India Untravelled invites you on a most exclusive discovery of India’s capital city, Delhi. 5,000 years of history are waiting to be unearthed, and mouth-watering food is everywhere; this is the part you probably know. But did you know that the city also houses an extremely talented village of potters? And clusters of mountain lakes whose tranquility can easily be mistaken for mighty Himalayan lakes? And that the Yamuna can be witnessed at the cleanest right here in Delhi?
Live with a local family at a homestay in South Delhi, with comfortable air-conditioned rooms, attached bathrooms, and (sometimes necessary) comforts such as free Wifi and satellite TV J From this base, explore the city for 4 days, seeing it as you would never have otherwise. Leave behind your pre-conceived notions of Delhi, and we are sure that the hidden gems in the city will impress you.
Take it slow on your first day, and give yourself time to adapt to the chaos and contrasts of the city. Walk up to your terrace for a view of the Qutab Minar, lounge with fellow travellers in the common dining area, and pamper your taste buds with delicious home-cooked Indian meals. You can use the day to go visit places in Delhi you’ve heard about and always wanted to see, or set out on an unplanned mini excursion on the Delhi Metro, which connects most parts of the city.
After a leisurely mid-morning breakfast, set out on your first guided trip. Visit homes in a pottery village located on the outskirts of Delhi to see local potters spin magic on their wheel – from miniature collectibles to life-size figurines – and let their talent amaze you. Learn about their life and culture, and the basics of pottery. Try your hand at the wheel, and make yourself your own Delhi souvenir to take home! Spend the afternoon and evening on your own, exploring the walled city of Old Delhi or soaking in the colonial charm of Lutyen’s Delhi.
In the evening, your third guided trip will find you travelling by vikram (bigger, shared version of the tuk-tuk) to a village on the outskirts of Delhi. Hike in the Aravalli hills to a cluster of five pristine mountain lakes, undoubtedly one of Delhi’s best kept secrets!
On your last day in Delhi, depending on the time of your departure/further plans, you could shop in one of the city’s many street markets, go café hopping at Delhi’s urban villages, or unearth more of Delhi’s history at its UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Rest assured there will be much left to discover, and many reasons to come back!
Visit Little Tibet, a settlement of 350 Tibetan families, in North Delhi, on your second guided trip. Stroll along its narrow by-lanes to meet craftsmen stitching thangkas, goldsmiths making Tibetan jewellery, and small shops selling traditional Tibetan souvenirs; it's a whole other world other there! Sample some Tibetan momos or thukpa at the end of your tour.
The homestay is located in a residential neighborhood in South Delhi. The trail takes you to Old Delhi and the outskirts of the capital city.
Leave your pre-conceived notions behind, travel with an open mind, and you'll be pleasantly surprised with what you find.
"It would be very cliche If I say the Delhi trip was awesome!
Thanks a lot for introducing the home stay! Fantastic people with great hospitality. Sanjeev - O what a spirit he has! We did not have a dull moment thru out our stay there! And, the Dadi ma is really an inspiration to us. Breakfasts times with Dadima and aroma of aloo paratha are still rewinding in our memories.
They really surprised us On my daughter's Birthday!! On that day, we were leaving to Agra early morning. And, by 5 O clock, Sanjeev knocked our room door and wished my daughter with cake! My daughter is super thrilled and we too!
There was a Birthday card signed by whole family! What a way to celebrate Bday! I should say, my daughter is so lucky! Sanjeev was very helpful always! we have disturbed him at odd hours (like 11 PM) to clarify the route to the taxi driver.
The pottery tour:
We are happy that we took this tour! We are cherishing the memories of roaming in potters village. We feel that the time we spent is worthy and useful! What an insight we got! Since it was pre-Diwali season, We could smell the fresh diyas on making. It was such a delight to sight the hundreds of Diyas spread out!
Piyush is excellent and full of Josh, taking us into potter's homes and look into their works. We roamed on the streets, stopped to look at the potter's houses - walls made up with pots and mud! Saw them making pots, diyas, pot lids etc. Witnessed the raw mud being filtered, soaked and finally going into the potter's hands! Finally, we tried our hands too! Nice experience!
Our wishes to Piyush! Thanks for suggesting this tour to us!
We still talk about Pottery tour to our friends here (who ask abt our Delhi trip) and they are very eager to sign up when they travel to Delhi.
The Sunset hike:
Very adventurous and thrilling indeed! Since we got delayed, we could not do the usual hiking as they do! But, Had a nice time. In some areas I feel it is really risky - esp for senior citizens and kids. We could mingle with the locals and know the culture. As part of the package, they were generous to offer us dinner, which was yummy. One hour ride from the Metro station to the village was tiresome - in open share auto on bumpy road!
We are happy happy happy, exploring Delhi thru IU. Your tips and suggestions were very very useful and saved a lot of time and money! As you suggested, we used Metro mostly which was fast and convenient, esp saved us from pollution!
We felt safe and peaceful at the homestay.
This trip has changed my thinking on North India and I started looking into other destinations of IU. From the stay, exploring the monuments/city - everything went on so good and pleasant! Wishing you all success! "
~ Sandana, travelled with her mother and daughter in October 2013.
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We recommend taking public transport during your stay in Delhi, to ensure that both your carbon footprint and costs remain low; the Delhi Metro connects most nooks and crannies of Delhi that you’d like to see.
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