Autumn ushers in a festive time in New Delhi, the city having faced the chaos of monsoon and the brunt of scorching summer sun before that. As the weather Gods smile on the city, making it possible to enjoy outdoors and the promise of a New Year offering a clean slate appears on the horizon, every man and woman is a tad bit more hopeful and exhilarated. Those in the city can utilise this time to discover vast, open spaces that bring one closer to the nature and promise good times. Here is where you can start at:

Lodi Gardens

A photographer’s delight, a peace seeker’s haven, and a nature lover’s dream, Delhi’s Lodi Gardens represent 90-acres of verdant beauty, punctured at places by architectural gems that are no less splendid. The path for the gardens was paved during the times of the British at the whim of one Lady Willingdon who wanted them to be fashioned to remind her of her home. Named after Lodi-era tombs that the gardens preserve, these are also locals’ preferred hotspot for spending blessed days of beautiful weather in the capital city. As the little chill develops in the air, signalling the onset of winters, an excursion to the gardens becomes even more pleasurable.

Connaught Place

High on the list of ‘must-visit’ places in Delhi, Connaught Place has been a favourite hangout zone in the city for decades for its ability to cater to requirements ranging from fine dining, partying, watching a movie and shopping to just casual strolling. The first thing to catch your notice here would be the splendid architecture, common to all heritage sites that are part of ‘Lutyens’ Delhi’. A popular choice for a late-night ice-cream date, it is one of those places where it is as easy to find a high-end label as it is to spot street-side vendors. As Connaught Place is located in the heart of the city, access to other popular attractions is pretty convenient.

India Gate

A popular monument situated in the heart of the city, India Gate is a war memorial dedicated to the Indian soldiers of the British Army who died in the World War I as well as those who were martyred in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. Not only is the structure stunning, its surroundings also have a mesmerising effect on visitors, including the lush, green lawns  that have long been city’s most favourite picnic spot. The wide roads are a treat for morning walkers as much as they are for night-crawlers who enjoy the spectacularly lit up surroundings.

India Habitat Centre

For a day of theatre, poetry recitation, drama or other creative arts, India Habitat Centre is a perfect choice. The place boasts a phenomenal architecture and remains surrounded by thick, green trees. Other than the auditorium and the amphitheatre and the Visual Arts Gallery, the place has a pretty, little pond where one can see fish swimming around. This tranquil heaven in the middle of the city also has famous restaurant – the All American Diner, where you can gorge on the authentic American fare of the 60s and 70s – shakes, smoothies, pancakes, waffles, hot dogs, crepes, anyone?

The Campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)

Built on a massive 1000 acres, the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University is a world in its own right. The lecture halls, the college hostels and other buildings are just a speck amongst the green and open spaces, believed to city’s hidden gems by many. It’s possible to climb rocky terrains, find small, thick forests and diverse form of birdlife right inside the campus. You’ll find students cycling, playing basketball, jogging and hanging out at the student canteens right into the night.

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