monuments of delhi

Top Things To Do In Delhi

Things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

Delhi, the national capital of India, is one of the important gateways to India. It has the Indira Gandhi International airport which is the main starting point to enter North India and start popular tours like Golden Triangle Tours India Rajasthan Tours, Taj Mahal tours, Wildlife tours, and Yoga Tours and retreats.

Due to its traffic and chaos, most of the tourists use Delhi as entry and exit points. But if you want to visit the capital of India and learn more about its glorious past, history, architecture, and culture, it will never cease to amaze you. It happens to be one of the few cities in the world with a unique distinction of having not one but three UNESCO World Heritage sites within its boundaries.

If you have the will and energy to explore Delhi, there is no dearth of interesting things to do here. Apart from the historical monuments, this city is full of bars, cafes, bazaars and other fun places, which can make this culture capital give some better-known cities of the world a run for their money.

Let’s explore the top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

1- Visit Old Delhi and Jama Masjid

The largest Islamic mosque in the city, Jama Masjid, was constructed way back in the 17th century. The imposing top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

building is an iconic landmark of Old Delhi and an important place of worship. The mosque can hold up to 25,000 people and it is the largest mosque of India.

The main structure has multiple entry points, all of which lead to the main courtyard. Entry is free and open to all nationalities, except that you need to cover up from head to toe. A nominal fee for photography is levied if one intends to take pictures.

You can see a panoramic view of Old Delhi from Jama Masjid Eastern Gate. You can climb one of the minarets to see a bird’s eye view of Delhi.

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2-Take a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

Chandni Chowk, translated as Moonlight Street is the commercial heart of Old Delhi. One of the oldest markets of India. Small and narrow lanes are a beehive of activity from dawn to dusk, offering on sale every product you can imagine of under the sun.

The best way to prevent getting lost and carried away in the chaos of traffic and people is to take a leisurely tour by cycle rickshaw. To see how the real Delhi survives, a visit to Chandni Chowk should be on every tourist’s agenda. The best time to visit Chandni Chowk is early morning. It’s a photographer’s delight to see the real-life of Delhi, its streets and locals daily life.

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2 (a)- Take a walking tour in Spice Market top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

Next to Fatehpuri Masjid at the western end of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, is home to the largest wholesale spice market in Asia, selling all kinds of spices, nuts, herbs and food products like rice and tea. Spices connected India to the West, and the market at Khari Baoli Road has been in business since the 17th century. However, Gadodia Market (which is on the south side of Khari Baoli and is where many of the spice shops are) was built in the 1920s by a wealthy local merchant. You’ll get to see huge sacks of spices being transported and sold. 

As fascinating as it is, the spice market is also super congested, and you’re likely to feel overwhelmed trying to navigate through its interior alleyways by yourself. The aromas of spices and peppers are enough to make you sneeze. The market also caters to the vast spice markets of different states and so it’s always crowded with traders. Little has changed over the centuries here and so one should visit to experience it. Indians love spices- Take a look at how the spices reach the shops and our kitchens. You can shop for some of the spices here.

Foodies can enjoy sampling the street food in some famous lanes of Chandni Chowk. Even if your stomach doesn’t allow you to eat it, it’s always fascinating to see famous Indian street food. Please take advice from your guide about the famous top places for street food.

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3-Explore Qutab Minar Complex top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

Qutab Minar is one of Delhi’s top attractions and a renowned UNESCO world heritage site. Qutub Minar is 73 m (240 feet.) high tower made of red sandstone and marble. Qutub is not only the highest brick minaret in the world but also one of the most famous historical landmarks of India.  This minaret was established in the year 1192, by the very first ruler of Delhi – Qutb-ud-din Aibak. This minaret is named after its creator.

A number of monuments and buildings that are historically significant and associated with the minaret surround it and the whole area forms part of the Qutb complex. This complex includes the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the Iron Pillar, the Tomb of Imam Zamin, the Tomb of Iltutmish and Major Smith’s Cupola among others. 

A festival held in October – November in Qutub Minar Complex. This festival includes several days of Sufi singing and Indian Classical music as well as dance performances. It’s generally free and all are invited. Thousands throng in; in the chilling winters of Delhi as the festive rises from evening 8:00 p.m. till 03:00 a.m. in the morning!

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Tours related to Delhi

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4- Find Inner Peace at Lotus Temple top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

Lotus Temple is an architectural delight. The whole complex from top to bottom is made of pure marble. The universal symbol of peace, a lotus flower, gives the temple not only its name but shape as well. Designed in the shape of a sacred lotus flower, there are 27 flower petals which are constructed of marble and make up the structure.

Photography is restricted in the inner sanctum and there is a strict code of silence to be maintained at all times. Open to all castes and creeds, the temple is an ideal place for anyone who wishes to meditate and pray. The temple is also known as the place of Baha’i faith.

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5- Take a walk at India Gate top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

Dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who lost their lives in the Afghan war, a visit to this 42 m high iconic and historic landmark of Delhi is not only an experience but also a photographer’s delight.

The walls bear the names of each of the 13,500 people who laid down their lives fighting on the Northwest Frontier.

India Gate is best visited in the evenings when the monument is brilliantly lit up and the beautiful fountains around it give the place a truly magical look. This place is a favorite spot for locals to relax in evening and enjoy in the gardens around. You can visit around to see other Government buildings like the President’s House and Secretariats.

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6- Volunteer at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Kitchen top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

One of the friendliest and welcoming Sikh shrines in Delhi is undoubtedly Bangla Sahib, located in the heart of New Delhi near Connaught Place. There is a continuous Sikh group playing music and religious songs which adds to the ambiance of this remarkable place. 

It has a huge kitchen where the langar (free food for anyone who wants it) is prepared for the devotees which is shared and enjoyed by everyone together. It’s staffed mostly by volunteers, and you can go in and have a look around or even help out. About 10,000 meals are served per day, which requires a lot of cooking.

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7- Admire the grandeur of Humayun’s Tomb top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

If you think Humayun’s Tomb looks a bit like the Taj Mahal in Agra, that’s because it was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal’s creation. The tomb was built in 1570 for the second Mughal emperor, Humayun. It was the first of this type of Mughal architecture to be built in India, and the Mughal rulers followed it up with an extensive period of construction all over the country. 

The tomb is part of a greater complex that’s set among beautiful gardens. Humayun’s Tomb combines Persian elegance with fine Indian craftsmanship, and its graceful lines are mirrored by the fiercely symmetrical Mughal Gardens that surround it. For the best photos, stroll here at dusk, or simply admire the architecture at any time of day. 

You can walk around the surrounding gardens and then proceed to climb a flight of stairs to the main platform. Then you can walk around the inside of the building and see Humayun’s tomb and many other marble tombstones. Also, at the entrance of the attraction a small museum is located showcasing some old photographs including explanations of the tomb and its history and restoration work.

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8- Pay obeyence at the Akshardham temple top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

This modern Hindu temple complex is one of the top things to do in Delhi that you don’t want to leave out seeing. Akshardham, with its elaborate architecture, construction, and its perfect detail and decoration will blow your mind.

Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is the world’s largest Hindu temple according to the Guinness World Records. A relatively new attraction, this massive temple complex was built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha spiritual organization and opened in 2005. It’s dedicated to showcasing Indian culture. As well as the astonishing architecture of the pink stone and white marble shrine, the complex includes sprawling garden, sculptures and much more. The architectural beauty and decoration of the area is sure to leave you spellbound. Allow plenty of time to explore it thoroughly. Do note that cell phones and cameras are not permitted inside.

The interior of the temple is unbelievable; what you’ll see will make your jaw drop. The amount of labor and craftsmanship that went into building Akshardham is unimaginable. Sorry, they don’t allow any photos, so you’ll have to see it for yourself!

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9- Visit Gandhi memorial

Raj Ghat is the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi or ‘Bapu’ (Father of the Nation) and located on the banks of Yamuna River.  It is a black marble platform on the same place where he was cremated with his last words “Hey Ram” inscribed. His Memorial is left open to the sky with an eternal flame burning at one end. Surrounding the memorial are the memorials of other famous leaders. 

Mahatma Gandhi is likely the most famous person associated with India, he’s on the front of all Rupee notes. The entire area is a park. When you enter the memorial, leave your shoes at the counter (for a small tip), and then walk into the central courtyard where you can walk around the memorial of Gandhi.

You can also visit Gandhi Smriti, a few kms from Raj Ghat. It will show you the exact spot where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948. He lived in the house for 144 days up until the time of his death. The room that he slept in, kept exactly how he left it, and the prayer ground where he held a mass congregation every evening are both open to the public. Plenty of photos, sculptures, paintings, and inscriptions are also on display. 

Let’s explore the top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

10- Go on a shopping spree top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

To lose you in shopping, Delhi offer many different markets depending on your taste and interest. Go up market at Khan Market. Sample the refined lifestyle of middle-class Delhiites at laidback Khan Market. Browsing the bookshops and home ware stores then hang out for a chat at one of the great cafes. You can also try mix coffee and carafes at Perch, the city’s first wine and coffee bar.

For bargains, hit the flea market stalls nearby on Janpath and in Sarojini Nagar. For a one-stop shop for crafts from around India, look no further than Dilli Haat. Inspired by village markets, Delhi Haat would give you a peek into India’s cultural diversity. 

Connaught Place is one of the famous business and shopping area. Connaught Place is popular for market which is built in Georgian style architecture. The building forms two concentric circles. The outer circle holds hotels, shops, restaurants and most importantly, the Regal building (wax museum). The middle circle has banks, offices and other corporate.

Located next to the New Delhi Railway Station, Paharganj is a district in Delhi that is known for its crowded streets, shopping, and now it’s the budget backpacker center of Delhi. 

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11- Spend time at Agrasen ki Baoli stepwell top things to do in Delhi, monuments of Delhi

This attraction is a historical monument situated on the Halley Road in New Delhi. A mosaic of different assortment of stones and rocks, Agrasen ki Baoli is an ancient water reservoir which rises from the depths of the earth to stand atop 103 stone steps. Hidden amidst the business towers and residential apartments of central Delhi, this place is a quiet and serene experience perfect for photography lovers. The old brick walls of the structure take you back in history and as you go down the steps, a drop in temperature can be experienced. 

The structure of Agrasen Ki Baoli is quite impressive considering the fact that it is believed to have been built somewhere around the time of Mahabharata. The reservoir still serves its ancient purpose as the lower parts of the baoli can be seen submerged in water on some occasions. Come and explore this enigmatic piece of architecture, you will surely not be disappointed!

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12- Learn more about Indian art, history and culture in one of the museums.

Be amazed by the wealth of Indian art at the National Museum, home to an astonishing collection of statues, woodcarvings, paintings and other treasures. Not far away, you can introduce yourself to India’s avant-garde artists and their work, installations included, at the National Gallery of Modern Art. 

A museum dedicated to the rail heritage in India. National Rail Museum houses over 100 exhibits of Indian Railways {static and working models}, antique train furniture, signaling equipment, historical photographs and related literature.

President’s House museum offers a look at the presidential residence. Expect key historical moments to be revisited via wax statues, gardens. The use of high-end technology to explore the causes and implications of the freedom struggle. Prior online booking with passport photocopies are required.

You can visit Indira Gandhi’s former home. The ghosts of history swim through the former home of Indira Gandhi, Indira Gandhi Smriti, where she was shot dead by one of her bodyguards in 1984. There’s a lot to learn about India’s most powerful dynasty, complex politics, as you wander through this period mansion.

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13- People watch at Lodi Garden

To see Delhi at its most relaxed, wander around Lodi Garden on a Sunday afternoon, the perfect place for people watching. This Gardens is a public park that’s scattered with ancient ruins from the Islamic Sayyid and Lodi dynasties so there’s plenty to see; bring a picnic basket, relax with a book, or put its jogging tracks to good use. Kids run around, people enjoy picnics, and artists become inspired by walking and sitting in these gardens. The park is large, and it’s easy to walk around for a few hours indulging in a breath of fresh air and exploring the 500-year-old tombs.

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14- Visit other lesser-known places

The historical complex of Hauz Khas is an ancient community of ruins. This complex includes a mosque, various tombs, and the previously important water tank. Nowadays, the complex is a public Delhi park. Students can be seen hanging out with friends while sitting on ancients stones and tombs. Delhi has so many ancient buildings and many of them are just for public and not fully preserved. 

Hauz Khas Village, located surrounding the entrance of the ruins, is an upscale outdoor shopping area filled with boutique stores, high-end restaurants, and cafes

Visit Tomb of Safdarjung, originally constructed in 1754. The tomb was built for Safdarjung, a prominent leader under Muhammad Shah, the more powerful Mughal emperor. The tomb’s construction is very similar to Hamayun’s tomb, and it’s surrounded by Mughal gardens.

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15- Visit to the Birla Mandir

Also known as Laxminarayan temple, this significant Hindu temple complex in Delhi is now the main tourist attraction. The temple is famous as it was officially opened by Mahatma Gandhi. This is a Hindu temple that is meant for people coming from different castes of India. 

It is located near the west of Connaught Place, houses statues of Lord Narayan (Vishnu) and Goddess Lakshmi. There are other small shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Hanuman and also Buddha. The entire temple is carved with illustrations inspired by Hindu mythology. Many people visit the temple in order to find peace and begin new ventures with a positive vibe.

Photography is not allowed inside the main building. For foreigners, they have special little room to leave the camera in lockers and shoes safely. 

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