Delhi takes on beautiful character in the autumn season - it is sunny but not excruciatingly hot, breezy with sporadic rains and there is a certain joie di viviere in the air. No doubt, the autumn months of September, October and November have been described as the best months to visit this city. Personally, these three months are my most favorite as I indulge in walks, events , festivals & eating out with all my heart.
If you are an autumn traveler to Delhi and plan to visit it in these months, here are the 5 best things to experience in Delhi.
1. Heritage and Nature Walks – The months of September, October & November are post monsoons, so, there is lush green vegetation in Delhi sans the mud & humidity. It makes for perfect weather to explore the rich heritage & nature of this city. The places to visit are endless (yes, even for a Delhiite like me), but some of the must visit heritage & nature walks in the city in my opinion are – Lodhi Garden (heritage & nature walk), Hauz Khas (heritage & nature walk), Asola Bhatti wildlife sanctuary (Nature walk), Tughlaqabad & Adilabad Fort complex(heritage & nature walk), Mehrauli Archeological Park (heritage & nature walk), Qutub Minar (heritage walk – this is UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Humayun’ s Tomb complex (heritage walk – this is UNESCO World Heritage Site). The added bonus in Delhi is that there are a number of walking groups (both non-commerical and commercial) with whom you can take these walks. Some of my best experiences of walks in Delhi have been with Knowing and Loving Delhi Better (a non-commercial group of delhi lovers who self organize walks, no charges!), Delhi Heritage Walks & Delhi By Foot (commercial walking tour companies) and INTACH (NGO which also conducts walks for a nominal amount). In addition, India Habitat Centre also organizes walks, but on a very limited basis.
2. Festivals – The 3 autumn months are chock - - block with festivals; in September there is Ganesh Chaturthi, in September there is Durga Puja (celebrated in huge way by the Bengali community of Delhi) & Dusshera and Diwali (one of the biggest Hindu festivals in North India) falls in November. So, if in the city, one can experience the rich cultural heritage and take back home some unique memories of the biggest festivals celebrated in India.
3. Exhibitions & Fairs – If there are festivals, there are bound to be fairs & exhibitions before that (well, definitely in India). Some of the biggest fairs & exhibitions are held in these months. Some of the most popular Fairs are – Blind Association Diwali Mela (held at Blind School Lodhi road) , Dilli Haat Fairs and CRPF Mela (held at CRPF Ground, Lodhi Road).
4. Arts & Cultral Events – The weather being salubrious this time of the year, a number of indoor & outdoor arts, music, dance and other ciltural activities are scheduled in this season. Some of the best events are organized by India Habitat Centre, India International Centre, SPICMacay and Delhi Tourism. Check out their websites and also delhi based events websites (such as http://delhi.burrp.com, etc).
5. Eating Out – The autumn is the best season to eat out in Delhi. The weather is right for both ambiance and stomach to partake in a gastronomic indulgence. Plus, owing to the festival season and the numerous fairs that happen, one gets opportunity to experience myriad of Indian & world cuisine festivals during this time. Every 5 star hotel has some food festival going on; plus the variety of ethnic food at the fairs is mind boggling. One of the best food related festivals and Indian food experiences is always ofcourse at Dilli Haat.
So, If you are in Delhi in the autumn months, follow my travel guide and I’m sure you will have a unique travel experience of the lovely Autumn in Delhi.