1.Support Delhi’s Street Children with the Salaam Baalak Trust City Walk
The non-profit organization Saalam Baalak Trust provides health care, education and shelter to Delhi and Mumbai’s street children. They also run a guided city walk led by former street kids, who now work for the Trust. The adolescent guides have been trained and help to make the plight of street kids more real by sharing their life experiences and telling visitors what it is like for the almost 18 million street children of India. The tour takes you to Paharganj, an area not far from the New Delhi Railway Station where many of the street kids hang-out. You will also get taken to one of the Trust’s children’s shelters where you will have an opportunity to spend time with the children. Tours leave from the Rail Reservation Center on Chelmsford Road (opposite Sri Lankan Buddhist Pilgrims Rest House). Monday to Saturday at 10am. Minimum donation of Rs.300. Salaam Baalak Trust.
2.Govinda Temple Restaurant
The ISKCON Temple is a Hare Krishna place of worship where there is also a museum, exhibitions, library and restaurant. The food is prepared by devotees and volunteers and served from noon to 3:30pm and from 7pm to 10pm. According to Hare Krishna beliefs the food is all vegetarian. The restaurant is buffet style and diners sit in a comfortable, air-conditioned hall. You can find the restaurant on the ground floor of the ISKCON Temple Complex, Sant Nagar, East of Kailash near Nehru Place Metro station. Cost approximately Rs.400. Govinda.
3.Changing of the Guard
Delhi puts on one of the most spectacular changing of the guard ceremonies in the world. The event takes place outside the Presidential Palace (Rashtrapati Bhavan). The palace is guarded by the President’s Body Guard, the most prestigious regiment in the Indian Army. The old guard is relieved of its duty and new guards take up their positions – but this isn’t one lone soldier. A troop of the President’s Body Guards and a platoon from another Indian Army regiment parade across the palace forecourt wearing their beautiful ceremonial regalia. There are soldiers on horseback, foot drills , flags and even a military band. There is an inspection of the guards and a key is symbolically handed over. This impressive half hour ceremony takes place in front of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturdays at 8am in the summer and at 10am in winter.
No denying the PokemaonGo craze is here to stay (or at least for a while) so if on vacation in Delhi why not catch a few Indian Pokemons. Take a guided Poke-walk through the streets of Delhi with a local PokemonGo enthusiast who knows all the right places to go. Performer’s Consortium and PokeHunt have got together to devise this tour; and you’re welcome to come in Cosplay gear as well. These events are not regular so you need to check out the PokeHunt Facebook page for upcoming tours. the next scheduled hunt is on August 21st 2016. Page3 Delhi is also holding a Poke-search focused on Connaught Place where there are rumored to be many Pokemon hiding out. Check out the Pokewalk Delhi Facebook page for details.
5.Charity Bird Hospital
Across the road from the famous Red Fort is the Digambar Jain Temple where you’ll find the Charity Birds Hospital. This organization was inspired by the tenets of the Jain religion. Jainism preaches non-violence towards all living things, which is why injured and wounded birds cannot be killed but need to be cared for and protected. The hospital admits sick and wounded birds (and rabbits) and houses them in “wards.” There is an intensive care unit and a research laboratory. The hospital admits about 60 birds each day and the creatures are treated, bathed, fed and released on recovery. If you visit on a Saturday you might see the healthy birds being released. Visitors are required to remove their shoes and any leather items before entering. Although it is free to visit the hospital donations are welcomed. The hospital is open from 8am to 8pm.
Each of the nine rooms and suites in this guesthouse are decorated according to the colors of the Navratna (nine gems) mentioned in the Sanskrit. These holy gems have significance in the Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh religions. The stones each have an astrological significance. When combined in jewelry these gems are believed to have mystical energy. Each of the hotel rooms reflects the color and qualities of one of the auspicious stones. You could sleep in the Emerald Suite, Diamond Suite, Ruby Executive Room, Blue Sapphire Executive Room, Pearl Executive Room, Topaz Deluxe Room, Coral Deluxe Room, Yellow Sapphire Room or the Zircon Room. The Amarya Villa is located in South Delhi in the Safdarjung Enclave and was created out of two residential properties. The rooms are spacious, stylish and feature large bay windows and private verandas. There is a terrace garden, sunny atrium and a chef who will prepare meals to order. The chic hotel is designed with Indian motifs and contemporary elegance. Book a room in the Amarya Villa online.
7.Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
Sanitation and plumbing are no joke in India, in fact the country is plagued with health problems due to bad plumbing and inadequate sewage systems. The Museum of Toilets is part of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement which is fighting to solve the sanitation issues in India and bring social reform. Through the museum they want to educate the public and teach about the history of toilets and their importance. The museum holds unusual toilets like one which burns excrement; a toilet which looks like a pile of books and a toilet which looks like a throne. The exhibition is in chronological order showing the development of the toilet over the last 5,000 years and is divided into three sections: ancient, medieval and modern. Entrance is free and the museum is open daily except for public holidays. Find the Toilet Museum at Sulabh Bhawan, Palam Dabri Marg, Mahvir Enclave, Palam, New Delhi. The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets.
8.Delhi Dance Academy
Want to dance like a Bollywood star or shake your stuff like a belly dancer? Well the Delhi Dance Academy has several dance classes geared towards uncoordinated and dance-challenged tourists. You can learn dandiya, bhangra, traditional Indian dance, Bollywood dance, garba or belly dancing. This is a highly professional dance academy which trains professional dancers. For those passing through Delhi there are “drop-in classes” which should be booked online. Take a 1 hour class for Rs.500 or a 3 hour class for Rs.1000. Contact the Delhi Dance Academy via their website or at E-238//239, Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar 4.
9.Delhi Beer on Tap
At Smoke on Water gastropub each table has a beer tap sticking out of the wall so that the patrons can pour their own beer and get exactly as much brew as they want. Beer on tap takes on a whole new meaning at this place. Not only do you tap your own beer but you pay for exactly the amount of beer that you drink. A sensor on the table measures how much beer has been poured from the tap and you pay for each ml. With beer-on-tap (draft beer) and 16 varieties of chicken wings what more could you ask for? The gastropub features Rock Mondays, Grunge Tuesdays, India-Rock Wednesdays, Metal Thursdays, Retro-Progressive Fridays and Saturdays with Classic Rock Sundays. And if you want to know why the restaurant is called Smoke on Water check out their cocktails. Smoke on Water is at D-26, Connaught Place, New Delhi.
10.Go Boating on Rajpath
© A.Savin, Wikimedia Commons
When visiting the wide boulevard called Rajpath take a break from sightseeing and go rowing on one of the Rajpath canals which run parallel to the road. Start at the India Gate where you’ll find the Boat Club which has about 20 peddle boats and 20 row boats to rent. Locals enjoy hanging-out here and enjoying the green lawns, water and iconic location. Rowboat rental is Rs.50 for each 15 minutes per person. The Boat Club operates from 2pm to 9pm and can be found next to the India Gate, Rajpath Area, Central Secretariat, New Delhi.