Delhi, the capital of India, has a rich history. The city is dotted with breathtakingly beautiful Mosques, forts, and monuments left over from the Mughal rulers that once occupied the city. The contrast between Old Delhi and well planned New Delhi is immense, and it’s interesting to spend time exploring both. While all of them are have their special place in the heart of the city, there are some that stand out. Here’s a list of the top 12 attractions and places to visit in Delhi.
1. India Gate
India Gate is an important site to visit when on a tour to Delhi. India Gate has its original name as All India War Memorial that was built in order to commemorate the 82000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives during the First World War happened from 1914 to 1921 as well as in the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The war memorial is situated at Rajpath where you can reach by getting down at Barakhamba Road Metro station in Delhi.
2. Red Fort
The fort is a perfect example of brilliant architectural beauty. The red fort, situated in Old Delhi, was the main residence of the Mughals. Today, it houses several museums which help in telling the stories of the bygone era. Though the fort was the house of the Mughal emperors, it was also the political and cultural center of the Mughal state and this was the place where a lot of significant events happened.
But what made the fort famous was the midnight speech made by Jawahar Lal Nehru before India was going to wake up to independence from British rule and afterward, it was becoming the politically significant spot in Indian history. It hosts the Independence Day celebrations each year from then onward.
The fort is managed by the Archeological Survey of India and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. A spectacular show regarding the history of Red Fort and the capital Delhi is shown at the fort for one hour every evening. The show is in Hindi and English with a half an hour gap in between the two shows.
The light and Sound show at the fort starts at 06:00 pm.
The Fort remains closed on Mondays but opens on all other days from 09:30 am to 04:30 pm. Entry fee for Indian citizens is Rs.10 while the same for foreigners is Rs.150. The nearest metro station to the Red Fort is Chawri Bazaar.
3. Qutab Minar
A valuable, protected structure of Delhi, Qutub Minar is considered to be a highly important historical attraction existing currently in India. It is a part of the Qutub Complex which was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The structure is situated in the Mehrauli area of Delhi. Qutub Minar Metro Station located at a distance of about 3km will be the easiest access to reach the amazing architectural brilliance.
4. The Lotus Temple
The Lotus Temple is among the famous tourist places in Delhi and a major landmark of India that has been attracting tourists from all over the world because of its architecture and beauty. The construction of the temple was finished in 1986 and it resembles the lotus flower but was created in the color white.
The Temple is open to all people, regardless of region and caste. The structure is built of 27 free-standing marble clad petals in clusters of three to form nine sides. There are nine doors onto the central hall that can accommodate around 2500 people at a time. The temple has a great connection with the Bahai Faith that promotes harmony among people through a common place for worship.
5. Rashtrapati Bhawan
The Presidential Residence, formerly known as the Viceroy’s House is the famous Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. It is the home of the President of India, officially. It is located at the western end of Rajpath. The mansion or the main building accommodates the president’s official residence, halls, guest rooms, and offices. The entire 130 hectare President Estate that includes huge gardens known as the Mughal Gardens, large open spaces, a residence of office staff and bodyguards, stables etc is the major portion of it the mansion.
It is considered to be the largest residence of a head of state in the world in terms of area. The Delhi Durbar occurred in December 1911 decided to build a residence in New Delhi for the British Viceroy. In the beginning, the plan had 4000 acres of land acquired for the building after relocating Raisina and Malcha villages existed in the region. The famous British architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens was given the responsibility for the primary architecture.
The mansion can be visited on all days from 09:00 am to 04:00 pm but the Mughal Garden and other gardens will be open from August to March on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
There is a registration charge of Rs.50 and it can be paid online as well as it will be non-refundable and non-transferable. Visitors individually or in a group of fewer than 30 people will be charged Rs.50 per visitor and for a group of 30, it will be 1200 per visit.
6. Jama Masjid
The people of Delhi consider the Masjid-I Jahan Numa close to them, hence call it fondly as the Jama Masjid of Delhi. It is one of the largest mosques in India which was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656. During that time, the construction of the mosque took around 1 million rupees. An imam from Bukhara inaugurated the building after its completion. The mosque is protected by three great gates and four towers. Also, there are two 40 meter high minarets created on red sandstone and white marble standing. The masjid is located at a walkable distance from Old Delhi railway station and ISBT Kashmere Gate. The masjid that got its life because of the architectural brilliance of Ustad Khalil is now protected by Delhi Waqf Board.