Areas and Suburbs in Delhi

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areas and suburbs of delhiExpats moving to Delhi will find themselves in a sprawling city woven into a web of dozens and dozens of areas and neighbourhoods. While each has its own unique and charming characteristics it's important to know what's what in this often intimidating metropolis; especially as a newly arrived expat looking for accommodation or seeking out something specific.

Delhi can certainly be an “insider’s city”, in that valuable information about which neighbourhoods are best for shopping, sightseeing, or living is often only available through word of mouth.

The expat community, by and large, lives and works in South Delhi or Gurgaon; those relocating should familiarise themselves with the areas and suburbs that make up this city cross-section.

Areas and suburbs in Delhi for living

Expats moving to Delhi will most likely be drawn to neighbourhoods in South Delhi where other foreign nationals have concentrated and formed a community over the years. There are plenty of options, depending on price, priority and location.
Golf Links
This is one of the poshest neighbourhoods in Delhi. The homes are large and well-guarded. Many businessmen and diplomats call this area home.

Jor Bagh
Jor Bagh contains a large expat community. Its main market is a good place to shop for imported foods. The market also has a great book store, called The Bookshop.

Nizamuddin is divided into two sections. Nizamuddin East is a residential area with many small parks, and is home to a handful of expats. Nizamuddin West has a residential area, but also contains the shrine of the Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin, which is well worth visiting. This little niche in Delhi is also a meat-eater’s paradise, as it contains many small restaurants specialising in Mughlai cuisine. Humayun’s Tomb, one of the three World Heritage Sites in Delhi, is right next to the Nizamuddin area.

Sainik Farms
A handful of expats choose to live here for its spacious farmhouses and gardens. Because it’s technically an unauthorised colony, amenities like water and electricity connections can be fickle and often difficult to repair.

South Extension (SouthEx)
SouthEx, as it's commonly known, is a popular expat neighbourhood. It has a high-end market that is good for branded Western-wear, designer saris and even art supplies.

Vasant Vihar
Vasant Vihar is just to the south of Chanakyapuri, and contains many diplomatic missions. For this reason, it seems to be one of the most popular residential neighbourhoods among expats. It is also close to Basant Lok Market, a trendy college students’ market (because of its proximity to Jawaharlal Nehru University) that has several shops, restaurants and the Priya Cinema.

Areas and suburbs in Delhi for working

Many expats who relocate to Delhi are often associated with embassies and diplomatic missions, or are employed by multinational corporations which have headquarters in the city. The following areas have large concentrations of embassies or corporate headquarters, and are where many expats spend their work days.

This is where many foreign embassies keep their offices and headquarters. It has wide, well-groomed boulevards, and is home to many politicians and civil servants.
areas and suburbs of delhi
Though technically outside of Delhi and in the state of Haryana, Gurgaon is often included with Delhi as part of the Near Capital Region (NCR). It is sometimes referred to as “Millennium City”, and is thought to be one of the most modern parts of India. Many multinational corporations keep their Indian headquarters here, and it is characterised by high-rise glass and steel buildings, and mega-malls and shopping centres. Many expats relocated to India with multinational corporations also live here.

Nehru Place
Nehru Place is primarily commercial, and contains many offices. It also has a computer/electronics market and a cinema.

Areas and suburbs in Delhi for shopping

Shopping in Delhi can either be a pleasure, or a headache, depending on an expat’s knowledge of what’s available and in which markets. Nearly anything, including almost all local and imported goods, can be found in Delhi’s markets, one just needs to know where to look.

Connaught Place (CP)
Connaught Place (CP) was once the financial, commercial and business centre of New Delhi. It was also the showpiece of Lutyens’ Delhi, with its carefully planned layout and its white-washed colonnade façade. CP is still one of the busier shopping districts with several restaurants and shops, an underground market (Palika Bazaar), and the Central Cottage Industries Emporium, which sells authentic Indian handicrafts from all of the country's states.

Defense Colony (DefCol)
DefCol, as it's often referred to, is home to many retired Indian servicemen and their families. It also has an upscale market with many Western and Indian restaurants, designer clothing stores and some nice bakeries.

Greater Kailash I (GKI)
Greater Kailash I (GK I) is one of the three “GK’s” in Delhi (the other two are also designated by number – GK II and GK III) It is primarily an Indian upper-middle class residential area, but it does have a few notable markets, including GK I, M-Block Market, which has Indian and Western designer clothing, women’s accessories, and cafés and restaurants, and GK I, N-Block Market, which has high-end Indian clothing and home décor, as well as a Full Circle book shop and Café Turtle.
areas and suburbs in delhi
INA Market

I.N.A. Market is the best place to shop for imported foods at reasonable prices. It also has Indian food, clothing and spices, as well as meat and produce sections. Dilli Haat is also right across the street, and is a fun place to shop for Indian handicrafts or to try specialty foods from all regions of the country.

Khan Market
Khan Market is one of the most expensive markets to rent commercial space, not only in all of India but, in fact, in all of Asia. Still, it has relatively reasonable shopping prices. It has designer clothes, shoes and sunglasses, book stores, trendy Indian clothing boutiques, several cafés and restaurants, as well as a few grocers, butchers, chemists and electronics and stationery shops.

Lajpat Nagar
Lajpat Nagar is divided into four residential sections. It is best known, however, for its main market, called Central Market. The saying is that one can get “anything from a pin to a plane” in Central Market. It is a good place to shop for inexpensive Indian clothing, shoes, bags, jewellery (including bangles), and home furnishings. 3C’s Cinema is also just outside of the market.

Saket is best known among expats for its mega-malls, which contain upscale designer shops, fine restaurants and even cinemas. Next to these mega-malls are some of the best hospitals in the city. Saket also has a handful of smaller markets, one of which contains a PVR Cinema and some cafés and fast food joints.

Sarojini Nagar
Sarojini Nagar is a good market for buying inexpensive Western clothes and accessories (be careful of the quality, though, as many of these goods were intended exports, but then were rejected for minor defects.) If one has patience and a good eye, then this market is a great place to find bargains.

Areas and suburbs in Delhi for leisure

Delhi is also a thriving city with a fascinating history and culture to explore. The city’s history is made apparent by the numerous archaeological ruins that dot its landscape, yet its current culture is still as alive as ever, and can be seen in its various bazaars, restaurants, and neighbourhoods.

Chittaranjan Park (CR Park)
Chittaranjan Park (CR Park) is home to one of the largest Bengali communities in Delhi. It is known for its fish market, its Bengali sweet shops, and its Durga Puja celebration.

Green Park
Green Park is one of the largest green areas in all of Delhi and contains several historic structures and tombs. It is primarily residential, but it does have a market for basic necessities, as well as Evergreen Bakery, which bakes delicious chocolate cakes.

Hauz Khas Village
Hauz Khas Village is a trendy neighbourhood where one will find expats sipping on chai in one of the many cafés and restaurants, or browsing through the high-end boutiques and art galleries. The Village also has the ruins of a water tank, mosque, and Islamic seminary traced to the 13th century within walking distance, which makes for a great weekend adventure.

Mehrauli has an odd but interesting variety of things to offer expats and visitors to the city. It has a flower market that makes for a great walk in the early morning, an Archaeological Park with many ruins and stepwells, and a handful of nice restaurants. It is also close to Qutb Minar, one of the World Heritage Sites in Delhi.

New Friends Colony Market
New Friends Colony Market is great for food lovers. It has Thai, Chinese and North Indian restaurants, a handful of pubs, several dhabas (snack stands that serve local cuisine, like kebabs), and a slew of coffee and fast food places.

Old Delhi/Chandni Chowk
Old Delhi/Chandni Chowk is by far the most bustling part of the city, and is not for the faint of heart. It is a great place, though, for people who want to do some sightseeing, as it has a large concentration of markets, mosques, churches and temples, as well as the Red Fort, another World Heritage Site. Navigating the various bazaars can be a bit of a challenge, so visitors should be prepared to spend some time getting lost in the narrow alleys. It’s also a great place for foodies, with its specialty sweet shops, snack stalls and family restaurants, some of which have been operating for five generations. Those with sensitive tummies, though, should be a bit wary of what they consume.

Paharganj is where many low-budget travellers choose to put up in various guest houses and hostels. Here one can buy cheap, touristy goods like hookah pipes, genie pants and “Om” T-shirts. It does have nice jewellery and leather markets, though, as well as some small Tibetan cafés where one can find delicious chai and momos.

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