Summary : Delhi to do as much advanc travel-planning as possible, especially air and rail bookings.
Delhi is the place to gather information—wherever you’re heading for next, gather all relevant maps, brochures and transport details here. Also use Delhi to do as much advanc travel-planning as possible, especially air and rail bookings.
Tourist Offices Government of India Tourist Office, 88 Janpath (tel 320005) open 9 am to 6 pm except hi u sunda, supplies good information on all parts of India, also (at last) an up-to-date map, of Delhi. This is the place to book your city tours for New Delhi (morning) and Old Delhi (afternoon), operated by both ITDC (Rs35 per tour) and DTDC (Rs20). there are also tourist information desks (ITDC) at the domestic (tel 3291171) and International (tel 3291351) airports.
Maps: The Survey of India, headquartered in Dehra Dun, has a branch office in she old Janpath Barracks next to the Cottage Industries Emporium. City maps and plans, trekking maps and survey sheets of much of India are available here. Maps of border areas are not available. D elhi Tourism Development Corporation (DTDC), N-36 Bombay Life Building, ‘onnaught Place (Middle Circle) (tel 3315322), open 7 am to 9 pm daily, is mainly useful for sightseeing tours. In particular, city tours (mentioned above; cheaper than ITDC, but no guide aboard) and the excellent ‘Delhi by Evening’ tour (5.15 to 9 pm, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). This is Rs50 well-spent: you see the Diplomatic Enclave prettily illuminated by night, then the son et lumiere at Red Fort; sometimes, there’s even a free meal thrown in! DTDC has a 24-hour desk at the International airport (tel 391213) only. American Express Travel Service (tel 3325963, 3324119) operates daily tours, both half- and full-day, starting at the Holiday Inn at 9 am and finishing at 6 pm. State Tourist Offices, useful for collecting specialised information on places you’re going to visit, are collected at three separate locations: Chanderlok Building, 36 Janpath (Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh); Kanishka Shopping Plaza, 19 Ashok Rd (Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab); and State Emporia Building, Baba Kharak Singh Marg (Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu).
Airline Offices Domestic: Indian Airlines, Safdarjung Airport (this is an old airfield near the Safdarjung Tomb and not the operational airport at Palam) for 24-hour bookings and reconfirmations (tel 4620566, 690366), Kanchenjunga Building, 18 Barakhamba Rd (tel 3313732), pre-recorded arrival information teal 142, departure information teal 143; East West Airlines, DCM Building, Barakhamba Road (tel 3755167), Jagson Airlines, 12E Bandana Building, Tolstoy Marg (tel 3711069); Vayudoot, Maihotra Building, Janpath (tel 3312779, apt 3295126, 5481216), Safdarjung Airport (tel 4623056, 4622122). International: Air France, Atmaram Mansion, Scindia House, Connaught Circus (tel 3310407, 3317054, apt 5452099); Air India, Jeevan Bharti Building, 124 Connaught.
Travel Agents For big travel deals use Sita World Travel, F-12 Connaught Place (tel 3311133); Thomas Cook, Hotel Imperial, Janpath (tel 33322468); Cox & Kings, Indra Connaught Circus (tel 3320067) or American Express, Wenger House, A Block,: Connaught Place (tel 343946).
Consulates Most High Commissions and Embassies are in Chanakyapuri (Diplomatic Enclave) unless stated otherwise, and include UK (tel 601371), USA (tel 600651), Australia (tel 601336), Canada (tel 6876500), France (tel 604004), and Germany (tel 604861), Nepal Barakhamba Road (tel 3328191), New Zealand (tel 6883170), Pakistan (tel 600601) Others in telephone directory.
Miscellaneous Foreigners’ Registration Office is 1st floor, Hans Bhavan, Tilak Bridge (tel 3319489) For quick, painless visa extensions, turn up at 9.30 am, armed with your passport and four photos. There’s a useful photo booth on the ground floor. Main GPO is at Sansad Marg (tel 344111). Open 10 am to 8 pm weekdays, from 1: am to 5 pm Sundays and holidays. Most travellers use the Post Office at A Block: Connaught Place (tel 344214). It’s more convenient and has facilities outside four wrapping parcels in cloth as required by the post office.
Poste Restante (curiously, in neither of the above) is at Bhai Vir Singh Marg, about 1 km ( 1/2 mile) from Connaught Place behind Irwin Road. Opening hours are 9 an to 5 pm Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm Saturday, closed all day Sunday. Tell your friends/family to write to you at New Delhi. Mountains of letters marked simply ‘Delhi’ are sitting unclaimed in the old Delhi post office near Kashmiri Gate. Bookshops you’ll find scattered all around Connaught Place and in Khan Market, excellent for stocking up on big novels to pass away long, boring bus/train journeys. Two good ones are Oxford Book Shop in N Block, and New Book Depot at 18B Block, Connaught Place; in Khan Market The Bookshop and Bahri Sons are two of the best in Delhi. Down in Palika Bazaar, there’s Book World (Shop 7). Look out for ITDC’s 1982 Guide to Delhi, Louise Nicholson’s Odyssey Guide to Delhi, Agra & Jaipur and Gaynor Barton and Laurraine Malone’s Old Delhi-10 Easy Walks.
Two city magazines—Genesis City Guide (monthly, Rs7) and Delhi Diary (weekly, Rs5)—are sold at many street bookstalls. Packed with useful up-to-date information on hotels, restaurants, sights, transport, and entertainment, they are essential reference reading.
Wo good libraries, nice places to spend a civilised afternoon reading newspapers and catching up on home news, are the American Library, 24 Kasturba Gandhi Marg and the British Council Library, Kasturba Gandhi Marg (tel 3711401). ParceI-Packing Service, T298 General Market, Main Bazaar, Paharganj (tel 777008, 778298) is very useful for sending home loads of presents, souvenirs, camera film and useless stuff that you thought you’d need in India but don’t. Much better than lugging II all over the country. Send everything by airmail—it may be three times more expensive than seaman, but it’s three times quicker. And your goods will arrive home in one piece!