Delhi is located at the end of western Gangetic plain. The city bears a rich cultural heritage. The monuments, forts and gardens are some of the Delhi Tourism attractions, which give a taste of the varied culture. Travel to Delhi unfolds the city's unparalleled picturesque beauty. It gives an overview of the city's glorious history. The historical sites majestically speak of the city being ruled by rulers of various dynasties. Besides the Delhi Tourism attractions, the shopping bazaars are also worth visiting. They deal in various types of merchandise and offer some of the finest collections of embroidery and jewelry. Kinari and Zardozi are the predominant forms of embroidery practiced by the craftsmen. On the other hand Kundan and Meenakari are traditional jewelries available at the shopping markets. Chandni Chowk is an ideal place to shop in Delhi.
Delhi houses some of the best hotels in India. They provide high- end service to the customers along with modern amenities matching the contemporary lifestyle. The hotels also arrange for sightseeing in Delhi and its neighboring areas. Reaching Delhi is very easy. One can avail of the air and land transport to reach Delhi. Delhi tourism takes the visitors through the city's glorious past rich in art and culture.
Temples in Delhi
Bahai Temple (Lotus Temple )
Bahai TempleThe temple represents the Bahai faith which is broad in its outlook, scientific in the influence it exerts on the hearts and minds of men. It signifies the purity and the universality of the lord and equality of all religions. Visited by over four million people, annually, this gleaming lotus- like marble structure is located on Bahapur Hills (South Delhi) and it is the seventh and most recent Bahai houses of worship in the world. The temple is a must visit for every tourist who comes to Delhi.
This structure, completed in 1986, is a marvel of modern architecture. Set amidst pools and gardens, the view of the temple is very spectacular just before dusk when the temple is flood lit.
Anyone is free to visit the temple and pray or meditate silently according to their own religion. The temple is around 45 minutes from Domestic Airport.
Jama MasjidBuilt by Shah Jahan in 1658, it is one of the largest mosques in India with a seating capacity of more than 20,000.
The mosque is situated near the Red Fort in old Delhi. This is the area that still retains the traditional charm of markets in Mughal times.
The bulbous domes and tapering minarets built with marble stand strong and beautiful even to this day. This mosque has three gateways, four angle towers and two 40 m. high minarets. You can even go to the top of minarets and have a bird's eye view of Delhi.
Birla MandirAlso known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, it is ideally located in central Delhi (Mandir Marg). This temple dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and Lord Narayana (Lord Vishnu) was built in 1938 by the prominent Indian industrialist Raja Baldev Das Birla and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi.
The temple, built in Orissan style, has a large number of idols representing various gods of Indian pantheon. The well-grafted gardens need a special mention.
Nizam-ud-din ShrineThis is the tomb of the famous sufi saint, Nizam-ud-din Auliya. Built on the way from Humayun's tomb, the premise of the shrine is a tank, which is surrounded by many other tombs. It is said that there was an argument between the rulers of Tughlakabad and the saint over building this tank. The saint had said that the city of Tughlakabad will never prosper and so did it happen. The tomb has been through several renovations ever since it was built. The present mausoleum dates back to 1562.
The complex of the shrine includes several other tombs, including that of the noted poet Mirza Ghalib (1786-1869), Amir Khusru and the grave of Jahanara, the daughter of Shah Jahan.
If you happen to be there at around sunset on Thursdays, don't miss out the extravagant performance of qawwali singers that takes place after the evening prayers. Location: West of Mathura Road
ISKCON TempleBuilt on a hilly place in 1998, the ISKCON Temple is a complex of temples. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this elegant temple is one of the largest temple complexes in India. It has a large number of Hare-Rama Hare-Krishna cult followers.
Chattarpur MandirChattarpur Mandir is located beyond the Qutb Minar in Mehrauli. The temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, is built in South Indian style.
The temple complex is spread over a large area with beautiful lawns and gardens. Though devotees visit these temples throughout the year, the main attraction comes during the Navarathri festival, when devotees come from far and near. During this time, there are special bus services provided to the devotees.
Bala Hanuman Temple
Bala Hanuman TempleThis elegant temple stands on the south-eastern side of Ranmal Lake. The 24-hour chanting of the mantra 'Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram', which has been going on in the temple since August 1, 1964, has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
St. James Church
St. James ChurchLocated very close to Kashmere Gate in north Delhi, St. James Church is the oldest church in the capital. It was built by James Skinner and consecrated in 1836.
It is designed in a cruciform plan with the entrance towards the west and the altar towards the east (the standard norm in most churches the world over). The dome interestingly is very similar to the dome of Florence Cathedral in Italy that was the first renaissance structure built in the world.
Porches on the north, south and the west provide the building with three entrances. The central portion of the church is an octagon with circular columns supporting the dome.
Aurobindo AshramAurobindo Ashram
Again in the south of Delhi near the Indian Institute of Technology on the road to Meharauli it has literature on the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and has an ashram where devotees can come to meditate. There is also some accommodation available for devotees of Sri Aurobindo.
Places of Interest
Delhi is one of the most historic capitals in the world and two of its monuments- the Qutb Minar and Humayun's Tomb - have been declared World Heritage Sites. It offers a multitude of interesting places and attractions to the visitor, so much so that it becomes difficult to decide from where to begin exploring the city.
Modern Delhi, or New Delhi as it is called, centres around the Rashtrapati Bhawan. It is architecturally a very impressive building standing at a height, flowing down as it were to India Gate. This stretch called the Rajpath is where the Republic Day parade is held. The imposing plan of this area conceived by Lutyens does not fade in its charm with the numerous summers or winters that go past.
India Gate is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Delhi. The impressive colonial architecture of India Gate is a symbol of modern Delhi. The beautiful stone arch was built by the British in honor of Indian soldiers killed in World War I. Here you will also find the 'Amar Javan Jyoti', which is a permanent flame in honor of the Indian soldiers who died in wars since 1918.
Also called the Birla Mandir, the Laxminarayan Temple was built by the Birla family in 1938. It is a temple with a large garden and fountains behind it. The temple attracts thousands of devotees on Janmashtami day, the birthday of Lord Krishna.
Humayun's wife, Hamida Begum, built this monument in Delhi in the year 1556. The tomb is set on a platform amidst a garden and is believed to have influenced the design of the Taj Mahal. The structure of the tomb is as magnificent as the Taj Mahal in Agra. The splendor of this grand monument becomes overpowering on entering through the lofty double storied gateway. The fountains with simple yet highly developed engineering skills enhance the beauty of the garden.
The Qutab Minar is located at a small village called Mehrauli in South Delhi. It was built by Qutb-ud-din Aybak of the Slave Dynasty, who took possession of Delhi in 1206. It is a fluted red sandstone tower, which tapers up to a height of 72.5 metres and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the holy Qur'an. Qutb-ud-din Aybak began constructing this victory tower as a sign of Muslim domination of Delhi and as a minaret for the Muslim priest, the muezzin, to call the faithful to prayer. However, only the first storey was completed by Qutb-ud-din. The other storeys were built by his successor Iltutmish. The two circular storeys in white marble were built by Ferozshah Tughlaq in 1368, replacing the original fourth storey.
When one approaches old Delhi with a somewhat Westernised perception the emotional response can range from wonderment to bewilderment, from utter disgust to ecstasy. Undoubtedly, Old Delhi gives an insight into the multi-layered identity that so aptly characterizes India. The red sandstone walls of the massive Red Fort (Lal Qila) rise 33m (108ft) above the clamour of 'Old' Delhi as a reminder of the magnificent power and pomp of the Moghul emperors. The fort's main gate, the Lahore Gate, is one of the emotional and symbolic focal points of the modern Indian nation and attracts a major crowd each Independence Day.
On the bank of the legendary Yamuna, which flows past Delhi, there is Raj Ghat-the last resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. It has become an essential point of call for all visiting dignitaries. Two museums dedicated to Gandhi are situated nearby.
Known in India as the "Lotus Temple", the Baha'i House of Worship attracts an average of three and a half million visitors a year.The Baha'i Temple, situated in South Delhi, is shaped like a lotus. It is an eye-catching edifice worth exploring. Built by the Baha'i community, it offers the visitor a serenity that pervades the temple and its artistic design.
The various abstract structures within the Jantar Mantar are, in fact, instruments that were used for keeping track of celestial bodies. Yet, Jantar Mantar is not only a timekeeper of celestial bodies, it also tells a lot about the technological achievements under the Rajput kings and their attempt to resolve the mysteries regarding astronomy.
The Rail Museum
Its vintage displays include the oldest locomotive in the world-still working; the Viceregal Dining Car (1889) and the Prince of Wales Saloon (1875), Maharaja of Mysore's Saloon (1899), Maharaja of Baroda's Saloon (1886). The royal saloons are definitely worth a look for the elaborate interior design.
Monuments in Delhi
Memorials in Delhi
Delhi being the capital of the country is home to many memorials that are erected to pay homage to the great leaders of the nation. Today these memorials are important tourist places. Many people from different parts of the country and abroad visit these memorials.
Raj Ghat is the most popular memorial in Delhi. The memorial was set up in honor of the Father of the Nation-Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated on 31 January 1948. The memorial is located on the Ring Road on the way to ISBT and is about four kilometres away from Janpath. The memorial is made in black stone and his last words 'Hey Ram' are inscribed on it.
Teen Murti Bhawan is another beautiful memorial in Delhi. Built as a residence for the British Commander Chief in India, it was the official residence of the first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. After his death, the residence was converted into a memorial.
Shanti Vana, located near Raj Ghat is the memorial of the first prime minister of India-Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
The other memorials that you can visit in Delhi are Vijay Ghat (Lal Bahadur Shastri, 2nd Prime Minister of India), Kisan Ghat (Chaudhary Charan Singh, the great farmer leader), Vir Bhoomi (Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister) and Shakti Sthala is the memorial of the first woman Prime Minister of India-Indira Gandhi.
Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Popularly known as Birla Mandir, it is a large Hindu temple built in 1938. People of all faiths can enter and worship but one must walk barefoot into the courtyard and further on.
Otherwise known as the Lotus Temple, the modern Baha’i Temple has often been compared to the Sydney Opera House. Giant white petals of Rajasthani Macrana marble open out from nine pools and walkways in the shape of an unfolding lotus, symbolizing the nine spiritual paths of the Baha’i faith. Inside, the central hall rises to a height of over 30m (98ft), without the visible support of any columns. Visitors should take their shoes off before entering.
Lal Quila (Red Fort)
The Red Fort’s massive curtain wall and battlements dominate the skyline of Old Delhi. Inside, the bastions – built, like the nearby Jama Masjid, by Shah Jahan – are an range of exquisite 17th-century Mughal buildings, which provided the living quarters for the Emperor, his courtiers and family. The flawless balance and proportion of these buildings, as well as the intricate decoration, is wonderful to behold and in complete contrast to the military might of the fort itself. Sadly, the water conduits that would once have cooled the dwellings and gardens are now dry. The Lahore Gate, on the west side of the fort, was a potent symbol in the fight for Independence and is still regarded as a shrine of the Republic.
The Tomb was built by Humayun's widowed Queen Haji Begum, in the 16th century AD. Architecturally the forerunner of the Taj Mahal, it stands in Nizamuddin which shows the Mughal architecture at its best.
Built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India. The mosque was built in 1656 AD and about 5,000 labourers and craftsmen toiled for six years to complete the beautiful monument. The Jama Masjid is a fine example of the Mughal architecture. The mosque can accommodate about 25,000 people.Located in the old Delhi area, the Jama Masjid is an important tourist attraction in Delhi. The red sandstone and white marble strips are a delight to watch in the mosque. The two minarets, four towers and three gateways of the mosque are beautifully designed. The domes of the mosque are built in white marble. The prayer hall of the mosque has 260 pillars, which support 15 marble domes. The arched gateway and wide staircase are other important features of Jama Masjid.
The Qutb Minar is a huge tower, started at the end of the 12th century, to commemorate the Muslim conquest of Delhi. Standing 72.5m (238ft) tall, it is built of fluted red sandstone and decorated with calligraphy representing verses from the Koran. The top two levels are faced in white marble. So anxious were the new rulers of Delhi to erect a mosque, they shamelessly pilfered 27 Hindu and Jain temples for building materials. Many of pillars that surround the courtyard are carved with Hindu iconography, which is curiously at odds with the Islamic calligraphy of the Muslim prayer screens.
India Gate is a majestic high arch, 42 meters high, built as a memorial to the Indian soldiers killed in the World War I. Beneath it burns an eternal flame. From the base of the arch one can get a good view of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory with masonry instruments, built in 1724 by Jai Singh, the mathematician and astronomer king. The Samrat or Yantra supreme - the largest structure shaped like a right-angled triangle, is actually a huge sun-dial; the other five instruments are intended to show the movements of the sun, moon, etc.
The National Museum
For a museum that was built in 1960, the National Museum has an extraordinarily rich collection. It begins with prehistory, going on to the classical period of Indian art, then on through galleries of miniature painting, textiles, decorative art, arms, tribal art, Central Asian antiquities, costumes and musical instruments. The museum remains open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all days except Mondays.
This circular shaped colonnaded building houses the two Houses of Parliament- the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Its domed Central Hall is 90 feet in diameter.
Shopping in Delhi
Two concentric circles of colonial style buildings with colonnaded verandahs surround a central park. The outer circle of this hub of New Delhi is the Circus, the inner is Connaught Place. Together they are shopping and entertainment centres.shops were quite big and offered a good shooping area. An entire range of Indian handicrafts and handlooms from all over the country can be found at the State Emporia on Baba Kharak Singh Marg and at the Central Cottage Industries Emporium on Janpath.
Next to Shanker Market is Super Bazar - a multistoreyed departmental store, where you can find each and every thing under one roof at moderate prices.
Darya Ganj is a paradise for book lovers. Especially the Sunday Book Market that stretches for almost two kilometres and winds through a few streets. Every week, on Sunday, the pavements of Darya Ganj are lined with old and new books. You can find books on every topic that you can think of. Right from philosophy, engineering to psychology and cookery, you can find books of your choice. Most of the books sold at Darya Ganj are old, though new books are also available.
Located at one side of Connaught Place, it is an ideal one stop shopping place with air conditioned comfort.
Cottage Industries Emporium
This emporium offers a premier choice of India's genuine handicrafts and handlooms.
Adjacent of Connaught Place, it offers readymade garments and tailoring establishments, leather goods, dry fruits etc.
A major, moderately priced shopping centre, always with crammed shops and bustling shoppers, and a perpetual festive air, famous for jewellery and sarees, this is also a good place for readymade clothes, pottery and crockery.
Lajpat Nagar is located in south Delhi and is a bustling market, quite favourite among the middle class of Delhi. Lajpat Nagar market is popular for shoes and cloths. You can also shop for a number of other items of general use from Lajpat Nagar market.
Sarojini Nagar is a wonderful shopping place for students and low and middle-income people, who throng the market on weekends. The market buzzes with shoppers every day and you can pick good fashionable cloths at cheap rates. The market keeps pace with changing fashion needs of the city and is a hit among young and trendy. Sarojini Nagar is located in south Delhi.
Sunder Nagar Market, off Mathura Road, is open Monday-Saturday and is a good place to search for antiques and jewellery, as well as boasting a huge variety of other knick-knacks and artifacts spilling out of the shops.
It specializes in inexpensive chappals or sandals, leather bags, readymade garments, cosmetics and jewellery. Almost at the end of the shopping arcade is a cluster of little shops known as the Tibetan market, where bronze and copper figurines, "tankha" paintings, antiques, semi-precious wares and quaint bangles, rings and other costume jewellery are sold.
Leading out from Connaught Place is a market for decorative lamps, lamps shades, decorative fixtures of brass and wooden furniture.
Chandni Chowk was laid out by Emperor Shahjehan in his city of Shahjehanbad and was once one of the major trading centres of Asia. Chandni Chowk was the eyes and ears of the Mughal's commercial instincts and is today one of the country's best known wholesale markets for textiles, electronic goods and watches.
Delhi haat, near INA market, developed by Delhi tourism. The market displayed almost everything that India boost of. The shops there are Eco friendly and it the shape of huts. You can purchase Kashmiri products from Kashmiri Stall, funky jewelery and many other things. The market was crowded with college going youth. The market also had food stall with in the comple
Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the wonders of the world and is located geographically close to Delhi. This ultimate symbol of eternal love is indeed a relic of the royal Indian tradition. The city of Taj Mahal, Agra is surrounded by many other unique and interesting monuments like the Agra fort, Sikandra and the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri is within a day's excursion distance from Delhi. A 30 minute Indian Airlines flight takes you from Delhi to Agra. You also have the option of traveling in the superfast Shatabdi Express or Taj Express trains to be in the former Mughal capital in about two hours. Delhi to Agra is a four and a half hour drive by road and you can either take a conducted tour organised by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation or Delhi Tourism, or choose to travel with a private operator. Taxis and limousines can also be hired for a day or overnight trip to Agra.
widely known as birth place of lord Krishna is located on the western bank of river Yamuna at latitude 27degree 41 Minute N and 77Degree and 41 Minuet E. It is 145 Km south-east of Delhi and 58 Km north west of Agra in the State of Uttar Pradesh. For about 3000 Year it was the hub of culture and civilization.
Located 46 km from Delhi, just beyond Gurgaon, Sultanpur is a small bird sanctuary. The Jheel (shallow lake) with reeds and other waterside plants growing around it becomes a hub of activity in November-December every year when northern migratory birds arrive here. The Jheel is home to the only indigenous Indian crane, sorus.
Situated 11 km from the Qutab Minar on the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Surajkund is the site of a perennial lake surrounded by rock-cut steps. The Sun temple stood here during AD 1000, the remains of which can still be seen here. The temple and the enchanting surroundings of this place won the heart of a Tomar chieftain Surajpal, who belonged to a clan of sun worshippers. Raja Surajpal had a sun pool and amphitheater built in this area with the sun temple at its periphery. After the chieftain Surajpal, who built the complex, the place was named Surajkund.
Situated 70 km from Delhi in Rohtak district, the Tilayar Lake is a favourite getaway for tourists. The lake offers facilities for boating, accommodation, restaurants, bar, children/’s park and a mini zoo.
Just an hour's flight away from Agra is the city of Khajuraho. Once a flourishing ancient capital, it is world famous for it's superb temple architecture and sensuous sculptures. Of the original 85 temples which were built between 950-1050 A.D., only 22 remain, but these are worth visiting to gauge the fine legacy of traditional Indian temple architecture.
Situated in the Faridabad district of Haryana, the panoramic Badhkal Lake is a natural pool surrounded by vast lawns and lush greenery. Just over 30 km from Delhi, the lake is a popular picnic spot. It also offers boating facilities to tourists.
A three-hour drive from Delhi, Kesroli in Rajasthan is the site of a seven-turreted fort built in the 16th century. Believed to have been built by the Yaduvanshi Rajputs, the fort commands splendid views of the surroundings from its ramparts.
Barely 80 km from the din and bustle of Delhi stands the Mud Fort of Kuchesar, which was built in the mid-18th century by the Jat rulers. The fort has bravely withstood the onslaught of the Marathas, Sikhs, Rohillas, and Rajputs, as well as the French and East India Company. The fort was built with seven turrets so as to withstand the cannons of the British.
Situated 122 km from Delhi, on a rocky outcrop just above an unspoilt village, lies Neemrana, the site of a majestic fort built in 1464 by Prithviraj Chauhan III. The Neemrana Fort, as it is known, has now been converted into a heritage resort.
The capital of Rajasthan, also known as the 'pink city', this old city of Jaipur is encircled with 7 gates. Jaipur, called the Pink city because most of its buildings are of sandstone, was chosen by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II (1693-1743) for his capital. It is still the vibrant capital of the desert state of Rajasthan and a major attraction for the first-time visitor. Jaipur and its surroundings are quite like an endless museum. The city also offers an endless variety of crafts. Jaipur's lacquer bangles are also famous all over the world.
The legends say that the place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur rulers, Laxman's name is engraved onthe state arms and the seals. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Surajmal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city.
Damdama Lake, Gurgaon
Damdama Lake fills a depression in the Aravalli hills which forms a striking backdrop to its placid waters. This lake is perfect for canoeing, kayaking & angling.
Fairs And Festivals in Delhi
Religious celebrations are a large part of Delhi's multicultural social life, and it’s worth trying to take time out to enjoy the city's fanfare traditional dances and vibrant costumes. The city is a host to several secular festivals, when performers gather for music, dance and drama events.
On 13th January, a rural festival, Lohri, invades the streets of Delhi and is celebrated with bonfires in parks and open spaces. Traditionally, Lohri marks the end of winter.
Kite-Flying Festival (January)
The colourful kites cascade the horizons of Delhi
on Makar Sankranti ,from the green lawns of Palika Bazaar and Connaught Place, this extravaganza attracts national as well as international participants.
The biting winter winds during the end of January-early February, brings along the Hindu festival of Basant Panchami as welcome to the spring. This is the season when the prestigious Mughal gardens behind Rashtrapati Bhavan are opened to public for a month.
On the day of the full moon is in the month of Phalguna, Delhi braces itself for a day of uninhibited reverly as Holi is celebrated with great vigour and joy. All morning people smear Gulal (coloured powder) often mixed with water on one another and dance to the beat of drums. There is a tradition in north India of consuming bhang (a derivative of cannabis) on Holi.
The night before Holi bonfires are lit at street corners, symbolically burning the demon Holika and celebrating the triumph of good over evil.
Thyagaraja Festival (February)
An enthusiastic display of south Indian music and dance,is held opposite Jawaharlal Nehru University in Vaikunthnath temple.
Maha Shivratri (March)
Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the 'Amavasya' night of 'Phalguna'. It is said , that on this dark night Lord Shiva danced the 'Tandava Nritya',( cosmic dance). He is worshipped at temples with all night vigils and prayers and unmarried women keep day-long fasts so that Shiva may grant them good husbands.
Dussehra or Vijay Dashmi is celebrated with great joy and festivity for 10 continuous days during the month of September or October. Dussehra celebrates Lord Ram's victory over ten-headed Ravana, the evil king of Lanka who abducted Rama's wife, Sita, and was subsequently vanquished in battle. It is also considered to be a symbol of the victory of Good over Evil.
During the ten days of celebrations, the story of Lord Ram is enacted in dances and dramas (Ramlila, the story of Rama) all over North India. On the last (tenth) day, effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkaran, and his son, Meghnath, are packed with firecrackers and burnt at sunset. Large crowds gather to watch the effigies being burnt.
Durga Puja is celebrated by Bengalis on the last four days of Navaratrey. Images of the mother goddess, Durga, all fiery power and exquisite beauty, are worshipped with flowers, incense of the beating of drums.
At the onset of summer, when the sun gets fierce in the mid of April, north India, celebrates the Hindu New Year as Baisakhi... This is also the beginning of the harvesting season.
On Sravana purnima Rakshabandhan is celebrated. Sisters tie rakhis on their brother's wrists as a ledge of love and receive their promise of protection and normally a gift or money.