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Tourist Places To Visit In Delhi
Delhi or Dilli, is one of the seven Union Territories of India. It is a city that is said to be known amongst the oldest existing cities of the world. The territory of Delhi has been reincarnated 11 times, so far. Every empire that ever rested their kingdom within the boundaries of this flat land has left a part of its charm that still exists within the structures and the people. All the historic monuments and structures that surround this vibrant capital reflect the rich culture and the long history that has carved the face of Delhi. The current status of Delhi as the capital and centre of the Indian Government makes it all the more exquisite. Here is our list for you to keep in your back pocket when exploring the capital. Here are the best tourist places that you must visit when in Delhi, from Red Fort to Qutub Minar, India Gate to Chandni Chowk.
The Red Fort
The Red Fort (Lal Qila) is a famous historic monument of Delhi. It is one of the oldest structures in the city and a top tourist visiting spot. It has a majestic aura that reflects from its red sandstone walls and binds the spectators with its opulent charm. Built by the famous Mughal emperor Shahjahan, the Red Fort includes many monumental buildings built inside its walls which can be entered via a huge entrance called the Lahore Gate. A sound and light show describing Mughal history is a tourist attraction in the evenings.
Open: Tue-Sun; Mondays closed | Timings: Sunrise to Sunset | Entry Fee: Rs.10 (Indians), Rs.250 (foreigners) | Photography: Nil (Rs.25 for video filming) | Sound & Light Shows: 6pm onwards in English and Hindi. Ticket: Rs.80 (adults), Rs.30 (children)
Connaught Place (CP) also called as Rajiv Chowk serves as the most bubbling shopping spot in the whole of Delhi. Drawing its roots from the British colonial government, CP branched out into one of the major places for the upmarket shopping outlets after the opening of the metro junction of Rajiv Chowk under it. If you are visiting Delhi for shopping souvenirs, don’t forget to stalk the nearby Palika bazaar that suits the need of every shopper looking for modern to traditional markets.
The Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India. Situated opposite Red Fort, it should be paid a visit at least once while you are roaming across the streets of Delhi. It is preserved in perfect state which reminisces the dwelling of the Mughal rulings in the city. Though visiting the Masjid is free, you may be charged accordingly if you want to climb the minar all the way up that gives you scenic view of Delhi. Still a mosque that functions to its entirety, the visitors are restricted to keep their visits to a minimal and photography during prayers is not allowed.
You don’t stand a chance to miss the street food in Delhi. Their recipes and flavours have earned a respectful name in and beyond the borders of the country. And if you land up in a lane full of food joints, then you are probably in Kebab Lane, the soul of foodies in Delhi. Located to the south of Jama Masjid, there are a plenty of options that you can vouch for while you are in this lane. The kebabs, biryanis and royal tandooris have set a benchmark in the field of street food in Delhi.
A small section of Old Delhi that still remains at the heart of the city, Chandni Chowk is a major hub to experience the original and authentic Indian bazaar. Bustling with chaos and vibrant people with voices bargaining over the prices, this place is sure to give you a glimpse about life in Delhi. Chandni Chowk hosts a series of junctions that include places of worship, bazaars, restaurants and reasonable budget hotels. The crowd and cornered shops placed in a congested inch-of-a-place are sure to amaze you.
Chawri bazaar is particularly famous for ‘Chaat’ - a type of Indian street food that literally means ‘to lick’. Chawri Bazaar is arguably the most hygienic place for enjoying chaat. Apart from its chaat, Chawri bazaar also offers a wildly packed cycle-rickshaw tour towards the Jama Masjid or the Red Fort which gives you a chance to experience Delhi like it is shown in the movies.
Built by a grieving wife for her husband, the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex consists of three major buildings that act as tombs of three different Mughal greats. The tombs are bordered by generously maintained lush green gardens that are designed in Persian Char Bagh (four corners) style. These gardens reflect the majestic awe of the first major Mughal structure in the city, dating back to 1562. Historians describe the centre structure that hosts the tomb of Humayun, as a prototype to Agra’s Taj Mahal. Even though Humayun’s tomb is built in red sandstone and not white marble, the design and style remarkably resemble that of the Taj Mahal.
India Gate is situated towards the end of Rajpath, the main parade route that leads from the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the residence of the President). The route via Rajpath towards India Gate is surrounded by grassy lawns that act an outdoor resting spot in the evening. At night, the structure is lit up and looks brilliant as you cross the lawns. India Gate was built in the memory of Indian soldiers who died in the First World War. There is an eternal flame that is kept burning for the soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation.
The National Museum hosts a variety of masterpieces that are preserved with utmost care. The artefacts draw a distinct picture of Indian history that is encased within the walls of this very museum. It includes a major section based on the Indus Valley Culture that marks the remains of the first civilization on the Indian land. The museum also showcases various other religious and informational sections that include handicrafts and art forms that represent different regions of India. Some of the major attractions are a 4,600 year old Harappan temple dancer, the miniature painting gallery and a giant temple chariot that stands outside the museum.
National Zoological Park
Situated on Mathura Road, the National Zoological Park (NZP) is a huge green park that is maintained with an intention to preserve the biodiversity of the country. More like a sanctuary, the NZP serves as a home to some of the rare wild animals that are rehabilitated from their original natural habitat from all across India. The entire park can be explored by foot if you want to witness the white tigers and Indian elephant in their natural surroundings.
Feroz Shah Kotla
You may know this place by the famous International cricket arena named after it. Feroz Shah Kotla poses a natural aura that derives itself from the medieval ages and their beliefs. The tall built structures that resemble an old temple of sorts, is said to be a known place as the hub of Jinns (genies) in Delhi. People of all faiths worship this place and put forth their wishes within the dark and spooky walls of Feroz Shah Kotla. A visit to Feroz Shah Kotla is a must especially if you have a penchant for all things spooky.
The Akshardham Temple is a Swaminarayan Temple, known world wide for its spiritual and cultural beauty. It is an extravagant complex that shows Indian legends and culture in a unique way through its architecture. Akshardham was inaugurated by the former President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. You can sit on the banks of river Yamuna and enjoy the view or explore the temple for its various parts — Sahaj Anand Water Show, Abhishek Mandap etc. Many exhibitions are also organised to educate visitors about India.
The Hauz Khas neighbourhood is South Delhi’s rustic but chic area, known for great delight. From ancient buildings and havelis to streets that are littered with graffiti and cafes, this is your haunt if you are into the chill, relaxed vibes of a semi-urbane scene. You can visit mehak ka chota quila or enjoy some traipsing around in the Gulmohar Park and Green Park. As night falls, turn towards the Hauz Khas Village’s cafes, lounges and restaurants. If you remember Tamasha and Love aaj Kal Delhi locations then that’s the kind of beauty you are in for here!
Jantar Mantar is an open-air museum and astronomical centre, built by the king of Jaipur — Maharaja Jai Singh II. There is one like it in Jaipur as well. This one in Delhi is home to 12 astronomical instruments that measure things from time to sun to stars, predict movement of planets and much more in the ancient Indian way. The observatory is open to all and show how advanced the Indian civilisation was that it had devised methods, formulas as well as infrastructure to see in the sky.
Who doesn’t know about Qutub Minar? The tall tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and historically important to Delhi. Located in the Mehrauli district of North Delhi, Qutub Minar has great architectural significance and rises to 5 stories with a diameter of 14.3 m at the base that narrows to 2.7 at the top. Genius, right? It is said to be inspired by the Minaret of Jam of Afghanistan. Visit either early morning or late evening, the latter time is special because of the Decorative Light Show that takes place during the Qutub Minar Festival of October.
Bahai (Lotus) Temple
Bahai is a relatively young religion, and the Lotus Temple is one of the few temples dedicated to it in the world. No surprises there that it is located in a country that is accepting of all religions. The temple was built in 1986 and is white in colour, with lotus petals blooming as its structure. A total of 2500 people can fit into the temple at any given time and the worship here is heavy with spirituality. People of all faiths are allowed to visit this temple.
Rashtrapati Bhawan is the official residence of the President of India, and one of the grandest in the world. It used to be the home of the Viceroy of India during the colonial rule. Situated at the end of Rajpath, Rashtrapati Bhawan spreads over 130 hectares and encompasses gardens, outhouses, stables, official guest houses, residence for security and office staff et al. White House, step back, because the Rashtrapati Bhawan is the largest residence of a head of state. Architect Lutyens designed this palace and today many of its parts are open for tourists between 9 am to 4 pm every day from August to March.
Agrasen ki Baoli
Agrasen ki Baoli is a beautiful monument that is controlled by the Archaeological Survey of India. The well is located near Connaught Place and is ripe with legends. Built by King Agrasen in the 14th Century, it is 15 m deep and beautifully crafted. It has a hundred and eight steps that lead to the mouth of the well, inviting tourists to come and sit and spend time. The Aamir Khan-starrer movie PK made this well more famous throughout the country.
Paranthe Wali Gali
Now then, how can you visit Delhi and not hog to your heart's content? And when you talk about hogging, how can you not say ‘Paranthe Wali Gali?’ It is a narrow street near Chandni Chowk which sells the best parantha on the street. All the shops and stalls sell only vegetarian paranthas, in as many varieties as maybe you can imagine — from aloo to paneer to khoya to mix vegetable. What’s also worth noting is that these are also without onion and garlic, just like the old times.
Sarojini Nagar Market
Shopping in Delhi? Well, there are a hundred brands and luxury malls to do so, but what’s the fun in that?
Visit Sarojini Nagar, Delhi’s own fashion street with everything on the street — from clothes to shoes to bags to accessories! You will have to learn how to keep an eye out for great stuff among all the good stuff, and develop a knack for bargaining. But all in all, it is a unique experience and you come back with a splendid haul at half the price of what you would spend at a Zara or Forever 21. The street extends right from Safdarjung Enclave all the way to Netaji Nagar.