I am using emacs24, and I started using elpa to download the packages to ~/.emacs.d/elpa folder.

How can I load these packages?

For instance, I have tried (see below) for rainbow-delimiter but it doesn't work. I have tried commenting out a few lines and keeping others but nothing sticks.

;; Paren checking                                                                    
(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/elpa/")                 
(require 'rainbow-delimiters)                                                       
(autoloads (global-rainbow-delimiters-mode rainbow-delimiters-mode-enable           
(add-hook 'prog-mode-hook 'rainbow-delimiters-mode)                                 
;(add-hook 'emacs-lisp-mode-hook 'paredit-mode)                                      
(add-hook 'emacs-lisp-mode-hook 'rainbow-delimiters-mode)                           

If you're using the default elpa settings, the .el files will be installed in subdirectories of ~/.emacs.d/elpa. When you use require, it doesn't recursively search the directories in your load path. To get this effect, you can use the following snippet:

(let ((default-directory "~/.emacs.d/elpa"))

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