New Delhi also known as Lutyens' Delhi
Delhi, the capital of India, is a modern vibrant metropolis where historical events are captured in its majestic ancient ruins.The 5000yr old history of Delhi began with the creation of Indraprastha,the kingdom of the Pandavas,and then successively LalKot, Quila Rai Pithora,Siri,Tuglaqabad,Ferozabad, Dinpanah, Delhi Sher Shahi, Shahjahanabad and finally New Delhi(all different names of the same city).
The city comprises two distinct parts viz. the more crowded historical Old Delhi and the spacious contemporary New Delhi with its shopping malls and modern metro network. It also serves as a major travel hub forming an excellent base for visiting various destinations in India .The narrow winding lanes of Old Delhi are a testament to former Mughal rule and also has one of the busiest and oldest markets in the country,Chandni Chowk.
Some of the places to see are The Qutub Minar, The Humayuns tomb,The India Gate,The Jama Masjid, and The Red fort .Central Delhi is the political seat of India.Must sees are the Rashtrapati Bhavan and The India Gate.The Red Fort or Lal Quila was built by Shah Jahan in 1648 .In front of the Red Fort is the Jama Masjid built also by him and serving till this day as a prayer place for Muslims in Delhi.Tourists enjoy taking a walk around Kinari Bazaar at Chandini Chowk.
There are some beautiful temples to be seen like the Lakshmi Narayan temple,Akshardham Temple,Bahai Temple and the ISKCON temple.
Delhi is a shopper’s paradise with some colourful bazaars and upscale markets. The wide variety of markets in Delhi ensure that your bags are full.Shopping centres include the Dilli Haat, Connaught Place and Janpath.
The people of Delhi enjoy their food and the choices are plenty.Enjoy tikkas and kebabs ,chola batura,Punjabi delicacies and what have you.Its a a bet that Delhi will steal your heart.
BANGLA SAHIB GURUDWARA
Situated on Baba Kharak Singh Marg is the most revered Gurudwara in Delhi,the impressive Bangla Sahib.Associated with the eight Sikh Guru Har Kishan it’s enormous, gold plated dome looms over the prayer Hall, holy pond and Langar Hall and the gentle singing of Gurbani rings in your ears. The Sikhs believe that service to community is service to God .All the work including cooking and cleaning is mostly done by volunteers.Langar is available to all irrespective of caste but covering your head with a kerchief is a must.For more history visit….
Timings: 6.00am to 6.00pm, daily
Entry Fee: 30 (Indians),500 (foreigners)
Also called Maqbara-e-Humayun,this architectural masterpiece is a UNESCO world heritage site.Built by his wife, Haji Begum between 1565 and 1572, the majestic arched facade of the outer double dome is made of red sandstone and white marble.Inside the inner dome within the decorated lattice work is the cenotaph itself.This monument also houses tombs of other rulers ,the shrine of Nizammudin Auliya and geometrically laid out Persian gardens. For more history visit….
The ramparts of Rajpath lead to the majestic 42m high War Memoria,lndia Gate .Designed by Sir Edward Luytens the architect of New Delhi in 1921, it was a tribute to the 70,000 British Indian soldiers “known and unknown” who fought during the First World War.Their names are inscribed on its walls to glorify their sacrifice.Beneath the arch is the Amar Jawan Jyoti which burns constantly for the matyred soldiers of Bangla Desh Liberation War of 1971.Wreaths are laid here by all Indian and foreign dignatories in formal ceremonies to the sound of bugles.
Timings: 6.00am to 5.00pm, daily
Entry Fee: 30 (Indians),500 (foreigner)
Standing tall in the south of Delhi is this 73m high tower of victory and UNESCO world heritage site called Qutub Minar.History has it that the first king of the Delhi Sultanate, Qutub-ud-din Aibak, started this monumental work in 1192 to commemorate Muslim rule in India.Five imposing storeys of red sandstone bricks with intricately designed projected balconies,a base of 15m diameter tapering to 2.5m and 379 steps lead to the top .Verses from the Holy Quran are etched all over.At the base is the Quwwat Ui Islam Mosque.A stampede and death of school children visiting this tower resulted in closure of entry into the tower.Nearby is the famous rust resistant Iron Pillar dating to the Gupta period and looted remains of Hindu temples. For more history visit….
AGRASEN KI BAOLI
Timings: 9.00am to 5.00pm, daily
The haunting beauty of Agrasen ki baoli ,an ancient stepwell in Delhi situated right next to Connaught Place needs to be seen to be believed. Named after King Agrasen and rebuilt by the Tuglaqs, this architectural marvel of three stories and 108 steps is an altogether intriguing experience.As you descend the steps you move back into time and the stories of the place being haunted seem almost real.
Timings: 9.30am to 6.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday
Entry fee:Adults Rs.170,Children Rs.100,Senior citizens Rs.125
Akshardham or the abode of God is a spiritually enriching Hindu Temple.It is a large spiritual complex where modern technology has merged with traditional art,culture and architectural marvels.It is a tribute to BhagwanSwaminarayan (1781-1830).There are over 200 statues,exhibitions and lovely gardens, an altogether peaceful experience.
Timings: 10.00am to 5.00pm, daily
No Entry fee
Rajghat is a memorial built in beloved memory of the Father of the Nation,Mahatma Gandhi marking the exact spot where he was cremated on 31 January 1948.It is a simple black marble platform on which burns an eternal flame.An perfect place to introspect and get inspiration from the life of a simple non-violent person who bound the people together with the common vision of a free India.
Timings:9.00am to 6.00pm ,Monday closed
No entry fee
This Baha’i house of worship gets its name from its lotus flower like shape.People irrespective of religion ,caste and creed can congregate in its hall, listen to sermons and absorb its peace and tranquility.There are no rituals and holy chanting, just a faith of being blessed.It is a popular tourist place for locals and foreigners.
Timings:9.00am to 4.00pm
Located in the centre of Delhi,this is the official residence of the President fo India,formerly called the Viceroy’s house.One of thelargest homes for any Head of State in the world, it is a vast,typically Brirish mansion with a museum,many drawing rooms and halls and beautiful gardens.
India Heritage walk in Old Delhi
Old Delhi or Purani Dilli was founded as a walled city of Delhi, India, founded as Shahjahanabad in 1639, when Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor at the time, decided to shift the Mughal capital from Agra.
Delhi has Sights, Sounds, Smells, Hustle, Crowds, Experience that make you keep your wits about you & the most amazing people, not knowing where to look with so much happening that is just amazing!!
Timings:7.00am to 12.00am,1.30pm to6.30pm,daily,
No entry fee,Photography:Rs:300
Just prior to his imprisonment by Aurangzeb,in 1644 Shah Jahan constructed Masjid e Jahan Numa or Jama Masjid. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of red sandstone and white marble. Ther e is a huge black and white paved courtyard which can accommodate 25000 worshippers.The west faces Mecca and is the direction the followers pray in.The British took over the mosque in 1857 and used it as an army post but returned it back to the Imam in 1862.The mosque also has an ancient Quran and other relics of Prophet Mohammad.
Proper attire is a must in which all body parts have to be covered. This is your chance to be a local as it is available for rent at the northern gate.
Timings:9.30am to 4.30pm,Mondays closed
In 1638, Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi.He constructed a walled city,Shahjahanabad, and inside it,a befitting residence,the imposing Red Fort.Every building is an architectural masterpiece.Upon entering the main gateway or Lahori Gate you make your way to the Diwan-i-Am where the Mughal emperor held audience for the public and the Naubat Khana where the musicians held ceremony.The legendary peacock throne, looted by Nadir Shah, and its Kohinoor diamond ,which decorates the British crown, used to adorn the Diwan-i-Khas ,a hall for private audiences.Other monuments are the Pearl Mosque,the Mumtaz Mahal , now a museum, and the royal baths or Hammam.Unfortunately the future rulers were unable to bear the onslaught of invaders. Nadir Shah looted the palaces in 1739 and eventually in 1857 the British took over of which their barracks are evidence.A sound and light show recreates the history of the fort.
After independence from British rule,Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian Flag on the ramparts of Red Fort,signalling a new democracy, a traditional ceremony till date.
Heritage walk with Rikshaw Ride
This walk starts from Red Fort,the Digambar Jain temple and charity Bird hospital,via Chandni Chowk,Khari Baoli spice market,Kinari Bazaar, ending at Jama Masjid.
Opposite the Red Fort,the Digambar Jain Temple is one of the oldest in Delhi,more interesting is the charity bird hospital attached to it.Purely run on donation, anybody can bring an injured bird of any species and the doctors heal it if possible and release it thereafter.From the main gate of Red fort you walk down the main street of the commercial market,Chandni Chowk.Surprisingly in the ancient city it was a canal lined by trees reflecting the moon at nights.That’s how it got its name.Going down thi s street where thousands of innocent s were massacred by the Persian, Nadir Shah in the March of 1739 you can do darshan at the Gauri Shankar temple and humbling Sisganj Gurudwara.Moving on towards Khari Baoli ,which literally means salty stepwell ,long gone now.The aroma of the place precedes it.In 1850 ,Asia’s largest wholesale market for spices,nuts,herbs and other food products, came up around Fatehpuri masjid,a mosque built by one of Shah Jahan’s wives,Fatehpuri begum.Going back into Kinari Bazaar its time to shop for costume jewellery and beautifully designed accessories for clothes.Dariba Kalan has been a popular market for gold,silver and precious gem stones from the 17th century.The street leads to The Jama Masjid.The final stop has to be at the restaurant which is reputed to have cooked for the kings.The quality of their Muglai cooking has not diminished over the century.
Khari Baoli / Spice Market
Khari Baoli is a street in Delhi, India known for its wholesale grocery and Asia’s largest wholesale spice market selling all kinds of spices, nuts, herbs and food products like rice and tea. Operating since the 17th century, the market is situated near the historic Delhi Red Fort, on the Khari Baoli Road adjacent to Fatehpuri Masjid at the western end of the Chandni Chowk, and over the years has remained a tourist attraction, especially those in the heritage circuit of Old Delhi.