My Business Trip to Delhi

by Guest Blogger on April 30, 2011

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Delhi Airport Domestic Terminal 1D

The Delhi Airport Terminal 1D - Pic by IncMan

Another day, another trip and a host business meetings to attend, such is the life of the business traveller. I am no different constantly juggling my schedules and constantly trying to make optimum use of 24 hours. This time my work took me to the capital city of Delhi.  After a short flight, I landed at Delhi and realized that there has been a sea of change in terms of the Airport which now looks and feels world class.  The domestic terminal 1D is a class apart and is no longer an eyesore for travellers.

 

However some things unfortunately remain the same like the Delhi heat. Stepping out of the Airport’s cool cocoon felt like stepping into a blast furnace and within minutes those awful beads of sweat started forming on my forehead.  Add to that car rental agencies all seemed to clamouring over themselves for my attention hoping that I would rent a car from them. However just as I was fuming at the Delhi heat and those irritating cabbies, my gaze fell to well groomed and uniformed driver holding my name out on a placard. Turns out that my local contact Mr Ramnath made an advance booking for me using a popular Delhi car rental service.  I breathed a sigh of relief as I stepped into a clean, air conditioned and comfy Toyota Innova which whisked me away to my next destination.

Connaught Place Image

Lazy Connaught Place - Pic by Hemantjha

My destination was the hotel Connaught in an area also called Connaught place. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, Connaught Place was to be the showpiece of Lutyen’s Delhi and probably is with the offices of most major businesses and the government being present there. It’s also a hugely popular shopping destination along with being a beautiful heritage monument and has a touch of colonial era charm to it.

With a slew of meetings lined up with representatives of various trade bodies, I had some extensive travelling to do in Delhi. For transportation, I found myself using the squeaky clean and generally on time Delhi Metro as a mode of transport. I found it pretty easy to use with detailed route maps letting me know the stations and where one has to change trains. Automated announcements and highlighted route maps in the trains themselves let you know which the next station is. All this has helped the DMRC bag the award for “Most Improved Metro

However, the CP station (Rajiv Chowk ) station turned out to be extremely crowded especially during the office peak hours. So be prepared for long queues and crowds and getting into a metro might pose a bit of a challenge.  Other than that the Delhi metro definitely helped me get to my business meetings on time and let me wrap up more work then I would if I used a car as a mode of transport. And since auto rickshaws are easily available, the last mile travel is taken care of quite well. But do bear in mind, Delhi autowallas are known to overcharge so always go by the meter and not by bargain.

My work also took me to Gurgaon which is 45 km away and has seen a stratospheric development in past few years. It’s also called the “call centre capital” of India due to the presence of prominent companies like Airtel, American Express, EXL, IBM and Microsoft.  After seeing futuristic offices and wide roads one would expect that the transportation would also be good. However my travels to Gurgaon exposed the fact that local transportation can be best described as horrible. The only options one seems to have in Gurgaon are local shared autos (an absolute nightmare) or the cycle rickshaws (which are as slow as tortoises).  Therefore I opted for a car hire service to help me shuttle around Grugaon.

Travelling and Places to see in Delhi

In the middle of all the meetings, I took out time to check out some the of the  places to see in Delhi since it would be silly not do so. Delhi with its vivid history, Luteyens monuments and perfectly maintained heritage monuments throws up a wide array of places to see in Delhi. Some of the must visit ones are Qutub Minar, Mughal gardens in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Birla Mandir, Jantar Mantar, Lotus Temple, Humayun’s Tomb.

Red Fort New Delhi

The Majestic Red Fort- Pic by Deivis

Out of all the monuments, the one that I found most interesting was the Red Fort.  Built in the 17th century, it served originally as the residence of the Imperial family of India.  It boasts of some amazing Mughal architecture, and is a UNESCO world heritage sight. But the reason why I like it the most is because of its unique and magical sound and light show that takes place every evening from Tuesday to Sunday. This one of a kind show recreates India’s history starting from the Mughal era right up to Independence. This one hour long program is a must see and if you are interested, you can book your tickers from the ITDC office at Connaught place.

All in all, travelling in Delhi brings to the mind a sense of history with its grand monuments having been the seat of power for so many centuries. With its lavish Lutyens bungalows frozen in time, the resolute Raisina Hill, the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament house, India Gate and other historical monuments fill you with a sense of pride and history. Although I was here on a business trip, I could not help but be captivated by Delhi’s intriguing mix of old world monuments, amazing food, presence of multiple cultures and some awesome hospitality.  I wanted to stay a little while longer as the list of places to see in delhi was a long list. But alas, the airport taxi service was waiting and my bags were all packed. As I leave I watch the Delhi skyline and find myself asking …when will I be back?

 

Author Profile Surendra Sharma is a consultant who loves travelling and enjoys the diversity which India offers. He loves to visit natural and historical places and observe the different regional culture and traditional festivals rooted to nature.

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My Business Trip to Delhi, 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
  • http://www.facebook.com/rags.mncl Rags Mncl

    Nice post.
    There are so many places to see in South India too…….
    I have been there in Hampi, Kanyakumari, Rameswaram, Hyderabad (I love Hyderabad Biryani) and so many…

    Happy Hop Around India……..

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