A very widely read author once said that every city has one place which contains its soul, its very essence. This could be the Times Square of New York, Trafalgar Square in London, and the Champs-Élysées in Paris. In Delhi, the capital of India, this is certainly Connaught Place. The sights and sounds of Connaught Place were certainly the heart and soul of New Delhi when it came to be established by the British colonial rulers of India. It is one of the largest commercial centres of India. Apart from being home to some of the top restaurants in Delhi, it is also one of the high-end shopping centres.
When plans for the new capital in Delhi were drawn up in 1911, the next two decades were spent in clearing the forested area in and around Connaught Place and in building two concentric circles of Georgian-styled architecture buildings. This place was named after the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. The original architecture of Connaught Place of CP as it is generally referred to, designed by Edwin Lutyens, was inspired by the Royal Crescent of Bath. Today, the buildings of Connaught Place are home to hotels, shops, restaurants, and offices. Last year, Connaught Place was ranked the ninth most expensive office space in the world. Right at the centre is a park with the largest Indian flag.
One of the top attractions of Connaught Place is the shopping opportunities its offers. From buying designer labels at swanky stores to shopping for inexpensive things at the Palika Bazaar, from street shopping for clothes, shoes, junk jewellery, decorative items and souvenirs to art shopping at one of the studios, there is little you are unlikely to find in Connaught Place. It is one of the oldest markets constructed by the Britishers but is quite the epicentre of fashion shopping in Delhi.
The one other reason that Connaught Place remains ever popular is for the restaurants, eateries, bars, and clubs that are located here. CP is also home to some of the high-end luxury hotels and the best business hotels in Delhi including The LaLiT New Delhi. And, for those who love exploring culinary delights from across the world, CP is the ultimate experience. From street food to the small but well-known eateries, from quaint cafes and coffee shops to some of the very best fine-dining restaurants, bars and pubs – CP just has it all.
If it is entertainment that you are looking for, CP steps us like no other neighbourhood in the capital city. From one of the oldest cinema theatres to multiplex halls, from a fascinating national museum to a historic step well built by the Rajput royals, from gaming arcades to entertainment centres – there is much to see and experience in Connaught Place.
Connaught Place comes with its delightful sights and sounds – a heady mix of work and leisure, colourful ware and appetising aromas, luxury brands and inexpensive ware – all rolled into one. It is an experience unto itself. Visit the Jantar Mantar, the famous Hanuman Temple, or head out through the Janpath for more shopping. The 12 radial roads that lead out of CP are home to some of the best-known commercial enterprises and offices in town.