The Ultimate Heritage Travel Guide to Delhi
How the capital city of India…I mean Delhi could be defined by anyone?? Is it called the 5000 year old capital city of the world’s biggest democracy or the city of extreme weathers??? No matter, what it is… Delhiites call it as ‘Dilli hai Dilwalo ki’… that means the city belongs to kind hearted people. It’s the largest metropolitan city in India that has rich and numerous tourist attractions. With lots of historical monuments, temples, and other places of interest, the city also houses other contemporary attractions. Beating the alluring attractions on tourists, Delhi tourism includes a city with great history, empires, religion, priceless monuments and sacrifices. Formed by combining Old Delhi and New Delhi, this place reflects the past and contemporary style as well. The city is perfect retreat for people of all ages.
All what I feel is…Delhi is magnificent place and during my heritage tour to this city, I came across various historical places like Qutub Minar, Purana Qila, Lodhi Garden, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah, Humayun’s Tomb, Safdarjung’s Tomb, Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar, Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, and many more, which have given me lot to learn about the history and literally enjoyed every bit of it.
Guys!!! If you haven’t enjoyed the heritage tourist attractions of Delhi, then I would suggest you to visit this city and enjoy your holidays. With large number of monuments and spots enlisted in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, India has made a stubborn mark in the history of world.
Going into more detail, I would like to share some exciting heritage spots in Delhi that will make your Delhi Heritage Tour, the most flourishing and memorable one.
Here it goes:
1. Qutab Minar-“The Tallest Minaret in India”
One of the most popular and famous masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art is ‘Qutab Minar’. Built nearly 1000 years ago, the astonishing 72.5 m minaret was made as per the instruction of Qutb-ud-din Aybak, using red sandstone. Beautifully carved, this edifice is preserved with utmost care and it’s overwhelmed by visitors today. This tallest minaret with its splendid past and facts, absorbs an important place in the list of Indian monuments and expresses about an exceptional dynasty that was laid down by a mere hard worker.
Among all the historical monuments, what I enjoyed during my tour was the Qutub Minar, which looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The most important part is that it has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a gallant picture of Delhi too. So, visiting here and returning back without a single click will be your incomplete tour. Take some clicks with friends or family, standing beside this minaret.
2. Purana Qila-“Famous for Spectacular Sound and Light Show”
Recall the oldest fort in Delhi, the name what comes in mind is ‘Purana Qila’, which is linked with the legendary city of Indraprastha, developed by Pandavas of Mahabharata. The first view of the fort gives a glance of splendor. The fort is a good paradigm of Mughal military architecture that was renovated by Humayun later. Made up of red sandstone along with marbles on the walls, it gives a rise to a height of approx. 60 feet. There are three gates categorized as Bada Darwaza (Big Door), Talaqi Darwaza (Forbidden Door) and Humayun Darwaza (Humayun’s Door) that allows entry into the fort.
The most entertaining part is ‘The Sound and Light Show’ that shows the history of Delhi and will take you 5000 years back. Apart from this, lake is also available close to the fort, where people enjoy boating. The perfect time to visit here is early morning when photo ops are best and will let you explore the monuments in tranquillity and imbue in the surrounding of lush greenery. Among the seven cities of Delhi, Purana Qila happens to be the sixth one. It’s an attraction in Delhi known due to its rich history that always undulate the explorer in me.
3. Lodhi Garden-“Offers Serene Hideaway from City life”
Along with Qutub Minar and Purana Qila, Lodhi Garden is also my favourite spot as I extremely enjoyed being in the serene place with lush green lawns & park during my visit. It’s a public park, scattered with ancient Mughal tombs and structures. Located very close to Humayun’s Tomb in Lodi road, this garden is spread out with ancient Mughal tombs and structures. Exploring 500 year old tombs whilst take a heritage walk, offer a wonderful picturesque view.
Kids play & run all around, people enjoy picnics with friends & family, and artists become enlivened by sitting and wandering in the garden. You can relax at this place and get peace of mind as there is power of nature that expels your daily mental stress. The place is extremely admired by yoga practitioners, joggers and young couples. The park is also perfect for morning walk as you can wander around for a few hours and take the pleasure of fresh air.
4. Red Fort-“The Pride of India”
After viewing all the above heritage places, the most awaited attraction that every tourist looks for is ‘Red Fort’. The fort (Lal Qila) is the second most tremendous foundation of Shah Jahan after The Taj Mahal. Established in the 17th century, this fort of the Mughal kings speculates the pinnacle of creativity common in structural design during the Mughal Era. The Red Fort is a coalition of Persian, Indian and European art. Exploring the major attractions inside the fort like The Mumtaz Mahal, The Rang Mahal, The Khas Mahal, The Diwan-i-Am, The Diwan-i-Khas, The Hamam, and The Shah Burj, gives great experience and opportunity to capture those picturesque views.
People also know this place by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s freedom speech that he gave on Independence Day (15th August, 1947). That’s why huge crowd from all over the world throng this place on 15th of August (Independence Day) as the National Flag of India is hoisted by the Prime Minister of India. Large number of political leaders and great personalities are seen on this very day. The day is celebrated here by organizing various cultural programs and other activities. There are two gates in Red Fort, one is Delhi Gate and the other one is Lahore Gate, which is the excited and symbolic direction of the modern Indian nation and therefore draws large number of people on Independence Day.
The breathtaking experience is ‘the sound and light show’ of Red Fort, organized every evening. It adds more charm to trip and gives great way to experience the majesty and history of the place. Due to its incredibleness and uniqueness, the fort has become one among the famous tourist places to visit in Delhi.
5. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah-“One of the most revered pilgrimages of the Muslims”
If you wanna take a break from Delhi’s groomed World Heritage sites, head to the Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the mausoleum of the 14th-century Sufi saint and a popular place of pilgrimage for Muslims. Built up on the top of a tank, the holy place is bordered by a number of tombs. A huge crowd and winding bazaar road will take you to the temple entrance, where a marble pavilion of the 16th century has the sculpture of Nizamuddin. Visit on Thursday and listen to the popular ‘gawwalis’ chanted by musicians sitting in the courtyard.
6. Humayun’s Tomb-“A perfect example of Persian Architecture”
Have you ever imagined that Humayun’s Tomb looks like Taj Mahal in Agra? Yes, it’s true as it was the inspiration for the formation of Taj Mahal. In fact, it was the first ever Mughal architecture to be built in India that was followed by Mughal rulers. The tomb is part of a greater complex that’s set amongst beautiful gardens. Being an excellent example of Persian architecture, the tomb was accredited in the year 1526 by his widow Hamida Banu Begum, after the death of Humayun. Walking around the surrounding gardens and viewing several marble tombstones give immense pleasure to heart. At the entrance, there is a small museum that showcases old clicks with the history of tombs.
Taking a short trip to this place and learning about the hidden history behind this tomb is a wonderful experience for visitors.
7. Safdarjung’s Tomb-“The Last Quiver in the Lamp of Mughal Architecture”
Developed in the style of Mughal Empire for the statesman Safdarjung, this tomb is known as a marble and sandstone mausoleum in New Delhi, India. The main entrance is close to a buzzing red light stop, which presents some of the fine ornamental paintings. The Mosque is attached to the gate and you’ll also find several pavilions with redolent names such as Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Badshah Pasand (King’s favourite), and Jangli Mahal, (Forest Palace).
During my visit to this place, I was the only person and so it was completely silent over there and I couldn’t hear the squawking of crows and it was simply a wonderful break to keep myself away from the Delhi crowds. Well, my experience to this heritage place was too good and wishes the same for tourists too.
8. Jama Masjid-“The Biggest Mosque in India”
One of the largest mosques of Old Delhi is ‘Jama Masjid’, which is also popular as “Masjid-i-Jahan Numa”. The place offers an amazing view of the old city and walking through this heritage spot will take you through the narrow ways of Old Delhi along with colorful bazaars, mansions, Jain temples & food stalls. Designed as a primary mosque of Shah Jahan, Jamma Masjid of Delhi is developed in red sandstone and white marble. Coming to its interiors…they are decorated with black stripes. It was developed on a high platform, in order to make it visible from all the neighbouring regions. Before entry, it’s necessary to put on robes and if it is not with you, you can hire while entering from the northern gate and don’t forget…this would be the time to dress up and look like a local…so make the most of it.
9-Jantar Mantar-“The Creation of Jaipur King ‘Maharaja Jai Singh’”
What emerges to be an unexpected sculpture garden in the central Delhi is none other than ‘Jantar Mantar’, the modern yet popular name of ‘Yantra Mantra’. It’s located in the heart of New Delhi and easily approachable from any corner of the city by bus, car or other local transport. It’s a magnificent structure that has amazed large number of visitors from all across the world due to its capacity to make accurate calculations of several astronomical movements. The observatory gives perfect insight of technological innovations of time and so it’s considered as an inherent part of scientific heritage in India. It’s a very good place for sightseeing without much hassle and noise, reflecting the observatory of 18th century.
Well, for me…it was a lovely atmospheric place with picturesque view. Also, it was a pleasant break from the religious sites during my holidays in Delhi. My day ended with lots of photography with friends as the place is best for photo shoots.
10. Tughlaqabad Fort-“An architectural marvel built by Ghiyathu’d-Din Tughluq”
Alighted on a rocky hill, Tughlaqabad Fort is very huge and wonderful fort that endures more as a monopoly than an architectural enterprise. Beautifully made of rough stones set in mortar with sloping walls, it is quite large than other forts. Viewing and exploring it in true pleasure requires lots of time. The decoration, walls, pathways, pillars and the structures, all of them will take you back to the ancient Tughlaq days. On the top of everything, the “Tartar” dome and “Tudor” arch with various beams and arch hatches all over the interiors of the structure are kinda noticeable features of the fort. Wandering on the lush foliage… itself gives a great delight. Undoubtedly, it’s a wonderful escape for tourists especially during the weekends.
Be aware!!! As you may meet with lots of monkies in its outer boundary side…but in spite of all these… it’s a perfect place for photography…nice backgrounds can be captured over here.
11. The Lotus Temple-“Inimitable Blend of Faith and Architecture”
One of the most majestic temples of Delhi is the Lotus Temple, also popular as Bahai Temple. It’s a big paradigm of today’s structural design and represents the unity of all religions. The temple is beautifully surrounded with ponds, gardens and grasslands, due to which it is always pampered by tourists. A huge lotus shape building draws large numbers of visitors from all across the world. There are 27 flower petals made of marble that gives a perfect appeal to the structure. If you are holidaying in Delhi and like to relax or meditate, you should go and spend a few moments at this place.
12. India Gate-“Speculates Indian Pride and Sacrifices”
Undoubtedly, India Gate is a spot of bravery, built up in the year 1931 to reward soldiers as a war memorial. It is one of the main attractions of New Delhi. Tourists from all across the globe visit this place to discover the hidden history of this place. After visiting there you’ll see a flame under the gate that is always lit and it’s especially done to honor soldiers, who have sacrificed their lives for the nation. Wandering around the gate gives a great feeling and delight to heart. Besides, the place is also famous as a picnic spot among visitors, who like to spend their time with family and friends. The place is under security and managed nicely with some stalls of gol gappe, ice cream, etc. Boating is another big attraction that attracts many people to visit this place. The perfect time to visit is after sunset as the monument is decorated and lighted up beautifully in evening.
Wandering all around the surrounding areas of India Gate…along with a photographer’s delight, add another memorable experience.
13. Rashtrapati Bhavan-“The Glory of India”
A stately atmosphere, manicured lawns, clean corridors…and the main attraction of the New Delhi is ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’ overjoyed by tourists. It’s the splendid Presidential Palace that was designed by British architect ‘Sir Edwin Lutyens’. Being the center of power, it is the official place for the President of India and it’s decorated beautifully on the Republic Day every year.
On either side of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is Mughal Garden, a majestic place that attracts local people and foreigners to visit often. Exploring the beauty of Bhavan while wandering around the garden gives goosebumps…as this is what I felt so during my visit. A complete guided tour of few sections in the Rashtrapati Bhavan like Lutyens’ Gallery, Children’s Gallery, Durbar Hall, Ashoka Hall, and Gift Museum, etc., also add fun to your trip.
14. Akshardham Temple-“Temple with a Touristy Touch”
Enlivened from the Akshardham Temple in Gujarat, Delhi Akshardham Temple is widely spread over a ground of several acres. The complex of the temple is well maintained with security guards all around. For complete peace and culture splendor, the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex must be explored. It’s a perfect example of Indian architecture, art, and spirituality. The modern monument is extremely overwhelming with beautiful carvings, and the way the guide describes its rich historical significance is superb. There is a boat ride, which offers a short voyage through the heritage of India and tremendous musical fountain, with spectacular sound and lights.
Enjoy the day, exploring one of the famous attractions of Delhi at the Akshardham Temple. Make this spot first on your list and give minimum 4 hours to enjoy the visit.
15. National Museum of New Delhi-“A Brief View of Indian History”
Presenting the perfect snapshot of India’s last 5000 years, this splendid museum highlights antiquities from the Silk Route, relics from the Harappan Civilization, and excellent collections of miniature paintings, textiles, musical instruments, wood carvings, and so on. If you are very interested in history and art, I must say…you should visit this place as you’ll come across 200,000 individual pieces of art to sightseeing. There are many incredible installations and exhibitions, which infiltrate this hassle-free place. For sure, it will become a gem, so must see before the mysteries out.
16. National Rail Museum-“Showcasing Indian Railways”
Here comes the glory and pride of Indian Railway, yes…that’s what National Rail Museum is! It’s a place where time stops, life begins rewinding and history pages begin to unfold. The place has lot to pamper you with its exhibits. Everything will make you feel evergreen and alive. Displays like locomotive to electric engines, vintage cars and other privately owned saloons… all will make your day sated with pleasure. In fact, kids and train spotters will adore the place…all with its crumbling collection of old steam locos and carriages.
Well…I had a chance to visit this place and extremely loved it…for the displays of the years passed by.
17. Bangla Sahib Gurudwara-“Surprisingly Peaceful Place to be”
Crowned by golden domes, this stunning white marble Bangla Sahib Gurudwara was constructed at the place where the eighth Sikh Guru ‘Harkrishan Dev’ was staying before his death in the year 1664. The sacred place is finely located in the Central Delhi and is popular as one of the oldest Gurudwaras for Sikhs. On the opposite side of the temple, you’ll find a large pond with shoals. Sikh worshippers flock here for long hours and take part in singing devotional songs. It’s one of the most favourable places where serenity and beauty lies altogether.
For visitors, it’s a must visit place, who really wanna relish the moment and would apprise the beauty of this holy place. After all, Delhi is in the bucket list of every traveler and being blessed with such destinations during holidays…make ones trip more pleasurable.
18. Raj Ghat-“Cremation Point of Mahatma Gandhi”
Surrounded by lawns, there lies a memorial of black marble along with an eternal flame, called as Raj Ghat. It reminds us of a man who is called as the father of the India ‘Mahatma Gandhi’. Take a few hours to visit the memorial of Gandhiji and enjoy the serenity spread all over. This place is a sign of respect, so all visitors are allowed to take off their shoes before approaching the Gandhiji’s memorial. This place brings peace of mind and so it should be visited once while taking heritage walk in Delhi.
19. ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple-“Perfect Spiritual Retreat for Tourists”
Here comes the last but not the least ‘ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple’, which is the perfect heritage site for foreigners and Indians. It’s a modern monument that is must-see for anyone, who visit or stay in Delhi. Blessed with all the elements of attractions, this temple is very nice for the one, who wants to learn about the essence of Bhagwada Gita and spiritual rejuvenation too. Give a few hours to this beautiful place and feel the delight of being in serenity.
I think…I have guided with too much information… so Guyz! you might have got brief ideas about major tourist attractions in Delhi. So, plan for a trip and head to the city of love, fun and pleasure, which is popular as a goldmine of historical monuments and spots.