Delhi the capital of India is truly a multidimensional metropolis. The magnificent ancient monuments stand testimony to its intriguing past while the glittering malls, metro, and swanky buildings, flaunt India’s status as one of the world’s greatest emerging economic superpowers. Explore Delhi’s architectural, historical, artistic, and culinary delights to soak up its color, vibrancy and multi-faceted spirit.
Delhi encapsulates two very different worlds: Old Delhi and New Delhi. The labyrinthine streets of Old Delhi, with their impressive mosques, monuments and forts, narrate the city’s Mughal past. Luytens’ New Delhi, with its greenery and wide boulevards, in contrast, was built as the capital of imperial India.
Delhi is also an important performance and creative art center of India. The city plays host to more than twenty five art galleries. For performing arts, you can head for the Trivani Kala Sangam, Indian Habitat Center, Siri Fort auditorium and Mandi House. The recently opened Central Park in the heart of Connaught Place also witnesses special performances in the evenings.
Delhi’s restaurants tempt the palate with sumptuous foods. Whether it’s Chinese, French, Italian, Indian or continental cuisine, the choices are endless. Equally bewildering are the goods for sale in the traditional bazaars or the modern markets.
Delhi is also a central base for visiting other tourist attractions in northern India. From here, you can visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, drive down to Rajasthan or go to Rishikesh to hit the waters.
Things To See
Delhi is liberally sprinkled with magnificent ancient monuments, impressive museums, captivating bazaars and swanky malls. The city has an enthralling art scene and some of the continent’s yummiest places to eat. Visit the Jantar Mantar, a famous observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur in 1742, located in the heart of the city. Spend the evening at India Gate, Delhi’s favourite picnic spot, which commemorates the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. Other places worth visiting are the Safdarjang Tomb, Purana Qila, Botanical Gardens and Zoo, Parliament House and the Garden of Five Senses.
Delhi’s historical monuments stand testimony to its rich historical past. Three of its monuments are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Qutub Minar: This imposing 73 m-high tower of victory was built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak. The tower has five distinct storeys each with a projecting balcony. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone while the fourth and fifth storeys are of sandstone and marble. Another attraction here is the 7 m-high iron pillar that dates back to the 4th century AD. The pillar which is made up of 98% wrought iron has with stood the test of time without any rust or decomposition. Other monuments in this complex include the spectacular Alai-Darwaza Gate, an interesting example of the Indo-Muslim art, and two mosques, including the Quwwatu’l-Islam, one of the oldest in northern India.
Humayun’s Tomb: This magnificent garden tomb, located near the crossing of Mathura road and Lodhi road was the final resting place of Mughal emperor Humayun. The monument, one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, encloses beautiful garden squares, with pathways and water channels. The mausoleum is topped by a double dome. It was here in the Humayun’s tomb that Lieutenant Hudson had captured the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II. The Humayun’s tomb was the source of inspiration for other Mughal architectural monuments that followed including the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Red Fort: The massive red sandstone structure is a recent entrant to the list of World Heritage Sites. Rising 33- meters above the bustle of Old Delhi, the Red Fort reflects the might, power, pomp and splendor of the Mughal Empire in India. It is from here on the night of 15th August 1947, the country’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, unfurled the national flag of Independent India. Even today, the Red Fort is the main venue for the country’s Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.
The vaulted arcade of the entrance houses a bazaar that sells trinkets, antiques and souvenirs to the tourists. Inside the Red Fort, there is a treasure trove of buildings including the Pearl Mosque, Royal Baths, Drum House, the Hall of Public Audiences, and the white marble Hall of Private Audiences.
In the evenings, a light and sound show is held, which brings to life India’s history connected with the Red Fort.