Although planning a trip alone isn’t very interesting, it can certainly be more absorbing. It takes a lot of efforts to identify the right tourist destination that would give you all that you expect on a holiday. Once you have the destination decided, you need to further your research to find out the important tourist places in the destination. Then comes the travel plan and arrangements for accommodation. If your plan is to visit Delhi during your holidays, here are some suggestions that would help you with your plan. Here are 20 places that you must visit in Delhi:
Red Fort symbolizes the era of Mughal rule in India. The Fort, built in 1638, is a magnificent monument that captivates your attention and exhibits the show of architectural splendor of Mughals. The 33m high walls of Red Fort are yet another special feature of the fort.
Things to Do in Red Fort:
Built in the year 1570, Humayun’s Tomb is a monument built by Queen Haji Begum, widow of Humayun. The monument displays the inspiration of Persian architecture. The world famous Taj Mahal bears resemblance to this monument constructed during early Mughal rule in India. It is open on all days for visits. The best time to view Humayun’s Tomb would be in the late afternoon.
Things to Do at Humayun’s Tomb:
Duration: 30 mins.
The tallest tower in India, Qutab Minar, is believed to commemorate the victory and the beginning of Mughal era in India. The 73-meter tall tower was built by Qutab-ud-din Aibakafter defeating the last Hindu Kingdom. However, some say that it was built to serve as a minaret to call those faithful to prayer. While red sandstone was used in the construction of first three storeys, marble and sandstone were used to construct the last two storeys. India’s first ever mosque, Quwwat-ul-Islam is at the foot of Qutab Minar.
Things to Do near Qutab Minar:
Bahai Temple is famously known as Lotus Temple owing to its resemblance to lotus flower. Lotus symbolizes four religions namely Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Jainism. Out of the seven major Bahai temples constructed around the world, the one in Delhi was constructed last. The place is serene and is open for prayers and meditation by people who follow any religion. The nine pools of water around the petals is a sight to watch at dusk.
Things to Do near Lotus Temple:
If you want to have a quiet day to escape the crowd and the busy life, this is where you need to be in Delhi. Lodi Gardens was built in 1936 by British around the tombs of the rulers of 15th and 16th centuries. The 90-acre Garden is an excellent place to relax, walk, jog and enjoy the beauty of nature. The National Bonsai Park situated in the Gardens is yet another attraction.
Things to Do at Lodi Gardens:
Whatever faith you may be following, you could take your time to visit Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, the world’s largest Hindu Temple. Apart from using concrete for the foundation, the entire construction was made using granites and marbles from all parts of the world. The structure stands proof of architectural excellence. In the 12 acres of land, you will find the temple, museum, several parks and a huge cultural center that throws light on the traditions and customs followed in India. You can go boating in the water canals here.
Things to Do around Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple:
India Gate was constructed in the year 1931 as a war memorial for over 70,000 soldiers killed during First World War and Afghan War. The names of the soldiers are inscribed in the walls of India Gate. It was earlier known as “All India War Memorial”. Situated on Rajpath, India Gate looks stunning in the evening lights.
Things to Do near India Gate:
The heart of the national capital, a visit to Delhi is incomplete without visiting Chandani Chowk. One of India’s busiest and oldest markets, Chandani Chowk is a perfect amalgamation of history, culture and cuisines. Shop for a wide range of products from clothes to handicrafts. Also sample about 1000 different types of cuisines at the many food street stalls, restaurants and at locations like Parathe wali Gali. Every nook and corner of this majestic market would give you something new to savour.
Things to Do at Old Delhi:
Jama Masjid is another fine example of Mughal architecture’s golden age under Shah Jahan. It is India’s largest mosque and its courtyard can carry more than 25,000 devotees at a single time. The building consists of three great gates, four towers and two minarets made from a combination of red sandstone and white marble. Apart from being a major place of worship for Muslims, Jama Masjid is also visited by many tourists for its amazing architecture.
Things to Do near Jama Masjid:
The official home of the President of India, Rashtrapati Bhavan was completed in the year 1929. It was designed by the famous British architect Edwin Lutyens with the intention of becoming the official residence of the then viceroy of India. The architectural marvel of Rashtrapati Bhavan combined with the majestic gardens around the place are some of the reasons to visit this place.
Things to Do at Rashtrapati Bhavan:
Tughlaqabad Fort was the life long dream of the founder of Sultanate dynasty, Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. It is said that the sultan was so passionate about building this fort, he ordered all the builders in Delhi and nearby cities to leave their work and only work on Tughlaqabad Fort. This incurred the wrath of a sufi saint who cursed this fort and every word he had said during his tirade became true. Looking at the ruins, it is not difficult to imagine how magnificent this fort was once upon a time.
Things to Do at Tughlaqabad Fort:
One of the oldest forts in Delhi, Purana Qila was initially built by Humayun and later expanded by Sher Shah Suri. During India- Pakistan partition, many people moving towards Pakistan took refuge in this fort. It has without a doubt witnessed many important historic events since Mughal times and is still standing strong. The massive gates and walls of the forts are the main attractions of its grand exterior.
Things to Do at Purana Qilla:
Laxminarayan Temple is the first of many temples built by the Birla family across India. It was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on the condition that people from all castes and religions should be allowed to enter this temple. The temple’s stunning architecture is surrounded by lush gardens and artificially made waterfalls. It lies on an area of about 7.5 acres and it’s magnificence makes the cityscape of Delhi even more beautiful.
Things to Do at Laxminarayan Temple:
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib holds special significance for Sikhs because of its relation with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan who stayed here to cure thousands suffering from cholera and smallpox epidemic. The ‘Sarover’ or ‘lake’ inside the gurudwara is also worth a visit for its serenity and importance. In a recent survey, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib was ranked as the best place of pilgrimage in Delhi.
Things to Do at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib:
Cathedral Church of Redemption is Delhi’s oldest church and it took a total of eight years to complete this architectural marvel. The then Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin was so much impressed by the beauty of the church that he gifted the church an organ and a silver cross. It also provides pastoral service for a number of famous institutions in Delhi like St. Stephen’s College. Therefore, the religious importance and its architectural beauty make this church a must visit for everyone coming to Delhi.
Things to Do at Cathedral Church of Redemption:
A one of its kind stepwell in Delhi, Agrasen ki Baoli is believed to be built by Raja Agrasen during Mahabharata era. It was later expanded and developed by the Aggarwal community in the 14 th century. The step well has a total of 108 steps and the only remaining stepwell in Delhi. Only three levels are visible and each of them is lined with arched niches on both sides.
Things to Do near Agrasen ki Baoli:
National Museum offers a peek in Indian History, right from pre civilization era. It is one of India’s largest museums with artifacts ranging from Harappan civilization to British colonial era. Mughal era paintings, Coins from Gupta dynasty, relics from Mauryan times etc are some of the displays here. National Museum has beautifully captured India’s history in a nutshell and therefore a visit here is absolutely recommended for everyone.
Things to Do at National Museum:
The shrine of Nizamuddin Dargah is dedicated to one of the prominent Sufi saints, Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya and is visited by thousands, regardless of any caste, creed or religion. The qawwalis sung here by Nizami Brothers are famous of their soulful lyrics and music. The serenity of this dargah has been shown in many Bollywood movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Rockstar etc.
Things to Do in and around Nizamuddin Dargah:
Safdarjung’s Tomb is the last example of Mughal monumental tomb architecture. It was inspired by the Humayun Tomb and borrows many of its elements. The tomb was built when Mughal empire was in decline in India, therefore it’s layout and structure are not at par with other Mughal monuments. Nevertheless, this tomb’s beautiful exteriors and giant three domed walls make it a must visit site. Interestingly,the hollywood movie, Jobs had some scenes set at this monument.
Things to Do at Safdarjung’s Tomb:
Raj Ghat is Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial and also his cremation ground. The memorial has a black marble slab facing upwards and is surrounded by lush green lawns at all sides. Other memorials around Raj Ghat are for Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Jagjivan Ram, Choudhary Charan Singh, Rajiv Gandhi, Giani Zail Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Devi Lal, P. V. Narasimha Rao, Chandra Shekhar and I. K. Gujral. All major foreign dignitaries visit this place to pay their respects to the Father of Nation.
Things to Do near Raj Ghat and associated memorials:
Delhi has a lot to offer but the above-mentioned places are worth special mention. The first three in the list, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar are declared world heritage sites. Bahai Temple is unique being one among the seven major Bahai temples in the world. You will love Lodi Gardens for the serene atmosphere and lush greens while Swaminarayan Akshardham is not only a visual delight but also a clear example of architectural excellence and splendor of Modern India. India Gate not only relieves memory but offers a pleasant atmosphere. Do not miss out on the special tourist places in Delhi during your visit. But if you live in Delhi and are looking for places to enjoy weekend getaways; you need not worry as there are many picnic spots and hill stations near Delhi which are perfect for that.