Some of the must visit archeological wonders in Delhi
The Rashtrapathi Bhavan is one of India's most prestigious establishments in the country. It is the official residence of the President Of India. Few official residences of the Head of State around the world would be able to match the beauty and splendour of Rashtrpathi Bhavan.
It was designed by Edwin Lutyens, spread over 4.5 acres of land with 340 rooms, 37 salons, 74 lobbies and loggias, 18 staircases and 37 fountains. With a floor area of 200, 000 square feet it is built by using 700 million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone. Hardly any steel has been used for the construction of this vast building and one of the most key aspects of Rastrapathi Bhavan is its dome.
It is visible from far off being a very eye catching round roof with a circular base lying in the heart of Delhi. The most magnificent room in the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the Durbar Hall, which lies directly beneath the main dome. All important Indian State and Official ceremonies are held here. To the west of the building is the famed Mughal Gardnes. These gardens are terraced and beautifully landscaped gardens that have been inspired from the famous Mughal gardens of Kashmir.
The garden is usually opened to the public in February. The parliament street adjacent to the Rashtrapati Bhawan prohibits the bus service but you can reach by taxi. The only downside is the general public cannot enter the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Only people with official permits are allowed to visit and such permits are issued from the reception office at the Raisina Road in New Delhi.
India Gate located at Rajpath is a memorial that was built in the memory of 90,000 soldiers who laid down their lives during World War I. It is composed of red sand stone and granite. Indian gate is an imposing 42m high arch and high arch and was designed by the famous architect Edwin Lutyens. I was earlier called All India War Memorial. The names of over 70,000 Indian soldiers have been inscribed on the walls of the monument.
Under the Indian Gate arch is shrine with a burning flame called the "Amar Jawan Jyoti" ( the flame of the immortal soldier) which in itself marks the tomb of the unknown soldier. The shrine it self consists of black marble cenotaph with a rifle placed on its barrel, crested by a soldier's helmet. Each face of the cenotaph has inscribed in gold the words "Amar Jawan" (Immortal Warrior).
Every year on 26th January during Republic Day Celebrations, The President of India places a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay his / her respects ato the Indian Armed Forces. The surrounding areas of the Gate add to the experience. With the presence of lush green lawns, Children Park and the famous boat club around- makes the place a perfect picnic spot. Cool evening breeze near the fountains of India gate attract hundreds of visitors daily. The Indian Gate is beautiful decorated with lights during the evenings.
Location: Less than a mile from Connaught Place, (Rajeev Chowk) at the eastern end of Rajpath.
Time to Visit: Open on all days, around the clock
Admission: Free and open to all
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach the monument, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or take the metro rail. From CP one can even take a stroll till India Gate.
Nearest Railway Station: New Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station: Kendriya Terminal
Time required for sightseeing: Approximately 1 hour
The Sandad Bhavan was designed by Herbert Baker. Sansad Bhavan or the Parliament House is a beautiful and imposing circular, sandstone building with mammoth pillars. It is the place where the ministers elected by the people of India meet to discuss various policies.
The Parliamet House can be divided into three complexes-the Lok Sabha (House of States), the Rajya Sabha (House of Lords), and the library. The three semi-circular chambers are surrounded by a circular corridor, which has 144 imposing pillars. This gives the building a very imposing and grand look. Beautiful lawns, gardens, fountains and waterways can be found all around the building which do go a long way in further adding to the décor of the place. Parliament House has a lot of significance in the history of democratic India, as it was in the central hall of this building that the transfer of power took place in the midnight of 14th August 1947. India became a democratic country from that day, free from British rule and Parliament House, the symbol of its democracy.
Location: On the northwest of Vijay Chowk, next to the Secretariat buildings at the end of Parliament Street (Sansad Marg)
Time to Visit: Entry into Parliament House requires official permission, whether Parliament is in session or not. Visitors can enter the public galleries of the Indian Parliament with prior permission, after receiving an official pass.
Admission Fee: Free, but prior permission required (foreigners/citizens: from their embassies or High commissions/ from the reception office on Raisina Road)
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach the monument, which is located near Connaught Place (CP), the heart of the city, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.
This is the famous tomb of the Mughal emperor Humayun. The tomb was designed by a Persian architect Mirak Mirza which was commissioned by the emperor's wife Hamida Banu Begum. Built in 1570, this tomb is of particular significance as it was the first garden tomb to be built in the Indian subcontinent. Its unique style is said to have been a source of inspiration for several other architectural wonders one of them which includes the Taj Mahal.
High rubble walls enclose a square garden divided into four large squares separated by causeways and water channels. Each square is divided again into smaller squares by pathways, forming a typical Mughal garden called Charbagh. It has also been declared a world heritage site by UNSECO.
Location: On Mathura Road, near the crossing of Lodi Road.
Qutub Minar is the tallest tower in India composed of red stand stone and stands at an impressive height of 72.5m and a diameter of 14.32m at the base and about 2.75m at the top. The foundation for this monument was laid by Qutb-u'd- Din Aibak in 1199. It was built to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori over the Rajputs in 1192. He raised three stories to which three more stories were added by his successor son in law Shamsu'd-Din IItutmish.
Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, to the north-east of minar was built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in A.D. 1198. It is the earliest extant - mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. It consists of a rectangular courtyard enclosed by cloisters, erected with the carved columns and architectural members of 27 Hindu and Jaina temples, which were demolished by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak as recorded in his inscription on the main eastern entrance. Later, a lofty arched screen was erected and the mosque was enlarged, by Shams-ud- Din Itutmish (A.D. 1210-35) and Ala-ud-Din Khalji.
The Iron Pillar in the courtyard bears an inscription in Sanskrit in Brahmi script of fourth century A.D., according to which the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja (standard of god Vishnu) on the hill known as Vishnupada in memory of a mighty king named Chandra. A deep socket on the top of the ornate capital indicates that probably an image of Garuda was fixed into it.
Location: Qutub Minar Complex, Mehrauli, 16 Kms from Connaught Place.
Time To Visit: Open on all days, from sunrise to sunset
Preferred Timings: 10 am - 4 pm
Admission Fee INR 10 for Indian citizens / INR 250 for foreigners
Photography charges: INR 25
Parking: Free Parking
How To Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach Qutub Minar, located in South Delhi, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.
Nearest Railway Station: Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station
In 1638 emperor Shahjahan decided to shift base to Delhi from Agra. And for this purpose the construction of a new palace called Red Fort (Lal Qila) had begun in 1639 and was completed by 1948. It got its name because of the red stone that went into building it. The red fort has walls extending up to 2 kms. in length with the height varying from 18 mts. on the river side to 33 mts. on the city side.
The Red Fort Delhi has two main entrances, the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate. The latter faces Chandni Chowk, the city's most crowded but diverse market. The Red Fort also houses the Diwan-i-Aam or the Hall of Public Audiences, where the Emperor would sit on a marbled paneled alcove, studded with gems, and hear complaints of the common people. The Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience, where private audiences were granted. This hall is made of marble, and its centre-piece used to be the Peacock Throne, which was studded with rubies and gems. The Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort on India's Independence Day.
The Red Fort is open Tuesday to Sunday and on all Public Holidays.
Hours of Operation
Visiting hours: 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM daily (except Monday).
Timings for Sound & Light Show (Son et Lummiere) - duration of 1 hour - are as follows:
The Raj Ghat is the last resting place of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated here on 31st January 1948 following his assassination on 30th January 1948 by Nathuram Godse. The memorial stone is a simple square platform made of black stone. The Mahatma's last words "Hey Ram" are inscribed near the black platform. An eternal flame continues to burn in a copper urn at the memorial. A commemorative ceremony takes place every Friday. Prayers are held in remembrance of Mahatma on the Birth (2nd October) and Death (30th January) Anniversaries. 30th January is remembered as Martyr's Day. The entire area of Rajghat stands surrounded by trees and here, while one could spot some of the most exotic shrubs of the country. This greenery is what lends such a serene aura to the Samadhi. The affairs of the Rajghat are being managed by an autonomous statutory body. Ordinary people, VIPs, tourists, foreign dignitaries including Heads of State all come here at Rajghat to pay their homage to the Mahatma.
Location: Between the main Ring Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road) and the banks of the sacred Yamuna River, just southeast of Red Fort.
Time to visit: Open on all days
Admission: Free and open to all.
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this monument, which is located between Old Delhi and New Delhi, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or take the metro rail.
April-September: 5.00 am-7.30 pm
October-March: 5.30 am-7.00 pm
Photography charges: nil
Nearest Railway Station: Old Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station: Kashmiri Gate
Functional Metro Station: Kashmiri Gate
Jantar Mantar is very popular among tourists and the people of Delhi. Jantar Mantar is one of the five astronomical observatories built Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. The other four are located at Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura. During the period between 1727 and 1733, Jantar Mantar took its form and structure. Initially Jantar Mantar was known as Yantra Mantra, which means instruments and formulae, but due to mispronunciation of the term, it is changed to the recognized name. It is maintained by the Jaipur government because it was built by the Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur.
It consists of fourteen geometric devices used for measuring time, forecasting weather changes, predicting behaviour of planets and finding extraterrestrial altitude. All these devices are fixed structures and point to a specific direction. The largest device or instrument is the Samrat Jantar which is 90 feet high and its shadow is plotted in such a manner so that is shows the exact time of the day. Any weather change or the onset of monsoons can be ascertained by the Hindu Chhatri, which is a small domed structure. It has always attracted architects, historians and scientists from all over the world.
Location: Parliament Street (Sansad Marg), near Connaught Place (Rajeev Chowk)
Time to Visit: Open on all days of the week from Sunrise to Sunset
Entry Fees: INR 5 for Indian citizens / INR 100 for foreigners
Preferred Timings: Morning and Evening, when shadows can be seen on the astronomical instruments.
Video filming charges: INR 25.
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this monument, which is located in Connaught Place (CP), the heart of the city, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail. From CP one can take a stroll to this monument.
Lodhi Garden lies on Lodhi Road between Safdargunj Tomb and Khan market. It is an architectural wonder from the Sayyid and Lodi dynasty. It was redesigned by re-deigned by JA Stein and Garrett Eckbo in the year 1968 and that's how it got the present shape. The must visit tombs of the gardens over here are tombs of Muhammad Shah, the 3rd leader of Sayyid dynasty and Sikandar Lodhi.
Then there is also the Bara Gumbad and Sheesh Gumbad in the center of Lodhi Garden in Delhi which speak of the architectural glory of that era. The Bara Gumbad consists of a large rubber construct dome, a three domed mosque and a residence surrounding a central courtyard. This is known to contain the remnants of a water tank while to the opposite of this is the Sheesh Gumbad which consists of the remains of an unknown family. To top it all another interesting feature of this place is it serves as a jogger's park for the people of Delhi. In the mornings you will see lots of people jogging, practicing yoga and doing other forms of exercises.
Location: On the main Lodi Road, about a kilometer east of Safdarjang's tomb
Time to Visit: Open on all days
Admission Fee: Free and open to all
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach the gardens, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.
Preferred Timings: Sunrise - to late evening. Avoid public holidays when the park is full of picnickers.
Photography charges: nil
Nearest Railway Station: New Delhi Railway Station
Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat
It is located at the intersection of Safdarjang Road and Aurobindo Marg, near the Safdarjang airport. The Nawab of Awadh -Shuja-ud-Daula built the tomb in 1753-54 for his father Mirza Muqim Mansur Khan. Mirza Khan was also popularly known as Safdarjung.
His tomb can be described as the last garden tomb style layout to be built in India, a trend which had started with Humayun's tomb. The mausoleum is centrally domes with walls that have high enclosures and stands exquisitely on a high terrace that has a vast and extensive garden. To the south we have the battlefield where in 1398 Tuglaq was defeated in battle by Timur and his Mongol army. It is made of red and buff stone and measures 18.28 sq meters. Its Central chamber is square with eight apartments around it and has one cenotaph. There are polygonal towers at the corners of the mausoleum, which are covered by kiosks.
The grave of the emperor and his wife lies in the centre of the underground chamber while you will notice that the ceilings of the whole tomb are decorated nicely with painted plasterworks.
The marble and sandstone used in the construction have been removed from the mausoleum of Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khanan. The Safdarjung tomb has beautiful pavilions on either sides and they are called "Moti Mahal" (the pearl palace) and "Jangli Mahal" (the sylvan palace) and "Badshah Pasand" or the emperor's favorite.
Location: At the intersection of Safdarjang Road and Aurobindo Marg, near the Safdarjang airport.
Famous as: Historic monument
Time to Visit: Open on all days
Preferred Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
Admission Fee: Indian citizens / foreigners: INR 5/ INR 100
How to Reach: Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach the monument or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail. The monument is just 20 minutes drive from Connaught Place.
The National museum at Janpath, offers a great insight in the cultural and historical evolution of India. The museum has a vast array of exhibits that symbolize the civilization of 5000 years of Indian history. The three floors of the museum offer the visitor a splendid view and understanding of the many eras that have gone by in Indian history.
The priceless artifacts and other pieces of art work have been properly arranged and are displayed according to the period in which they belong. Some of the very popular exhibits of the museum are the famous sculpture of Dancing Girl from Mohenjo-Daro belonging to 2,500 BC, the Moghul period paintings & Arabian manuscripts are some of the prized possessions here.
Another interesting aspect of the place is Sir Aurel Stein's collection in the central Asian gallery that consists of wall paintings, sculptures and silk banners. Artifacts that date back to 3000-1500 BC include some stone Neolithic tools and other priceless possessions that gives us a taste of the Mughal, Pahari schools, Rajasthani styles. Then, there is shell and bone jewelry belonging to Indus Valley Civilization of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa and also the carved pillars and statues of the Mauryan dynasty.
10.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M (Monday Closed)
Indian Citizens - Rs. 10 each.
Other - Rs. 300 each (inclusive of Audio Tour Charges).
Students - Rs. 1 each
Audio Tour available in English, French, German, Japenese and Hindi languages.
Rs. - 100 each
Rs. 200 for 2 adults and 2 Children below 12 years Family Rate
Indian Citizens - Rs. 20 per Camera.
Others - Rs. 300 per Camera
A visit to Delhi would also be incomplete if one does not get to see the Taj Mahal of Agra which is located just a few hours from the capital. The Taj Mahal is considered 'the epitome of love'. It is a monument of incredible beauty and artistry. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got this monument constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at the first sight.
It's made out of marble and took 22 years and 20 000 workers to complete. Standing majestically on the banks of River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is synonymous with love and romance. The Taj Mahal appears to gradually alter its color in the changing light of the day. It's well worth the effort to get up early and spend sunrise there, as it majestically reveals itself.
Agra is well connected by rail. The main railway station is Agra Cantt. High speed Shatabdi Express services operate from Delhi, Varanasi, and cities in Rajasthan.
Location: The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Delhi. It's part of India's popular Golden Triangle tourist circuit.
Timings: 6:00 am to 7:30 pm (Friday closed)
Rs. 970 (Foreigners)
Rs. 20 (Indians, during daytime)
Rs. 110 (Indians, during sunrise and sunset)