Tomorrow, August 15th, is India's Independence Day. As the capital of India, Delhi will understandably have the largest celebration in the country. Delhi is a bustling metropolis that incorporates the ancient with the modern and the monuments stand as a silent reminder of India's legacy. Many attractions in the city incur an entrance fee, with different rates for Indian and foreign nationals. However, there are also many free activities to enjoy in India's capital and 22nd largest city in the world. Here are five of my favorite free traveler experiences in Delhi:
Gardens Galore: Spread over 900 acres, the Lodi Gardens contains various tombs and architectural works. Protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, the park is also a popular spot for locals enjoying morning walks. The Garden of the Five Senses offers modern art sculptures, herb gardens, bamboo courts, and a solar energy park. Cultural festivals and events are also held in the 20-acre park, so it is quite possible you may experience a festive dance or music performance!
To Market, To Market: Delhi is considered an epicenter for markets and bazaars. My favorites include Janpath, Connaught Place, Khan Market, Hauz Khas, and Lajpat Nagar. There is also Chandni Chowk, established in 1650 AD and considered one of the oldest and busiest street markets in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad). Warning: Though visiting the markets is free, it may be difficult to resist purchasing the beautiful items along the way!
Exhibitions: Check out the exhibitions at the Delhi Art Gallery in Hauz Khas and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). Both offer rotating arts and cultural galleries and performances, and most are free to the public. The current exhibition at the Delhi Art Gallery is titled Indian Landscapes - The Changing Horizon, featuring a selection of 400 works by over 100 renowned artists.
Temple Trail: Most temples and places of worship in India have no entrance fee. In Delhi, visit the Birla Mandir, Guruwara Bangla Sahib, and Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque that can accommodate 25,000 worshipers. Nearly 70% of all Delhi tourists also visit the Akshardham Temple, an elaborate temple complex that features an IMAX theater, musical fountains, sunken gardens, and a boat ride that explores India's extensive history. Note: Though the temple and garden area have no entry fee, there is a nominal charge for the media attractions.
Handicrafts and Handlooms: The Crafts Museum, also known as the National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum, displays India's tribal and rural art and artifacts. The Village Complex is an exhibition that displays village life from varying regions in India: "The huts, courtyards, and shrines are...built with regional construction material and by the respective village masons, artisans, thatchers, and carpenters. In every hut and courtyard, day-to-day items are displayed." Each month, the museum invites approximately 50 craftspeople to reside on the property and demonstrate their talents.
Of course, there is also the option to hang out with the Delhiites in areas like Priya Complex, Khan Market, and Defence Colony. Still searching for free options? Check out the What's Hot section every Friday in the Times of India. Explore, experience, and enjoy all Delhi has to offer! To learn more about Delhi's vast attractions, contact a Sodha Travel Destination Specialist.