Top Places to Visit in Delhi

Delhi is the Capital territory of India, has a rich history. Delhi has been continuously inhabited since the 6th century BC with built destroyed and rebuilt 7 times. Delhi was made the capital of Independent India in 1950 and it was declared a state in 1992. Through most of its history, Delhi has served as a capital of various kingdoms and empires. The city has its historical importance for the fact that it has been the home to Mugal Empire. Delhi has been ruled by different kinds of the rulers that belong to different regions and thus follow their own tradition. This is the reason that the capital city of India has vast variety of the traditions and the culture. The city is dotted with spellbinding mosques, forts, and monuments left over from the Mughal rulers that once occupied the city.

New Delhi is the preferred starting point for the popular Golden Triangle tour that comprises of New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Activities and things to do in Delhi are not limited to these destinations/attractions, but these 10 iconic places do present to visitors.

Red Fort (Lal Qila)

Red Fort, New Delhi, India Red fort is one of the great historical monument of India. The Red Fort was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century that took around 9 years to complete this magnificent structure. The Red Fort was the residence of the Mughal emperor of India for nearly 200 years, until 1857. The Red Fort is standing proof of the outstanding architectural perfection of the Mughals. Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned construction of the Red Fort in 1638, when he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. It was refined with a fusion of Islamic, Persian and Hindu influences during the time of Shah Jehan. The fort is located beside the river Yamuna. A massive red stone wall was built around the fort to protect it from the invaders. There is much to explore here! The Rang Mahal , Which was the residence of the Maharanis and mistresses of the Emperor , holds a spectacular Lotus shaped fountain, made out of a single piece of marble. Shah Jahan's throne was placed in the Diwan-i-Khas , made of solid gold frame and studded with precious stones.

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Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar, New Delhi, India Qutub Minar in Delhi was inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage List for its unique representation of the Islamic architectural and artistic excellence. It is one of the famous Indian heritage sites located in Delhi. The tall minaret was constructed in 1192 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, and later completed by his successor Iltutmish. There are inscriptions all round the tower and these inscriptions reveal that Iltutmish finised the tower. Each of the 5 storeys and tower of Qutub Minar has unique designs. Qutab Minar is among the tallest and famous towers in the world and It is made from red standstone and marbles. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. It's Height is 72.5 meteres or 237.8 feet. The base of the Qutub Minar measures 14.32 meters and the top of the structure measures 2.75 meters. The minar did receive some damage because of earthquakes on more than a couple of occasions but was reinstated and renovated by the respective rulers.

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Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi, India Located on the banks of the River Yamuna this structure was declared a UNESCO Heritage site in 1993. Humayun’s tomb is one of the best preserved Mughal monuments. It was the first of this type of Mughal architecture to be built in India, and the Mughal rulers followed it up with an extensive period of construction all over the country. Humayun Tomb was built to remember the emperor Humayun by his wife Bega Begum (Haji Begum) in 1569-70. The monument displays the inspiration of Persian architecture. Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian, was the architect employed by Haji Begam for this tomb. The building is constructed from red sandstone, while the tomb itself is made of yellow and black marble. The world famous Taj Mahal bears resemblance to this monument constructed during early Mughal rule in India. Humayun was the first to be buried in the Tomb when he died in 1556 but the tomb has now within it over 100 graves, earning the name, 'Dormitory of The Mughals'. Steep steps lead up the Sanctum of the tomb.

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India Gate

India Gate, New Delhi, India The India Gate, originally called the All India War Memorial, is a war memorial, built in memory of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army in World War I. The names of the soldiers are inscribed in the walls of India Gate. India gate is a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the undivided British Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War. India Gate is arguably the most iconic and enduring symbol of New Delhi. Amar Jawan Jyoti, an eternal flame, burns 24 hours. This was lit to pay home to the soldiers who were killed during the Indo-Pak war in 1971. Situated at the at the end of Rajpath, the India Gate is 42 meters high and is a popular as a relaxation area during the summer evenings and a popular picnic spot during winter.

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Bahai Temple (Lotus Temple)

Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India Lotus Temple or Bahai Temple is the last of seven Major Bahai's temples built around the world. It is a house of worship completed in the year 1986 under the supervision of Persian architect Fariborz Sahba. Built in the shape of a half opened lotus flower the temple is a wonderful place to enjoy silence – a rare experience in Delhi. This white marble structure has altogether 27 free-standing marble-clad "petals" arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. Around the blooming petals there are nine pools of water, which light up, in natural light. It was made to look like a lotus floating on blue water. Been an ideal place to meditate, pray and relax, this temple has much more than one can see with his or her bare eyes. You can experience calm like never before, for the main temple area prohibits visitors from making any noise whatsoever. This exemplifies the true nature of Buddhist traditions, which lays emphasis on meditation as a means to experience divinity. It is open to the general mass from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm in the summer months and 9:30 am to 5:30 pm during the winter months.

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Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple, New Delhi, India One of the modern marvels of architecture, this massive temple complex was built by the Swaminarayan Sanstha spiritual organization and opened in 2005. The main monument, at the center of the complex, is 141-foot high, 316-foot wide, and 356-foot long. In addition to the large central temple crafted entirely of stone, the complex features exhibitions on incidents from the life of Swaminarayan and the history of India. The Akshardham temple complex stands on the banks of the Yamuna and has more than a 100 acres of lawn decorated with water fountains and carved pavilions. Do note that cell phones and cameras are not permitted inside. Entry cost is Free. However, tickets are required to view the exhibitions. Opening hours is Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30 a.m. until 6.30 p.m. (last entry). Closed on Monday.

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Rashtrapati Bhavan

Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi, India The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home of the President of India, located at the west end of the Rajpath in New Delhi, India with the India gate at the opposite end. The main palace building was formerly known as Viceroy's House. It was renamed Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1950 after India's independence. In terms of area, it is the largest residence of a Head of State in the world. The decision to build a residence in New Delhi for the British Viceroy was taken after it was decided that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta (Kolkata) to Delhi in the Delhi Durbar of 1910. You will be surprised to know that the entire construction of the building took 19 years. It is a real masterpiece that was built in the British period. Edwin Lutyens designed the building and construction work began in 1911. Lord Edwin, the then Viceroy and Governor General of India was the first to live here in 1931. Lying under the main dome is the elegant Durbar Hall which is the venue for all the official functions of the President such as the oath taking ceremony by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Members of Parliament. Mughal Gardens is situated at the back of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, it is open to the public in February-March every year. Visitors are allowed entry from 9.30 A.M. till 2.30 P.M. on all days except Mondays.

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Raj Ghat

Raj Ghat, New Delhi, India Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. In an immense park on the banks of the Yamuna river lies the memorial of black marble on the site of the cremation of Mahatma Gandhi. Assassinated in January 1948, he was cremated here the next day on 31st January 1948. An eternal flame burns perpetually in the middle (end) of the square stone. The memorial was designed to reflect Gandhi's simple life. The inscription in the stone, "He Ram" ("Oh God"), is believed to be Gandhi's last words. Beautiful lawns surround the walled enclosure that houses the memorial. A footpath leads to the memorial. You must remove your shoes before entering the enclosure. Every Friday, the day when he died, a prayer is held at Rajghat. It is surrounded by a beautiful park with labelled trees planted by notables like Queen Elizabeth II, USA President Eisenhower, Ho Chi Minh and various others.

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Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid, New Delhi, India Jama Masjid of Delhi is the largest mosque in India, about 25,000 people can pray in the courtyard at a time. This historical place is located in the central heart of old Delhi just opposite the famous red fort. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 and was originally called Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, meaning 'mosque commanding view of the world'. The mosque is a real example of great architecture that existed during the Mughal period. About the architecture of the Jama Masjid, it has two 40 meter high, and is constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. It has three entry gates and four towers in the complex of the Masjid. As it's a practicing mosque, it's closed on Fridays and you need to be dressed appropriately to enter. You can enter from gate 1 or 3.

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National Museum

National Museum, New Delhi, India This is one of the worth visiting places in New Delhi, National Museum is one of the largest museums in India established on 15th August 1949 and inaugurated on 18th December 1960 at its present premise. The museum houses a range of priceless and timeless collection ranging from Archaeology; Anthropology; Coins and Jewellery collection to some very rare Manuscripts, Art and Paintings etc. spread over three floors: Ground, First and Second. The National Museum is a must visit for every tourist in Delhi. The facilities are excellent including the audio tour which matches the best in the world. The artefacts are well presented and documented and give a glimpse of cultural and social development during India's long history. The museum remains open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on Monday & National Holidays. The entrance fee is nominal , Rs 1/- for students , Rs 10/ - for Indians and Rs 300/- for others (incl audio tour) as last updated 22/06/2015.

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