New Delhi Journals

Delhi: Family Fun

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A June 2008 trip to New Delhi by phileasfogg

National Zoological Park Photo, New Delhi, India More Photos
Quote: Where do you go in Delhi if you’ve got kids? Museums? The zoo? Somewhere else? Here’s a quick review of the more popular family attractions.

National Bal Bhavan

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Attraction | "Good Fun, and Educational too: Bal Bhavan"

National Bal Bhavan Photo, New Delhi, India
Quote:
After a round of Delhi’s more juvenile attractions, I’ve concluded that the National Bal Bhavan (literally, `children’s house’) wins hands down—it’s fun and educational.The Bal Bhavan (www.nationalbalbhavan.nic.in) was inaugurated in 1958 by India’s then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as a complex aimed to nurture `learning by doing’—the goal was to help kids unleash their own creativity. And the Bal Bhavan seem to be pretty successful (my niece and nephew agree; they’ve attended some delightful workshops here!)Moving anti-clockwise around the complex, beginning at the main gate, you first see the small Wildlife Enclosure, its residents mainly birds such as geese, pigeons an...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 12, 2008

National Bal Bhavan
Kotla Road, Off Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg

Shankar's International Dolls Museum

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Attraction | "Dolls from Around the World"

Shankar's International Dolls Museum Photo, New Delhi, India
Quote:
The Dolls Museum was established by a political cartoonist, K.Shankar Pillai. A doll gifted by Hungary’s ambassador to India in the 1950’s sparked off a love for dolls and Shankar began collecting costumed dolls in earnest. By 1965, his collection was large enough for a museum.Shankar’s International Dolls Museum sits on the first floor of the Children’s Book Trust Building and consists of about 6,500 dolls, from over 85 countries. Impressive, so I decided to see for myself.The bad, first. This is a dingy place, poorly lit and scruffy. The glass cases are dusty, the base cloth faded and stained in places. Many dolls are dusty; some have tears in their clothing. The labels are woefully inadeq...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 12, 2008

Shankar's International Dolls Museum
Nehru House - 4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi, India 110002
91-11-3316970

Jantar Mantar

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Attraction | "A Medieval Observatory - and More"

Jantar Mantar Photo, Jaipur, India
Quote:
Teach your kids astronomy: take them to an observatory with a difference. Jantar Mantar, in the heart of New Delhi, dates back to 1724, and you can actually climb up the huge astronomical instruments here.Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Jaipur between 1699 and 1743, was deeply interested in astronomy and constructed observatories at Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura. The Delhi Jantar Mantar was the first, and even three centuries later, its instruments yield fairly precise readings.Four instruments, constructed as six brick-red structures, spread out across Jantar Mantar amidst neat gardens. Smart steel signs stand beside each instrument, describing its history, function,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 12, 2008

Jantar Mantar

Jaipur, India

National Science Centre

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Attraction | "Hands-on Science: the National Science Centre"

National Science Centre Photo, New Delhi, India
Quote:
The National Science Centre was established in 1992 to popularise science among children. School parties flood it through the week, so try for a weekend.The centre’s galleries spread across four floors, beginning with the Heritage of Science Gallery on the first. This one’s crowded with photos, movies, and artefacts ranging from woodwork and metallurgy to medicine and nuclear physics. Though it showcases modern scientists like C.V. Raman, Homi Bhabha and J.C Bose, the most interesting are the reconstructions—of a 1st millennium AD chemical laboratory, and of animal-shaped surgical instruments designed by Susruta (6th century BC). My favourite was the circular yarghu, a 16th century po...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 12, 2008

National Science Centre
Near Gate 1, Pragati Maidan, Bhairon Marg
New Delhi
+91-011-23371297

National Zoological Park

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Attraction | "The Delhi Zoo: Animals and More"

National Zoological Park Photo, New Delhi, India
Quote:
Ask for the Delhi Zoo when you visit; other than the staff, few people know the official name of this attraction. Which, after one trip, I must confess to finding singularly unattractive.Having bought myself a ticket (Rs 10 for Indians, Rs 50 for foreigners. The Rs 50 ticket includes a map of the zoo), I entered through the turnstile—and immediately started having misgivings. The broad path leading through the zoo was lined by plastic garbage bins shaped like cartoon animals: rhinos, chimps, and so on, dressed in T-shirts, shorts and caps, and looking completely cheesy.The National Zoological Park (NZP) spreads across 240 acres along the southern periphery of the Purana Qila. The zoo was fou...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 12, 2008

National Zoological Park
Near Purana Qila
New Delhi