Delhi is a city where the traditional and the contemporary blend seamlessly. Also the capital of India, Delhi has forever been a favorite among international travelers owing to its rich repertoire of architectural and cultural marvels. The landmarks of Delhi, both ancient and modern, pay homage to the rich heritage of India and these are what the guests here fondly feast on. Delhi is also the seat of governance and location of all embassies in the country.
The major attractions of Delhi include Humayun's Tomb, Qutub Minar Group of Monuments, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, Akshardham Temple, Birla Temple, and Lotus Temple among others.
A lot of shopping destinations also feature among the attractions of Delhi. Palika Bazaar, Connaught Place, Janpath, and Chandni Chowk are some of the most frequented markets of Delhi.
Built back in the 16th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, Red Fort is a recognized World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Red Fort stands as an iconic symbol of India. The Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag at the main gate of the Red Fort on the Independence Day of India (15 August).
The structure has a total of 14 gates, out of which the most important ones include Lahori, Mori, Ajmeri, Turkman, Delhi and Kashmir gates. The structure is designed in the form of an octagon with long extended walls on the east and west.
There are a number of structures in the monument. Of all the structures, the Diwan-i-Aam is the most beautiful. It is the place from where the King addressed to the problems and complaints of the commoners. Other structures include Diwan-i-Khas which was used for private meetings and conferences, Moti Masjid, a private mosque built by Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. Mumtaz Mahal is another structure in the monument which is was one of the women's courtyards.
During evenings, visitors can enjoy sound and light shows which describe the Mughal history. There is also an archaeological museum and Indian War Memorial Museum inside the fort.
The Fort is open from 8am to 6pm every day except Mondays.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Qutub Minar is the 2nd tallest Minar (73 metres) in India after Fateh Burj in Chappar Chiri at Mohali (100 meters). People from all over the world visit Delhi to have a look at this architectural wonder.
Made of red sandstone and marble, Qutb Minar complex stands tall as an evidence of the pre-Mughal dynasties. The structure was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak and Iltutmish. Other than Qutub Minar, there are many structures within the Qutub Minar complex:
Iron Pillar: Seven meter tall, the iron pillar was raised by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya during 400 AD. This rust resistant pillar is the star attraction of the complex.
Ala-I-Darwaza: Ala-I- Darwaza is the gateway to Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque inside the complex. The structure is located behind the Qutub Minar and is beautifully decorated with marble stones.
Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque: One of the oldest mosques in Delhi, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque is mostly in ruins today. However, some parts of the structure are still safe and feature beautiful decorations and carvings.
Tomb of Iltutmish: The Qutub Minar complex also houses the tomb of Iltutmish. The cenotaph is made of white marble and is built on a raised platform. The tomb is best known for its beautiful carving.
One of the most prominent landmarks of Delhi, India Gate is a monument that commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. Originally, India Gate was known as All India War Memorial. The structure is made using red pale sandstone and granite.
After India got independence, the monument became the site of Indian Army's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is known as Amar Jawan Jyoti (flame of the immortal soldier). India Gate is well-known for the grand Indian Republic Day Parade, hosted here every year on 26th January.
Today, India Gate is one of the most popular tourist spots in Delhi. The sprawling green lawns, numerous ice-cream and snack vendors, make a picnic at the place more exciting. Visitors can indulge in activities like camel and elephant rides and boating near the place.
One of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi, Chandni Chowk is a must-visit for every tourist. Crammed with shopaholics every day, the shopping street offers all what one requires, right from beautiful saris to bangles and shoes.
The main lane of this hustling shopping stop is divided into a number of by-lanes. These lanes are Paranthe Wale Gali, Kinari Bazaar, Chandi Gali (for silver items), Duppatte Wali Gali (for colorful Duppattas) and Itar Wali Gali where people can shop for perfumes in their traditional forms. The shopping strip makes you come back again and again to shop endlessly. On your visit to Chandni Chowk, don't miss treating your taste buds with the delicious buttery parathas from the Paranthe Wali Gali. So, in short, we can say that your Delhi tour is incomplete without a visit to Chandni Chowk.
Humayun's Tomb is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Delhi. The tomb was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in the year 1993.
Humayun's Tomb is best known to feature Mughal architecture in India. You can easily trace the glorious past of India in every nook of the arches, gateways, mihrab, courtyards and garden of the tomb. The tomb is all around surrounded with beautiful gardens, water channels and fountains. Inside the structure, there are tombs of various other Mughal rulers.
Other than the main tomb of Humayun, there are many other structures which are present inside the tomb, such as Bu Halima's Tomb and Garden, Tomb and mosque of Isa Khan, Nila Gumbad, Afsarwala Tomb and mosque, Chillah Nizamuddin Aulia and Arab Sarai.