Located only 20 miles outside of Delhi, Gurgaon is one of the fastest growing cities in India. It currently has the third highest per capita income in the country. Gurgaon's landscape is scattered with large malls, modern business complexes, and high-rise apartment buildings. Although the city caters to business professionals - 250 of the Fortune 500 companies have a base in Gurgaon - there are also acclaimed restaurants, hotels, and sites to explore. Here are a few of my favorite experiences in and around Gurgaon:
Kingdom of Dreams
Imagine an experience that epitomizes Disney World, Bollywood Theater, Las Vegas, Broadway, and Indian culture. Welcome to Kingdom of Dreams, so aptly named because the grand venue was created to evoke the dreams of children of all ages. Walk the themed boulevards and sample the cuisine while watching street performers, artisans, magicians and folk dancers. You can also play the role of an Indian bride or groom in a live mock Indian wedding.
Calling all non-vegetarians! Karim's recently opened a location in Gurgaon, much to the delight of locals who don't have to drive across town for the heavenly kababs. (The original location, near Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, is an institution.) Karim's has perfected the art of Mughlai food. Try the Chicken Jahangiri, Rumali Roti, and Mutton Burra.
Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary
Located near Gurgaon, the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary features over 250 species of resident and migratory birds. Ask your hotel to pack a picnic breakfast, because the best time to observe the wildlife is around 6am when the birds leave their nests. Plan your trip from October - March, when the migratory birds visit from Europe, Siberia, Afghanistan, and beyond.
When a bakery provides the staff of the French Embassy fresh rolls and pastries, I am inclined to believe it is spectacular. L'Opera is an award-winning French Patisserie serving breads, macarons, cakes, baguettes, savory items (think Salmon Quiche) and the pièce de résistance - the tangy lemon tart.