There are a number of tourist attractions in Delhi that will keep you busy and amused throughout your stay in the city. Infact, there are so many places to see in Delhi, that it is almost impossible to cover them all in a single trip. Old Delhi offers some magnificent attractions like Red Fort, the historical Chandni Chowk and so on. Not to be left behind is New Delhi sightseeing that boasts of many government buildings, embassies, along with a number of historical places. Some of the famous tourist attractions of Delhi are mentioned below:
Humayun’s Tomb: Humayun’s Tomb, the mausoleum of Mughal emperor Humayun, is situated on the Mathura Road, near it’s crossing with Lodi Road. The first significant model of Mughal architecture in India, the tomb was built by Humayun’s wife Haji Begum in the year 1565.
India Gate: India Gate is a war memorial of martyred soldiers, situated in the middle of New Delhi. Standing tall at a height of 42 m, Delhi India Gate, an “Arc-de-Triomphe”, seems like a gateway at the heart of a crossroad. His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught laid the foundation stone of India Gate in the year 1921.
Jantar Mantar: Jantar Mantar, with Yantra meaning instruments and Mantra meaning formulae, was built in the year 1724. Situated near Connaught Place, New Delhi Jantar Mantar counts amongst the numerous astronomical observatories erected by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. The other observatories consist of the ones built in Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura.
Lodi Tomb: Lodi Tomb is situated amidst the famous Lodi Garden, adjoining the Indian International Centre in South Delhi. It is one of the many mausoleums in the city that have been built inside a garden. Lodi Tomb entombs Sikandar Lodi. The other mausoleums situated inside the Lodi Gardens, along with the Lodhi tomb, include the Tomb of Muhammad Shah, Shish Gumbad and Bara Gumbad.
Lal Gumbad: Lal Gumbad, also known as Rakabwala Gumbad, entombs Shaikh Kabir-Ud-Din Auliya, a disciple of Shaikh Raushan Chiragh-I-Delhi. Situated in the Malviya Nagar area of South Delhi, it is believed to have been constructed in the mid-fourteenth century. The mortal remains of Shaikh Kabir-Ud-Din Auliya were buried here in 1397.
National Zoological Park: Established in the year 1959, Delhi National Zoological Park lies near the famous Old Fort. One of the best zoos in the entire Asian continent, its uniqueness is that it tries to provide an almost natural habitat to the animals and birds houses here. It proves to be an ideal picnic spots, especially in winters, and is spread over an area of 214 acres.
Parliament House: Parliament House accommodates the two Houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States). Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker, the architects of New Delhi, designed this building. His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught, laid the foundation stone of Parliament House in the year 1921.
Qutab Minar: The famous Qutab Minar of Delhi is a tower that claims the distinction of being the highest stone tower in the country. Said to be a tower of victory, it soars to a height of 73 m. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, after defeating Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom, started the construction of this tower in the year 1193. Although Qutab-ud-din Aibak started the construction of the tower, he could not complete the monument during his lifetime.
Rashtrapati Bhavan: It was decided in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi. Thus was born the city of Delhi, designed by the great architect Edwin Lutyens, along with Herbert Baker. It took approximately 20 years and 15 million pounds to build New Delhi.
Rajghat: Rajghat is the last resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. The cremation of Mahatma Gandhi took place at the Delhi Raj Ghat only, on 31st January 1950. The memorial stone of Mahatma Gandhi placed there is a simple square platform made of black stone, with the words “Hey Ram” inscribed near it.
Safdarjung’s Tomb: Safdarjung’s Tomb entombs Muqim Abul Mansur Khan, also known as Safdarjung. He was the viceroy of Awadh under the Mughal Emperor, Mohammed Shah and later became his prime minister. Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah, Safdarjung’s son, constructed Delhi Safdarjung’s Tomb, the last garden tomb in the city, in the year 1753-54.
Delhi is a historically rich city. Everywhere you go in Delhi, you will find evidences of its rich culture and heritage. But, along with that, the capital city also boasts of a number of places where you can let your hair down and have loads of fun. Amusement parks in Delhi cater to people of all age groups. You can let go of all your inhibitions and enjoy yourself to the hilt. Infact, they act as routine breakers for the Delhiites, where they can get a break from the daily grinds of the hectic city life. There are a number of amusements parks in Delhi. Some of the popular New Delhi amusement places are:
Appu Ghar Delhi: Appu Ghar is an amusement park situated in Pragati Maidan, Delhi. The first amusement park of India, it was inaugurated by Ex Prime Minister, Late Sh. Rajiv Gandhi in November 1984. It was the dream child of the Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. It unfolds over an area of approximately 15.5 acres. Formally opened under the aegis of International Amusement Limited, Appu Ghar of Delhi was expanded a few years back. A water park, OYSTERS, was added to the existing park. There are also fast food centers and gift shops inside it.
Fun N Food Village: Fun N Food Village is situated on the Old Delhi-Gurgaon Highway. Spread over an area of 10 acres, it was inaugurated by former President Giani Zail Singh in the year 1993. Largest wave pool in Delhi, longest water slide in the country and the largest Indoor snow park are some of the major attractions of Fun and Food Village of Delhi. Apart from providing fun and entertainment, it also promotes culture and traditional arts and crafts of India. There are many performances by the local artists, along with a display of various artisans and craftsmen inside the park.
Forts in Delhi
Since the city of Delhi has served as the capital of many empires, several forts were built over a period of time. However, most of the forts in Delhi were constructed during the rule of the Mughals over the city. These strong citadels were constructed both for the purpose of defense as well as residence. Forts of New Delhi boast of splendid architecture and are aesthetically magnificent. Following is a list of the famous forts in Delhi, the capital of India:
Red Fort: The Red Fort of Delhi is a massive monument built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It took approximately 10 years to complete the Red Fort of Delhi that was started in the year 1638. Situated on the embankment of river Yamuna, the fort was constructed during the zenith of Mughal Empire. The Red fort was supposed to be the fortress of the Shah Jahan’s new capital at Delhi, Shahjahanabad. Today, the Red fort serves as the venue for the Prime Minister’s Speech that is given on the Independence Day of the country.
Old Fort: Old Fort of Delhi is believed to be situated on the same site where the city of Indraprastha once stood. As per the great Indian epic Mahabharta, Indraprastha was the capital city of the Pandavas. Now standing mostly in ruins, the Old Fort of Delhi once served as the seat of administration of a number of glorious emperors. Emperor Sher Shah Suri got the fort constructed after he demolished Humayun’s city, Dinpanah. Also known as the Purana Quila, the Old fort is more or less rectangular in shape, with a course of nearly two km. The legend has it that Sher Shah could not complete the construction of Purana Quila during is lifetime.
Tughlaqabad Fort: Tughlaqabad Fort, perched on a rocky hill, constitutes one third of the capital city of India. The fort is located on the Qutab-Badarpur Road and was built by Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty. The Tuglaqabad Fort seems to be more or less octagonal, with a border of approximately 6.5-km. The ramparts of the fort, now in ruins, are between 10m to 15m high with fortresses and gateways at intervals. The Tughlakhabad at Delhi was built to serve a dual purpose, one of providing a defensive structure to the ruler and the second, to serve as his imposing capital.
Gardens in Delhi
One of the best ways to take a break from the hectic and stressful life of the city life is to take a leisurely walk around the gardens. There are numerous gardens and parks in Delhi. Parks and gardens in New Delhi are not only known for their beauty or serenity but also have history attached to them. They also serve as the venue for various cultural, religious, musical and other types of programs. Parks and gardens of Delhi act as a breather for the Delhiites, where they can spend some time peacefully, organize a picnic, take walks and jogs and do a lot of other activities.
Buddha Garden: Buddha Jayanti Park is situated in South Delhi, on the Ridge Road, near Dhaula Kuan. The park was built in the commemoration of the 2500th anniversary of Lord Gautam Buddha’s attainment of nirvana. The picturesque garden boasts of paved pathways, lush landscaped lawns, blossoming flowers, streams, sloping terrain and huge trees.
Deer Park Delhi: Deer Park of Delhi is situated in the Chankyapuri area and is easily accessible from Hauz Khas Village and Safdarjung Enclave. An expanse of green stretch in the urban jungle of Delhi, it is the perfect place to find some calm and peace. The Deer Park at Delhi has been beautifully landscaped with shady trees and flourishing grasses, along with a tranquil water body.
Garden of Five Senses: Garden of Five Senses in Delhi is situated in the Said-ul-Ajaib village, near Mehrauli-Badarpur Road. Developed by the Delhi Tourism Transportation Development Corporation, it was inaugurated in the year 2003. As its name suggests, Garden of Five Senses in Delhi was set up in a way to stimulate our five senses with its beauty and attractions.
Lodi Garden: The garden is situated on the Lodi road, near the famous Safdarjung Tomb. Earlier known as Lady Willington Park, the Lodi garden boasts of splendidly landscaped lawns. Small water bodies, fountains, a jogging track, etc, are the main features of this garden.
Mughal Gardens: Mughal Gardens of Delhi are situated inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan complex. Sir Edwin Lutyens designed these gardens, sprawling across six hectares, for Lady Harding. These gardens combine the formal Moghul style with the British garden designs and sport Mughal canals, multi-level terraces and flowering shrubs along with European flowerbeds, lawns and privet hedges.
Nehru Park: Nehru Park of Delhi is situated on the main Panchsheel Road, near Chanakyapuri Diplomatic Enclave. Spread over an area of almost 80 acres, the park boasts of a dazzling collection of blossoming flowers. Then, there are little mounds and rocks inscribed with the sayings of India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, after whom the park is named.
Shahajahanabad Gardens: Shahajahanabad Gardens at Delhi date back to the time when Emperor Shah Jahan ruled over the city. One of the favorite summer jaunts of the Emperor, the Shahajahanabad Gardens also served as the venue for the celebration of various festivals by the ladies of the court.
Shalimar Garden: Shalimar Garden is situated to the west of Delhi-Karnal road, at a distance of approximately 10 km from the capital city. The garden served as the venue of the crowning ceremony of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Originally known as the Aizzabad Bagh, Shalimar Garden once consisted of a magnificent palace known as the Shish-Mahal, which stood at its center.
Talkatora Gardens: Talkatora Gardens are situated on the main Willingdon Crescent Road in New Delhi. The place where the gardens now stand once housed a huge walled tank. Although the tank has been replaced by a relatively small swimming pool, it is still named after it (tal means tank and katora means cup).
Mahatma Gandhi Park: The Mahatma Gandhi Park of Delhi is situated behind the Town Hall building on the main Church Mission Road, near Old Delhi Railway Station. Not a very ostentatious park, it is more popular because of its historical significance. The park was originally set up during the British period and was officially known as “Queen’s Park”. However, amongst the masses, it came to be known as the “Company Bagh”. In the early part of the 19th century, Company Bagh functioned as the outdoor club for Delhi’s high-class society.The park got renamed as the Mahatma Gandhi Park, after India attained independence in the year 1947. It boasts of a number of trees that provide relief from the scorching heat of summers, along with a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The Mahatma Gandhi Park is a source of an open-air space for the residents of the congested Chandni Chowk area. Apart from that, it also serves as the venue for various cultural and social activities during the festival season.
Netaji Subhash Park: Netaji Subhash Park of Delhi is situated on Netaji Subhash Marg, opposite Sunehri Masjid in the old city. It is a rather small park that adjoins another park known as the Urdu Park. Delhi Netaji Subhash Park is quite famous as a place with a lot of malishwallahs (body masseurs). Infact, many people come here to get a body massage from the excellent masseurs present here. The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose park in Delhi also houses an impressive statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in the attire of a military leader. The statue stands as a kind of reminder to the people of this great leader who formed the Indian National Army (INA) to fight the British forces.
Museums in Delhi
The capital city is known not only for its magnificent historical monuments and shopping places but also for some of the best museums and galleries in the country. The Museums of Delhi are a popular form of entertainment as well as education. The collection in these museums ranges from exquisite pieces of art to relics dating back to as far as the prehistoric era to dolls from all over the world. Some of the Museums in New Delhi have been dedicated to famous Indian personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, housing some of their personal possessions. A visit to the museums of Delhi serves as one of the best windows into the history, traditions, art, culture, etc of the country.
Some of the popular museums in Delhi, India are:
Archaeological Museum: Archaeological Museum of Delhi is situated in the Mumtaz Mahal (palace) of the Red Fort. The museum has on display some of the rare relics dating back to the Mughal era, along with an array of manuscripts that serve as the proof of the fine calligraphy of the past.
Children’s Museum: National Children’s Museum of Delhi is situated in the Bal Bhawan Complex on Kotla Marg, near ITO. A visit to this museum is one of the best ways to keep the children in touch with the tradition, culture and heritage of India.
Crafts Museum: Crafts Museum of Delhi, established in the year 1956, is situated in Pragati Maidan area. The museum is famous for showcasing the rich tribal and rural handicrafts of artisans from all over the country. It houses a large permanent collection of 20,000 items of folk and tribal arts, crafts and textiles.
Dolls Museum: The Dolls Museum, situated near Pragati Maidan, is the perfect place for the entertainment of children. It displays a huge collection of almost 6000 dolls collected from as many as 85 countries. Almost one third of the collection of the Delhi Doll Museum is assembled from different parts of the country.
Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum: The Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum was set up in the same bungalow that once served as the residence of Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum was the residence of the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
National Gallery of Modern Art: National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi is situated inside the Jaipur House, near India Gate. This building, the former residential palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur, was inaugurated as the Delhi National Gallery of Modern Art in the year 1954.
National Gandhi Museum: National Gandhi Museum, dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, has a long story behind its establishment. The work on this museum started in Mumbai soon after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on 30th January 1948.
National Museum of Natural History: National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Delhi serves as the subsidiary office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. It was inaugurated and opened to the general public on 5th June 1978, the World Environment Day.
Nehru Museum and Planetarium: Nehru Museum and Planetorium is situated on the Teen Murti Marg in the New Delhi. Once the official residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces, Teen Murti House was converted into the official residence of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, after independence.
National Museum: National Museum of Delhi is the largest museum of the capital city of India. Situated in Janpath, this museum serves as a kind of warehouse of the information of India’s history and culture. A triple storied building, Delhi National Museum displays collection dating back to as far as five thousand years.
National Science Museum: National Science Centre Museum is situated in the Pragati Maidan area of New Delhi. The museum, one of the largest science centers in the country, was set up mainly for the kids to develop their interest in the field of science.
National Rail Museum: The museum is situated on the Shanti Path in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The museum houses some of the rare models of train engines and coaches. The entire collection of the Delhi National Rail Museum, ranging over 150 years of the Indian railways, is exhibited in the open.
Sangeet Natak Akademi: Sangeet Natak Akademi is one of the best academies of India dedicated to music (sangeet), dance (natak) and other performing arts. Situated in the Rabindra Bhavan, on Feroze Shah Road of New Delhi, it also serves as a resource center, comprising of a large audio-visual archive.
Tibet House Museum: Tibet House Museum of Delhi, situated in the Institutional Area of Lodhi Road, serves as a resource center on Tibet and its history. The collection of the museum includes those items that Dalai Lama had brought from Tibet, when he escaped from there.
National Philatelic Museum: National Philatelic Museum is situated in the Dak Bhawan on Sansad Marg, New Delhi. The museum is basically known for its vast collection of stamps both from Pre Independence as well as Post Independence periods. One of the major attractions of the Delhi National Philatelic Museum is the first stamp that was issued in India by the Sindh Dak in 1854. Apart from that, it also houses stamps issued before Independence by the rulers of the Princely States. You can also buy stamps of almost all the countries of the world, from the counter at the National Philatelic Museum of New Delhi. For visiting the museum, you can get free entry passes from Parliament Street Head Post office basement.
The religious places of Delhi reflect the secularism of the country. Religious destinations in this city are not limited to any particular faith or religion. Infact, there will be hardly any religion in Delhi which does not have its own place of worship. If there are numerous temples in the city, there are also a large number of mosques, churches as well as gurdwaras. Many places of worship in this city are believed to have mystical powers and have become famous for being a spiritual wonder.
Along with being sacred and revered, the pilgrimages in Delhi are architecturally magnificent and historically significant. Be it the soothing silence of the Lotus Temple or the architectural beauty of the Akshardham Temple, the worship places in the city continue to mesmerize their visitors. Infact, many people come here especially for the purpose of visiting its numerous temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras. A trip to Delhi without a visit to its various pilgrim destinations is incomplete. Some of the famous places of worship in the capital city of India are:
Temples in Delhi