What to do in and around the Leela Palace New Delhi

When a hotel is awarded as one of the top five hotels in the world, the expectations are high but The Leela Palace New Delhi exceeds expectations. While the property itself is beautiful, The Leela Palace is also conveniently located in the heart of the city, surrounded by monuments that stand as a silent reminder of India’s legacy.

Hauz Khas, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Yes, Hauz Khas Village is perhaps most known for its artsy vibe, boutique shops, and trendy restaurants. But before it became a lively commercial district, Hauz Kaus was (and remains) a 13th-century historical complex with a mosque, tombs, and an Islamic seminary. Take a break from the bustle of shopping and dining to explore the sites from Muslim royalty, then spend some time at the charming lake with its swans, ducks, and other wildlife.
Pragati Maidan Bhairon Marg, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
One of the largest craft museums in India, the National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum displays tribal and rural art and artifacts. With over 35,000 pieces ranging from textiles to clay, the space is a welcoming community of artisans and art lovers. The museum was created over a 30-year period to preserve the sacred and traditional artistry of the region. Each month, approximately 50 craftspeople from across the country are invited to reside on the property and demonstrate their talents. Don’t miss the Village Complex, an exhibition that displays village life from varying regions in India. Note: Closed on Mondays.
Lotus Temple Rd, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi, Delhi 110019, India
Delhi is brimming with temples, but the unique architecture of the Baha’i House of Worship blossoms above the rest. The temple resembles a lotus flower with 27 marble petals that shelter a central hall that can accommodate 2,500 worshipers. Many believe the land surrounding the site has an increased energy that raises self-awareness and vibrational frequency. Though not scientifically proven, I did feel a shift after spending 15 minutes of silence in the hall. The temple receives an average of 10,000 visitors each day, so be prepared to share the sacred experience. Note: Closed on Mondays.
1, Ashoka Rd, Near India Gate, Pataudi House, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
Andhra Pradesh Bhavan (or AP Bhavan), as the name suggests, offers traditional dishes from the state of Andhra Pradesh. AP Bhavan is absolutely packed on weekends with lines of 100+ people waiting for an authentic taste of thalis and biryani. The space is more like a canteen instead of restaurant and an unlimited thali will cost under $2/person. Biryani is served on Sundays, but visit by noon. There is very little elbow room past 1pm.
1862 A, Chandni Chowk, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Ghantewala Halwai is an icon not only in Delhi, but all over India. Established in 1790, it is considered one of the oldest sweet shops in the country. Ghantewala has served Mughal Emperors, dignitaries, and of course the locals and tourists who scramble to sample the Pista Barfi. The Sohan Halwa, or traditional Persian sweet, is so good that folklore claims it stopped impending battles in the capital. Make sweets, not war.
22, Janpath Bhawan,Janpath, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
Many locals believe that no trip to Janpath is complete without a visit to DePaul’s. The hazelnut-flavored cold coffee is served in a glass bottle with a straw. Nothing fancy, but delightfully refreshing and creamy—especially during hot summers. Take time to explore the neighboring market for handicrafts, clothing, shoes, and jewelry.
No.H-2, Hauz Khas Village, Hauz Khas Village, Deer Park, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, Delhi 110016, India
Ogaan both exhibits and sells the latest in Indian fashion. It is a showcase and retail space—a unique experience that pairs design and canvas. Some of the biggest names in Indian fashion have launched their collections at Ogaan. The 6,000 sq ft flagship boutique features clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110023, India
The Library is a space to sample fine whiskey from the Leela’s collection whilst enjoying a classic cigar. Located in the exclusive Leela Palace New Delhi, the bar is considered a “library for the connoisseur.” While it hosts an impressive top-shelf liquor selection, it is also a trove of first-edition books and resplendent Chesterfield chairs. This is a classically comfortable place to unwind after exploring the heritage sites of the city, like nearby India Gate, Qutub Minar complex, and Akshardham Temple. Remember, the legal drinking age in Delhi is still 25 years, so guests must provide identification before being allowed to enter. There are also designated smoking sections so the non-smokers can still enjoy the ambiance.
Kaccha Bagh Area, Old Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India
Rickshaw rides are common in Chandni Chowk, the vast and crowded market in the Old Delhi quarter, but book a comprehensive rickshaw tour for an immersive experience that lasts longer than 15 minutes. Witness the architectural marvels, multicolored facades, beautifully decorated shops, and the fragrances emanating from the potpourri of eateries that line the historic alleys. The tour covers 20 main sites—palaces, mansions, elegant shrines, and colorful bazaars—and finishes at an 1860 haveli (mansion) where you’ll visit a gallery of photos depicting the lifestyle of Mughals, as well as a small lounge where you can relax and try some typical snacks.
Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
The Taj Mahal is referred to as “the jewel of Muslim art in India,” by UNESCO in its listing on the World Heritage Site registry. The Mughal ruler Shah Jahan had the truly magnificent white marble mausoleum built in 1632–1648, in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. For its construction, artisans from all over the empire, Central Asia, Iran, were summoned and the final result of their stonework, calligraphy, carvings, gardening, woodwork, and soaring domes remains one of the universally admired masterpieces of world heritage. Allot ample time to tour the site—besides the mausoleum, there is a mosque, a guest house, cloisters, courtyards, gates, and vast gardens. In addition to being stunningly beautiful from afar, the iconic site is evocatively romantic and up-close, the intricate details in its architecture, ornamentation, and history, are revealed.
Africa Ave, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110023, India
The Leela’s art walk is a wonderful cultural experience for guests. On an art tour you’ll be taken on a walk through property and its celebrated art collection, which chronicles ancient and modern Indian narratives. Their spiritually-inspired installations, thought-provoking murals, striking sculptures, vibrant paintings, and luxurious setting make the experience like visiting a museum conveniently located in your hotel.
Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Talk about first impressions: Carved sandstone elephants welcome guests into a two-story chandeliered lobby at this palace-style hotel. Attentive service starts at check-in, with gifts of bindis and fresh jasmine necklaces. At 550-square-feet or larger, rooms are palatial themselves, and richly decorated with oriental carpets, jacquards, and hand-embroidered brocades. Those on higher floors offer panoramic city views, but many visitors choose spaces overlooking the internal courtyard or expansive garden (and away from a 16-lane highway) for a sense of calm. The hotel’s Edwardian-inspired bar draws locals and guests alike with its 25-page whiskey and scotch menu, as does a rooftop pool with stunning vistas over New Delhi’s urban landscape. Unique amenities include an on-call astrologer and, for women travelers, the option of an all-female service staff, including butler, gym instructors, and private city guides.
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