Famous sites in Delhi

No other city in the world is like Delhi, the capital of India. A wonderful and historic city, Delhi has an excellent old town ambience in Old Delhi, and is modern in New Delhi There are many attractions to explore when visiting Delhi including the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Red Fort, built by sixth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who also built Taj Mahal. Another notable attraction is the Qutab Minar, built by Qutab –Ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of India. Delhi is an ideal base exploring the world famous Taj Mahal at Agra. The different cities of the state of Rajasthan can be explored while you stay in Delhi.

It can be said without a shadow of doubt that spending your holiday in and around Delhi will make for a memorable time.

Places of Interest in Delhi

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

A sacred place of Sikhism, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is venerated by people and dedicated to eight Sikh guru, Sri Harkishen Sahib. The striking golden dome of the sculpted bronze copula of the Gurudwara is a feast for the eyes. The shimmering waters of the poll called sarovar are said to have healing powers.

Devotional music adds to the atmosphere. After visiting the sanctum you can end the day at the temple's langar (canteen) which offers free meal to all the devotees without any distinction of caste, creed and status.

Jantar Mantar

One of the five astronomical observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country, Jantar Mantar is located on the Parliament Street. Built in 1725, this observatory houses astronomical instruments which will fascinate you. It is open all days of the week.

Jama Masjid

Famous for its impressive size and remarkable architecture, Jama Masjid, with its three magnificent domes and two graceful minarets is one of Delhi’s most popular attractions. Constructed by the fifth Mughal Emperor and builder of Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan, in 1656 AD, it is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture and is still used by thousands of worshippers.

The interior of Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, is elegantly decorated. You can also find calligraphic inscriptions from Koran on the walls of the mosque.

Red Fort

The Red Fort, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, is one of the most striking and immediately distinguishable structures on the Delhi’s skyline. This magnificent red sandstone structure consists of a sprawling collection of buildings which once served as the living quarters for the Mughal Emperors, their courtiers, family and staff of nearly 3000 people. Since no expense was spared in decorating the various buildings, they provide insight into the opulent lifestyle of the Mughal Emperors.

Tughlaqabad

Presently in a state of ruins, Tughlaqabad fort was built by Ghiasuddin Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty, in 1324. Within the enclosure of the fort were located a wide array buildings, palaces, mosques, pavilions, towers, step-wells and tanks. After the death of Ghiasuddin Tughlaq in 1325, the fort was relegated to a deserted place and is now a haunted place. His tomb is located at the opposite side of the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road on which the Tughlaqabad fort is located.

Qutab Minar Complex

Qutb Minar in Delhi, a signature monument of Delhi, is a World Heritage Site monument built by Qutub-ud-din Aikab, the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Located in the Meharauli area of Delhi, this massive 72m tower is one of the chief attractions of India attracting visitors from different parts of the country as well as foreign countries. Quwwat-ul-Islam, one of the oldest mosques in India, is located near the Qutab Minar. Here you can find an Iron Pillar which consists of a single piece of iron. Dating back to the 4th century AD., it shows no sign of rusting and is a testament to the supreme level of metallurgical skill that was acquired by ancient Indians.

Humayun’s Tomb

Said to be an inspiration of the Taj Mahal in Agra, the tomb of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor, was built by the his widow, Haji Begum or Hamida Banu Begum. Built in red sandstone and designed by the Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, the mausoleum was completed in 1569 AD. Set in a formal Persian garden, this UNESCO World heritage site is known for garden squares.

Nizamuddin Dargah

Located near the Humayun’s tomb, Nizamuddin Dargah should be your stopover when you happen to be in Delhi for a sightseeing tour. The Dargah is the mausoleum of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia(1236-1325), one of the most famous Sufi saints of the Chisti order in the world.. Chisti, the most popular and famous Sufi order in India, was founded by Muinud-din-Chisti who made his base in Ajmer in Rajasthan.

Also known as Mahboob-i-Ilaahi, the tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia attracts thousands of devotees from both Muslims and Hindus everyday. Watching the Sufi singers singing the most spiritually resonant qawwallas will be a sheer delight. The Nizamuddin Dargah complex is also home to the tombs of legendary poet Mirza Ghalib (1786-1869), Amir Khusrau, a prolific writer and disciple of Nizamuddin Aulia, and Jahanara, a daughter of Shah Jahan.

Dilli Haat

Of late, Dilli Haat has grown into a major tourist attraction in Delhi. Tourists and visitors flock to the place to savour different flavours of local cuisine from different Indian states. Here you will come across to the finest of handicrafts from all over the country.

Craftsmen, artisans and artists come from all corners of the country to exhibit their skills and sell their handicrafts, footwear, textiles, toys and souvenirs.

Agrasen ki Baoli

Lying hidden in the high rise buildings on the Hailey Road near Connaught Place, Agrasen ki Baoli is one of the most impressive step wells in Delhi. This 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical step-well which featured in the Aamir Khan Bollywood flick PK, dates from the 14th century AD and features 103 steps and tiny jharokhas.

Garden of Five Senses

Situated at Said ul Ajaib village near Saket Metro station, Garden of Five Senses occupies an area of twenty acres and attracts visitors which throng the place to relax and unwind. Modeled on the lines of Mughal Gardens in Delhi, the lush green park is equipped with fountains lit by fibre optic lighting system and spiral walkways. In a short distance from Garden of Five Senses is located the well conserved park of Mehrauli Archaeological Park, which seems to exist suspended in time. Spread over an area of 200 acres of area, the park is home to some fine examples of architecture like the Jamali kamali Mosque, mediaeval era tombs including those of the slave dynasty ruler Balban and Quli Khan as well as Rajon ki Baoli, Delhi’s most beautiful baoli.

National Museum

One of the most visited museums in Delhi, National Museum is a treasure-trove of thousands of items dating back to the different ears of history. Exhibits of this eclectic museum include the world renowned Chola statue of the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, artifacts from the Harappan Civilization, the Buddha relics from the stupa of Piprahwa, musical instruments and an incredible collection of miniature paintings.

National Museum is open from 0930 to 1730 hours on all days except Mondays, 2nd Sundays of every month & government holidays.

Safdarjung's Tomb

Laid down on the model of the Mughal Charbagh style, the tomb of Safdarjung, a powerful minister in the Mughal court during the reign of Muhammad Shah, is a top tourist attraction of Delhi. Built in 1753 of red sandstone by Safdarjung’s son Shauja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh, the monument also houses a mosque.

Old Fort or Purana Quila

A historical landmark of Delhi, Purana Quila, which literally translates into Old Fort, was built by Humayun, the second Mughal emperor, and Sher Shah Suri, the founder of Sur dynasty that almost supplanted the nascent Mughal Empire for a brief period resulting in the exile of the former.

The fort has some beautiful buildings and should be visited for the Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque, built by Sher Shah in 1541. This single-domed mosque is characterized by five arches.

Akshardham Mandir

The latest addition to the long list of attractions in Delhi Akshardham Mandir has emerged as one of the famous landmarks of Delhi. Rising from the banks of the Yamuna River, this grandiose temple complex is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and epitomizes India’s ancient art, culture, and architecture. Brimming with lush lawns and gardens, the temple houses exquisite bronze statues of the deities and is open all days from 9am to 6pm except Mondays. Entry to the temple complex is free.

India Gate

Not to be missed while at Delhi is the India Gate built as a memorial to commemorate the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in World War I. Completed in 1931, the monument is one of the architectural gems. The lawns around the India Gate are filled with visitors particularly in the evening. Watching the Republic Day parade at India Gate lawns on 26 January would be a sheer delight.

Rashtrapati Bhawan

A major landmark of Delhi, Rashtrapati Bhawan, currently the official residence of the President of India was built in 1929. Spread over an area of 130 hectares, the building is home to the Mughal Garden, which is open to the public twice a year.

Shopping at Janpath

Located in close proximity to the Jantar Mantar is is the famous shopping street of Delhi, Janpath where the array of shops sells colourful dresses, and different sorts of merchandise. A faouviirte haunt of the shoppers, the Janpath market is a indeed a shoppers’ delight.

Excursion sites

Mathura

147 Km from Delhi, the holy town of Mathura is a famous pilgrimage place. One of the seven sacred cities or ‘Sapta Puris’, Mathura, on the western bank of the Yamuna River, is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Coveted as a spiritual destination since antiquity, the land has been attracting visitors. Mathura and its atmospheric surrounding areas of Vrindavan, Goverdhan and Gokul, where Lord Krishna spent his childhood, are referred to as "Braj-Bhoomi" and are home to numerous shrines visited by thousands of people.

Bharatpur

190 km from Delhi, Bharatpur in the state of Rajasthan is famous for Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is rich in avian population. The sanctuary is a much sought after weekend getaway from the capital of India.

Agra

203 km from Delhi, Agra is a famous travel destination. Apart from the iconic Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Jami Masjid, the tranquil tomb of Itmad-ud-daulah, Akbar's Mausoleum at Sikandra and the abandoned capital of Fatehpur Sikri are the top attractions in Agra.

Haridwar

217 Km from Delhi is located the sacred city of Haridwar which lies on the banks of river Ganga which enters the plains for the first time here. One of the saptapuris, or the seven sacred cities of India that grant moksha or liberation from the cycle of birth and death, Haridwar hosts the Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of humanity anywhere in the world, every 12 years. Legend has it that Haridwar, also called Hardwar, was one of the four sites where a drop of Amrita (nectar) from the Kumbh (pot), carried by Vishnu, fell. It is therefore one of the four venues where the Kumbh Mela. Allahabad (Prayag), Nasik and Ujjain are the other three.

In addition to being a major pilgrimage centre, today Haridwar (Dwar of Hari or “Gateway to God”) is a fast developing city. Har-Ki-Pauri, Bharat Mata Mandir, Mansa Devi temple, Chandi Devi, Maya Devi Temple and Bhimgoda Tank are the important places of attration in Haridwar.

Rishikesh

225 km from Delhi, Rishikesh is one of the most spiritual towns in India. Home to several temples, ashrams, yoga and meditation training centres, bathing ghats, and deep green valley, Rishikesh is the starting point for the Char Dham yatra. Gateway to the Himalayas, Rishikesh stands at an elevation of 372 m (1,220 ft). Today Rishikesh has also become a hot-spot for adventure activities which make it a world-class destination.

Chandigarh

238 km from Delhi, Chandigarh is one of the most beautiful cites in the world, The famous French architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, was entrusted with the task of designing the city.

Today, Chandigarh is a union territory serving as the capital of Punjab and Haryana which was created carving out of the eastern portion of the Punjab. The place is a compelling base to visit the famous hill stations of Shimla, Kufri, Dharmashala, Kullu, Manali and Dalhousie.

Jaipur

258 km from Delhi, Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is home to world-renowned monuments. Jaipur, dubbed "the Pink City", is indeed a visual treat. The monuments which draw the largest crowds to Jaipur are the Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal, Jai Singh's City Palace and Jantar Mantar Observatory. Other attractions in Jaipur are Ram Niwas Bagh, Govindji Temple, Ram Niwas Baghand Albert Hall (Central Museum).

Mussoorie

269 Km from Delhi, the famous hill station of Mussoorie is home to fine specimens of British colonial architecture. Mussoorie brims with old bungalows lurking down quiet lanes and the Mall, the main promenade in the town retains the ambience that captivated the British who retreated here to escape the heat of the crowded plains. Founded in 1823 by the British, Mussoorie is also known as Queen of Hills.

Corbett National Park

297 Km from Delhi, Corbett National Park is a premier wildlife destination located in the state of Uttrakhand. Established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, Jim Corbett National Park is one of the largest and most famous national parks in India. One of the most famous tiger reserves in India, the park is named after legendary hunter Jim Corbett (1875–1955.

Surajkund, Badkhal Lake and Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary are some of the excursion sites located within a radius of 50 km from Delhi.

Where to stay in Delhi

Some of the luxury hotels in Delhi are Le Meridien Hotel, Metropolitan Hotel, Hotel Hans Plaza, Taj Mahal Hotel, Connaught Hotel, Ajanta Hotel, Shangri La Hotel, Jaypee Vasant Continental, Grand Hotel, Maurya Sheraton, Marriot WelcomHotel , Hotel Crowne Plaza Surya, Oberoi Hilton, Claridges Hotel and Park Hotel

How to reach Delhi

Air: Delhi is well connected with all major cities in India by flights. The city is also connected by air with many cites in the world.

Rail: Delhi is the headquarters of the Northern Railway and is a very well connected railhead with all major cities and towns in India.

Road: Delhi is at the intersection of several national highways and is well connected by road with Mathura 147 Km, Bharatpur (190 km), Agra (203 Km), Haridwar (217 Km), Rishikesh 225 Km, Chandigarh (238 km), Jaipur 258 km. Mussoorie 269 Km, Corbett National Park (297 Km), Nainital 318 Km, Gwalior (319 Km), Shimla 343 Km, Bhakra (354 Km), Ranikhet 360 Km Almora (373 Km), Ajmer (389 Km), Amritsar (447 Km), Kanpur 490 Km, Kullu 502 Km, Pathankot 502 Km. Kota 505 Km, Lucknow 569 Km, Jammu 590 Km, Khajuraho 596 Km, Allahabad (603 Km), Jodhpur 604 Km, Udaipur 663 Km, Chitrakoot (670 Km), Varanasi 738 Km, Bhopal (741 Km), Srinagar 894 Km and Mumbai 1460 Km.

Qutb Minar Travel

Qutb Minar, a signature monument of Delhi, is located within a complex known as Qutb complex which has been declared a World Heritage Site. The complex brims with mosques, tombs, gateways and gardens.

Built by Qutub-ud-din Aikab, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, the Qutb Minar is located in the Mehrauli area of Delhi. This massive 72m tower is named after him. However, according to another school of thought, the structure its name from the famous Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, a disciple of Moinuddin Chisti.

Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, popularly known as Qutub Sahib, is credited with the popularization of the Chisti order of Sufism in Delhi. His tomb is half km away from Qutab Minar in Mehrauli.

The soaring Qutb Minar consists of five distinct storeys of which only the first level was built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak before his death of a sudden fall from a horse while playing polo (chaugan). The monument was completed by later Muslim rulers including Shamsuddin Iltutmish who ascended to the throne of delhi Sultanate after a brief reign of Aram Shah after the death of Qutb-ud-din in 1210. Shamsuddin Iltutmish was the son-in-law of Qutb-ud-din Aikab.

Made of red sandstone, the structure has a diameter of 15 m at the base and about 2.75 m on the top.

Within the enclosure of the Qutb complex you will find ruined monuments and tombs. Ala-ud-din’s sprawling madrasa (Islamic school) and tomb stand in ruins at the rear of the complex, while Iltutmish is entombed in a magnificent sandstone and marble mausoleum almost completely covered in Islamic calligraphy.

Quwwat-ul-Islam ("Might of Islam"), one of the oldest mosques in India, is located to the north-east of the Qutab Minar. Built in 1198 by Qutb-ud-din Aikab , the pillars of the mosque are embellished with Hindu motifs.

In the courtyard of the mosque you can find an Iron Pillar which consists of a single piece of iron. Dating back to the 4th century AD., it shows no sign of rusting and is a testament to the supreme level of metallurgical skill that was acquired by ancient Indians.

Built in AD 1235 the magnificent sandstone and marble tomb of Iltutmish is profusely carved with Islamic calligraphy. Ala'i-Darwaza and Ala'i Minar are other famous attractions located within the complex. Profusely embellished with Quranic inscriptions and floral motifs, Ala'i-Darwaza, the gateway to the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, was built by Alau’d-Din Khalji in 1311.

Every year during November/December, the Qutb complex plays host to the Festival of Indian classical music and dance which attracts artists from across the country.

How to reach Qutb Minar

15km south of the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place, the Qutb complex can be reached by the metro train. The nearest metro station is Qutab Minar station which is one km from the complex.

When you travel to India, chances are you will land in Delhi as Delhi is the Historic Monument : Qutab Minar, Delhi

  • Birla Temple
  • Chandni Chowk
  • Connaught Place
  • Deer Park
  • Red Fort, or the Lal Qila
  • Garden of Five Senses
  • Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
  • Humayun's Tomb
  • India Gate
  • International Dolls Museum
  • Jama Masjid
  • Jantar Mantar
  • Kalindi Kunj
  • Lodhi Gardens
  • Lotus Temple also known as Bahai House of Worship
  • Mughal Gardens
  • National Museum
  • Nehru Planetarium Delhi
  • Purana Qila or the Old Fort
  • Qutab Minar
  • Rashtrapati Bhawan
  • Safdarjang's Tomb
  • Sansad Bhawan or Parliament House
  • Tughlaqabad Fort
  • Pitampura TV Tower

Suburbs/Satelite cities around Delhi

  • Gurgaon
  • Noida
  • Faridabad
  • Ghaziabad


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