March 2, 2012

India : Delhi (part 3)

Continuation from here ...

Back to the metro station, my next stop was at Malviya Nagar metro station to go to Hard Rock Cafe New Delhi! I collect the shotglass so wherever I go, if there's a HRC there, it is one of my must go places.

* hint hint now you know what to get me for souvenirs :p *

After that one mission completed, next stop was the India Gate. This prominent landmark in New Delhi was constructed as a memorial for 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives in World War 1.

Standing at 42m high, this monument is a popular place to hang out for the modern Indians so it's crowded with families picnicking on the lawns around it. The place is full of annoying sellers too. One thing for sure, you will be approached by someone holding a camera, offering instant picture service. I was approached by more than 10 guys to take my picture, prolly because I was alone. Clearly underestimating my skill in self photo taking. hahahaha...

well this picture is clearly not taken by myself :p 

If you look closely on the gate wall, you can see the names of the soldiers who lost their lives are engraved on it.

Can't see it? Nah.. close up.

There's an eternal flame burning in a shrine under the arch of the gate. Known as Amar Jawan Jyoti, it marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The 3 flags in front of the shrine represent the 3 branches of the Indian armed forces, Army, Navy and Air Force. Everyday, a member of each force guards the gate and tomb in rotation.

Just a short distance behind the gate, there's an empty canopy which previously contained the statue of King George V. After the statue was moved to Coronation Park, it is empty until now.

India Gate is open everyday, round the clock
Entrance fee: None
Direction: Take Metro Yellow/Purple Line and stop at Central Secretariat station. You need to walk around 2km from here though or take the auto-rickshaw 

From India Gate, if you look straight on Rajpath till the end of the road, you'll spot a massive building on top of a hill. That's the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India.

It might look near but the distance between these two landmarks is around 4km. I actually walked to India Gate from Central Sectretariat metro station, but I was so lazy to walk back. So I took auto-rickshaw straight to the palace.

The driver wanted to charge me Rs100 at first. But this time, my haggling skill was better. I paid only Rs20 for the ride. 


Anyway, I couldn't get into the compound, hence the picture of the gate.

And the palace from afar.

Jaipur Column

Visitors are only allowed entrance to its garden during spring, when the flowers in the garden are in full blossom. Other than that, you can only take picture of the gate like I did or watch the changing of guards ceremony at the gate on a Saturday.

Flanking the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the Central Secretariat buildings, home to some of the ministries of the Indian cabinet. The buildings, comprising the identical North and South Block; has a classical architecture style, yet it features some of the Indian motifs. 

the Bell tower and colonnaded balcony

Two sandstone columns stood in front of each block, representing the dominions of the British empire.

one of the dominion columns

the ancillary dome-like structure on top of the building is known as a Chuttri, an integral part of Indian architectural design

Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Secretariat Buildings can be visited everyday.
Entrance fee: None (but prior permission required)
Direction: Take Metro Yellow/Purple Line and stop at Central Secretariat station.

This area is actually quite near to Connaught Place or popularly known as CP among the locals. They say, this is the heart of shopping in New Delhi. It's made up of circles of roads; with shops, restaurants and offices surrounding them. One of the busiest place in Delhi I might say. If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of a city, this is the place for you.

Before the trip, I have set my mind that I am not gonna spend money shopping in India but I decided to walk there anyway. Just wanted to see what the fuss is all about. Well, who knows I might find a good bargain there. *cough cough*

At the centre of the circle, there's the Central Park where the Delhiites spend their time relaxing and hanging out with friends and families.


Just below this park is the Rajiv Chowk metro station so the place is well connected by public transportation.
The inner circle and the outer circle has a variety of shopping places, from budget to top end.

But I especially love the flea market along Janpath. The markets are very dusty and quite dirty though. Plus you can see a lot of homeless people sleeping around.

Overall, there is something for everybody here. You can shop, dine, watch movie, or just hang out at the park. So I guess, if you have free time, just come here and walk around. But some people might not like this place as it is so crowded especially nearby the metro entrances around the Pallika Bazaar. The local guys like to loiter here, so if you're alone you need to be extra alert and take care of yourself around this area.

Direction to Connaught Place: Take Metro Yellow/Blue Line and stop at Rajiv Chowk station.

Had a quick dinner and took the metro back to Paharganj. Another day in the city tomorrow.

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