While the winters of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh can capture your imagination, Delhi's cold is far from it. My dislike for the national capital's winter is unfathomable. Having spent a majority of my winters in Pune, the notorious winters of the North took me by surprise. Suddenly, my weekends were spent huddled by a heater and an unrelenting yearning for a lazy afternoon under the warm winter sun - which by the way I still hadn't fulfilled. Seeing my lack of enthusiasm, my friend from Delhi took the oath to re-energize my spirits by taking me around the capital. So, at half-past six we set off. It was the first time in a long time I had woken up before the sun had decided to show itself.
Morning Walk at the Lodhi Garden
I am the sort who snoozes his alarm until it's about 10 in the morning, but I will tell you this the mornings at Lodhi Garden are worth waking up for. The silent hours here feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Home to architectural works from the 15th century, you can spend hours and not feel the urge to leave. From petting wild dogs in the garden to taking carefully crafted pictures of the striking structures here, this serene location is an ideal place to start off your day of fun.
Sunday Book Market at Daryaganj
As the name suggests, the market is only open on Sunday and is a highlight for bookworms. Think about a particular book you wish to buy and it's probably here. Nearly a kilometre long, the market is nestled in the heart of Old Delhi and is brimming with thousands of secondhand books, magazines, and journals. A 20-minute auto ride away from Chandni Chowk Metro, make sure to reach here by half-past nine or otherwise you might be forced to rue your luck.
A Chole Bathure Breakfast
Don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of Delhi's food. A promise of hearty delicious meals throughout the day was my motivation to go on my tour of Delhi. And what better way to start your day than with a plate of irresistible Chole Bhature. You can probably find the dish in every corner of Delhi, but loyalists have raved about Chole Bhature at Sitaram Diwan Chand in Paharganj calling it a 'plate from heaven'.
Bird Watching at Okhla Bird Sanctuary
The cold season in Delhi witnesses a large number of migratory birds soaring its skies. Extraordinary species of birds like the parakeet, egret, and white vulture fly to the sub-continent from the ruthless Siberian cold searching for a reprieve. You can book a tour or go on your own but remember to carry cameras and binoculars to make your experience worthwhile.
Shop Your Hearts Out
I understand if many of your loyalties lie with Gucci, Prada, and Zara, but if you are feeling the constraints of your wallet and want to buy a dress for cheap, the markets of Sarojini and Janpath are a sheer delight. This bustling market is a shopper's paradise. A piece of advice - bargaining always helps here. If you are looking for Indian crafts to decorate your house with, we recommend hitting the flea market at Dilli Haat.
Chicken Butter Masala at Rajinder Da Dhaba
Ever since I have come to Delhi, my craving for Chicken Butter Masala has been non-stop. A famous delicacy heard of beyond the borders of India, I tasted the most mind-blowing of Chicken Butter Masala on my tour of Delhi. Rajinder Da Dhaba in Safdarjung Enclave is one of the most well-known places in the city. It also happens to be your best hope of tasting this Punjabi dish in all its glory and authenticity in the capital.
End your Day at Sunder Nursery
This beautiful park embellished with Mughal monuments, water bodies, and a wide varieties of trees is your perfect way to end your Delhi tour. 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites from the 16th century are spread across the park. Be one with nature as you observe nearly 36 species of butterflies and 80 species of birds adding harmony to this magnificent place.