Accessibility in Delhi
In the last few years various steps have been taken to make Delhi barrier free and accessible for all especially the elderly and disabled. Be it public infrastructure or public transport an all inclusive effort is being made to make the capital city of India more welcoming and livable.
For visitors with disabilities listed below are places in Delhi that are accessible for all and will help making your visit to India hassle free and memorable.
Arrival in Delhi
About: The Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is the major gateway for overseas travelers and functions as both international and domestic connections, is located 20 kms south of the city centre.
Level of Accessibility: The airport is barrier free and provides facilities for disabled travelers making it an inclusive airport accommodating all.
Nearest public transport station: The airport is well connected to all parts of the city by Low Floor Accessible City Bus, Private taxis and Accessible Delhi Metro Rail.
Commuting in Delhi
Public transport in Delhi comprises buses, taxis (radio taxis & pre-paid taxis), auto rickshaws, and a metro rail system.
Delhi Transport Corporation Buses (DTC Buses)
About: Buses are the most popular means of transport catering to about 60% of the total demand. The state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is a major bus service provider for the city. DTC operates a huge fleet of both air conditioned and non air conditioned low floor buses.
Level of Accessibility: These Low Floor Buses are accessible to persons with mobility impairments with a manual ramp at the entrance that is pulled out on request. The BRT system has leveled Bus Q Shelters that allow level entry and exit to the bus and are completely accessible. However, beyond BRT, the manual ramp is operated on request and often requires support of attendant to get in to the bus. The buses may be crowded in peak hours and may be difficult for wheelchair users to use them.
HOHO Bus Service: City sightseeing the way you want
About: Sightseeing tours are popular in cities all over the world. Organized tours are expensive, rigid and need definite planning in advance. The Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus service provides sightseeing options to tourists who are willing to explore Delhi with a more flexible schedule. These tours are conducted in specially designed buses which move continuously along a route, allowing tourists to board or alight at any of the pickup/drop off points. The route of these buses covers monuments, museums, galleries, gardens, shopping malls, hotels and bazaars. All in all, the service is designed to provide a complete experience of the city to a tourist. The following are the salient features of the Hop On/Hop Off bus service-
• Air-conditioned environment friendly luxury buses
• Low floor
• Frequency- every 30 minutes
• Flexibility - tourists can hop on and hop off at any pick up/drop off point
• Entertaining and knowledgeable tour guides
• Route covers all major tourist destinations in Delhi
• Audio guides
• Online booking Facility
• Onboard ticketing facility
• Covers more than 18 tourist locations
• Monument entry tickets are available to save time
Level of Accessibility: Accessible
About: The pride of the capital 'Delhi Metro' is a rapid mass transit system serving Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida in the NationalCapital Territory of Delhi. It is known for its world class standards with regard to safety, reliability, punctuality, and comfort. It has a combination of elevated, at-grade and underground lines and uses both broad gauge and standard gauge rolling stock.
Level of Accessibility: The metro system is completely accessible for persons with reduced mobility with accessible lifts, tactile paving, low height counters, audio-visual information dissemination in the trains, level platform entry, wider doors and dedicated space for wheelchair parking in the rail in the first and last compartments. A rechargeable Metro Card can be bought if the visitors intend to travel frequently and save themselves of buying a ticket manually before each journey. There are no accessible toilets on the first phase of the Metro Line however paid Public Toilet Units have been added in the other phases of Delhi Metro.
About: Auto rickshaws are good for shorter trips in Delhi. Always in a distinctive yellow-and-green livery, Delhi auto rickshaws are three-wheeled partially enclosed contraptions that run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and can seat three people in the back. They are less expensive than taxis and unlike buses, they take you to the doorstep of your destination and a great way of seeing a city.
Level of Accessibility: After assisted transfer, they can store a foldable wheelchair easily and are low floor hence often preferred by persons with mobility impairments. These are suitable for the last leg connectivity from Bus/ Metro/ Railway Stations and for shorter rides within the city. However, Auto Rickshaws are not allowed to drive in the Five Star Hotels and hence they can drop you up to the Hotel Entrance only.
Shopping in Delhi
Shopping in Delhi is one of the most pleasurable and exciting experiences for shopping enthusiasts. There is a vast array of shopping markets in and around Delhi and visitors from India and abroad have a wide variety to choose from. While in Delhi a shopaholic can indulge in jewellary, carpets, precious stones, bamboo works, handicrafts, garments, potteries etc. Listed below are some accessible markets in Delhi for a fulfilling and comfortable experience.
About: The Dilli Haat provides the ambience of a traditional Rural Haat or village market, but one suited for more contemporary needs. Here one sees a synthesis of crafts, food and cultural activity.
This Food and Craft Bazar is a treasure house of Indian culture, handicrafts and ethnic cuisine, a unique bazaar, in the heart of the city, it displays the richness of Indian culture on a permanent basis.
Level of Accessibility: Dilli Haat is a barrier-free tourist spot in Delhi. Ramps and mergers bordered with railings throughout the market make every part of the place accessible to the elderly, disabled and children. The heights of a ticket counter and that of an STD/PCO booth have been lowered to make them accessible to wheelchair users. Also, uneven surfaces have been smoothed out in various areas to facilitate wheelchair movement.
Nearest public transport station: INA Metro station
About: The Janpath Market is situated opposite the famous Connaught Place, in New Delhi. It is the perfect place for buying the latest at very affordable prices. This is the place for the budget traveler looking for jewellary, clothes, artifacts, souvenirs, and gift items to take back home. Though mostly a stall set up market, Janpath also has a fair number of showrooms. The one who bargains well always gets the best deal! There are also a few cafes and restaurants around the market that one can easily walk to.
Level of Accessibility: Partly accessible since it is a stall set up it is all on the same level, with very few or no level differences, making it accessible to the elderly, disabled and children.
Nearest public transport station: Rajiv Chowk Metro Station; 750 metres, 2 Mins
Sarojini Nagar Market
About: Sarojini Nagar is one of the most popular shopping spots in Delhi from where one can buy clothes and fabrics at very affordable prices. If you have the knack of bargaining then this is the place for you! Apart from a large number of international and local brand showrooms, the crux of the market is formed by street side shops, selling garments of all designs and colors. The closest metro station to the market is at Dilli Haat which is just a few minutes away.
Level of Accessibility: Partly Accessible since the market mostly has street side shops and stalls everything is mostly on the same level, with very few or no level differences, making it accessible to the elderly, disabled and children.
Nearest public transport station: INA Metro station; 2.8 Kms, 5 Mins
Parks and Recreation in Delhi
Delhi’s rich offering of beautiful gardens filled with greenery not only adds to the beauty of the city but also makes it a green capital. Apart from the beauty, gardens in Delhi attract a large number of people especially during weekends.
Whether it’s a sporting event, family gathering, or a quiet walk along the trail, you will find the parks a hub of activity all year round.
National Zoological Park
About: The Delhi zoo, close to Purana Qila, near ITO, was established in 1959 and is spread over a massive area of 214 acres. Is regarded as one of the finest zoos in Asia and efforts have been made to provide an almost natural habitat to the animals and birds. There are more than 2,000 animals and bird species from places like Africa, America, Australia and even Asia. There is a lot of greenery around the zoo and it is an ideal picnic spot especially in winter.
Level of Accessibility: Partly Accessible
Nearest public transport station: Khan Market Metro Station; 2.8 Kms, 9 mins
Garden of Five Senses
About: The Garden of five senses is a breathtaking and enamoring experience. It is not just a park - it is a celebration of aesthetic expression and appreciation, a seamless dialogue between the creations of man and nature that invites interaction and exploration. It is an ideal ground to realize the twin objectives of the need for a public leisure space as well as awakening of human sensitivity to the environment. The 20 acres garden is located at Said-ul-Aizab village, close to the Mehrauli heritage area in New Delhi.
Level of Accessibility: Partly Accessible
Nearest public transport station: Saket Metro Station; 2 Kms, 5 mins
India Gate Lawns
About: Beautiful lawns spread over a large area. A popular evening location with Ice cream and other snacks available from mobile vendors! It is quite popular amongst children because of a Children’s Park which has swings, slides and an aquarium around India Gate.
Level of Accessibility: Partly Accessible
Nearest public transport station: Central Secretariat Metro Station; 3.5 Kms, 5 mins
Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri
About: Nehru Park is located in one of the plushest localities of the capital. Named after India's first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, the park is spread over an area of more than 80 acres. It is an attractive place with beautiful floral collections, picturesque little mounds and rocks inscribed with the sayings of Nehru. The major attractions of the Park are the 'Morning Ragas'- the musical concerts and the art events that are organized every Sunday morning. World famous musicians and vocalists of India perform in these concerts that are usually held for two hours amidst the landscaped lush gardens of the Nehru Park. The other attraction of the park is the recently organized free yoga classes by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corp (DTTDC) and the education department, as part of the Delhi Government's initiative to keep the residents of Delhi fit and happy.
Level of Accessibility: Partly Accessible
Nearest public transport station: Race Course Metro Station ; 2.4 Kms, 4 mins
Cultural and Heritage Sites
Today’s Delhi has a memento from each century to remind us of its precious heritage. These are in the forms of the countless monuments scattered across the city, which remind us of the times associated with them. And thanks to these monuments in Delhi, people have places to visit and enrich their memories with the immaculate beauty of their past. With the efforts of The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) a few heritage sites in Delhi have been made accessible for the elderly and disabled.
About: It is world’s tallest brick minaret with a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft) and was constructed in 1192 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, and later completed by his successor Iltutmish. The soaring conical tower is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture. Qutub Minar is a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site and has survived the ravages of time impressively. The Minar of Delhi is surrounded by a lush green garden, which is an ideal leisurely place for visitors. Qutab Minar is the favourite destination of tourists. It is India's most visited monument attracting around 3.9 million visitors every year.
Level of Accessibility: Qutub Minar is accessible for the elderly and disabled with all level differences addressed by ramps and has accessible public toilets. Multilingual audio tour guide services are also available for the tourists.
Nearest public transport station: Qutub Minar Metro Station
The Red Fort
About: The Red Fort of Delhi was built by the great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The Red Fort or the Lal Qila is located in the heart of Old Delhi and was previously known as Qila-e-Mu'alla of the then Shahjanabad, Shah Jahan's new capital. On 15th of August every year the National Flag of India is hoisted at the Red Fort by the Prime Minister, celebrating India's independence.
Level of Accessibility: The Red Fort is accessible to the elderly and disabled with all level differences addressed and ramps and accessible toilets in place.
Nearest public transport station: Chandni Chowk Metro Station; 3 Kms, 7 mins
About: This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. It is located on Mathura road-Lodhi Road crossing, near the tomb of Sufi Saint of Chisti Silsilah, Nizammuddin Auliya.
Level of Accessibility: Humayun’s Tomb is partly accessible for the disabled with ramps and level differences addressed at a few locations.
Nearest public transport station: The Central Secretariat Metro Station; 6.3 Kms, 10 mins
About: National Museum, New Delhi, today , has in its possession over 2,00,000 works of exquisite art, both of Indian and Foreign origin covering more than 5,000 years of our cultural heritage. The museum’s rich holding of various creative traditions and disciplines that represent a unity amidst diversity, an unmatched blend of the past with the present and strong perspective for the future, bring history to life.
Level of Accessibility: The National Museum is partly accessible with a ramped entry in place apart from audio guides and accessible toilets in the premises.
Nearest public transport station: The Barakhamba Road Metro Station; 5.4 Kms, 10 mins
National Rail Museum
About: The National Rail Museum is located at Chanakyapuri in New Delhi. It is a huge attraction because of its compilation of trains, locomotives and carriages. There are beautiful models dating back to the olden days on display. The trains and coaches mark the development typical to each era of progress. The first steam engine that traveled within the Indian sub continent is being displayed in the museum. The locomotives are show cased in the open and hence, one gets a feeling as if one is walking into a garden full of railways! The museum has a wealth of information on Indian Railways. Some of the wagons that were meant for the transport of the rich are on display and are the Viceregal Dining Car, Prince of Wales Saloon, Maharaja of Mysore's Saloon and Maharaja of Baroda's Saloon.
Level of Accessibility: The National Museum is partly accessible for the disabled.
Nearest public transport station: Jor Bagh Metro Station; 4 Kms, 10 mins
About: Lotus Temple is one of the most remarkable architectures of Bahai faith. It is located at Kalkaji in New Delhi. The temple looks like a lotus flower and is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. The temple has no restrictions for visitors and is open to people from all religions. The place provides immaculate environment for meditation, peace and wisdom. The Bahai temple was completed in 1986. Since then the temple has received recognition from all over the world for its splendid architecture and design. Lotus Temple is among the most visited monuments in India. The credit for building this beautiful structure goes to the Persian architect Fariborz Sahba from Canada.
Level of Accessibility: The Lotus Temple is partly accessible for the disabled.
Nearest public transport station: Central Secretariat Metro Station; 11.4 Kms, 20 mins
About: The temple complex displays the traditional Indian and Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture. The temple, which attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi, was officially opened in November 2005. It sits on the banks of the Yamuna adjacent to the 2010 Commonwealth Games village. The complex features a large central monument crafted entirely of stone, exhibitions on incidents from the life of Swaminarayan and the history of India, an IMAX feature, a musical fountain, and large landscaped gardens.
Level of Accessibility: The temple is partly accessible
Nearest public transport station: Akshardham Metro Station
About: Built in 1538 by then Mughal Emperor Humayun, the Old fort, also known as Purana Qila is one of the oldest monuments in Delhi. Purana Qila was built with single aim of protecting the City of Delhi that Emperor Humayun had created. It is also believed to be built on the site of the ancient city of Indraprastha; recent archeological excavations in the forts have unearthed relics as old as 1000BC.
Level of Accessibility: Purana Quila is partly accessible
Nearest public transport station: Pragati Maidan Metro Station; 1 Kms, 2 mins
About: Jantar Mantar is one of the world's oldest astronomical observatories. Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur (1699-1743) built this collection of salmon-colored structures after studying Hindu, and Muslim astronomical works. It is a remarkable structure which consists of fourteen geometric devices used for measuring time, forecasting weather changes, predicting behaviour of planets and finding extraterrestrial altitude. All these devices are fixed structures and point to a specific direction. The largest device or instrument is the Samrat Jantar which is 90 feet high and its shadow is plotted in such a manner so that is shows the exact time of the day.
Level of Accessibility: The monument is partly accessible for the disabled
Nearest public transport station: Rajiv chowk Metro Station; 2.1 Kms, 5 mins
About: In Rajghat Mahatma Gandhi's last rituals were performed on 31st January, 1948. One can see the memorial stone of the Father of the Nation in square shaped black stone when one visits this famous site in Delhi. The Rajghat at Delhi is visited by the nationals as well as foreigners who wish to pay their homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Adjacent to Rajghat there is also a Gandhi Memorial Museum that displays the life cycle of the great soul and the philosophy of the Sarvodaya Movement through a movie.
Level of Accessibility: Rajghat is partly accessible for the disabled
Nearest public transport station: Kashmiri Gate Metro Station; 3.9 Kms, 9 mins
Policy on Guide dogs/Service Animals
There is a declared policy by the Director General of Civil Aviation in form of a Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on the carriage of persons with disabilities by Air which allows use of service animals/dogs in the aircraft and at Airport.
However, there is no declared policy by most hotels on the entry of Service animals. Conference Hosts are in talks with other hospitality players to also declare their policy on guide dogs.