1. India Gate
India Gate, is a memorial constructed in memory of over 70,000 British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1931. He designed sixty-six war memorials in Europe. India Gate was earlier named All India War Memorial. The design of India gate is almost similar to its French war memorial, the Arc-de-Triomphe. On top of the arch, INDIA is written on both sides.
In 1972 a new structure was attached to India Gate in memory of soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. Known as Amar Jawan Jyoti (meaning the Immortal Soldier’s Flame), this was inaugurated by Indira Gandhi.
India Gate is not only a tourist attraction but also a symbol of nationalism. Every year, on 26th January, the Republic Day parade starts from the gates of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and progresses upto the India Gate. In the parade latest advancements of defence technology are displayed. Parade takes place on Independence Day also.
People also come here for a morning walk or picnic with their kids, boating is also available.
2. Red Fort
Red Fort, also known as Lal Qalʿah, Lal Kila or Lal Qila is named for its massive red sandstone walls. Average height of the wall is 75 feet. There are so many magnificent architectures inside the Fort such as Diwan-I-Aam, Diwan-I-Khaas, Khas Mahal, Rang Mahal, Moti Masjid. The fort was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.
It was constructed in the year 1639 by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a result of shifting his capital from Agra to Delhi. It was built on the banks of the Yamuna River and designed by the architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
Red Fort has two main gates: Delhi gate and Lahore gate. The main entrance is the Lahori Gate which leads to a domed shopping area known as the Chatta Chowk. India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru lifted the Indian national flag above the Lahore Gate on 15 August 1947. Indian Prime Minister lifts the flag every year on Independence Day, and gives a speech that is broadcast nationally. Lahore Gate is one of the Indian nation’s emotional and symbolic focal points and draws a massive crowd every Independence Day.
After 6pm in the evening tourists can come here for the light and sound show. Show available in two languages: English and Hindi, highlighting the Delhi and Red Fort history.
3. Qutub Minar
Qutb Minar is the second tallest minar in India and the tallest brick minaret in the world. It is 73 meters (240 ft) high and made of red sandstone and white marble. It has a 14.3-meter base diameter that narrows down to 2.7 meters at the top. The structure also features a 379 step staircase. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Some believe after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu emperor, the tower was built to celebrate Muslim dominance in Delhi. It started building around 1192 by Quṭb al-Dīn Aibak but he only completed the basement. His successor, Iltutmish, built three more tower stories, and the last two stories were built by Firoz Shah Tuglak. The first three stories are made of red sandstone and the last two stories are of marble and sandstone. It was constructed part by part by different rulers.
Qutub Festival is a cultural event that takes place at this complex every year during the month of November-December. Delhi Tourism organizes this and normally it stays for three days. The festival showcases different types of cultural art forms of the country including classical dance and music.
4. Sri Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, previously a place known as ‘ Jaisinghpura Palace ‘ for Raja Jai Singh. It was first built in 1783 by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh Dhaliwal as a small shrine, named after the 8th Sikh Guru, Guru Harkishan Sahib. The present structure of the Gurudwara, however, was built mostly after 1947.
It is said that in the year 1664, Guru Harkishan Sahib Ji, the eighth Sikh Guru came to visit this place. In those days people of Delhi were suffering from smallpox and cholera epidemic. He distributed water from the tank for the suffering people. All those who took that water have recovered from the disease. So the Delhi people have been spared from that outbreak. Raja Jai Singh later built a small tank over the well, its water is now believed to have healing properties and is brought back to their homes by Sikhs around the world.
The complex of Gurudwara has a main prayer hall, higher secondary school, a hospital, Baba Baghel Singh Museum, a kitchen,a library and a large pond within its premises. It also has a ‘Yatri Niwas’ for tourists. There are 39 AC rooms and 8 Non AC rooms. Each one of them has its own bathroom attached. There are 2 large halls, every capable of seating about 500 people. Like all gurudwaras, languar is served in the Bangla Sahib where everyone is welcome to share a meal regardless of religion, caste or creed.They serve only vegetarian food.
5. Lotus Temple
It was designed by architect Fariborz Sahba and completed in the year 1986. In the same year it was opened to the public. The temple is constructed in the shape of a Lotus flower, using imported Greek white marble.
The Lotus temple is one of seven Baha’i House of Worships around the world. It is a piece of architecture devoted to the Baha’i Faith. As per Baha’i Faith there is only one God who created humanity and that all religions come from the same spiritual entity. It believes in ‘Unity of all Religions’. This temple does not allow any rituals and has no fixed method for worship. Anyone of any religion can visit the Lotus Temple and pray silently inside as well. You can sit in this hall and meditate. But inside the temple no loud music or idol worship is allowed.
The Lotus temple is a nine-sided construction, in accordance with the Baha’i Faith in the mystical properties of the number nine. There are nine entrances opening onto a wide central hall, about 40 meters high. This hall can hold more than 2,400 people at the same time. The top of the temple appears to be open, but it does have a glass and steel roof that allows natural daylight. The surface area is made of imported white marble from Greece. The temple is surrounded by nine ponds with red sandstone walkways bordering.
You should visit the Information Center when you visit the Lotus Temple, which contains many information of the Baha’i Faith in the form of documents, photos, video, scriptures, etc.
The Information Centre also has information on the history and construction of the Lotus Temple. You will find a miniature model of the temple displayed at the Information Centre. The total area of the place is almost 26 acres. The Lotus temple is one of the first temples to use solar power in Delhi.
6. Humayun’s Tomb
Humayun’s Tomb is Mughal Emperor Humayun’s final resting place. It was built in the memory of Mughal Emperor Humayun by his first wife, Bega Begum (also known as Haji Begum). Construction of the Humayun’s Tomb started nine years after the death of the Emperor in 1565 AD and was finished under Akbar, the third Mughal emperor and Humayun’s son by 1572 AD.
The construction of the tomb of Humayun is a combination of Islamic and Persian design with Indian beauty smattering as well. It was designed by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It is believed that several major architecture was inspired by this and Taj Mahal was one of them. In 1993 it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Humayun’s Tomb stands in the centre of the Charbagh. The Charbagh is a garden with a geometric architecture in Persian design, separated into 4 square by pathways and water channels. Each square is again divided by pathways into smaller squares, creating a traditional Mughal garden named Charbagh. The Charbagh is subdivided into 36 smaller squares and the Humayun’s Tomb is placed in the four central squares. The Humayun’s Tomb can be entered from both the south side and west side but south side is the main entrance. The complex is also the final resting place of Isa Khan Niyazi, Dara Shikoh, Alamgir II and many Mughal family members.
7. Agrasen ki baoli
Agrasen ki baoli is also known as Agar Sain Ki Baoli or Ugrasen ki Baoli is a historical place. It is a 60 meter long and 15 meter wide stepwell. There is no clear information regarding when and by whom the Agrasen ki Baoli was built. But, it is believed that it was built in the period of Mahabharata by the King Agrasen. It was reconstructed over the old stepwell by the the people of Agarwal Family, the descendants of Maharaja Agrasen. Baoli or bawdi is a Hindi word, also named baori or bauri.This Baoli has 108 stone steps. There is also a small mosque placed on the western side.
It is a protected monument under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 of the Archaeological Survey of India. This destination has recently become more popular after Raju Hirani’s film ‘PK’ shooted here. Not only ‘PK’, this place is featured in Salman Khan’s film ‘Sultan’ also. Agrasen ki Baoli is also very popular for the stories of hauntings and accidents in these areas. Also there are rumors that this Baoli used to have black water that attracted people to jump in and commit suicide there. People are not allowed to stay there after 6 PM.
8. National Zoological Park
National Zoological Park also known as Delhi Zoo was inaugurated in 1959 by Mr Punjab Rao Deshmukh, Honorable Minister, Government of India. Initially it was known as Delhi Zoo. In the year 1982 this park got the status of National Zoological Park as a model zoo of the country.
In this zoo there are different types of animals and birds. By 2008 it had 1347 animals and 127 species. Chimpanzee, Hippopotamus, Spider monkey, African wild buffalo, Giraffes, Zebras, Royal Bengal tiger, Indian rhinoceros, Swamp deer, Asiatic lion, Brow antlered deer are the most popular animals found here. Among bird Hornbill Great Indian, Peafowl, Spoonbill , Eagles, Parakeet, Rheas can be found here. This zoo has a reptile house that holds numerous lizards and snakes. Reptiles such as Indian star tortoise, Indian rock python, Diadem snake, Rat snake, Indian cobra, Water snake, Diadem snake , Crocodile, Indian sand boa are also found here.
Zoo can be seen on foot but there is also an option for rented battery-operated vehicles. Outside food is not allowed inside the zoo but there is a canteen in the zoo.
Akshardham Temple or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is a Hindu temple. Akshar means indestructible, and Dham means home. The word ‘Akshardham’ represents the home of God on earth. This temple is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781- 1830).
The construction took nearly 5 years and was inaugurated on 6 November 2005. The construction of Akshardham Temple was initially planned and started by Yogiji Maharaj and completed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The Akshardham Temple is designed in accordance with the standards of Maharishi Vastu Architecture. The temple complex is completely made of Italian Carrara marble and Rajasthani pink sandstone without using any steel or concrete. The temple also consists of 234 pillars, 9 domes, and 20,000 statues of acharyas, sadhus, and devotees.
This place holds a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple. In the certificate it is written that “BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, India, is the world’s largest comprehensive Hindu temple. It measures 356 ft. long, 316 ft. wide and 141 ft. high, covering an area of 86,342 sq ft. The grand, ancient-style, ornately hand-carved stone temple has been built without structural steel within 5 years by 11,000 artisans and volunteers. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, revered spiritual leader of BAPS consecrated the temple on 6 November 2005. Akshardham showcases the essence of India’s ageless art, borderless culture and timeless values.”.
10. Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur in the year 1724. He built observatories in five different cities. After Delhi he built the same in Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi.It was initially built to predict movements of the sun, moon and planets, predict the times and compile the astronomical tables. Jai Singh designed the observatories to create astronomical instruments that would be more precision and permanent.
Samrat Yantra, Jai Prakash Yantra, Ram Yantra and the Mishra Yantras are the main instruments of Jantar Mantar. The Samrat Yantra is significant, because it calculates time to a precision manner that was never achievable before. The Jai Prakash Yantra is based on ideas that date back to 300 B.C. Representation of half celestial sphere rim represents horizon for finding all the positions of the heavenly bodies.It is one of his most complex instruments. The Rama Yantra consists of two large cylindrical structures, open to the sky, each with a pillar or pole at the center. It is used to measure the altitude of stars based on the latitude and the longitude on the earth.The Misra Yantra is a composition of five instruments designed as a tool to determine the shortest and longest days of the year. It includes Karka Rasi Valaya, Dakshinottara Bhitti, Laghu Samrat, Niyat Chakras, and Inclined Western Quadrant.