Connaught Place (CP)
Connaught Place is popularly known as CP in short and is now officially named as Rajiv Chowk by the State Government. It is a prime and circular business and commercial centre of Delhi located very close to the New Delhi Railway Station which is situated just 1.7 Kms or 4 minutes away. The Statesmen, Gopaldas and State Emporia buildings are situated in this circle of CP including the Head Offices of Major International Airlines, Banks, Media and so forth. It also forms an integral part of New Delhi as it homes the Trade Centre of the capital city. It is also famous amongst youngsters and tourists who enjoy the ambience this market place exude.
Connaught Place is surrounded by major Roads renamed as Marg such as the Barakhamba Road, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Panchkuian Marg also spelled as Panchkuia Marg. It also encompasses areas like Barakhamba, Connaught Circus and Janpath.
Connaught Place was initially designed as a Central Business Hub of the British Empire in India and named after the Duke of Connaught. Its construction commenced in 1929 and was completed by 1933. The Chief architect named Robert Tor Russell constructed CP based on the blue print and map outline provided by W. H. Nichollas who was the British Committee Architect.
The Aerial view of Connaught Place clearly depicts the way this place was beautifully and logically designed in the shape of a circle with two radial circles namely inner and outer circles. Eight radial roads stretches out of the inner circle of Connaught Place like the wheel spokes and twelve radial roads stretches out of the outer circle of Connaught Place leading you out of this centre and connects it to the other parts of Delhi. This circle also homes the famous underground shopping complex at the centre named Palika Bazaar.
Connaught Place boasts of various heritage structures based on the Georgian Style and was designed to imitate the Royal Crescent of England in Bath that is visible even today though Connaught Place is seen today only as a business cum shopping complex, It is lined with numerous Street Stalls and Eating Outlets. The Central Park of this area is a famous venue for hosting many cultural events and concerts. This region also faced its share of bad times with the recent terrorist bomb blast that occurred in September 2008 including various disputes and traffic congestion despite the availability of the Delhi Metro link for commuting.
Connaught Place is a shopping extravaganza for shopaholics looking for branded items, jewellery, wares and artefacts. It is dotted with snack bars for a quick bite and numerous upmarket restaurants and budget eating joints that mostly attracts foreigners. For visitors looking for an inexpensive eating outlet, CP offers a treat of roadside eating joints that serve tea, coffee, milk shakes, sandwiches, patties and numerous vegetarian and non-vegetarians snacks and meals with the comfort of an air-conditioned dining space. Janpath which is situated behind CP also offers a variety of delectable snacks at an affordable price.
Connaught Place is mostly crowded during Friday nights and Saturdays and less crowded from Mondays to Fridays mornings. Most of the Elite Restaurants and Shops remain closed on Sunday mornings. It is also accessible via road as it is well connected to all parts of Delhi.
The Rajiv Chowk Metro station located underground of Connaught Place is known as the busiest metro station of Delhi as it is also an interchanging point for metro link connectivity to other parts of the city. The Old Delhi Railway Station is located approximately 7.7 Kms or 18 minutes away while the Nizamuddin Railway Station is 8 Kms or 22 minutes away and the Indira Gandhi International Airport is about 20.9 Kms or 38 minutes away.