© Joe Bindloss / Lonely Planet

Delhi

Steeped in history yet overflowing with modern life, colorful, cacophonous Delhi pulsates with the relentless rhythms of humanity like few other cities on Earth.

Old Delhi Mayhem

Honk-honk-beeeep! Welcome to Old Delhi. Love or hate it, it's impossible to ignore. Whether you make it your base, or just dip into it for shopping sprees or to see the Red Fort, you'll be hard pushed to ever forget your time in this wonderfully chaotic, and fabulously photogenic corner of the city. You'll be sharing its hectic streets and alleys with carts and cycle-rickshaws, with cows and monkeys, with shoppers and with beggars, with street-food sellers and market traders, and with cars, vans, scooters and autorickshaws; watch your back – honk-honk-beeeep!

A Fabulous Feast

As the capital city of one of the most delicious countries on Earth, Delhi tantalizes your taste buds with its thali-like fusion of flavors from every corner of the subcontinent: Breakfast on South Indian idly; lunch on Punjabi kulchas; then, come evening, dine on rich Mughlai curries. But don't forget to leave room for some Dilli-ka-Chaat, Delhi's famously delicious street-food snacks; try sizzling kebabs for starters, then munch on aloo tikki (spiced potato patties) before getting your fingers sticky on jalebi (orange-coloured coils of deep-fried batter dunked in sugar syrup) or savoring some sumptuously creamy cardamon kheer (rice pudding).

The Great Indian Bazaar

All the riches of India twinkle in Delhi's emporiums, so if you're regretting not buying that handmade kathputli (puppet) you saw in Rajasthan or that Madhubani painting you loved in Bihar, fear not; chances are you'll be able to find one here too. New Delhi's emporiums are multi-floor, gift-filled markets that are perfect for a last-minute souvenir binge before you fly home. Old Delhi's famously frenetic street bazaars, meanwhile, contain a mind-boggling array of clothes, slippers, shawls, handicrafts, food, electronics and more – even if you're not buying anything, they're a joy to visit (and photograph).

Eight Cities in One

Delhi is a city built upon cities. There are at least eight historical Delhis, each constructed on, or near, the ruins of its predecessor, leaving a modern-day citadel that's dotted with ancient monuments, many said to be haunted by djinns (spirits). Love history and you'll be left salivating as you trace your way through the eras, clambering across the ruined forts of Tughlaqabad, Siri, Purana Qila and Shajahanabad; exploring the magnificent tombs of eminent historical figures; and visiting the still-vibrant temples, mosques and shrines that throng with devotees today, as they have done for hundreds of years.

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