13 Top Best Things To Explore in Delhi 0

13th Oct 19
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Harshal, Indian Travel Blogger

There are very few cities in the world that provide an incredible blend of the ancient as well as the urban aspects of its history, culture, and gastronomy. If you truly want to land in such a place that possesses these magnificent elements, then why go anywhere else when you can step inside the realms of New Delhi. The capital city of India where people are lovingly called as Dilwale, it stands to hold majestic monuments and diverse culture within its landscape. From the enigmatic essence of Mughal architecture to the mouth-watering waft of food in Chandni Chowk, move through its endless alleys either on a rickshaw or the fast-paced metro rails. Delhi will baffle you with its disciplinary history while also showering you with its lively and loud bazaars and city life.

Here is a list of 13 Top Best Things To Explore in Delhi

1. Chandni Chowk - Hop on a Rickshaw for a lively ride Through its Narrow Alleys

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What was once an imminent bazaar of Shahjahanabad during the reign of Mughal emperor Shahjahan, is now a bustling and overcrowded chain of alleys leading in every direction. The path that was earlier used by the emperor for his daily processions is now full of old food shops, small restaurants, outlets selling handicrafts, traditional clothing, jewelry, spices much more.

The most unique gastronomy calls Chandni Chowk its home, as the sweet and relishing waft of food draws thousands of people every single day. Watch all of these scenarios unfold as you stroll casually sitting on a traditional three-wheeled rickshaw. The landmarks of Old Delhi pass before your eyes as you witness markets carrying the same business generations after generations. From Parathe Wali Galli to Khari Baoli, there are endless places within Chandni Chowk that will take more than a day to explore.

2. Qutub Minar and the complex of old monuments - The Axis of Delhi's Heritage

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Reminiscence the legendary period of Delhi Sultanate as you stand before the magnificent monument called Qutub Minar. Known to be the largest brick minaret in the world, it stands at a height of 239 feet. Enchanting everyone with its beauty, the sheer magnitude of its architecture was conceived by the Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aibak.

Housing about 379 steps in its staircase, it survived two major disasters with heavy damages. These monumental damages were repaired by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and Sikander Lodhi respectively. Drawing millions of tourists every year with its astounding architecture, the minaret is surrounded by other incredible monuments such as the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, Alai Darwaza, Alai Minar, the Iron Pillar, Tomb of Adham Khan, Moti Masjid and Zafar Mahal. Build in the year 1192, it is the host of the annual Qutub Festival which includes cultural shows bringing together folk and classical musicians from all across the world.

3. Lotus Temple - The most famous Bahá'í House of Worship in the world

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The Bahá'í House of Worship in Delhi stands with the strength of 10,000 marble panels enchanting millions of people all across the globe. Commonly known as the Lotus Temple, it was designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba, resembling the petals of a half-opened lotus. Decorated the crowded landscape of Delhi, the Lotus Temple glimmers in its already star-studded list of monuments.

The most splendid and significant attraction of the city, it consists of a cluster of 27 marble panels forming nine doors and creating enough space for a central hall to accommodate up to 2,500 people. An elegant and peaceful structure, it is one of the seven centers in the world dedicated to Bahá'í faith. Surrounded by nine spectacular ponds, it is the only religious place in Delhi to use solar energy. Showcasing captivating glimpses all around, the temple welcomes everyone irrespective of their caste, religion, gender or race.

4. Red Fort - The Monumental Landmark of India’s Independence

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Initially known as Qila-e-Mubarak, the Red Fort was the royal palace of the old city of Shahjahanabad. Built by Shah Jahan in the wake of shifting his capital from Agra to Delhi, the Red Fort has been witness to numerous historical events with the most prominent being the Independence of India. Constructed out of white limestone, the fort was later painted red when the limestone starting deteriorating and hence resulted in the name, Lal Qila.

Believed to be the home of the iconic Kohinoor diamond, its interiors were completed destroyed by the evading British forces. Majestic enough to accommodate many small monuments, the Red Fort is the prominent spot where the National Flag of India is hosted by the Prime Minister every year on Independence Day. Synonymous to a treasure chest holding different kinds of valuables, the Red Fort houses structures like Hira Mahal, Moti Masjid, Diwan-E-Khas, Khas Mahal, Rang Mahal, Mumtaz Mahal and much more. A UNESCO World Heritage site, its marvelous architecture is capable enough to put anyone in trance.

5. Laxmi Narayan Temple - The First Large Hindu Temple of Delhi

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Crafted by more than 100 different artisans at the time of its construction, the Laxmi Narayan Temple is one of the most popular attractions in New Delhi. Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, it is open to anyone irrespective of their religion or caste. With serene and spacious walkways gracing its landscape, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his consort Goddess Laxmi. A house of worship welcoming all kinds of faith, the interiors of the temple adorn sculptures of other deities such as Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva, and Lord Ganesha.

A spectacular display upon the walls depict the life of Gautama Buddha. This shows the harmonious co-existence of Hinduism and Buddhism at the same place. Architect Sri Chandra Chatterjee left no stone unturned when he designed this temple with an idea of gifting religious belongingness to everyone visiting the place. A must-see structure, embrace yourself to get lost in the aesthetic realms of the magnificent structure.

6. Rashtrapati Bhavan - The Largest Presidential Residence in the World

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Larger than Buckingham Palace or even the White House of the United States, the Rashtrapati Bhavan is spread across an area of 200,000 square feet. Consisting of more than 300 rooms, it stands only second to the Quirinal Palace in Italy. Constructed in 1929, it was the brainchild of British architect, Sir Edward Lutyens who is also responsible for various Pre-Independence monuments in and around Delhi. Standing with a strength of 700 million bricks, the Rashtrapati Bhavan is one of the most iconic buildings in the city.

Comprising of Presidential quarters, guest rooms, offices, and mansions, it also houses huge gardens, large open spaces, residences of bodyguards and staff, stables, and utilities within its perimeter. Decorated with elegant interiors, it is home to some magnificent paintings and art forms. There are galleries dedicated especially to children such as By The Children art gallery, the Talking Wall and the Science & Innovation Gallery. A truly spectacular structure, its majestic banquet hall can house up to 104 guests at a time. Drawing a large number of visitors on a daily basis, the President’s house is an ideal destination to stumble across if you are in Delhi.

7. Jama Masjid - The World Reflecting Mosque

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With more than 5,000 workers assigned with its construction, the Jama Masjid is one of the most iconic mosques in the world. Adorned with spectacular stone calligraphy and artistic structure, the Jama Masjid truly brings back the ambiance of the early Mughal period. Home to millions of pigeons, its gigantic courtyard can accommodate up to 25,000 worshippers at a time.

Spread across an area of about 400 sq. ft. it is synonymous with the size of Taj-ul-Masajid, the majestic mosque in Bhopal. With over 200 columns around its structure, the western portion of the mosques borrows elements from Jain and Hindu architectural patterns. One of the significant monuments built by Emperor Shah Jahan, earlier the mosque went by the name of ‘Masjid-E-Jahan Numa’ with the idea of uniting the world through its spectacular aura and grandeur.

8. Jantar Mantar - Astronomical instruments of ancient India

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Ever wondered how people in earlier times measured time and calculated the distance between stars and planets? All your questions would be ultimately answered when you will come across the spectacular assemble of Jantar Mantar. Delhi’s well-known tourist destination, it was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1724, as a part of his series to construct astronomical instruments all across the country.

Consisting of 13 architectural astronomy instruments,it is a one-of-a-kind observatory in the world that fascinates people from all across the globe. A popular place among children, the instruments are called Yantras, which were used to calculate coordinates of heavenly bodies, measure time, altitude of stars and much more. Nearly 300-year-old, this heritage structure is a prominent remnant of the old-world astronomy.

9. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib - A Sikh Sanctum in the busiest neighbourhood of Delhi

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When Mirza Raja Jai Singh of Amber built his residence in Delhi, he never would have that it was destined to become a sacred place of worship. The arrival of eight Sikh guru, Guru Har Kishan at his residence was a boon, as he helped the people affected during the fatal Cholera epidemic in Delhi. By offering water from the well located within the bungalow complex, Guru Har Kishan is believed to cure hundreds of people but eventually contracted the ailment himself. After the death of the Guru, Raja Jai Singh dedicated his palace to be converted into a Gurudwara in his memory.

Sardar Bhagel Singh Dhaliwal, a Sikh general, in 1783, renovated the entire structured to make it look more mesmerizing. An ambiance of serene peace flowing all around, this structure still houses the sacred pool known as ‘Sarovar’ whose water is believed to possess healing properties. The Langar hosted by the gurdwara, serves more than 10,000 people everyday. One of the top historical attractions of New Delhi, the Bangla Sahib is also home to the Baba Baghel Singh Museum which narrates the story of the 10 gurus of Sikhism and the Sikh martyrs who laid down their lives for their faith.

10. India Gate - A arched symbol of Nationalism

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Not just a popular tourist attraction by a symbol of pure nationalism and patriotism, the India Gate stands valiantly at the end of Raj Path in the memory of those brave soldiers who laid down their lives while protecting the country. Spread across an area of 306,000 square meters, this arch-type war memorial is the largest in the world. Made from yellow-red sandstone and granite, this structure resembles the design often compared with the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Gateway of India in Mumbai, and the Arch of Constantine.

The brainchild of British Architect Sir Edward Lutyens, it has the names of Indian soldiers inscribed on its walls, who gave up their lives in the Afghan Wars and World War I. A monument made of black marble named, Amar Jyot Jawan stands directly below the archway to commemorate the fallen soldiers of Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. A truly breathtaking structure, it is host to Republic and Independence Day parades every year.

11. Humayun’s Tomb - Majestic Mausoleum of unparalleled beauty

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Believed to be a place where more than 100 members of the royal Mughal family are buried, Humayun's Tomb is a major tourist attraction in the city of Delhi. Resonating the bygone tradition of burying the emperor in a paradise garden, the tomb a natural retreat with numerous plants, paved walkways, water channels, a bath chamber, and a pavilion.

Built near the iconic and sacred dargah of Nizamuddin Auliya, the structure is one of the finest example of Mughal architecture. The empress and chief consort of Humayun personally chose renowned Persian architects to design and shape the structure of the tomb. This iconic structure was home to refugees during the partition of India-Pakistan, and hence it was damaged severely. The Archaeological Survey of India, thereafter, restored the monument to its original glory.

12. Raj Ghat - A marble memorial personifying peace

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Inscribed with the last words of the Father of the Nation, ‘Hey Ram’, the memorial located on the banks of Yamuna truly personifies the living legend of Mahatma Gandhi. Standing amidst the serene and vibrant greenlands, this memorial holds the eternal blue flame upon the awe-inspiring black marble platform. Drawing visitors from all across the globe, the Raj Ghat complex also houses memorials of other notable leaders of Modern India. Designed by Vanu G. Bhuta, the memorial symbolises the peaceful and primal way of living of the Mahatma.

The garden comprises trees planted personally by dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II, Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh and President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Also known as King’s Bank, the museum located in the complex has a marvellous collection of literature about Gandhi's life and works. It also exhibits old models of charkhas or spinning wheels along with some of his personal items, such as his dhoti, shawl, walking sticks and much more.

13. Hauz Khas Complex - History living in the present of Delhi

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Amidst the affluent neighbourhood of Hauz Khas lies the bygone ruins of the legendary Delhi Sultanate, thriving for hundreds of years to mesmerize the onlookers. The Hauz Khas complex in the Village area houses the remnants of the structures built by Sultan Allauddin Khilji and Feroz Shah Tughlaq of the Tughlaq dynasty.

In contrast with the modern restaurants, pubs, cafés, shopping places, and boutiques gracing the landscape of Hauz Khas, enigmatic remains of the Sultanate are even more breathtaking. Dating back to the 13th-century, it houses the age-old water reservoir built by Alauddin Khalji along with a mosque, a madrasa, tombs, pavilions, and several other structures built in the Islamic architectural styles. The tomb of Firoz Shah and the Tower of Thieves minaret known as Chor Minar are some hard-hitting monuments inside the complex. Truly enchanting in its own right, stepping inside the complex is similar to stepping in a whole different world.

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