Delhi – Tourist Places

Akshardham Temple Humayun's Tomb Qutub-Minar

Delhi – Dil walon ki Dilli

About Delhi Capital of India – Delhi NCR also known as ‘Dil walon ki Dilli’ is an amazing place for tourism. This city is witness to the evolution of India over 5000 years and there is a hell lot of variety for tourists of all age groups. Monuments dating back to Mahabharat period and Mughal era will give you a glance of the glory and superb architecture of India in the past. Being the Capital of India, you will also find lots of governmental tourist places in the city. Delhi also is a very pious place where you can find all religions places of worship i.e. temple, mosque, church and gurdwara. These religious places have different sentiments attached to them – historical, magnificent, great work of art and architecture, magical and beautiful. Many attractive gardens from the times of Mughal rule, British rule and post independence Government efforts adorn the city. Museums showcasing pre and post independence India, life of freedom fighters, science, astronomy, rail and much more add to the pride of Delhi. Besides all this, Delhi is a great place for shopping of all kind. I am sure, after reading about Delhi it will top your list of must visit places in India.
Places to visit in Delhi

Tourist Attractions in Delhi

Monuments:
  1. The Red Fort – Home to Mughals for nearly 200 years The Red Fort tops the list of splendid monuments in Delhi. In present era Republic day and Independence Day celebrations are organized here.
  2. Qutub Minar – This 73 meter high tower is the symbol of victory of Qutab-Ud-Din Aibak over Delhi’s last Hindu King. The 5 storeyed tower with balconies was built with material from demolishing 27 Hindu Temples. At the base of the Tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque (1st Mosque in India). Other important constructions in the premises are Alia Darwaza and Tomb of Imam Zamin.
  3. Humayun’s Tomb – The burial place of Humayun and several other members of Mughal Dynasty. The 1st Garden Tomb of India is in the center of a square garden (Charbagh) with water channels running through it.
  4. India Gate – The famous ‘India Gate’ is an archway in the middle of a crossroad. It was built in memory of 70000 Indian and British soldiers who lost their lives in World War 1 fighting for the British Army. More than 13516 soldier names are carved on the monument. Later Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame burning all time under the Arc) was added in the memory of martyr’s of the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
  5. Rashtrapati Bhawan – The President of India’s residence is a place which should not be missed. The mansion with a touch of European and Mughal styles is open for tourists on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  6. Raj Ghat – On the banks of river Yamuna, Raj Ghat is the burial place of Mahatma Gandhi (Father of the Nation). There are memorials of other important leaders like, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi etc. Two museums dedicated to them are also located in the vicinity. Surrounded by beautiful garden this
  7. Parliament House – Conceived in the Imperial Style, the Parliament House consists of an open verandah with 144 columns. The domed circular central hall with oak paneled walls and the three semi circular buildings are used for the Rajya Shabha and Lok Shabha meetings.
  8. Agrasen ki Baoli – The fantastic architecture of Agrasen ki Baoli (stepwell) will definitely magnetize you. Located in the heart of the city, this stepwell has 103 steps. The top 3 levels of the well are visible and each of them is lined with arched niches on either sides.
  9. Hauz Khas Complex – The premises has a lake with ducks and swans, Deer Park and notable constructions like the mosque, Firuz Shah’s Tomb, Madrasa, Pavillions, Fort which will take you back to the history. The place is also popular for shopping and food joints.
  10. Iron Pillar of Delhi – This 7 meter high pillar is in the vicinity of Qutub Minar. It is believed that if you encircle the pillar with your hands while the pillar being at your back, your wish is granted.
  11. Teen Murti Bhawan –Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru stayed here for 16 years until his death in 1964. The bhawan houses various mementos from various countries including England, Nepal, China, Somalia, etc. in the museum. Nehru Planetarium and a Library are also on the same premises.
  12. Purana Quila (Old Fort) – Included amongst the oldest Forts of India is the Purana Quila. The history as well as the well maintained landscape of the Fort is fascinating. A manmade lake in the premise adds beauty to the Fort. Other important monuments in the vicinity include Sher Mandal, Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque and a Baoli (22 meter). Mughal Ruler Humayun died here.
  13. Mehrauli Archaeological Park – Over 100 historically important monuments stand in this 200 acre park. Along with history the architecture of the monuments is also remarkable.
  14. Tughlaqabad Fort – This Fort is a mute spectator of the rise and fall of empires for the past 700 years. The stories related to this ruined fort are quite interesting. A great place to explore in contrast to the bustling city.
  15. Sheesh Mahal – This palace with mirrors of various size, design and colour is located in the Shalimar Bagh. It was used as resting place for Mughals on their travel to Northern territories. Britishers also used this Palace as their summer lodge.
Temples, Gurudwara, Churches:
  1. Akshardham Temple – Dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan this temple has been awarded as the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple. Experience the culture and tradition of India through various shows and activities. Moreover the architect of the Temple is stunning. The lovely Gardens, informative boat ride, musical fountain on circle of life (after sunset), giant screen film on Discover India would keep you engrossed all day long.
  2. Lotus Temple (Bahai Temple) – This Lotus shaped Bahai Temple is a masterpiece. There are no idols in this Temple but just a prayer hall. It is open for all religions; you can go inside the temple and pray to your respective God. Made with white marble the beauty of this temple is enhanced by the water pools on the circumference of the temple.
  3. Gurdwara Bangla Sahib – Original this was a palace of Raja Jai Singh so the name ‘ Bangla Sahib’. This Gurdwara is very prominent amongst Sikhs. The eight Sikh Guru ‘Guru Har Krishan’ resided here. The waters of ‘Sarovar’ (Pond) of the Gurdwara is believed to have healing powers and is taken back home by pilgrims.
  4. Laxminarayan Temple (Birla Mandir) – A renowned temple of Lord Vishnu (Narayan) with his better half Laxmi. The Temple is spread over an area of 7.5 acres. It was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi.
  5. ISKCON Temple – Dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radharani, this temple is visited by huge numbers of devotees. Visitors are attracted by Vedic Centre, Art Gallery, Museum and various shows in the Temple premises. The walls of the temple have been decorated with works of artists from Russia.
  6. Yogmaya (Jogmaya) Temple – This temple is the only temple of Delhi where Devi Yogmaya is worshipped. Reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and sister of Lord Krishna who vanished into thin air after being replaced with the lord & predicting Kansa’s death at the hands of her brother. Festival of Navratra is celebrated here with huge zest. The temple is believed to be built around 5000 years ago during Mahabharat period and is still standing despite of attacks from Mughals and other invaders.
  7. Hanuman Temple – Idol of Lord Hanuman adores this temple. Unlike the other Hindu Temples, where symbol above the spire (vimana) is more commonly an Om or Sun sign, this temple has a crescent moon symbol (an Islamic symbol) in the vimana. This crescent symbol is believed to have saved this temple from destruction from Mughal attacks.
  8. Kalka Mandir – Temple of Goddess Kali (Avtar of Goddess Durga) is visited by devotees throughout the year. Built in 1764 A.D. this temple has its own legends attached to it. It is believed that Goddess Kali decided to reside here after victory over demons Chand – Mund.
  9. Cathedral Church of Redemption / Viceroy Church– This beautiful and magnificent church was constructed as a need for place of prayer and meditation for the Viceroy of India but was made open to public in 1931. The Church is designed in a manner that it keeps cool even in hot summers.
  10. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib – Located in Chandni Chowk, the Gurudwara is built on the place where the 9th Sikh Guru – Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by Mughal Emporer Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam. This is a highly devoted place for the Sikh Community in India.
  11. Sri Digambar Jain Temple – Built in 1656 A.D. this is the best known Jain Temple in Delhi. This impressive red sandstone temple is famously known as ‘Lal Mandir’.
  12. Chattarpur Temple – This second largest temple in the world is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani. This Shakti Peeth houses over 20 small and large temples. During Navratri festival the temple is flooded with devotees.
  13. James Church – The Church has an interesting history and the design & architect are quite interesting.
  14. Aurobindo Ashram – Inspired from the living of Sri Aurobindo, the Ashram is dedicated to service to humanity. A place which is in contrast to the hustle bustle of city. Here you will find peace and calmness all around in the lovely ashram premises.
  15. Baptist Church – Along with being amongst the oldest Church of Delhi, it is also a fine example of European architecture of that time. Established in 1814, this Church has raised many leaders, preachers, pastors and reverends.
  16. Gauri Shankar Temple – This 800 year old temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his better half Parvati (Gauri). Built by a Maratha soldier – Apa Ganga Dhar, on his survival in a battle against all odds, this temple sets a message to the world at large that believe in God.

 

Mosque and Tombs:
  1. Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) – The largest mosque of India was built by Shah Jahan. The mosque is built using red sandstone and white marble. 25000 people can pray at the mosque courtyard at a time. The mosque has three gates, four towers and two 40 meter high minarets. This historic mosque has amazing architect and cultural importance.
  2. Nizamuddin Dargah – Dargah of famous Sufi Saint ‘Nizamuddin Auliya’ is visited by people of all religion and cast. Qwallis are organized daily which add to the Sufi touch. Langar with pure vegetarian food is organized every Thursday and Sunday. Shrines of Amir Khusro and Jehan Ara Begum are located in the Dargah complex. The Sufi Saint always lived for others and loved everyone like their own.
  3. Fatehpuri Masjid – The mosque was built by Shah Jahan’s wife ‘Fatehpuri Begum’. The mosque flaunts the superb Mughal architect and style. Festivals of Eid are celebrated with great zest here.
  4. Khirki Mosque – The mosque has derived its name ‘Khirki’ (windows) which adorn the upper floors of the mosque. Apart from architecture the history of the mosque also attracts visitors.
  5. Jamali Kamali Tomb and Mosque – A mosque and tombs of Saint Jamali and his companion Kamali stand next to each other. You may hear some exciting ghost stories here as this place is believed to be haunted.
  6. Moti Masjid – Moti Masjid in Red Fort was built by Aurangzeb. He was prompt for his prayers and Jama Masjid (merely 600 mtrs) was too far for him. So he built his own personal mosque. The mosque built up with white marble is beautifully decorated with carvings and originally had domes of gold which were damaged during the revolution of 1857.
  7. Tomb of Balban – Situated in Mehrauli, the Tomb of Ghiyas ud din Balban is lying in ruined condition but is vital in the history of architecture. The tomb is believed to be the construction where Arc and Dome made their appearance for the 1st However as the domes have not survived, the dome of Alia Darwaja has become the earliest surviving true dome of India.
  8. Tomb of Safdarjung – Lies in peace in this garden tomb is Safdarjung – the then Prime Minister of Mughal Empire. Built with Mughal delicacy, the work of architect at the tomb is worth noticing. The complex comprises of Charbagh garden with mausoleum at the center, three domed mosque, madarsa, library and several small pavilions.
  9. Lodi Tomb – Built in Indo-Islamic style, Lodi Tomb is situated in the Lodi garden. The architecture is worth noticing especially the octagonal design.

 

Museums
  1. Jantar Mantar – One of the 5 observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur with a view to help the practicing astronomers in observing the movements of the sun, moon and all other planets. Four distinct instruments (Yantra) namely Samrat Yantra, Ram Yantra, Mishra Yantra and Jai Prakash adorn the observatory and is used in present date by students to ascertain the position of astral bodies in our universe.
  2. National Museum – Counted amongst the largest museums of India, this museum has items from pre-historic era to modern works of art at display. The museum houses over 200000 works of art over 5000 years of cultural heritage from across the World in various departments of Pre-History Archaeology, Archaeology, Manuscripts,Numismatics & Epigraphy, Paintings, Arms & Armour, Decorative Arts, Central Asian Antiquities, Pre-Columbian Art, Jewellery, Anthropology, Education, Public Relations, Publication, Conservation.
  3. Gandhi Smriti – Formerly the house of Indian business tycoon, the Birla’s, now converted into museum displaying the photographs and personal belongings of Gandhiji. Gandhiji used to reside in this house on his visits to Delhi. Small doll houses and terracotta dolls displaying Gandhiji’s life are the attractions at the museum. A multi-media show is also held between 1 pm to 1.30 pm.
  4. National Rail Museum – This museum has at display over 100 real size exhibits of Indian Railways. Along with engines both static and working, coaches, signaling equipments, antique furniture, photos and literature are at display. Do not miss the Fair Queen, Fire Engine, Saloon of Prince of Wales, Maharaja of Indore and Maharaja of Mysore. You can also enjoy toy train ride and boating.
  5. National Science Center – With galleries spread on 4 floors dedicated to science in all forms, the National Science Center is a treat for science lovers, students and curious visitors. Fit for all age groups this place will enlighten your mind, body and soul.
  6. Nehru Museum and Planetarium – The residence of PM Jawaharlal Nehru (Teen Murti Bhawan) has been converted into a museum displaying photographs and personal belongings of Nehru. The surroundings of Teen Murti Bhawan also houses ‘Nehru Plantarium’ a wing dedicated to the promotion of astronomy education. Nehru Planetarium gives you an opportunity to discover the solar system in the sky theatre with dome-shaped screen made up of glass fibre & sitting capacity of 270 people. Many more astronomy related events like astronomy quiz contests, lectures, telescope making workshops, shows etc. takes place throughout the year.
  7. Natural History Museum – This museum focuses on nature of India to promote environmental awareness. From evolution to conservation, all aspects related to nature are covered for display. Some exhibits include film screening. There are Discovery Room and Activity Room where exhibits can be handled by visitors. A number of stuffed animals under display attract visitors the most.
  8. Indira Memorial Museum – The former residence of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has been converted into a museum displaying her journey of life from birth to death by means of rare collection of photos and her personal effects. Some rooms of the house have been kept intact to portray the stylish life standards. In the garden, an enclosed crystal pathway marks Indira Gandhi’s final footsteps.
  9. National Gallery of Modern Art – With the intention to preserve, encourage and exhibit the works of Modern Art, National Gallery of Modern Art was established. Presently it has under display over 14000 works of Indian and foreign artists from 1850 A.D. and onwards.
  10. International Doll’s Museum – Over 6500 dolls from all across the World are under display in this museum. But the specialty is the 150 types of dolls in Indian costume created in the in-house workshop of the museum.

 

Gardens & Parks
  1. National Zoological Park – The Delhi Zoo is home to 1350 animals representing almost 130 species of animals and birds. White Tiger, Rhinoceros, Bengal Tiger, Blackbuck, Asiatic Lion, Macaque, Sloth Bear, Zebra, Jaguar, Leopard and wide range of birds are some of the many appellants to the zoo. The zoo can be explored either on foot or by battery operated cars (available on rent).
  2. Garden of 5 senses – An excellent place to stimulate your 5 senses – touch, smell, hear, see and taste. Visitors are encouraged to touchthe rocks and displays,  the fragrance of flower for the nose,  the landscaping appeals to the eyes – the sight, the ceramic bells and the water falls create a soothing sound -pleasing to the ear  and the food courts serve a variety of cuisines – to please the tongue. Spread over 20 acres this splendid garden is built differently with art works not generally found in standard gardens. A variety of cultural events and shows are hosted here throughout the year.
  3. Mughal Garden – Mughal Gardens in the premises of Rashtrapati Bhawan are open for public in February and March every year. Built by the Mughals in Persian style this outstanding garden are a must visit.
  4. Shalimar Garden – Another fantastic garden from the Mughal era to visit. The Sheesh Mahal and Central Pavilion in the garden despite being in decayed condition, you can still enjoy the half –faded floral decoration and naqqashi.
  5. Lodi Garden – Lodi Garden is full of historically important monuments. The famous Bara Gumbad and Tomb of Sikander Lodi are also housed in the Lodi Garden. This garden is popular amongst Delhiites for morning walks.
  6. Buddha Jayanti Park – Dedicated to Lord Buddha, this park is an excellent place for walks and family picnics. The Park is peaceful and arouses the feeling of selflessness and gratitude in the visitors. Bodhi tree was brought from Sri Lanka and planted in the park alongwith other rarest species of flowers.
  7. Nehru Park – Named after the 1st Prime Minister of India Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, the garden is one of city leading green areas, and a venue for ‘Morning Ragas and Evening Ragas Concerts, as part of the “Music in the Park” concerts organized by NDMC. Apart from this it is a regular venue for art events, morning yoga classes, and houses an ancient Shiv Temple and cafe. The park is a beautiful place to hang out during a sunny winter afternoon in Delhi.
Best season to visit  August to April. Summers are too hot in Delhi, so should be avoided.
Shopping

Delhi is a hub for shopping. From road side / Street shopping to Malls and showrooms, Delhi has something for everyone. Whether it be wholesale, retail, apparels, accessories, electronics, handicrafts, antiques, food (the list of shopping items is endless), you just name it and you have it here in Delhi. Following markets / market areas are popular for shopping:

  1. Chandni Chowk – Wholesale market
  2. Lajpat Nagar Market – Street shopping
  3. Sarojini Market – Street shopping
  4. Paharganj – Street shopping
  5. Delhi Haat – Food and Shopping Stalls of various States of India
  6. Meena Bazaar – Apparels
  7. South Extension Market – Mall / Showroom Shopping
  8. Connaught Place – Mall / Showroom Shopping
  9. Greater Kailash Market – Mall / Showroom Shopping
  10. Karol Bagh – Mall / Showroom Shopping
Hotels & Accommodation
Connectivity AirportDelhi

Railway Station: Delhi

Tour Planner / Guide
Special Notes There are loads of options for tourism near Delhi. Many tourist places in States of Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, UttarPradesh and Himachal Pradesh are about 4-5 hours drive from Delhi. Do good exploring about the nearby tourist places as per your taste to cover maximum beautiful locations on your trip to Delhi.

 

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