Delhi, the capital city of India, is filled with many surprises wherein its streets have many stories to tell. One such area is Connaught Place - the business and cultural hub of Delhi where tourists and locals flock to spend a jolly evening. Built in the 1920s to serve the elite’s shopping needs, Connaught Place is now evolved to be loved by everyone.
Want to know more about this glorious side of Delhi? Read on to know some of the exciting things to do in Connaught Place.
If you have a penchant for Indian contemporary art, then the Dhoomimal Art Gallery is a must-visit. This phenomenal art gallery is filled with history. Established in 1936 by Sh. Ram Babu Jain, the Dhoomimal Art Gallery is the oldest in India and is home to various works of famous Indian artists.
The Dhoomimal Art Gallery first started out as a structure to open the eyes of the people to Indian contemporary art, and as a platform to showcase the works of talented artists. Later, it became the hub for musical evenings and patronized art exhibitions. Even though Sh. Ram Babu Jain left us a long time ago, his legacy still lives on through this art gallery.
Once you enter the auditorium, you’ll come across the works of well-renowned artists such as Himmat Shah, Arpana Caur, and Francis Newton Souza. On certain days, art exhibitions are organized showcasing the talents of these artists. So check their website and keep your eyes peeled, so that you can plan your vacation along the exhibition dates.
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We’re pretty sure that you’ll recognize this landmark. This was the home of the protagonist in Aamir Khan’s film “PK”. But the site is more than just a familiar structure. Located near Connaught Place, Agrasen Ki Baoli is one of Delhi’s oldest monuments that attract tourists from far and near.
The literal translation of Baoli means “step-well” and it’s speculated that this wondrous structure was built by King Agrasen. There’s no proper line where we can hold to trace its beginnings, but we’ll have to make do with this theory for now. It’s believed that later on, the monument was revamped by the Agarwal community in the 14th century. But based on its architecture, many believe that it was rebuilt during the Tughlaq reign.
Talking about its structure, the step-well is 15-meter wide and 60-meter long. If you count the steps leading to the step well, you’ll find that there are 108 steps. Just walk up and down the Agrasen Ki Baoli and your cardio will be sorted for the month. In addition, the baoli consists of three levels with intricately designed arches on them. Just sit in any of those arches and you’ll feel cool and sheltered.
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If you want to experience India’s cultural richness under one roof, then the ICCR (The Indian Council for Cultural Relations) is the place you need to be. It was founded by India’s first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in 1950. The works of many artists and literary figures are showcased through events and exhibitions, making their legacies live through their works.
To maintain cultural relations, the ICCR sends works of artists abroad as well. Art exchange programs are common here and you’ll come to know since the auditorium is well decorated and lit. Apart from that, a plethora of music events are organized here too and it keeps the arts alive. When you come across any cultural event happening in the ICCR, blindly go and sit on any of the seats in the auditorium. Oh! Also, entry is free.
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If you visit Delhi and don’t pay a visit to Jantar Mantar, we’re sorry to say - your trip just became incomplete. Everyone knows that visiting Jantar Mantar is a must when on vacation. This monument is one of the 5 observatories that were built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1724 and is regarded as one of India’s oldest monuments. You can find the other Jantar Mantar monuments in Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura, and Varanasi where some of them are still working to this day.
The Maharaja had a deep liking for astronomy and felt that the instruments which he then had were too small to measure time. That’s why he created these giant time machines where now people go to savor a bit of history. The instruments in the Jantar Mantar provided accurate time readings and other astronomical information, which the king then used.
When you walk around the place, you’ll notice that there are 13 astronomical instruments in total surrounding the Jantar Mantar. You’ll come across instruments like Jai Prakash Yatra, Ram Yatra, but the most impressive of them all is the Samrat Yatra. This instrument is a giant sundial that’s built at an angle of 27 degrees, having a long arm of 27 m. Pretty impressive, right? The lengths people had to go back in the day just to read the time.
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Odeon is the prime hangout spot in Connaught Place where you’ll find a plethora of vintage cinemas standing tall. Although those cinemas are now revamped and fully functioning multiplexes, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in Odeon. And that’s the taste and essence of the Bhel Puri Bhandar.
This quaint chaat stall has become an iconic landmark and a pitstop for hungry pedestrians. Iconic in the sense that it has been around for many generations, standing the test of time, making it achieve such greatness that it has become a time capsule in historical Connaught Place.
What you’ll get here are traditional chaat-style snacks: Bhel puri, sev puri, and Kolkata jhalmuri. Just 3 types of snacks you might say, but they are prepared with diligence, care, and experience. This mini stall is a perfect example of how one can incorporate “less is more” in their business. So whenever you feel a rumble in your tummy, drop by Bhel Puri Bhandar and relish a delhi-cious snack.
While you’re exploring these iconic landmarks in Connaught Place, why not take a break and spend some time with the divine? The Hanuman Temple is a good place to do that. What makes this place different from other temples is that it’s believed to have been set up since the days of Mahabharata. And that the idol was self-manifested into existence with a crescent moon instead of the traditional “Om” symbol, making it an architectural miracle.
Also, this place holds the Guinness Book for most chants of “Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram” since 1964. Such is the level of devotion in this temple and something you can surely take home.
At this temple Hanuman Jayanti is the one festival celebrated with great pomp and fervor. You’ll notice people wearing colorful garlands, and carrying huge idols of Hanuman in systematic processions in the streets. Within the temple area, small shops sell sweets and other religious offerings. So if you want to feel the true spirit of a Hindu, drop by the Hanuman Temple.
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Peace, calmness, and tranquility are just some of the adjectives used to describe the Gurudwara Shri Bangla Sahib. Life in Connaught Place can get hectic, and this place of worship is a good pitstop to reconnect with yourself.
The beginnings of this Gurudwara can be traced back to 1783 when it was built by Sikh General Sardar Baghel Singh. However, the monument wasn’t built from scratch as it was constructed on the bungalow donated by Raja Jai Singh of Amer, who looked after the construction of nine other Sikh shrines in Delhi. There’s a little nugget of history for you!
Finding this landmark won’t be a hassle at all since its golden dome and tall flagpole can be viewed from a distance away. Once you enter the Gurudwara, you’ll realize that this monument offers a lot to people regardless of religion. You can enjoy a meal in the langar and fellowship with other devotees or tourists. Or you can just stroll along the rims of the holy pond and inhale the serenity at best.
Visiting Connaught Place would be incomplete without shopping at Palika Bazar. What makes this market special is that it’s underground, offering protection from Delhi’s sweltering heat. From electronic goods, and shoes, to traditional apparel and equipment, you’ll find everything at a wholesale price.
It’s said that the area has approximately 390 shops; basically, you’ll be able to find the rarest of gems in this bazaar! However, there are occasional raids to search for stolen or counterfeit goods, so don’t be surprised if you see a few cops wielding their batons.
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These are some of the most exciting things to do in Connaught Place and you should visit it on your vacation to Delhi. With its streets steeped in history, monuments bringing out culture, and people being welcoming, your time in Connaught Place will be an enriching experience altogether. So what’s stopping you from visiting this wonderful destination?
Where Is Connaught Place Located?
Connaught Place is located in the heart of New Delhi.
Who Built Connaught Place?
Robert Tor Russell, a British architect, was in charge of setting up Connaught Place. He also constructed and developed other parts of Delhi in the early 1930s.
How Far Is Connaught Place From The Airport?
Delhi Airport is approximately 20 km from Connaught Place. You can book a cab to reach Connaught Place conveniently.
What Is Palika Bazaar Famous For?
Palika Bazaar is known for its underground market that sells items at wholesale prices. In addition, it’s known for selling counterfeit and stolen goods too, so be a bit alert when shopping in this area.
What Food Is Delhi Famous For?
Delhi’s food is not restricted to a single type of cuisine. It’s an amalgamation of different cuisines merged into one city. Here you’ll find lip-smacking dishes such as butter chicken, kebabs, chole bhature, chaat, and the list goes on.
What Languages Are Spoken In Delhi?
Hindi and English are the primary languages spoken in Delhi. Although some residents do speak Punjabi and Urdu as well.
Is There Snowfall In Delhi?
Delhi’s temperature never goes below 0°C, so it’s quite impossible for it to snow.
How Far Is Delhi To Mumbai By Plane?
The aerial distance between Delhi and Mumbai is about 1,150 km, and it’ll take you around 2 hours to reach Mumbai on a non-stop flight.