Rich in history yet modern in every way, Delhi is one of the top destination choices for travelers all over the world. History has it that this city has been built and destroyed no less than 11 times! Rise and fall of great empires have made it sure that this city is dotted with numerous monuments, structures and landmarks which carry the beautiful memories of it’s ancient past. When it comes to tourism, Delhi has something for everyone. Once you are in Delhi, it’s better to plan your trip in advance as many travelers find themselves fumbling for dates to accommodate the places that must be visited. Summers are hot, which is why, winter season is a more preferable time to be here.
Here’s a list of the top places that one can visit in Delhi:
1. Red Fort: Once a paragon of Mughal architecture, Red Fort or Lal Quila as it is popularly known, now stands as a shadow of the empire’s majestic past. Built by Shahjahan in 17th Century B.C. on the banks of river Yamuna, this fort also signify a link between the past and the present of India. It was here that the Indian flag was hoisted after India gained her independence, a tradition which is still followed on each anniversary of Indian Independence day. With number of palaces, and glorious structures, the fort continues to be an impressive reminder of Mughal grandeur.
2. Humayun’s Tomb: Arguably the most impressive work of Mughal architecture in the capital (not India, mind you), Humayun’s Tomb is also a UNESCO recognised World Heritage Site. Built by one of Humayun’s senior widow nine years after his death, this mausoleum is considered to be the forerunner of the ‘Taj Mahal’ in terms of architectural structure. It definitely tops the list of every tourists’ must visit places in Delhi.
3. Dilli Haat: The word Haat in India means an informal weekly market that is held in the rural areas. An open air food cum craft bazaar, Diili Haat is the sophisticated version of a haat. It has over 62 craft shops located inside it where artisans from all over the country gather to showcase and sell their handicraft. Food stalls representing every state of India offer cuisines of different kinds to the guests. It is run by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation. Do visit this place for an authentic Indian experience.
4. India Gate: Think about Delhi and you must be thinking about India Gate. Originally called the All India War Memorial, this historical monument bears the memoir of Indian and British soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War. Situated in Rajpath, the royal way which leads to the President’s residence, India Gate is definitely the most iconic symbol of New Delhi.
5.Qutab Minar: Located in Mehrauli, the origin of this 73 m-high tower of victory built by Qutab-ud-din Aibak is shrouded in controversy. An inscription over its eastern gate informs us that it was built with material acquired from destroying 27 Hindu temples. This tower is undisputedly one of the most remarkable towers not only in India but also in the world.
6. Jama Masjid: Jama Masjid of Delhi is the largest mosque in India. Situated across the road in front of the Red Fort, it is the principle mosque of old delhi. Built between 1644 and 1658, this Mosque is one of the last architectural works of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (who also built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort). The spacious courtyard of the Jama Masjid is capable of accommodating thousands of faithful.
7. Lotus Temple: Lotus Temple is one of the finest architectures of Bahai faith. Located at Kalkaji in New Delhi, the temple looks like a lotus flower. The place provides perfect environment for meditation and peace. After it’s completion in 1986, the temple has received recognition from all over the world for its magnificent architecture and design. Lotus Temple is among the most visited monuments in Delhi.
8. Akshardham Temple: The sprawling temple complex is one of the modern marvels of Indian architecture. The popularity of the temple can be gauged from the fact that 7 out of 10 people who visit Delhi also visit this temple. It sure is a site to behold and hence not to be missed.
9. Gandhi Smriti: Gandhi Smriti is a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, affectionately referred to as the ‘Father of the Nation’. It marks the location where he spent his last 144 days before being assassinated on 30th January 1948. You can visit the room where Mahatma Gandhi slept in (which is kept exactly how he left it), the prayer ground where he held mass congregation, and the spot where he was assassinated. The vibrant city is also filled with local markets like Janpath, Sarojini Market, Chandni Chowk and Khan Market where you can buy anything from inexpensive jewelry to great clothes. Of course, the street food of these areas is not to be missed!