India’s intense sight- and monument-filled capital is a compelling blend of the modern Raj-influenced New Delhi, and the sights, sounds and smells of Old Delhi’s heaving and exotic lanes and bazaars.
Travel bucket list idea:
National Museum of India
Casting the curatorial net to embrace not just modern India but the wider subcontinent and parts of its immediate hinterland, this excellent museum provides a fine overview of several millennia of the region’s arts and history.
While its main strength is an array of sculpture depicting the vast pantheon of Hindu gods and goddesses, exhibits encompass Silk Road artefacts, various schools of miniature painting, tribal arts and crafts, weaponry, textiles and jewellery.
The museum also houses the Sacred Relics of Buddha (5th-4th century BC), unearthed in Uttar Pradesh, and an exceptional collection of rare musical instruments from the 15th to 19th centuries.
Getting there & doing it
The museum is located south of Connaught Place on the main Janpath road. The nearest metro station is Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan.
Entry tickets for foreign visitors include a useful 75-minute audio tour, but you’ll need to leave some ID (or a deposit) for the headset. There’s a museum shop but no café.
When to do it
Open all year round Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays and national holidays.
Delhi’s climate means that for much of the year many visitors opt to visit during the hottest part of the day, when the air-conditioning offers some relief. Earlier or later is quietest.
Destination guides including or relevant to this experience
India’s cultural essence combined with its most iconic sights and greatest bucket list experiences, all distilled into one compact, diverse and vibrant region.