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DELHI

CAPITAL CITY


Traveling to different places in your life could give you the experience and education, which you cannot hope to obtain by doing any other activity. Today’s lifestyle demands people to be confined to a particular place and remain tied to work. Breaking away from such tiresome routine is welcome by all. If you are planning such a trip with your family this holiday, you may consider visiting delhi, the capital of india .



1. The Red Fort

The Red Fort

The beautiful Red Fort was built by Shah Jahan in 1648 and served as the seat of Mughal power until 1857. This stunning structure, with its tall, red sandstone walls covers an area of more than two square kilometers, the entirety of which is crescent shaped and surrounded by a moat. The impressive main entrance, the Lahore Gate, is so named as it faces towards Lahore in Pakistan, while the even grander Delhi Gate was used by the emperor for ceremonial processions.

Entering through the Lahore Gate, visitors reach Chhatta Chowk, a 17th-century covered bazaar where items such as silks, jewelry, gems, and silverware can be purchased, along with souvenirs and food items. The NaubatKhana within the Red Fort once housed the musicians who played for the emperor, and its fine galleries still contain many interesting musical instruments such as kettledrums, gongs, and cymbals. Diwan-i-Am, the Hall of Public Audiences, where the emperor would receive his subjects, is also worth seeing for its stunning white marble.






2. Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar

Completed in the 12th century, the beautiful Qutub Minar-India's tallest minaret and now a UNESCO Word Heritage Site-attracts many international visitors eager to climb to the top for its breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

This ornate five-story tower rises more than 70 meters and is covered with intricate carvings featuring the history of Qutub along with inscriptions from the Koran. It's also notable for being constructed of a number of different types of stone (the first three stories are made of red sandstone, while the fourth and fifth stories were built with marble and sandstone).

The complex also includes the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, a mosque at the base of the tower; a gateway built in 1310; the tombs of Altamish, AlauddinKhalji, and Imam Zamin; and a 2,000-year-old Iron Pillar, the Alai Minar.

A variety of other important tombs can be seen in Lodi Gardens, a New Delhi city park that covers some 90 acres of land. This former Lodi site (the Lodi's ruled parts of northern India prior to the 1600s) is a particularly popular spot for residents to stroll, making it an exceptional destination for tourists.




3. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

Delhi's most important Sikh place of worship, the 18th-century Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is near Connaught Place and is well worth a visit. Highlights include its magnificent pool, the Sarovar, at the heart of this large complex, as well as its famous gold dome and flagpole.

Also of note is the large temple building itself, along with its art gallery and a small museum dedicated to the history of the Sikh religion. Visitors are always welcome here, and an excellent meal is available at no cost in the large Gurdwara Kitchen-all that is asked in return is your hair be covered and shoes removed (free headscarves and shoe storage are provided).




4. The Lotus Temple

The Lotus Temple

The magnificent Bahá'í House of Worship, also known as the Lotus Temple due to its nine sides and stunning central dome, is an architectural masterpiece. Constructed of white concrete and marble, the entire structure looks as delicate as the flower it resembles. Rising from the surrounding nine pools of water, it almost appears as if it might burst into bloom at any moment. Built in 1986, the temple has since attracted more than 70 million visitors, making it one of the world's most visited attractions (interestingly, this remarkable place of worship has no idols, religious pictures, or outward symbols of religion).

Another modern day temple worthy of a visit is the ISKCON Temple, one of the country's biggest Krishna temple complexes.





5. India Gate

India Gate

Looking a little like the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the equally impressive India Gate is a magnificent stone arch built as a memorial to Indian soldiers killed in WWI. An eternal flame burns beneath the massive structure, and its walls are inscribed with the names of more than 90,000 soldiers who died in the conflict.

Standing on a base of red stone and featuring a shallow domed bowl on top that is occasionally filled with burning oil (usually only on important anniversaries), the structure dominates the parkland around it, an always busy area with crowds of tourists and locals alike enjoying a picnic or simply relaxing. For a real treat, try to see the India Gate at night, considered one of the top free things to do in New Delhi; it's a spectacular sight when it and nearby fountains are floodlit.




6. Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid is one of India's largest mosques and was the final architectural feat of Shah Jahan. Completed in 1658, this beautiful structure features three gateways, four angled towers, and two 40-meter-high minarets built using red sandstone and white marble and attractively alternated in vertical stripes. Visitors can climb to the top of the southern minaret for spectacular views of Old Delhi, and afterwards visit the large central pool used for washing before prayers (visitors must take off their shoes and be appropriately dressed before entering; non-Muslims aren't permitted during prayers).

Afterwards, be sure to visit Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi's massive main thoroughfare and a market area dedicated to shopping and eating. Of particular interest are Naya Bazaar and Gadodial, famous spice markets where you'll see hundreds of items displayed including aniseed, ginger, pomegranate, saffron, lotus seeds, pickles, and chutneys.




7. Humayun's Tomb

Humayun's Tomb

Set in a lovely, large square garden, Humayun's Tomb is a lofty mausoleum constructed of white marble and red sandstone. It was designed as a prototype of the Taj Mahal in Agra and is an excellent example of Mughal architecture. Built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum as a memorial to her husband by Humayun's senior widow, the tomb is surrounded by lush formal gardens and other tombs including Humayun's barber and the Tomb of Isa Khan (the architect of the Taj Mahal), a fine example of Lodi architecture and octagonal in shape. A fun thing to do is to try and catch a glimpse of this spectacular structure after nightfall when it's illuminated.




8. Akshardham

Akshardham

Although only recently completed (it opened in 2007), the splendid Hindu Akshardham temple looks like it could be centuries old. Festooned with intricate and elaborate carvings, this magnificent building attracts countless visitors for its majestic beauty.

Highlights include the stunning 43-meter-high main monument with its rich carvings of animals, plants, gods, dancers, and musicians, all made from pink sandstone and marble. Of particular note are the 234 ornate pillars supporting its nine domes, as well as a stunning stone tribute to elephants, the centerpiece of which is a massive 3,000-ton statue of one of these beasts.

Other features of interest include a theater showing a movie tracing the building's construction, a fun 15-minute boat ride depicting India's rich history and diverse culture, and the spectacular YagnapurushKund, a large musical fountain that is a particular treat when lit up at night.




9. Purana Qila (The Old Fort)

Purana Qila

Although often overlooked, as most tourists head straight for the more famous Red Fort, Purana Qila (Old Fort) is well-worth squeezing into your Delhi travel itinerary. Boasting a past that stretches back some 2,500 years, much of the current impressive edifice dates back to the 1500s, although evidence of earlier structures dating back to the 3rdcentury have been discovered.

The present structure played an important role in the region's affairs for centuries and was particularly influenced by the Muslim religion, as evidenced by building's such as the Qila-i-Kuna Mosque, a single-dome place of worship built in 1541. The site covers an area of two square kilometers, and you'll enjoy exploring its thick ramparts and three large gates, an especially impressive sight during the nightly illuminations.

The 200-acre Mehrauli Archaeological Park is also worthy of a visit and features numerous important structures, some of which date back more than 1,000 years. Highlights include the old ruins of Lal Kot, along with more recent evidence of occupation by the British during the reign of Queen Victoria.



10. Rajpath and Rashtrapati Bhavan




Rajpath and Rashtrapati Bhavan

Rajpath, also known as the King's Way, is New Delhi's traditional ceremonial boulevard. Running from Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official presidential residence, past such important city landmarks as Vijay Chowk and India Gate all the way to the National Stadium, this broad avenue is flanked by trees, grass, and ponds and comes alive each January 26th during the Republic Day Parade, when countless thousands gather to celebrate the anniversary of the country's independence.

At the western end of Rajpath, the President's Residence-the Rashtrapati Bhavan (once the British Viceroy's residence)-is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent buildings in Delhi, an eclectic mix of Mughal and European architectural styles that contains some 340 richly decorated rooms.

Of particular interest is the new Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum, which offers a glimpse inside the building, along with interesting displays relating to past presidents. Hot Tip: If visiting in February or March, check out the adjoining Mughal Gardens, a splendid display of plantings surrounding the President's Residence.



Way to reach


By Air

Delhi is well connected with domestic and international flights, to all the major cities within and outside India. Almost all the major airlines have their flights operating from Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi. Domestic Airport connects Delhi to the major cities in India.


By Train

The railway network connects Delhi to the all major and, nearly, all the minor destinations in India. The three important railway stations of Delhi are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.


By Road

Delhi is well connected, by a network of roads and national highways, with all the major cities in India. The three major bus stands in Delhi are Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan Bus Terminus and Anand Vihar Bus Terminus. Both the government and private transport providers provide frequent bus services. One can also get government as well as private taxis here.


A symbol of the country’s rich past and thriving present, Delhi is a city where ancient and modern blend seamlessly together. It is a place that not only touches your pulse but even fastens it to a frenetic speed. Home to millions of dreams, the city takes on unprecedented responsibilities of realizing dreams bringing people closer and inspiring their thoughts.


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