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.
In south Delhi’s leafy Gulmohar Park neighbourhood, Thikana is a small but comfortable B&B with the friendly ambience of a homestay.
Modern, recently-renovated rooms feature balconies, rugs and a light-touch ethnic decor, embracing paintings and sculpture along with breakfast tables and work desks.
It’s about as personable an experience of ‘middle class’ Delhi as you’ll find, with its hosts on hand to share anything from practical tips on getting around to arranging local taxis for sightseeing and even sharing the latest sounds from the world of Hindi pop to Indian classical music.
Around 11km from central Delhi, this is an ideal choice for those who want to escape the freneticism of the city, and don’t mind spending time in the city’s notorious traffic in order to reach the sites.
Gulmohar Park is one of south Delhi’s greener – and discreetly upmarket – residential areas named after the numerous flame trees (named for their striking scarlet flowers) that dot its main park. Low-rise apartment blocks and houses line the surrounding streets.
About 1.5km to the west of Gulmohar, and easily accessible by taxi, the Hauz Khas neighbourhood is known for its trendy boutiques, cafes, restaurants and the remains of a 13th-century fortress along with several other monuments.
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India’s cultural essence combined with its most iconic sights and greatest bucket list experiences, all distilled into one compact, diverse and vibrant region.