Delhi, the capital of India, has a rich history. The city is dotted with spellbinding mosques, forts, and monuments left over from the Mughal rulers that once occupied the city. The contrast between rambling Old Delhi and well planned New Delhi is immense, and it’s interesting to spend time exploring both. If you feel in need of some relaxation, just head to one of Delhi’s flourishing landscaped gardens.
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Here’s a list of the top attractions and places to visit in Delhi. The great thing is that many of them are free! (And can easily be reached by Delhi’s Hop On Hop Off bus). Or, take one or more of these popular Delhi Tours.
Got children? Also have a look a these 7 Fun Things To Do in Delhi with Kids. Like walking? Check out these Top Walking Tours in Delhi. And, once you’ve seen enough monuments, try these 15 Offbeat Things to Do in Delhi.x`x1
Delhi’s most famous monument, the Red Fort, stands not only as a powerful reminder of the Mughal era India but also a symbol of India’s struggle for freedom. It was build by fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, when he decided to shift his capital there from Agra in 1638. The fort’s turbulent history includes being captured by the Sikhs and the British. To take your imagination back to the ancient era, a one hour sound and light show of the fort’s history is held each evening.
Jama Masjid is another marvelous treasure of the Old City, and it’s one of the largest mosque in India. Its courtyard can hold an incredible 25,000 devotees. The mosque took 12 years to build, and was completed in 1656. A strenuous climb to the top of its southern tower will reward you with a stunning view (albeit obscured by metal security grills) across the rooftops of Delhi. Be sure to dress appropriately when visiting the mosque or you won’t be allowed in. This means covering your head, legs and shoulders. Attire is available there.
Chandni Chowk, the main street of old Delhi, is a shocking contrast to the wide, orderly streets of New Delhi. Cars, cycle rickshaws, hand-pulled carts, pedestrians, and animals all compete for space. It’s chaotic, crumbling and congested, but completely captivating as well. As one of the oldest and busiest markets in India, its narrow winding lanes are full of inexpensive jewelry, fabrics, and electronics. For the more adventurous, Chandni Chowk is an excellent place to sample some of Delhi’s street food. The renowned Karim Hotel, a Delhi dining institution, is also located there.