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Things to do in Delhi

Tourist Attractions in delhi

Attractions

Overview

Delhi which is officially known as national capital territory (NCT) of Delhi, is a city and a Union Territory of India containing New Delhi which is the capital of India. It is said to be steeped in history yet overflowing with modern life, the colorful, cacophonous Delhi pulses with the relentless rhythms of humanity like only a few other cities on earth.

The earliest architectural relics in Delhi date back to the Maurya period (300 BCE), in 1966, and an inscription of the Maurya Emperor Ashoka was discovered near Sriniwaspuri. Remains of several major cities can be found in Delhi. The first of these were said to be in the southern part of present-day Delhi. King Anang Pal of the Tomara Dynasty is said to have founded the city of Lal Kot in 736 CE. Prithviraj Chauhan conquered Lal court 1178 and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora.

Place to Visit

Places to Visit:

  • In the old city, the Mughals and the Turkic rulers are believed to have constructed several architecturally significant buildings such as the Jama Masjid which is India’s largest mosque built in 1656 and the Red Fort. Three world heritage sites, the Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb are all located in Delhi. There are other monuments which include the India Gate, the Jantar Mantar which is an 18th century astronomical observatory and the Purana Qila which is the 16th century fortress. The Lakshmi Narayan temple, Akshardham temple Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the Baha’i faith’s Lotus Temple and the ISKCON temple are all examples of modern architecture found in this union territory. Raj Ghat and associated Memorials are said to house the memorials of Mahatma Gandhi and other notable personalities.
  • The National Gallery of Modern Art and the national Museum which are also some of the largest museums in the country is found here in Delhi.
  • Other museums in Delhi include the National Museum of Natural History, National Rail Museum and National Philatelic Museum.
  • One of the most popular shopping areas in Delhi for Jewelry and Zari sarees is a 17th century market known as Chandni Chowk.
  • Delhi’s arts and crafts include Zardozi, an embroidery done with gold thread and Meenakari which is the art of enameling
  • Delhi’s cultural life is believed to exhibit a unique blend of cosmopolitan and traditional styles.
  • The city is dotted with numerous museums, historic forts and monuments, libraries, botanical gardens, places of worship and auditoriums.
  • Complimenting such traditional institutions are said to be the ever changing urban commercial and leisure centers, for the privately-held contemporary art galleries, cinema multiplexes, bowling alleys and other sports venues along with restaurants serving a variety of Indian and international cuisines.
  • Delhi’s cultural and stylistic diversity is also reflected in its numerous fairs and festivals.
  • These include an annual film festival as well as many sorts of trade and book fairs. The various religious groups in Delhi are said to contribute to an ongoing succession of religious festivals and celebrations.
  • Red Fort(Lal Qila) is one of Delhi’s top tourist sights. A brilliant red sandstone fort built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (who also built Agra‘s Taj Mahal) as his ruling palace. Completed in 1648, the years since have not treated the buildings kindly: the rooms have long since been stripped of all objects, the marble inlays are long gone and quite a few buildings are off limits. Still, the scale remains imposing and the gardens are kept lush and green even in midwinter. Major buildings within include:
  • Chatta Chowk, (Covered Bazaar). True to the name, this is a covered bazaar between the gate and the fort itself, now filled with souvenir hawkers. Qutub Minar, The most famous structure on grounds, this 72.5 m minaret was the tallest “skyscraper” in the world when built (1193-1368) – it was constructed on the orders of Qutb-ud-din Aybak. Delicately carved, it has been astonishingly well-preserved and is still an awe-inspiring sight today. It’s often visible from air when flying into IGI airport! (Sticklers for archaeological truth will, however, note that the top of the tower has twice been rebuilt after an earthquake, and the base has been restored more recently.) While entry into the tower itself is no longer permitted, for Rs 10 per 5 min you can view the scenery via a little webcam on top.
  • Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Delhi’s first and grandest mosque, now mostly in ruins, but many parts of the complex are still standing and the sandstone decorations are still impressive. Check out the extraordinarily ornate carvings near the tomb of Iltutmish on the west side of the complex.
  • Iron Pillar, iIn the centre of the mosque. True to its name, this is a 7 m iron pillar erected in 400 AD by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, also known as “he, by the breezes of whose prowess the southern ocean is even still perfumed” according to the inscription carved on the base. Alas, Chandragupta II’s perfume has long since faded, but to the amazement of metallurgists everywhere, his pillar is still going strong, after 1,600 years.
  • Ala-i-Minar, Ala-ud-din-Khilji set out to build a tower twice as high as the Qutub Minar, but died after a mere 24.5 m was complete. The first story stands to this day.
  • Ala-i-Darwaza, This square, domed building once acted as the entrance to the mosque, but is now tucked away behind the minar. Inlaid marble decorations and latticed stone screens.
  • Tomb of Imam Zamin, Outside the main complex, next to the Ala-i-Darzawa, this octagonal tomb commemorates a Turkestani iman who was based in the mosque during the reign of Sikandar Lodi.
  • Diwan-i-Am, (Hall of Public Audience). This building separates the outer court from the inner court, and has a marble platform for the emperor’s throne.
  • Hayat Baksh Bagh, (Life-Bestowing Gardens). Once a grand garden of full of fountains and streams, now sadly all dry — only dry channels and acres of green grass remain.
  • Diwan-i-Khas, (Hall of Private Audience). Built completely of marble, this is where the emperor received special visitors.
  • Khas Mahal, (Private Palace), The Emperor’s main residence. The octagonal Mussaman Burj tower looks out toward the Yamuna River, and is where the Emperor used to appear before the public for each morning.
  • Rang Mahal, (Colour Palace). The residence of the Sultan’s main wife.
  • Mumtaz Mahal, (Jewel Palace). Contained six apartments for the Sultan’s harem. Now used as a museum of court textiles, carpets, weapons, etc (free).
  • Daawat Khana, A minor palace at the northmost end of the Fort, this was originally the residence of a prince, but it was converted into a tea house by the British, a function it continues today. Basic meals go for around 60 rupees, drinks 10-20 rupees, and it also has the cleanest toilets around.
  • Swatantra Sangrama Sangrahalaya, (Museum of the Independence Movement). To the left after the Chatta Chowk, this is a reasonably well-presented museum on the history of independence activism in India, starting from the Mutiny of 1857 all the way to Gandhi.

When to Reach

When to Reach

Religious festivals celebrated in Delhi include Diwali, Mahaveer Jayanti, Guru Nanak’s birthday, Raksha Bandhan, Durga Puja, Holi, Lohri, Chauth, Krishna Janmashtami, Christmas, Mahashivratri, Eid ul Fitr, Muharram and Buddha Jayanti. The Qutub festival is a cultural event during which performances of musicians and dancers from all over India are showcased at night, with the Qutub Minar as a backdrop. Other events such as kite flying festival, International mango festival and Basant Panchami which is a spring festival are held every year in Delhi. The auto expo, Asia’s biggest auto Show, is also held in Delhi biennially. The New Delhi World book fair, held biannually at the Pragati Maidan, is the second largest Exhibition of books in the world. Delhi is often regarded as the book capital of India because of high readership. India International Trade Fair, organized by ITPO is the biggest cultural and shopping fare of Delhi which takes place in November each year and is visited by more than 1.5 million people.

Why Should Go?

Why should I go?

Delhi ranked as the 28th most visited city in the world and first in India by foreign visitors in 2015 according to the Euromonitor International. There are said to be numerous tourist attractions in Delhi both modern and historic. Qutub complex, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb are among the finest examples of Indo Islamic architecture and are also the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Delhi. Another prominent landmark of Delhi is India Gate which was built in 1931, and is a war Memorial to soldiers of the British Indian Army who died during the first world war. Delhi has several famous places of worship of various religions. One of the largest Hindu temple complexes in the world, Akshardham is believed to be a major tourist attraction in the City. While there are other famous religious sites including the Lal Mandir, Lakshmi Narayan temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Jama Masjid, ISKCON Temple and Lotus Temple.

Delhi is also known to be a hub for shopping of all kinds. Chandni Chowk, Sarojini Nagar, Connaught Place, Delhi haat and Khan Market are some of the major retail markets in Delhi. Major shopping malls include Select City Walk, DLF Promenade, Pacific Mall, DLF Emporio, Metro Walk and Ansal Plaza.

As India’s national capital and centuries-old Mughal capital, Delhi is known to have influenced the food habits of its residents and is also where Mughlai cuisine originated. Along with Indian cuisine, a variety of international cuisines are popular among the residents. The dearth of food habits among the city’s residents is said to have created a unique style of cooking which became popular throughout the world with dishes such as Kabab, biryani, tandoori. The city’s classic dishes are said to include butter chicken, dal makhani, shahi paneer, chaat, aloo chaat, dahi bhalla, kachori, samosa, chhole bhature, golgappa, chhole kulche, gulab jamun, jalebi and lassi.

The fast-living habits of Delhi’s people is said to have motivated the growth of street food outlets. It is a trend of dining at local Dhabas which are popular among the residents. High profile restaurants have also gained popularity in recent years, among the popular restaurants are the Karim hotel, the Punjab Grill and Bukhara. The ‘Gali Paranthe Wali’ which literally means ‘the street of fried bread’, is a street in Chandni Chowk popularly known for food eateries since the 1870s. Almost the entire Street is occupied by fast food stalls or Street vendors. It has nearly become a tradition that almost every Prime Minister of India has visited the street to eat paratha at least once. Other Indian cuisines are also available in this area even though the street specializes in North Indian food.

Getting Around

Getting Around:

Modern Delhi has a lot more to offer with a well-planned and extensive Metro network that connects all corners of Delhi; this is still growing. New Roads and flyovers have improved connectivity, the latest of which is the Signature Bridge, an ambitious project of Delhi tourism which is under construction at Wazirabad, it promises to be a landmark.

The city plan of Delhi is said to be a mixture of old and new road patterns. The street network of old Delhi reflects the defense needs of an earlier era, with a few transverse streets leaving from one major Gates to another. Occasionally a street from a subsidiary Gate leads directly to the main axes, but most of old Delhi street tends to be irregular in direction, length and width. Narrow and winding parts, culs-de-sac, alleys and byways form an intricate matrix that renders much of old Delhi accessible only to pedestrian traffic. Conversely, the Civil Lines which were residential areas originally built by the British for senior officers, in the north and New Delhi in the south embodies an element of relative openness which is characterized by green grass, trees and a sense of order

Weather

Weather:

The temperatures in Delhi are said to usually range from 2 degree Celsius to 47 degree Celsius, with the lowest and highest temperatures ever recorded being -2.2 and 48.4 degree Celsius, respectively. The annual mean temperature is 25 degree Celsius, with the monthly mean temperatures ranging from 13 to 32 degree Celsius. One of the highest temperatures recorded in July was 45 degrees Celsius in 1931. The average annual rainfall is approximately 34.9 inches, most of which falls during the monsoon in July and August. The average date of the advent of monsoon winds in Delhi is 29th June.

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