New Delhi is the capital of India. Once a bastion of the imperial Mughal era, the capital city is teeming with architectural and historical marvels. Imposing forts, awe-inspiring mosques and lip-smacking street food are just some of the marvels of Delhi. Dynasties have ruled over this city and these memories of the past continue striking wonder in the present. The city is a haven for culture enthusiasts, shoppers, and foodies. Be it the Red Fort, Qutub Minar or the bustling market of Dilli Haat, every visit transports you to an era of its own. Here’s a list of the must-visit places in New Delhi, India.
1. Red Fort
The Red Fort is a historic monument in Old Delhi. It was once the pulsating heart of the Mughal empire and served as the main residence of many Mughal rulers for nearly 200 years. The fort was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who also built the Taj Mahal in Agra. A row of pavilions is connected by the water channel known as the Nahr-i- Bihisht or Stream of Paradise. The mosque and public baths are closed to the public. The Red Fort remains one of the most popular attractions in Delhi. A light and sound show brings alive the rich history of the Mughal era. The Lahori gate opens to a mall, where you can shop for exquisite crafts, jewellery and art work.
Address: Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
Opening Hours: 9.30 AM - 4.30 PM (Monday Closed)
Price: 0.5 USD - 7 USD
2. India Gate
The India Gate is one of the largest war memorials in India on the arterial road of Rajpath. It was built in 1917 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, one of the finest architects of his time. It commemorates the 13,208 British-Indian soldiers who were martyred in the First World War. Although it’s a war memorial, it is reflective of classic European design of the 17th century. After the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1972, a black marble plinth was added beneath the enormous Memorial Archway. A reversed rifle capped with a war helmet stands aside four eternal flames. This is called the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the Flame of the Immortal Soldier. The best time to visit the India Gate is in the evening, when the structure is brilliantly illuminated in the tri-colour. Tourists can round off their trip by enjoying delicious street food at one of the many local stalls.
Address: Rajpath, India Gate, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Opening Time: Always open
Price: Free Entry
3. Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is a minaret that forms a part of the Qutub Complex in Mehrauli, Delhi. It is one of the oldest surviving structure in the Indian subcontinent. The construction work was started in the 11th century by Qutub-Ud-Din-Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate. Today, it stands tall at 73-metres (240 feet) with its five tapering storeys and a spiral staircase of 379 steps. Visitors flock from all over the world to view this UNESCO World Heritage site and marvel at the craftsmanship from centuries ago.
Address: Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 7 AM - 5 PM
Price: 0.5 USD - 7 USD
4. National Rail Museum
India has the largest rail network in Asia and the second largest in the world. Constructed during the British reign, it was once the choice of transport for the rich and the officials. Today, the trains have become a mainstay transport option. The National Rail Museum is located in Chanakyapuri, Delhi and captures this evolution of the Indian Railways. There are scale models of coaches, steam engines and trains from the yesteryears. These include the unique Patiala Steam Monorail built in 1907 and personal saloon coaches built for the Prince of Wales and kings of Mysore and Indore. The National Rail Museum spans over 10 acres (40,000 sq. metres). So, how do visitors get around this vast treasure trove? A mini-train, of course!
National Rail Museum
Address: Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 10 AM - 5 PM; Monday Closed
Price: 0.5 USD - 5 USD
5. Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk (Moonlight Square) is exactly what the name suggests. A market square that comes to a life of its own after the sun sets in Delhi. One of the oldest and busiest streets in Old Delhi, it is a haven for shopping and food enthusiasts. This 17th-century market was built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, and designed by his daughter Jahanara. The canals would shimmer in the moonlight as the place burst into life. Today, it’s a bustling wholesale market for crafts, history, jewelery and art. It’s also one of the largest Asian markets for camera accessories. Do visit the adjacent Paranthe Wali Gali (The Street of Paranthas, a type of Indian bread) for an explosion of spices and local flavors.
Address: Chandni Chowk, North Delhi
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 9.30 AM - 8 PM, Sunday Closed
Price: Free Entry
6. Dilli Haat
The Dilli Haat is an open-air crafts bazaar in Delhi. It is a popular haunt for traditional handicrafts and local designer fabrics. Local designers showcase a range of attractive Kashmiri shawls, sarees, jewelry and bags. Great leather goods are available at extremely reasonable prices. One can buy clothes made of Khadi, a native Indian cotton fabric. There is a range of shops for home decor, with exquisite Madhubani paintings on pots, pans, and ceramic dishes. To top off a great evening, there are a host of restaurants where you can find food from almost every part of the country.
Address: Metro Station, 21, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Dilli Haat, Kidwai Nagar West, Near INA, New Delhi, Delhi 110023
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 10:30 AM - 10 PM
Price: 0.4 - 1.4 USD
7. Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar is located in the modern city of New Delhi. A 17th-century astronomical observatory, the structure was built by the Maharaja (King) of Jaipur. The Jantar Mantar was built on a Mughal emperor’s orders to study the movement of the sun, moon, and planets. There are four distinct instruments within the structure. The Samrat Yantra or the Supreme Instrument is a giant triangle with an equal hour sundial. The Jayaprakash Yantra helped align the position of a star. The Rama Yantra measured the altitude of the stars. The Misra Yantra or Mixed Instrument helped determine the shortest and longest days of the year. Jantar Mantar was also built in four other Indian cities namely Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura, and Varanasi.
Address: Sansad Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 6 AM - 6 PM
Price: 1.4 USD
8. Kingdom of Dreams
The Kingdom of Dreams is a magical carnival-like experience in New Delhi. It is designed to leave international tourists with one great tasting of Indian history and culture through performing arts and musicals. There are regular shows on topics ranging from Indian mythologies, epics and Bollywood-style musicals. The experience involves latest technologies from the entertainment field. After visiting the show, one can relish in shopping at the Culture Gully (Culture Street).
Kingdom of Dreams
Address: Auditorium Complex Near IFFCO Metro Station, Sector 29, Gurugram
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri: 12:30 PM - 12 AM, Sat-Sun: 12 PM - 12 AM
Price: 8 - 20 USD
9. Shankar’s International Dolls Museum
The International Dolls Museum is a collection of dolls by a political cartoonist. The collection includes dolls from all over the world, gifted to the museum by erstwhile Prime Ministers, official diplomats, and visiting dignitaries. Today, the collection has 6,500 dolls collected from over 85 countries. Inside, the museum is divided into two equal halves. One half consists of dolls collected from the European countries, USA, Australia and New Zealand. The other half has dolls from the Asian and African countries.
Shankar’s International Dolls Museum
Address: ITO, 4, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Nehru House
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 10 AM - 5:30 PM; Monday Closed
Price: 0.5 USD
10. Lotus Temple
The Lotus Temple is a Bahai place of worship and welcomes people from all faiths, castes and sex. A serene haven for worship and introspection, the temple is conspicuous by its giant flower-like shape. It is surrounded from all sides by nine pools and gardens. The temple allows reading or chanting of holy scriptures of any faith. The Lotus temple is one of the most visited destinations in the world,
Address: Lotus Temple Rd, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 9 AM - 5:30 PM; Monday Closed
Price: Free Entry
Great places to visit in Delhi, India
New Delhi is not only the capital of modern-day India, but also a thriving bastion of artefacts and architectural marvels from the Mughal era. An evening spent in Delhi is incomplete without capping it off with some delicious street food.
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