A true Dilliwala knows the worth, panache and love for Connaught Place – popularly called CP. Located in Central Delhi, it is rightly called the heart of the city. Whether you are looking for a place to eat, hang-out with friends, catch a movie or shop, CP has it all. It is truly the pride of Delhi. And I take pride in my best travel companion, Honor 5C for all the beautiful pictures that follow. Thankyou Travelling Camera for clicking CP in true colors.
Connaught Place is one of the largest business, financial and commercial centers of Delhi. Walking through the various blocks of Inner Circle and Outer Circle, you’d see that the buildings have headquarters of various Indian & International firms.
CP has an unmatched charm, which it has maintained over the years. The iconic landmarks and buildings like Keventers, Odeon Cinema, Wenger’s, Central Park and Regal Cinema have witnesses various decades and eras. Regal Cinema was CP’s first movie theatre which was opened in 1932.
The Central Park has been a hub for many cultural activities. In 2014, the largest known Indian flag was hoisted here. The flag measures 90X60 feet and the pole on which it is hoisted is 207 feet.
The Hanuman Temple is yet another popular landmark of CP and has been standing tall since ages. The Imperial, New Delhi, one of Delhi’s first luxury hotels opened in 1931 on Queen’s Way, the modern day Janpath.
Delhi Metro’s Rajiv Chowk station can also be called a tourist attraction. You need to be there at the rush hour and see for yourself what a true adventure it is. The station is the interchange for Yellow and Blue line. The first Starbucks Coffee store was also graced in CP and it became an instant hit amongst Delhites.
Don’t be surprised if you talk to your grandparents and they tell you stories about how they used to go to CP in their Ambassador or Fiat car. And what’s amazing is that probably you’d be telling your grandchildren stories about how you and your friends used to bunk college and roam around in CP.
A small history lesson
CP was the former location of headquarters of the British Raj. Now you know the roots of all the panache and charm. It was developed as a showpiece of Lutyens’ Delhi. The white architecture is it’s signature look.
CP is named after H.R.H Field Marshal The 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. The construction commenced in 1929 and was completed in 1933. There are 2 parts of CP – Inner Circle and Outer Circle. Inner Circle was renamed Rajiv Chowk and Outer Circle was called Indira Chowk.
When talking about CP we cannot miss Palika Bazaar. There was an empty block in the Inner Circle which came into use in 1970s with the construction of an underground market – Palika Bazaar. It was the first underground market of the city and still remains a favourite of many. It was around the same time, 1970s that the State Emporiums on Baba Kharak Singh Marg came into existence. All these buildings are a proof of the glorious bygone era.
A weekday or a weekend, CP is a cacophony of urban life. Rows after rows of shops, small eateries, hotels, offices, restaurants and coffee shops lend a distinctive characteristic to the much loved place.
CP is like the identity of Delhi. A lot of Bollywood movies have showcased CP. The most popular ones being – 3 Idiots, Vicky Donor, PK, Delhi Belly, Rockstar and 2 States.
Be it the street side stalls, impressive skyscrapers or the typical Georgian buildings, CP always has a special place in a Dilliwala’s heart.
If you are visiting Delhi, don’t forget to spend time exploring the heart of the city. Stroll through the lanes and get the true feel of the capital. From pirated books to premium leather bags, roadside cheap sunglasses (they are quite good) to De Paul’s cold coffee, CP is a delight to be at.
Clicking pictures with Honor 5C is also a delight. Not only does it capture the pictures so well, it helps convey the feel of a place in it’s true emotion. It highlights the beauty of a place. Like it is said, “a picture is worth a 1000 words”, similarly there are thousands of emotions that CP conveys. You just need the heart to feel the vibe.
What’s your connection with CP? Pour your love for the place in the comments below.