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  • Interesting Places to see around Delhi

    Red Fort symbolizes the era of Mughal rule in India. The Fort, built in 1638, is a magnificent monument that captivates your attention and exhibits the show of architectural splendor of Mughals. The 33m high walls of Red Fort are yet another special feature of the fort.

    Built in theyear 1570, Humayun’s Tomb is a monument built by Queen Haji Begum, widow of Humayun. The monument displays the inspiration of Persian architecture. The world famous Taj Mahal bears resemblance to this monument constructed during early Mughal rule in India. It is open on all days for visits. The best time to view Humayun’s Tomb would be in the late afternoon.

    The tallest tower in India, Qutab Minar, is believed to commemorate the victory and the beginning of Mughal era in India. The 73-meter tall tower was built by Qutab-ud-din Aibak after defeating the last Hindu Kingdom. However, some say that it was built to serve as a minaret to call those faithful to prayer. While red sandstone was used in the construction of first three storeys, marble and sandstone were used to construct the last two storeys. India’s first ever mosque, Quwwat-ul-Islam is at the foot of Qutab Minar.

    Bahai Temple is famously known as Lotus Temple owing to its resemblance to lotus flower. Lotus symbolizes four religions namely Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Jainism. Out of the seven major Bahai temples constructed around the world, the one in Delhi was constructed last. The place is serene and is open for prayers and meditation by people who follow any religion. The nine pools of water around the petals is a sight to watch at dusk.

    If you want to have a quiet day to escape the crowd and the busy life, this is where you need to be in Delhi. Lodi Gardens was built in 1936 by British around the tombs of the rulers of 15th and 16th centuries. The 90-acre Garden is an excellent place to relax, walk, jog and enjoy the beauty of nature. The National Bonsai Park situated in the Gardens is yet another attraction.

    Whatever faith you may be following, you could take your time to visit Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, the world’s largest Hindu Temple. Apart from using concrete for the foundation, the entire construction was made using granites and marbles from all parts of the world. The structure stands proof of architectural excellence. In the 12 acres of land, you will find the temple, museum, several parks and a huge cultural center that throws light on the traditions and customs followed in India. You can go boating in the water canals here.

    India Gate was constructed in the year 1931 as a war memorial for over 70,000 soldiers killed during First World War and Afghan War. The names of the soldiers are inscribed in the walls of India Gate. It was earlier known as “All India War Memorial”. Situated on Rajpath, India Gate looks stunning in the evening lights.

    The heart of the national capital, a visit to Delhi is incomplete without visiting Chandani Chowk. One of India’s busiest and oldest markets, Chandani Chowk is a perfect amalgamation of history, culture and cuisines. Shop for a wide range of products from clothes to handicrafts. Also sample about 1000 different types of cuisines at the many food street stalls, restaurants and at locations like Parathe wali Gali. Every nook and corner of this majestic market would give you something new to savour.

    Jama Masjid is another fine example of Mughal architecture’s golden age under Shah Jahan. It is India’s largest mosque and its courtyard can carry more than 25,000 devotees at a single time. The building consists of three great gates, four towers and two minarets made from a combination of  red sandstone and white marble. Apart from being a major place of worship for Muslims, Jama Masjid is also visited by many tourists for its amazing architecture.

    The official home of the President of India, Rashtrapati Bhavan was completed in the year 1929. It was designed by the famous British architect Edwin Lutyens with the intention of becoming the official residence of the then viceroy of India. The architectural marvel of Rashtrapati Bhavan combined with the majestic gardens around the place are some of the reasons to visit this place.

    Tughlaqabad Fort was the life long dream of the founder of Sultanate dynasty, Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. It is said that the sultan was so passionate about building this fort, he ordered all the builders in Delhi and nearby cities to leave their work and only work on Tughlaqabad Fort. This incurred the wrath of a sufi saint who cursed this fort and every word he had said during his tirade became true. Looking at the ruins, it is not difficult to imagine how magnificent this fort was once upon a time.

    One of the oldest forts in Delhi, Purana Qila was initially built by Humayun and later expanded by Sher Shah Suri. During India- Pakistan partition, many people moving towards Pakistan took refuge in this fort. It has without a doubt witnessed many important historic events since Mughal times and is still standing strong. The massive gates and walls of the forts are the main attractions of its grand exterior.

    Laxminarayan Temple is the first of many temples built by the Birla family across India. It was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on the condition that people from all castes and religions should be allowed to enter this temple. The temple’s stunning architecture is surrounded by lush gardens and artificially made waterfalls. It lies on an area of about 7.5 acres and it’s magnificence makes the cityscape of Delhi even more beautiful.

    Gurudwara Bangla Sahib holds special significance for Sikhs because of its relation with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan who stayed here to cure thousands suffering from cholera and smallpox epidemic. The ‘Sarover’ or ‘lake’ inside the gurudwara is also worth a visit for its serenity and importance. In a recent survey, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib was ranked as the best place of pilgrimage in Delhi.

    Raj Ghat is Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial and also his cremation ground. The memorial has a black marble slab facing upwards and is surrounded by lush green lawns at all sides. Other memorials around Raj Ghat are for Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Jagjivan Ram, Choudhary Charan Singh, Rajiv Gandhi, Giani Zail Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Devi Lal, P. V. Narasimha Rao, Chandra Shekhar and I. K. Gujral. All major foreign dignitaries visit this place to pay their respects to the Father of Nation.

    Safdarjung’s Tomb is the last example of Mughal monumental tomb architecture. It was inspired by the Humayun Tomb and borrows many of its elements. The tomb was built when Mughal empire was in decline in India, therefore it’s layout and structure are not at par with other Mughal monuments. Nevertheless, this tomb’s beautiful exteriors and giant three domed walls make it a must visit site. Interestingly,the hollywood movie, Jobs had some scenes set at this monument.

    The shrine of Nizamuddin Dargah is dedicated to one of the prominent Sufi saints, Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya and is visited by thousands, regardless of any caste, creed or religion. The qawwalis sung here by Nizami Brothers are famous of their soulful lyrics and music. The serenity of this dargah has been shown in many Bollywood movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Rockstar etc.

    National Museum offers a peek in Indian History, right from pre civilization era. It is one of India’s largest museums with artifacts ranging from Harappan civilization to British colonial era. Mughal era paintings, Coins from Gupta dynasty, relics from Mauryan times etc are some of the displays here. National Museum has beautifully captured India’s history in a nutshell and therefore a visit here is absolutely recommended for everyone.

    A one of its kind stepwell in Delhi, Agrasen ki Baoli is believed to be built by Raja Agrasen during Mahabharata era. It was later expanded and developed by the Aggarwal community in the 14 th century. The step well has a total of 108 steps and the only remaining stepwell in Delhi. Only three levels are visible and each of them is lined with arched niches on both sides.

    Cathedral Church of Redemption is Delhi’s oldest church and it took a total of eight years to complete this architectural marvel. The then Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin was so much impressed by the beauty of the church that he gifted the church an organ and a silver cross. It also provides pastoral service for a number of famous institutions in Delhi like St. Stephen’s College. Therefore, the religious importance and its architectural beauty make this church a must visit for everyone coming to Delhi.

    One of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is located on the banks of River Yamuna in Agra. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. Constructed entirely out of white marble in the 17th century, Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful monuments in the world. Every year visitors numbering more than the entire population of Agra pass through the magnificent gates to catch a glimpse of this breathtaking monument!

    Located at a distance of 40km from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is a town in the Agra district and a famous tourist attraction. A city predominantly made of red sandstone, Fatehpur Sikri was founded in 1571 century by Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is essentially a fortified city built by the king and had been the capital of his Empire for fifteen years. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, it is home to Jodha Bai’s Palace, Jama Mosque, Buland Darwaza, and Tomb of Salim Chisti among many other famous monuments. Derived from Arab and central Asian tent encampments, the Imperial Complex is a work of pavilions arranged in formal geometry on a piece of land. 

    An architectural masterpiece, The Red Fort of Agra or Agra Fort was built by Emperor Akbar in 1573. It is located on the right bank of the River Yamuna and is made entirely of red sandstone. The historical fort was once the ersthwhile residence of the Mughals until 1638. One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it lies 2.5 kilometres from Taj Mahal.

    Often referred to as the “Baby Taj Mahal”, the tomb of Itimad-ud-daulah is a Mughal mausoleum and often regarded as a copy of the Taj Mahal. This is the first tomb in India made entirely of marble. The tomb was commissioned by Nur Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mir Gheyas Beg (later known as Itimad-ud-daulah), who was a minister in the court of Shah Jahan.

    Jama Masjid at Agra also known as ‘Friday Mosque’ is a seventeenth-century structure and is one of the largest mosques built by the Mughals in India. Constructed under the reign of Shah Jahan in 1648, Jama Masjid is dedicated to his favourite daughter Jahan Ara Begum. This splendid monument is visible from the Agra Fort with the Agra Fort Railway station right between the two structures.

    Tour of Old and New Delhi

    Duration : 1 Day
    Places Covered : Shimla-Kullu-Manali – Chandigarh
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