Summer vacations are coming to the end, and your little ones are back from an outstation trip. It’s either holiday homework or some hobby class, and you are constantly nagged to take them out somewhere.
With the rain gods relenting and the temperature down by a couple of degrees, it is not a bad idea to take them out in the city for some exploration.
The capital of India, Delhi has a lot to offer in terms of history as well as art and culture.
Here are a few places you can plan an outing to:
India Gate – Standing tall at 42 metres high on one end of Rajpath, is India gate. A symbol of bravery and pride, it is a good place to take your children even if it is for an ice cream or a tour of the other monuments, dotting the landscape of Delhi, around it. Also known as the All India War Memorial, this stone archway is abuzz with life even at midnight. This is the only place where you can enjoy the nightlife in Delhi with kids.
Crafts Museum – Not very far from India Gate is Crafts Museum, adjacent to Pragati Maidan. It is an ideal place for a short visit if you are not in the mood to walk too much. Mud huts with thatched roofs, painted walls and courtyards, and terracotta figures give a rural ambience to the place. There are wooden craftsmen, potters, painters at work. You can even have your little one try their hand at any of these. Apart from the craftsmen, there are stalls selling handicrafts from different Indian states. You can also opt for this place as a birthday destination.
Timings: June to October: 09.30-06.00 pm daily
Closed: Monday and National Holidays
Shankar’s International Dolls Museum – A little further down, on ITO at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg is the famous Dolls Museum. With 6000 dolls from over 85 countries, this place is every little girls’ favourite. The Indian section has 500 dolls dressed in different Indian attires. Down the building housing the Dolls Museum, are offices of leading newspapers. Your little ones can be briefed on them as well when you walk them down that lane to grab a bite at McDonalds’!
Nehru Planetarium – Named after the first Prime Minister of India, the Nehru Planetarium was also the residence of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Located on the sprawling lawns of the Teen Murti House, it was built with the purpose of feeding the curiosity of children and to increase their inquisitiveness.
The star attractions are the sky theatre show and the Soyuz T-10, which carried Rakesh Sharma, India’s first astronaut, to the moon.
Akshardham Temple – This temple has already made it to the Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple, so if you haven’t already taken your little ones there, this summer break is the right time to do so. Situated on the Yamuna plains, the grandeur of the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple can be witnessed even from the outside. Once inside, you can take in the beauty and grandeur of India’s ancient history, art and architecture and the spiritual teachings. There are exhibition halls such as the Hall of Values, a giant film screen on Discover India, lavish gardens and a Musical Fountain.
Rail Museum – Another walk down in history, the Rail Museum is truly a fascinating experience for all those kids who love railway tracks, engines and trains. With about 100 real-size exhibits of the Indian Railways, the museum includes signalling equipments, models of trains, antique furnitures and an array of photographs and relevant literature. The major attractions amongst the old coaches include the Prince of Wales Saloon, the Maharaja of Mysore Saloon and the best-preserved steam locomotive engine, Fairy Queen. The children can enjoy a ride on the joy train.
Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Text by Tasneem Dhinojwala