Places To See In Delhi
Majestic, Sprawling Forts to lavishly adorned Temples, Delhi has it all
Heritage Sites : Forts and Monuments in Delhi
The foundations for this 238 feet tall tower of victory with 376 steps was laid by Qutubddin Aibak, the first
muslim ruler of Delhi. The Qutub Minar has the distinction of being the tallest stone tower in India. It has
five distinct storeys each with a projecting balcony and tapers off from a diameter of 15 metre at the base to
2.5 metre at the top. The first three storeys are built of red sandstone while the fourth and fifth is a mix of
marble and sandstone. All along the length of the tower are intricate carvings, verses and beautiful
calligraphy work. Aibak's successor Iltutmish built the third and the fourth storeys of Qutub Minar and later
one more storey was added to it by Firoz Shah Tughlaq.
At the base of this majestic tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, India's first Islamic place of worship. A 7
metre high iron pillar stands tall in the courtyard of the mosque. It is believed that if you can encircle the
tower with your hands with your back facing the pillar, then any wish you make will come true!
This majestic red sandstone structure was the focal point of Emperor Shahjahan's walled city of Shahjahanabad.
The 33 metre high walls were built to protect the city from invaders. Elaborate in its construction, the Red
Fort houses grand audience halls also known as the Diwan-E-Aam and the Diwan-E-Khaas, marble palaces
embellished with precious stones, well laid out gardens complete with marble fountains, plazas, baths, a
marketplace where the royalty used to shop for their silks, brocades, gems and jewelery and also a mosque. Some
of the notable buildings inside the Red Fort include the Rang Mahal, which were the water cooled apartments of
the royal ladies, the Naubhat Khana (Drum House) or the place from where ceremonial music was played by
musicians to glorify the emperor. The Khaas Mahal or the exclusive three- roomed palace of the emperor is
another notable attraction. Above the Naubhat Khana is the Indian War Memorial Museum, which has a collection
of armors, guns, swords and other war related items. The complex also houses the Red Fort Musuem of Archeology,
which displays paintings, textiles, carpets, weapons etc. all from the Mughal Era. Just outside the fort is the
famous Meena Bazaar, where tourists can pick up souvenirs and other trinkets.
The fort is open from 10 AM - 5 PM on all days except Mondays. A special Sound and Light Show which recreates
the magic of the bygone era is held every evening. Shows are held in both Hindi and English.
Built on the site of the most ancient city of the seven cities of Delhi, the Purana Qila or the Old Fort is
attributed to Humayun who laid his new capital Dinpanah in 1534 A.D. and Sher Shah Suri who defeated Humanyun
to raise this citadel on the same site. The ramparts of the fort cover a perimeter of 2 kms and enclose three
main gates on the north, south and the west. The Bara Darwaza as the west side gate is called combines the
typical Islamic pointed arches with Hindu Chhatris and Brackets. Similar architect style can also be seen on
its southern entrance known as the Humayun Darwaza. The northern gate is called the Talaqui Darwaza or the
The fort is open from 10 AM - 5 PM on all days except Mondays.
Considered to be the prototype for the famous Taj Mahal in Agra, this mausoleum is the first major example of
Mughal Architecture in India. Placed in the centre of a garden laid out in the famous Charbagh style, with
water channels dividing them. The tomb itself comprises of tall arched entrances topped by a double dome in red
sandstone and white marble.
The tomb was built by Humayun's widow Haji Begum, nine years after his death. The tomb is open from 10 AM - 5
PM on all days except Mondays. Entry is free on Fridays.
The terracotta - red pinkish observatories in the heart of Delhi in Connaught Place were built by Maharaja Jai
Singh II of Jaipur in 1725. A centerpiece at Jantar Mantar is the huge sundial known as the Prince of Dials.
These instruments were used to accurately measure the path of heavenly bodies and to predict eclipses.
The observatory is open from 10 AM - 5 PM on all days except Mondays.
A short drive straight down Rashtrapati Bhavan brings you to this war memorial. This 42 metre tall, imposing
archway designed by Lutyens honors the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I. At the
centre of this war memorial is placed the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the Eternal Flame, which honors the lives that
were lost during the India Pakistan war of 1971.
The area surrounding the India Gate is dotted with parks, gardens and families often pack their lunch, dinner
to spend the day at India Gate. A wholesome fun place for the entire family.
The official residence of the President of India. This palatial building is spread over an area of 330 acres of
land with 340 rooms. This grandiose building with its sprawling, well manicured lawns was the residence of the
viceroy. A visit to the gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhavan much like the mughal gardens with canals, fountains
and terraces at different levels and the Western influence of lawns, hedges and flower beds is a visual treat.
The changing of the guard is another attraction at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Certain portions of the main
building are open to the public.
A trip to the Rashtrapati Bhavan can be organised between 9:30 AM - 2:30 PM on all days except Mondays.
A beautiful example of Imperial Architecture. This circular style building houses the ministerial offices,
committee rooms and has a well stocked library. The building has a verandah running through it which is
supported by 144 columns. The building is the seat for the two houses of Parliament in India, the Lok Sabha and
the Rajya Sabha.
Tomb of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia
This mausoleum built in the honor of the famous Sufi Saint Chisti Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. The tomb has a small
shrine dedicated to the saint. The site also has the graves of Jahanara, daughter of Shahjahan and Amir Khusru,
a renowned Urdu Poet. The site comes alive every Thursday after evening prayers when qawwali singers render
songs in the praise of the Sufi mystic.
Another example of an enclosed garden tomb, it was built as the final resting place for Safdarjung, the viceroy
of Awadh under the Mughal Emperor, Muhammad Shah.The mausoleum comprises of several smaller palaces like the
Jungli Mahal (Palace in the woods), Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) and Badshah Pasand (Emperor's Favourite).
Religious Places in Delhi - Mosques
A visit to Old Delhi would be incomplete without viewing this largest mosque in India. A giant sized courtyard
greets tourists as soon as you enter its portals from one of the three gateways. It is believed the courtyard
alone can hold upto 25,000 people at one time. This picturesque mosque is complete with four towers and two 40
metre high minarets constructed of red sandstone and white marble. Visitors can climb upto the top of the
towers to get a complete view of the city of Delhi. The mosque dons a whole new look every Friday, when
thousands of Muslims come to offer prayers.
Dedicated to the Bahai Faith, this temple built in the shape of a lotus flower offers a well deserved break
from the skyline of South Delhi's commercial hub, Nehru Place. Built completely of pure white marble, this
tourist attraction sees about 4 million visitors annually. Around the petals of the lotus are nine pools of
water, these are floodlit every evening which adds to the magnificence and pristine beauty of the temple.
Followers of all faith and religions are welcome to visit the shrine. The meditation space inside the temple
offers a tranquil, peaceful and serene environment, enough to rejuvenate the senses.
The temple is open for visitors from 9 AM - 7 PM on all days.
Located just west of Connaught Place, Birla Mandir also called the Laxmi Narayan Mandir is a major tourist
attraction in the city. Built by the industrialist G.D. Birla, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the
preserver according to Hindu mythology and his consort Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity. The temple is
known for its beautiful intricate carvings. Skilled artisans from Benaras were brought in to work on the temple.
A recent addition to the must see list of places in Delhi, the Swaminarayan Akshardham Complex is spread over
30 acres on the banks of the River Yamuna in East Delhi. Run under the aegis of the Bochasanvasi
Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) the temple architecture draws inspiration from the temples at
Badrinath, Somnath and Konark.
The main monument, built from red sandstone and marble is 141 feet high and is supported by 234 intricately
carved pillars. It houses over 20000 sculptures and statues of deities. Also notable are the 72-foot high domes
and the arches. The whole monument rests on the backs of 148 elephants. The other attractions at the Akshardham
Complex include the three exhibition halls which are lined by two huge ponds. Visitors can enjoy robotic shows,
I-Max movie all on the life of the Lord, Swaminarayan. The third exhibition hall takes visitors on a 12-minute
boat ride to experience the glorious and rich heritage of India.
Entry into the complex is free of charge. However, the rates for entry into the exhibition halls and the I-Max
theatre is Rs. 125 for adults and Rs. 75 for children and senior citizens.
The complex is open daily till 8 PM excluding Mondays.
Parks and Gardens
Located in the heart of South Delhi, the Lodhi Gardens is lined with tombs, mosques from the Sayyid and the
The tombs of Muhammad Shah and Sikander Lodhi are octagonally shaped with eaves and lotus pattern on the
ceiling and hindu motifs respectively. The Bara Gumbad and the Sheesh Gumbad are examples of square tombs.
Their architecture comprises of imposing domes, turrets on the corners and facades giving them an impression of
being double storeyed.
Museums and Memorials
This memorial is the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi. The area is marked by a square black marble stone
with his final words "Hey Ram" inscribed on it.
The memorial is open all days except Mondays from 10 AM - 5 PM.
The memorial of Jawahar Lal Nehru known as the Shanti Van, the cremation grounds of Indira Gandhi, Sanjay
Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are all in the vicinity.
Nehru Memorial Museum and Planetarium
Located in Chanakya Puri, the Teen Murti Bhavan was the official residence of Jawahar Lal Nehru. The place has
been converted into a museum. Visitors to this place can gain an insight into India's struggle for Independence,
well documented by way of newspaper clippings and photographs. There is also a planetarium on the grounds.
The museum and the planetarium are both open Tuesday - Sunday from 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM.
Gandhi National Museum
Situated in Old Delhi, the museum takes one on a journey through paintings, articles, photographs from the life
of Mahatma Gandhi. The museum has kept the room intact where the Father of the Nation stayed.
The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 10 AM - 5 PM.
The museum boasts of a huge collection of over 20, 000 artifacts which capture the 5000 year old cultural
history of India. The museum has an extensive library and also conducts short term courses in art appreciation,
conservation and history.
The museum is open on all days except Mondays from 10 AM - 5 PM.
Shanker's International Doll's Museum
The museum houses a collection of over 6000 dolls from 85 different countries. Colourfully dressed in costumes
from the respective countries the dolls truly delight tourists and visitors alike.
The museum is open on all days except Mondays from 10 AM - 5 PM.
Rail Transport Museum
The museum comprises of vintage, exotic collection of engines including 26 locomotives and 17 quaint carriages.
The Fairie Queen of 1885, the oldest working steam locomotive is a very popular attraction with visitors.
Children can also enjoy a ride on the miniature rail track.
Charity Birds Hospital
This unique endeavour started and operated by the Jains treats and nurses wounded birds and other needy animals.
The hospital runs on a modest budget. It has an intensive care unit and a research laboratory.