clothes, electronics, you name it, you will find it here.

4. Khan Market: This is one of the upmarket shopping places in Delhi. This is not a very big market, but it is known as a very posh shopping area, and shop rentals here are the highest in Delhi. This is located south of CP, in an area known as Lodhi Road.

5. Hauz Khaz: This is essentially a market that has grown up around ancient structures. It is a place for high fashion, designer labels and the like. There are some nice eateries over here as well.

6. South Extension and Lajpat Nagar: Located along Ring Road, these markets are the must go destinations if you are moving around South Delhi. A wide variety of shops, and you get some excellent clothes and personal items in the shops located over here.

7. Greater Kailash: GK 1, 2, and East of Kailash are the main shopping places over here. These are posh colonies, and the shopping centers over here are pretty famous. The M-block market in Greater Kailash is the destination to go to for a large number of people.

8. Dilli Haat: This is a small, yet very culturally rich center located near the INA / AIIMS area. The aim of this market is to get artisans selling products representing various cultures. Periodically, there will be special events showcasing special cultures or interests. Nice place to go, but parking can be a problem on weekends.

9. Malls: Delhi has a wide assortment of malls, spread through the city and in the neighboring areas of Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad. Some of these are speciality malls specializing in jewellery, and as such, each malls offers a wide variety of items and eating choices.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Delhi's major cinemas halls

With the push to setup more malls in Delhi/NCR, there has been a profusion of multiplexes where users get plenty of options to view a variety of movies. These multiplexes offer a comfortable seating with other amenities, and you can be reassured that the place is safe and clean.

The downside is that prices are way above what used to be earlier, with food beverages also being more expensive. However, if you are willing to shell out, then there will be a movie hall within easy reach, no matter where you are in Delhi. Some of the major chains are (click on the name to reach their websites that will list movies and timings):

1. PVR cinemas

2. Wave cinemas

3. Fun cinemas

4. Jam

5. DT (part of the DLF chain)

In addition, there are a number of individual halls, but their numbers are going down and they are slowly merging with the big chains. Refer to this link.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Amusement Parks in and around Delhi

At first glance, Delhi seems somewhat bereft of amusement parks. I remember some time back, when we wanted to have a small company outing, we would go all the way from Noida to Destination Point in Faridabad. Sad to say, that place was mostly torn down. Pity, it had bowling, go-karting and other things to keep people busy.
Let me try and outline a few places that I do know about:
1. Appu Ghar. This is the oldest amusement park in Delhi. It has some pretty decent rides and also has water based rides. It can get fairly crowded at times, but is lots of fun. Is located in Pragati Maidan and is easily rechabale, including by the Metro.
2. Fun n Food Village. This is located inside Gurgaon, and I have heard of decent things about it.
For these 2 above places, can view the location at the following map. It has a water park and other rides.
3. Essex Farms. This is located on Aurobindo Marg, as you cross the Outer Ring Road flyover. No bowling and rides (small place), but you have bowling and lots of games that kids really enjoy. Also a good restaurant that also serves liqour.
4. 32nd Milestone Gurgaon. No rides. Has bowling, go-karting and other games. Nice place, but a bit far for people not in Gurgaon.
5. Shoprix Mall, Noida. This is located in Sector 61. It has some real good bowling alleys, pool and games that kids and infacts can really enjoy.
6. Another Appu Ghar type park is being constructed near Sector 18 in Noida, but that could take some time.
In addition, a lot of malls such as Shipra Mall (Indirapuram), Shoprix, Spice Mall, Pacific Mall, etc have places where small kids will really enjoy. For a small outing, you can just go to one of the neighborhood malls, and something to keep the kid occupied will be there.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mughal Gardens, Delhi

One of Delhi's best laid out and maintained gardens are located in what is undoubtedly one of Delhi's most aristocratic building. I am talking about the Mughal gardens located in Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's house).
Many more people have heard of this garden than have seen it. And in this fast paced world, I am not sure that so many people have actually heard of it. It is a very beautiful place (I saw it more than a decade back, and it still seems so beautiful in memory). Maybe because it is open to us general public only in February and March (except Monday) every year, so it seems even more inaccessible.

This image is actually taken from the President's official website. In this photo, you can see much more about the actual beauty of this place.

Some more links to help to know more about the beautiful Mughal Gardens:

1. President of India : Lots of detail in this site about the garden

2. Explore Delhi

3. The Hindu article from earlier this year

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Maps of Delhi

I was looking at how people are reaching this blog, and I saw that one gentleman was trying to search for a route from Noida to Karol Bagh, and my blog appeared on his Google search. Since I do not have this information,  I thought that this would be a good post to make. I am posting quite a few locations for Maps of Delhi, hopefully the next time that people land up here looking for more information about Delhi, some of the links will be of use to them. For this one time, I will get the links to open in a new window. This allows people to select another link/map in case the one that they selected does not provide them the information that they are looking for.

1. Maps-guide (with some further detail possible)

2. Maps of India (with lots of different maps on Delhi)

3. Explocity (highlighting some of the important areas)

4. Frommers (Seems more of a tourist oriented one)

5. Delhi Tourism

6. Freeindia (Resolution was not so clear, but enough to make out things)


In addition, there are sites trying to make driving easier through providing directions and street level maps.

1. MapMyIndia

2. SatGuide (I don't know how effective this is)

If you know more locations that can be added here, please do so via the comments.

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