The capital city of India, lying on the bank of the river Yamuna is a blend of ancient and modern India. It is the administrative centre of the country. The city is divided into two regions Old Delhi and New Delhi. Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk are situated in Old Delhi. Sir Edwin Lutyens, a British architect designed the architecture of New Delhi. The streets of Old Delhi are narrow and bustling while New Delhi is spacious and tree lined. Among the archaeological remnants of ancient and medieval India this seven times destroyed city proudly stands as a living monument of the past glory.
Delhi has incredible tourist attractions including historical monuments like forts, mosques, temples and several museums which are worth visiting. Some of the major ones are:
Also known as Lal Quila, is Delhi’s signature attraction, situated in Old Delhi is a reminder of the power and prosperity of the Mogul Empire. The massive historical monument was built in red sandstone by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 17th century. Its foundation stone was laid in the year 1618 and was completed in 1647. There is a sound and light show in the evening at the fort that describes the glory of the past. The fort can be accessed through its gates named the Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate. The fort complex houses several beautiful palaces with highly ornamented walls and decorated pillars. It is situated on Netaji Subhash Marg, near Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi.
Entrance from Lahore Gate or Chatta Chowk, this monument is opened on all days except Monday from 10am to 4pm.
CHANDNI CHOWK MARKET
Chandni Chowk or The Moonlight Square is situated in Old Delhi opposite to Red Fort, famous for delicious street food, traditional cloth market and electronic items. It is the local market where one can do shopping and eating out.
Located opposite to the Red Fort, this beautiful mosque was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and is the largest mosque in India. It is an excellent example of Mughal architecture. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed in strips of red sandstone and white marble. It is opened on all days. Tourists not allowed during prayers.
Built in 1200 A.D. by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, Qutub Minar is perhaps the oldest historical monument in Delhi and probably the highest stone tower in India with a height of 73 m. It has five storeys with a diameter of 15 m at the base and 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone and the fourth and fifth are of marble and sandstone. The tower is ornamented with bands of inscriptions and four projected balconies. Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, the Iron Pillar, Alai Minar, Tomb of Iltutmish and Alai Darwaza are some of the major monuments near the tower. It is situated at Mehrauli, nine miles (16km) from Connaught Place and opened on all days.
India Gate 42 m high, an “Arc-de-Triomphe” stands like an archway in the middle of a crossroad in New Delhi. It commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The entire arch stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge moulding. The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. There is also an Eternal Flame standing in the middle of the gate and is a gesture to the Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
Humayun’s Tomb is one of the most beautiful examples of Mugul architecture in Delhi, and is often seen as a replica of the Taj Mahal in Agra. The tomb is an octagonal structure capped by a double dome that stands 125ft (38m) into the sky, and is set in a formal Persian garden.
AKSHAR DHAM TEMPLE
The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple was built by the blessings of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) and the colossal devotional efforts of 11,000 artisans and thousands of BAPS volunteers and it was inaugurated on 6 November, 2005. With several monuments and exhibitions inside, it provides a glimpse to the rich Indian past and architecture.
Jantar Mantar or the Observatory (Yantra means instruments, mantra means formulae) astronomical instruments were built in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur.
It is situated east of Nehru place, near Kalkaji Temple, this temple is built in 1986 in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai’s temples built around the world. The structure is made up of pure white marble The architect Furiburz Sabha chose the lotus as the symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Around the blooming petals there are nine pools of water, which light up, in natural light.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport connects the city with all the state capitals, important cities and important tourist destinations by regular flights of all the major airlines.
There are three main railway stations in Delhi : Old Delhi Railway Station, New Delhi Railway Station and the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.
Delhi is connected by NH2 from Kolkata, NH8 from Mumbai, NH1 from Amritsar and NH24 from Lucknow. The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) provides bus services to most of the cities of North India.
The favourable time to visit Delhi is from October to March. The summers are hot with a temperature rising up to 45 degrees C and winters are quite cold with a temperature dropping as low as 4 degrees C. The city receives a very little amount of rain during July and September.
Delhi is the main airport of arrival if your want to visit north of India