fun things to do with kids in delhi india - family travel   Travel for Kids
India
   
     
   

Delhi

Delhi is both Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was once the walled capital of Shah Jahan, the Mughul emperor who also built the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan's capital was called, Shahjahanabad, "City of the Ruler of the World." In the 19th century, the British constructed a new capital for their empire, New Delhi. Today Delhi is a noisy, busy city, where quiet is a rarity, but traveling with kids, people couldn't be friendlier.
Red Fort
  Red Fort – Begun in 1639, the Red Fort, became the heart of the Mughul empire, a walled fortress of pavilions, gardens, private rooms, audience rooms. Here, Shah Jahan sat on his peacock throne decorated with sapphires, rubies and emeralds. The fort was ornately decorated with mosaics of semi precious stone, roofs of gold and silver, floors of polished marble. In the throne room, these words in the ceiling are written in gold, "If there is a paradise on earth, it is this."
    Over the centuries, the Red Fort was attacked and plundered, but it remains a glorious example of Mughul architecture. In the Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-am) the peacock throne is gone, but it's not hard to imagine the color and pageantry when the emperor appeared. In the Rang Mahal, the emperor's wives lived in sumptuous apartments. Don't miss the hammam, the baths, and museum. Sound and Light shows, are held in the evenings.
    Jama Masjid – Close to the Red Fort, Shah Jahan built a huge mosque, called the "Friday Mosque." (Friday is the Muslim day of worship.) The Jama Masjid was constructed on a big scale, and is one of the largest mosques in India. The central open courtyard is meant to hold thousands of people (you'll have to take off your shoes before you go in). Be sure to climb one of the minarets for an unforgettable view of Old Delhi.
   

Jain Bird Hospital – In the courtyard of the Digambara Jain temple is the Jain Bird Hospital, a sanctuary for wounded birds. The birds are cared for until they are well enough to be released. In the Jain religion, any living thing is sacred; when you enter the temple, you will have to leave any leather goods outside.

Kids in the bazaar Delhi
  Walk the bazaars – Walking the narrow windy streets in the bazaar is in itself a novel experience. The bazaars are certainly not the mall. Put aside any notions of peace and quiet and jump into the thick of it. The Chandni Chowk, in Old Delhi, has all kinds of shops, from gold and silver to hardware. (If you get lost in the Chandni Chowk, just hail an auto rickshaw; they'll take you where you want to go.)
Lodhi Gardens – We spent a memorable afternoon in the Lodhi Gardens, dotted with ancient stone tombs of the Lodhi dynasty. The kids ran around the pillars of the tombs – a great place to hide from your parents, they reported. You might see cows roaming the gardens too.
Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar – This "larger than life" stone observatory was built 450 years ago by the Maharaja of Jaipur. There are plenty of stairs at the Jantar Mantar, making it the perfect place to satisfy the need for kids to simply run around (not always easy to find the space in Delhi).
Gandhi National Museum – This museum is fascinating for adults and the kids will like the open spaces.
National Rail Museum (Chanakyapuri) – Trains are an essential part of life in India and this museum has lots of old trains. There are over 50 cars and engines, most of which can be climbed on.

Shankar’s International Dolls Museum (Nehru House) – In this museum there are over 6000 dolls from all over the world! Included in the collection are hundreds of dolls with many different costumes of India.

   

Fun food

     

On every street there are stands where you can buy yummy crackers and snacks (plastic wrapped). Food in India is so different, even eating at McDonald's or Pizza Hut is a new experience. Try the Maharaja burgers at McDonald's.

   

Shopping

     

Delhi is a shopper’s paradise – so many things at very reasonable prices, such as gold and silver jewelry, chess sets, wallets, handmade paper, clothing, woolen shawls, puppets, toy auto rickshaws, CDs of Indian music. The Central Cottage Industries Emporium on Janpath is full of things to look at (and touch). Khan Market area in Delhi caters to Westerners with good bookstores and groceries (if you need a touch of non-Indian food).

     

Tip : The kids came up with this – "Delhi is smelly so I hold my nose and turn on the hose and that is the way the song goes." Delhi is smelly and chaotic, and the first time in the city with kids, it seemed overwhelming.  But by the second and third time, we had a great time

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