Tourists say Delhi is indeed the soul of the country and deserves to be number one
Dilli, Dilwalon ki (Delhi is for the large-hearted) isn’t just a badge of pride for Delhiites, but a promise to the tourists visiting from far and wide, that the Capital will welcome them with open arms. The state was declared the number one Indian city for tourists, among 30 Indian states, in a biennial state ranking survey, recently released by World Travel and Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), for its relative competitiveness in the area of travel and tourism. However, the veracity of such a ranking stood in conflict with the perennial problems of smog, chaotic traffic, lack of cleanliness, and not to forget pushy salespersons, plaguing the city.
So, for an on-ground report, HT City visited tourist haunts in the city, to scout for and hear it from the tourists themselves about their opinion on whether Delhi indeed is the best Indian city for tourists. Here’s what they said:
‘Metro makes travelling in the city, convenient’
Paulime Mollaru, who is on her maiden trip to Delhi, couldn’t resist getting intricate henna designs applied on her hands, near Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place. “I felt for Delhi much before I landed here from France. I know that Indian women apply henna on festivals. I love Indian traditions and culture. I just love all the temples, the ethnicity and the rich history behind every place. Also, travelling through the city is so convenient because of the Metro, and I plan to visit all the places in one trip itself,” she says.
‘I get to know something new every time I visit Delhi’
Former journalist David Andrews is on his fourth trip to India, and we found him revelling in the spiritual side of Delhi, at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib . “I have travelled across India, but Delhi is special to me. It has been a passion to me, because every time I come here, I get to know about something new. Also, central Delhi is my favourite, because of its infrastructure and history. It’s shocking yet beautiful to see how people from different backgrounds, colour, and culture stay together like a family, here,” he says.
‘Old Delhi’s food tempts you to eat even if not hungry’
Eric and Lawrence, a French couple, are smitten by the charm of Old Delhi on their first ever trip. “We have been here for the last few days, and just love the place. People are really helpful, and initially we did face some difficulty, as the city was new to us, but now we feel like a part of the place. The food in Old Delhi is so tempting that even if you are not hungry, the smells will compel you to eat. We had kebabs, mutton, and many other dishes. We will visit the place again for the food, if nothing else,” says Eric, who we met in Ballimaran Market.
‘We don’t feel like leaving Delhi’
We found Hoepken and Martina, a German couple, in Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid. They are travelling in India to celebrate their 57th year of togetherness. “We toured across India, but after visiting Agra, Jaipur, Northeast India and other states, we’re back to the Capital. Delhi is the soul of the country. We started our tour from here, and could not leave this country without coming back here. Everything here is so unique and mesmerising that we don’t feel like leaving. There are some spots in Delhi, such as the Gandhi Memorial, which we have visited twice,” says Martina.
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