Colorful and fascinating – that’s Delhi for you. Delhi attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year. It was once ruled by Mughal Emperors who left behind stunning mosques, monuments and forts. This city has two main parts; Old Delhi and New Delhi and one must explore both as each part features vibrant culture, historical landmarks and scrumptious food.
Delhi is also a shopper’s paradise with a number of shopping malls, historical bazaars and markets including the most famous Chandni Chowk which is usually crowded with people throughout the year. It’s almost impossible to fully explore this city in one trip as there is too much to see here. If you are visiting this Delhi for the first time, here are the top 5 things that you don’t want to miss here:
1. Red Fort
Your tour to Delhi is incomplete without visiting this iconic landmark, Red Fort which is also known as Lal Qila. The fort was built in 1648 by Shah Jahan who was Mughal Emperor of that time. The exterior of the fort is entirely made with red sandstone and is supported by huge walls. Once you enter through the main gate, Lahori Gate, you can stroll around and witness the stunning structure of fort, mosques and halls. Red Fort is now a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s a must-see attraction in Delhi. You can also watch the Sound and Light show held in fort every evening. .
2. Humayun’s Tomb
There is no shortage of historical places in Delhi. One such attraction is Humayun’s Tomb which was built in 1570. The tomb houses the body of Humayun, who was the second Mughal Emperor. The construction of the tomb was inspired by the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra and it is the finest example of fascinating Mughal architecture. The tomb’s construction was ordered by Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum who was so grieved over his death and decided to construct the tomb. It’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and a few other tombs housing the bodies of Isa Khan, the architect of Taj Mahal, Humayun’s barber and his officer.
3. Swaminarayan Akshardham
The fascinating Swaminarayan Akshardham is one of the finest temples in Delhi which was opened in 2005. The stunning temple has carvings of gods, plants, dancers, musicians and animals which are made of marble and pink sandstone. There are around 230 pillars of temple supporting the huge domes. The temple also features sculptures of elephants which attract the attention of visitors. Swaminarayan Akshardham is a must-see attraction if you are visiting Delhi. Spend a few hours here as each part of the temple is worth exploring. You can take as many pictures as you like outside the temple, however photography is strictly prohibited inside.
4. Jama Masjid
Image source: electro_n1k
Jama Masjid is one of the largest and most popular mosques in India – built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor. This stunning mosque features four towers, two high minarets and three gateways all made of white marble and red sandstone. You can visit mosque any time but you should be in appropriate dress. Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter the mosque during prayer times (make sure to ask prayer times in advance before visiting). You can also go up the minaretand witness the surreal views of Old Delhi. After the mosque, you can visit Chandni Chowk for a unique shopping and food experience.
5. Qutub Minar
Dating back to 12th Century, Qutub Minar is the tallest brick minaret in India that attracts tourists from all over the world. Many people, who visit Qutub Minar, climb its minaret to the top to witness the stunning views of the city. This five-story tower is entirely made of red sandstone and marble. The Minar is surrounded by several other ruined monuments and tombs. You can visit Qutub Minar in the evening and also watch its Sound and Light show held every day from 7 pm to 9 pm.