Delhi Travel Information
Delhi has a monsoon influenced humid subtropical climate, with temperatures (especially in the summer) more extreme than other subtropical cities like Sao Paulo and Canberra. Summers begin in April and are notoriously hot, with temperatures over 40°C common. The monsoons start in late June and Delhi gets rain till about early October, although this is extremely variable. The summer and monsoon months should be avoided, especially if one is not accustomed to extreme heat, high humidity and torrential rainfall.
Winters are short and usually mild. Increasing air pollution in recent years has made the winters extremely foggy, with frequent flight and train cancellations and very low visibility. The short spring (Feb-March) and autumn (November) season are comparatively more pleasant with temperatures in the 12 to 25°C range. They are the best time to visit Delhi.
Delhi is said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Damascus and Varanasi. Legend estimates it to be over 5,000 years old. Over the millennia, Delhi is said to have been built and destroyed 11 times. The oldest alleged incarnation of the city shows up in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata as Indraprastha.
The population of Delhi is a heterogeneous mix of people originally belonging to different parts of North India and beyond. Among the prominent North Indian communities are the Punjabis, who are the descendants of the refugees of the Indian Partition. They are easily the most affluent community. However, their dominance in recent years has been challenged by the increasing affluence of other North Indian communities. Delhi has a prominent South Indian Community, primarily in areas like RK Puram and Munirka. A Bengali Settlement, the Chittaranjan Park in south Delhi is the Mini Calcutta of Delhi.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, located in the west of the city, is the arrival point for many visitors into Delhi. With the opening of new Terminal 3 in July 2010, Delhi International Airport has now one of the best terminals in the world. The $3 billion terminal operates all international flights and full-service domestic flights. The plan is to operate the low cost flights also from this terminal in the future. The new nine-level hub will be able to handle 34 million passengers per year, making it one of the biggest in the world. Complete with imported granite floors, huge white columns fitted with expensive speakers, 63 elevators, 95 immigration counters and a state of the art security and baggage system, Terminal 3 is also has a transit hotel. It has got the facilities like money changing, restaurants, car rental, inter-terminal transfer by free of cost airport coach, duty-free shopping etc.
Buses arrive from Kathmandu and Chitwan in Nepal (36+ hours) and virtually every city in India. Although not as comfortable as the trains, buses are the only choice for some destinations, mainly those in the mountains.
Trains arrive at one of four main stations: Delhi Junction, also called Old Delhi or Purani Dilli; the second at New Delhi which lies in Central Delhi; Hazrat Nizamuddin a few kilometers to the south; and the upcoming Anand Vihar station to the east. (A very few trains use Delhi Sarai Rohilla or Delhi Cantt stations.) Delhi Junction and New Delhi Railway Station are now conveniently connected by Metro Line 2, just minutes apart, while Anand Vihar is served by Line 3. It will take about 40 minutes to an hour to travel from the New Delhi Railway Station to the airport by car, depending on traffic.
Getting around Delhi is always an adventure. Traffic is, by and large, horribly congested and many drivers will think nothing of quoting ten times the going price to a tourist. Use the prices below as broad guidelines, agree on prices before setting off, and don't get too hot under the collar over a rupee or two — they mean a lot more to the cycle rickshaw-wallah earning Rs. 50 on a good day than they do to you.
Three lines of the new Delhi Metro  are now open and provide a cheap, quick, hassle-free and air-conditioned way of zipping around the city. As of 2009, the following lines are open:
- Line 1 (Red Line): Dilshad Garden-Kashmere Gate-Rithala
- Line 2 (Yellow Line): Jahangirpuri-Kashmere Gate-Connaught Place-Central Secretariat
- Line 3 (Blue Line): Noida-Connaught Place-Dwarka Sector 9
There are limited commuter services on Delhi's railways, but the facilities are a far cry from the user-friendly Metro and stations. For the most part, train stations are inconveniently located. There is no passenger service on the Delhi Ring Railroad outside rush hour.
All parts of Delhi are well connected by buses and with tickets ranging from 5-15 Rupees they're very cheap, but they're also the least comfortable means of transport and the hardest to use. Delhi's buses are quite crowded, rarely air-conditioned and drivers often drive rashly. Bus routes are often written only in Hindi and bus stops don't have any route lists, so it can be difficult to find your way. Asking other people at the bus stop is often the best way to find out about bus routes to your destination. Buses are pretty frequent, running every 15-20 min or so on most routes.
A taxi or hired car (usually with driver) is required to see many of the far-flung sites within and around Delhi. To get a taxi or a hired car for Delhi Darshan or Delhi sight Seeing Log on www.tricabs.com or call 01126211290.They charge Rs. 950/- for indica a/c for full day sight seeing or you have to go to a taxi stand. They are not usually flagged from the street. Alternatively, you can call for a cab at 1090.
By auto rickshaws:
Auto rickshaws (also called three-wheeled scooters or simply autos) are good for shorter trips. Always in a distinctive yellow-and-green livery, auto rickshaws are three-wheeled partially enclosed contraptions (no doors!) that run on CNG and can seat three people in the back. In general, they are much cheaper than taxis and can be hailed from the street. Although by law the rickshaw drivers should charge according to the meter in their vehicle (Rs. 10 for the first km, 4.50 rupees per km after), this rate is unrealistically low and they will almost always try to haggle for price; some locals go so far as to say that you should not use the meter, because it means that either the meter is rigged, or the driver will take you the long way around! As rules of thumb, even the shortest journey costs Rs. 20, but you should not need to pay over Rs. 100 for any trip within the city.
By cycle rickshaws:
Cycle rickshaws are three-wheeled, pedal-powered rickshaws with seats in the back to seat passengers and a driver in the front. They are good for short distances, or places which are too far to walk but too short for taking a bus/taxi/auto rickshaw. Cycle rickshaws don't use meters, so establish a price before getting on. Twenty rupees is reasonable for most journeys of a kilometer or two, although many Delhiites will haggle if the driver dares to suggest 10 rupees.
The native language of Delhi residents is Hindi, which also happens to be one of the national languages of India. Almost everybody you meet will be able to speak fluent Hindi. However, most educated people will also be fluent in English, and many shopkeepers and taxi drivers will have a functional command of English. Punjabi is also an official language, but it's spoken much less widely.