Delhi is as old as the Hindu epic of Mahabharat. The national capital of India has witnessed numerous kings, dynasties, empires and rulers come and go. No matter what, Delhi has always been identified as the seat of power. The coming and going of rulers from different beliefs, traditions and backgrounds has resulted in Delhi being a mosaic of rich cultural heritage. This is clear through the remnants of the past that is strewn across the immaculate Delhi lanes. From imposing high rises of Connaught Place to the mind-boggling architecture of Red Fort, Delhi represents a dual personality where it keeps propelling to the future while also staying deeply rooted to its past.
Here are the best places to visit near me in Delhi:
1. Jama Masjid
Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan during the 15th century, Jama masjid is one of the largest mosques in India and the 2nd largest in the subcontinent. The term Jama Masjid translates to ‘world reflecting mosque’. Known for its remarkable architectural brilliance, the masjid used to serve as the imperial mosque of all the Mughal emperors. The mosque was built with the help of 5,000 workers with sandstone and marble being the primary construction materials. It is also regarded as a symbolic node of Islamic powers across the Indian subcontinent. Every Friday religious Muslims gather in Jama Masjid to offer their prayer as it faces towards the mecca.
2. Akshardham Temple
The term Akshardham translates to the divine abode of god. Known for being an eternal place of devotion, purity and peace, the iconic Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple is a humble tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the avatars, devas and other great sages and gurus dedicated to Hinduism. The entire complex is traditionally styled and every element in it is thoughtfully created and designed. Home to over 200 Murtis, this temple is a place of getting closer to the lord. With exhibitions, water and sound shows and other such interesting entertainment options, one can learn a lot about the history and relevance of this temple.
3. Red Fort
Red fort is one of the most historic forts in old Delhi which used to serve as the main residence for Mughal emperors. The fort was constructed by Shah Jahan when he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. The fort is the perfect blend of Persianate architectural design and style with Indian traditions. Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site the entire fort covers a range of 254 acres which is dotted with big and large structures such as Diwan-e-Khas, Diwan-i-Aam, Hamam, weather-appropriate halls etc. During its peak the fort was bejewelled with gemstones on the walls and even Kohinoor which was later plundered and looted.
4. Qutub Minar
Soaring at a height of 73 meters, Qutub Minar is one of the most remarkable landmark features of Delhi that dates back to 1193. The tower was built by Qutb ud-Din Aibak the tower has 5 distinct floors with each floor being marked by a balcony. Tapering towards the top this iconic heritage tower was built out of red sandstone and marbles. The Minar stands tall in the Qutub complex that also consists of a 7-metre high iron pillar in the courtyard of the mosque. The origin of Qutub Minar is shrouded in mystery. While some believe that it was constructed to mark the beginning of Muslim rule in India, others say that it had served as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful to pray.
5. India Gate
India gate needs no introduction. Adorned in the central Delhi region, India Gate is a 42 metres high archway located in the middle of the crossroads. The gateway is a national symbol to commemorate the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives, fighting for the British during World War 1. The memorial structure bears the names of over 13,500 British and Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the northwestern frontier in the 1919 afghan war. Built-in 1931, the foundation stone for the gate was laid by the duke of Connaught. India gate at night is lit with dramatic lighting effects which makes it even more interesting to look at.
6. Lodhi Garden
Situated in the posh Lodhi estate part of New Delhi, Lodhi Garden is one of the most loved city parks in the city. Spreading out over an area of 90 acres, the Lodhi Garden is one of the most stunningly well-preserved remnants of the past. It contains Mohammed Shah Tomb, the tomb of Sikandar Lodi, the shisha Gumbad and Bara Gumbad. These architectural pieces of wonderment spread out all over the garden date back to the 15th century, during the rule of the Lodi dynasty in Delhi. Currently protected by the archaeological survey of India, the garden occupies the region between khan market and Safdarjung Tomb, making it one of the most preferred locations for morning walks by the locals.
7. Garden of 5 Senses
If you think that the garden of 5 senses is a mere park or just another garden, think again. The garden of 5 senses is a unique space offering a variety of activities and interesting spots. The garden occupies 21 acres and is located at the Said-ul-Ajaib village which is very close to the Mehrauli heritage area. The entire garden has numerous elements that add a lot of personality to the whole experience. It is genuinely covered with beautiful flower arrangements and smart plantations which offers a deeply rejuvenating experience to all the 5 senses, staying true to the name of the garden.
8. Purana Qila
Built by Humayun and Surid Sultan Sher Shah Suri, Purana Qila or old fort is one of the oldest forts in Delhi. Known for being constructed on the bygone site of Indraprastha, the fort is an iconic and expansive piece of heritage. Located right next to the Delhi zoo, the old fort is known for its green surroundings and untouched wilderness. With a circuit of close to 2 kms, the fort has 3 main gateways and is surrounded by a wide moat which used to be connected to the Yamuna River (when it used to flow through here). Every evening the fort turns into a mesmerizing spot for an entertaining sound and light show that tells us about the historic past.
9. Nehru Planetarium
Situated amidst the stunning green surroundings of the famous and posh Teen Murti House, the planetarium is a treat for people of all ages. Dedicated to the memory of India’s first prime minister, since the Teen Murti house used to be the official residence of the prime minister, the planetarium was built with the intention of making science and astronomy fun yet educative for the younger generation. The planetarium infrastructure consists of the latest, cutting edge projection equipment that is a mesmerizing experience to be a part of. The planetarium also consists of a memorial museum and a library dedicated to the life and times of Jawaharlal Nehru.
10. Humayun’s Tomb
Built-in 1570 Humayun’s Tomb is another UNESCO world heritage site in Delhi. It is the first grand dynastic structure in Delhi that resonated the potential of the skilled Mughal architects. It was built under the patronage of Akbar, the complex contains 16th century Mughal Garden, Isa Khan, Nila Gumbad, Afsarwala, Babur’s tomb and other such interesting pieces of architecture. This garden tomb’s success is given to the masterful works of the combination of Persian and Indian craftsmen. This was the first grandest tomb that was built in the Islamic world. Adjoining the 70-acre sunder nursery, the tomb displays fantastic and brand new architectural achievements.
11. Chandni Chowk
Literally translating into the moonlight squares, Delhi Darshan remains incomplete without a visit to this inseparable part of Delhi. Old Delhi or Chandni Chowk is without a doubt one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. Located very close to the old Delhi railway station, Chandni Chowk is now one of the largest wholesale markets in India. It was built in the 17th century during the reign of Shah Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahanara. Before the markets overtook everything, the lanes of Chandni Chowk used to serve as canals to reflect the moonlight for Jahanara to sit and gaze at it.
12. Sunder Nursery
Nestled in between the UNESCO world heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb on one side and the historic Purana Qila on the other, sunder nursery is a sight for sore eyes. It was once used as a place for propagating trees and other plants for the capital’s beautification; now it has turned out into one of the must visit places in Delhi. The formal landscape of manicured lawns, a variety of colourful flowers, gardens, lakes and rivulets offers some respite for visitors from the chaos of Delhi streets. Spread out over a massive area of 90 acres, the nursery also expects visits from a rich avian population including colourful migratory birds from all over the world.
13. Dilli Haat
If there is one place in Delhi where you can find handloom and handicrafts items from all over India, it is Dilli Haat. Situated in INA, this place represents the rich variety of culture and art that has found its home in India. There are canteens also available offering foods of different states of India. The vibe of Dilli Haat is very unique as it provides a rural, village-like ambiance. You can get a taste of ethnic cuisines of India, along with getting your hands on some of the most unique, state-centric items. This is the place that will introduce you to a newer version of India.
14. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Situated in the busy centre of Delhi, Connaught Place, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most prominent places of Sikh worship in India. Being associated with the 8th Guru, Guru Har Krishan, it is frequented by local Sikhs as well as by visiting Sikhs from across the globe. First built as a small shrine by the Sikh general Sardar Baghel Singh in 1783 on top of a bungalow that used to belong to Raja Jai Singh. Since the 8th Sikh Guru used to stay at Raja Jai Singh’s Palace, that part of the massive bungalow estate was turned into a Gurdwara. Housing a pond or a sarovar containing Gold Fish, the Gurdwara is one of the most iconic heritage buildings in Delhi.
15. Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar literally translates into instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens, this place is another one of the most popular places to visit in Delhi. The entire Jantar Mantar complex consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments. Built by the Rajasthani ruler, Maharaja Jaisingh the 2nd, the Jantar Mantar was constructed in the year 1710. Through this the maharaja wanted to keep his keen interest in astronomy alive. The main purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables and also to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and the planet. This goes on to tell us about how the bygone rulers used to be huge patrons of education, architecture and art.
16. Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Brimming with archaeological structures and spanning over an area of 200 acres, the Mehrauli Archaeological Park is home to over 100 historically prominent monuments. It is the only area in Delhi that has witnessed continuous occupation for over 1,000 years. It includes the ruins of Lal Kot that was built by the Tomar Rajputs along with other architectural relics built during the period of the Khalji Dynasty, Tughlaq Dynasty, Delhi sultanate, Lodi dynasty, Mughal Empire and the British Raj. The park is also strewn with old, decaying and falling pillars and temple remnants.
17. Connaught Place
Delhi is a heaven for foodies and shopping enthusiasts. Wondering where to shop in Delhi? Connaught place is the best destination to shop till you drop. Officially known as Rajiv Chowk and easily reachable by metro, CP is one of the main financial, commercial and business hubs of not just Delhi but India as well. Along with these important government and official offices, CP’s stores and food point connections are impeccable. Developed as a showpiece for the Lutyen’s Delhi, and named after Prince Arthur, the 1st duke of Connaught CP was brought to life in 1933.
18. Mughal Gardens
Covering an expansive region of 15 acres, Mughal Gardens or the soul of the presidential palace, is a stunning representation of glorious and lush greenery. Drawing its inspiration from the Mughal Gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, the design was approved in 1917 by Sir Edwin Lutyen. A lot of Persian influence can also be observed in the garden especially with the presence of the Charbagh structure. Other important Mughal Garden features here include canals, fountains and pools that appear to be arranged in strict geometric arrangement. The visit to Mughal Garden remains open during special occasions and follows strict guidelines but it is definitely worth a visit.
19. Khan Market
If you are looking for a place to hang out, have some delicious food and shop for high-end products, then Khan Market is the palace. This shopping district was established in 1951 and named after Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan. The market is a U-shaped and double-storied complex that has over 150 shops. Over time the khan market has turned into one of the most prominent and expensive commercial real estate locations in the city. Close to India gate, khan market also occupies a very important space in the heart of the city. Other than the shops, khan market is also about being one of the greenest pockets of Delhi.
Formerly known as Kingsway, Rajpath is a ceremonial boulevard that extends from Rashtrapati Bhavan to Raisina Hills through Vijay Chowk and India Gate, National war memorial to National stadium. The avenue is studded on both sides by huge lawns, rows of trees and neatly lined canals. This is one of the most important roads in India and it is here that the republic day parade takes place. This royal roadway was constructed by Sir Edward Lutyens and is bordered on both sides by the north and south blocks of the secretariat building. The whole street is very well thought out and properly maintained throughout the year.
21. Ghalib Ki Haveli
Ghalib Ki Haveli or the Ghalib’s mansion was the residence location of the famous, iconic and a revolutionary Urdu Poet, Mirza Ghalib. This heritage site, is located in the Gali Qasim Jan in Ballimaran and it clearly reflects the period when the Mughal era in Delhi was on a decline. The house was given to the poet by a hakim, a physician who was a poetry enthusiast. This heritage site consists of a large Haveli compound complete with brick columns depicting the writing, poetry, etc. Ghalib lived in this Haveli for a long period of time after he came back from Agra.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. When Is The Best Time To Visit Delhi?
Ans. November to February is the best time to visit Delhi.
Q. What Can You Buy In Delhi?
Ans. You can buy traditional jewels, Silk Sarees, Books, Achaar, Edible Items, Madhubani Paintings, Spice Box, silver handicrafts, etc.
Q. Which Food Items Are A Must Try In Delhi?
Ans. You must try Paranthas, Chaat, Rolls, Nihari, Kebabs, Butter Chicken, Chole Bhature, Biryani, etc.
Q. What Is Famous In Chandni Chowk?
Ans. Chandni Chowk is famous for being the largest wholesale market in India, for Paranthe Wali Gali, etc.
Q. Why Is Sarojini Market Famous?
Ans. Sarojini market is famous for clothes shopping, decorative items, etc.