Delhi gears up for the Formula 1 Grand Prix

Who will you be shouting for at the 2011 Indian Grand Prix?

The drama and excitement of the Formula 1 Grand Prix finally makes its way to the Indian subcontinent for the very first time in October this year. Delhi’s Buddh International Circuit plays host to the noise and speed of the world’s fastest motor cars and the glitz and glamour of the men who drive them.

Old Delhi and New Delhi

Officially two separate cities, Old Delhi and New Delhi are really two parts of a massive, sprawling metropolis. Still surrounded by crumbling city walls and three surviving gates, the bustling Shahjahanabad, is very much a separate city to New Delhi. With a predominantly Muslim population and Mughal architecture, Old Delhi is comprised mostly of tiny, crowded labyrinthine lanes and lined with run-down 17th-century havelis (Indian mansions).

New Delhi: The UNESCO World Heritage Listed site of Humayun’s Tomb

By contrast, New Delhi has been the capital city of the Republic of India since independence, and along with ancient ruins from ages long past and a staggering amount of new buildings, New Delhi has numerous examples of Raj-era architecture from the days of British Colonial Rule. The UNESCO World Heritage Listed site of Humayun’s Tomb comprises a complex of Mughal buildings that encompass the main tomb of Emperor Humayun and other important historical figures. Qutab Minar – a tower built to proclaim the arrival of Islam in India – is a stunning 239ft sandstone tower and an Indo-Islamic architectural wonder.

Eating in Delhi

Sampling local food is one of the things I enjoy most about travelling. Try some street food while you’re in Delhi: head for the Jama Masjid area, Dilli Haat, or the Chandini Chowk market, and try papri chaat (fried pastry with potatoes, chickpeas, and a yoghurt sauce), golgappas (spicy potatoes and chickpeas covered in dough and then fried) and if you’ve got a sweet tooth, try Jalebi (round morsels of sugary flavoured batter). And remember – you can avoid ‘Delhi belly’ by following the crowd and taking note of what is popular with the locals. It’s not a guarantee but it helps! Or – ask your tour guide for advice on the best spots to choose.

Delhi’s Red Fort

Getting Around

To get to the Buddh International Circuit, head towards Agra. Incidentally, Agra is the home of the Taj Mahal, and is only 200km away from Delhi – a reasonable distance by car or by bus. The incredible city of Jaipur is also only 4 hours away! But while you’re in Delhi, the best way to get around is by tuk-tuk. Be warned: some of the drivers may be more excitable than usual with the F1 cars and the racing driver stars in town!

Now with the infrastructure and facilities to host a world-class even like the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Delhi is gearing itself up for a weekend of excitement from October 28th to October 30th. For details of tours and holidays to India, visit the On the Go Tours page on India. For more information on the Grand Prix, visit our Festivals and Events page.

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