Places to Visit in Delhi


Authored by Jayant Row in Asia 
Published on 03-14-2009

The city of Delhi is a city of two parts, Old Delhi with its elegant mosques, labyrinth streets and marketplaces and monuments and New Delhi with its broad streets and citified atmosphere which house government buildings and other tourist attractions.

Qutub Minar

A stone tower almost 75 meters in height with a base diameter of 15 meters tapering to 2.7 meters at the top. The tower is made of red sand stone with the top stories being made in sandstone and marble. It was completed in the year 1368, over 150 years after it was started. An incomplete competitor to the Qutub Minar which was planned to be twice its size lies incomplete after it reached 25 meters and is seen in the same complex. Other mosques and tombs also dot this area.

An iron pillar said to have been erected in the 4th century is located in the same area. This pillar 7 meters in height and said to weigh 6 tons has Sanskrit inscriptions in the memory of the Hindu King Chandragupta. Its wrought iron composition has stood for 1600 years or more without rusting and indicates the expertise available in India in those days.

Red Fort

It has been built on the banks of the river Yamuna and is an example of magnificent Mughal architecture. It was built by Shah Jahan, who also built the Taj Mahal and is made of red sandstone, with walls 18 to 33 meters in height over a length of 2,5 kilometers. Other attractions within this magnificent fort are Nauba Khana or Drum House, Rang Mahal, which has a lotus shaped mountain made of a single piece of marble, The Pearl Mosque, the emperor’s private quarters, the Diwan-I-Am which was a hall for public audience, and also the Sheeesh Mahal and the Khas Mahal. The Red Fort is the place from where the Prime Minister of the country addresses the nation every year on the 15th of August which is India’s Independence Day. The lawns within the fort are a tourist attraction as is the one hour light and sound show giving the history of the fort.

India Gate

This was originally built as a war memorial by the British rulers of India and overlooks the President’s palace or the Rashtrapati Bhavan, whose Mogul Gardens are must see for every tourist. It is specially lit up at nights and the lawns around it attract Delhi’s citizens. It also hosts a memorial to the soldier, Amar Jawan Jyoti, a flame which has been lit since 1971.

Lotus Temple

This is a stunning piece of modern architecture build in marble and concrete in the form of white half opened lotus flower. It is also a place of worship for people of the Bahai faith who built this temple in the year 1986. More than 50 million visitors are said to have visited this site.

Humayun’s Tomb

This tomb of the Mughal emperor Humayun who ruled upto 1572 is an example of the Persian influence on Indian architecture. It is a world heritage site, and has a platform of over 12000 square metres and a height of 47 meters.It is said to have been buyilt by the emperor’s widow.

The West Gate and the Arab Serai Gate in this same complex are wonderful examples of the predominance of Mughal architecture during that period.

Chandni Chowk

It is a highly congested market place that is a must see for every tourist especially riding in cycle rickshaws. The variety of handicrafts available in this market place and the color and bustle stuns most Western tourists who would be well advised to bargain before they make any purchases. This was built as a trading place in the 17th century.

Jantar Mantar

This astronomical observatory built in 1724 by Sawai Man Singh calculate the movement of the sun, moon and planets with a great degree of accuracy and indicates the high proficiency of Indian astronomers even in those days when telescopes and the like were still unknown.

Other places that one can visit in Delhi are the Old Fort, Rajghat, the Jama Masjid and countless other lesser known historical monuments. The architecture of the government buildings, the South and North Block, the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament House are worth a look.

Tourists may be charged entry fees to visit most of these monuments and they would be well advised to also ascertain the times for visiting these places before they actually do so.


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