Delhi is the capital of India and is home to over 25 million residents (and seemingly just as many cows!), making it the 4th most populous city in the world. But what is there for tourists do here?
The people of India are generally very friendly, and the food here can be delicious if you like things hot and spicy (and don’t mind a bit of Delhi Belly!), but when you do venture around the capital city for a spot of tourism, you should plan yourself an itinerary. Chances are the traffic and the pollution (and the child beggars, and the stray cows) will probably put you off after a few hours, but this unfortunate part of India’s culture is actually all part of its charm.
Yet in small measures, you can try to enjoy 10 of the finest attractions in Delhi, which I have listed below:
10. Connaught Place is the bustling epicentre of the Indian capital. It is hard to pick a particular part of Connaught Place above others, but the area is essentially a circular thoroughfare that remains busy all day long. Plenty of shops and fast food restaurants here too.
9. Lal Quila, situated in the older parts of Delhi, is an historic fort made of red sandstone where the Mughal Emperor of India lived for over 200 years. Nowadays, it is part of the city’s main tourist itinerary and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
8. Gandhi Smriti is the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and also the place where he was assassinated (literally at the Martyrs Column). A touching multimedia museum is also located here.
7. Akshardam Temple is a sensational Hindu temple complex with an incredible amount of Indian and Hindu history on display, almost like a museum. Situated on the banks of the Yamuna River, it is worth noting that cameras are not allowed inside the building.
6. The Lodhi Gardens are spread over 90 acres and contain tombs of Mughal emperors of old and lots of other architectural splendours from the ages. The gardens are a common place for courting Delhiites to enjoy a romantic stroll in the peaceful settings, and you may even see the famous peacocks too!
5. Humayun’s Tomb is the final resting place of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The mausoleum here may not be quite as impressive as the Taj Mahal in Agra, but the design is very similar, and the gardens in which the tomb is located are quite stunning.
4. India Gate is a brash memorial to over 80,000 Indian soldiers who perished during the First World War. It sits on the end of the Rajpath, which is one of the busiest roads in Delhi. The design of India Gate is similar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, and is a great place to take a selfie!
3. Chandni Chowk in the old part of town is the historic bustling moonlit market where you can find everything you could ever hope to see! You need to haggle quite aggressively to get the best deals, as the Indian people here always drive a hard bargain. The street food in Chandni Chowk is just as exquisite as the textiles and antiques!
2. Bangla Sahib is a gurdwara from the Sikh religion. Unlike some of the other temples and religious monuments in Delhi, Bangla Sahis is completely free to all people, regardless of faith. The striking golden dome of the gurdwara make it a real symbol of the city.
1. Qutab Minar is a red sandstone and marble minar that is so unique in the city that it fully deserves its ranking as the number attraction in Delhi. The whole complex is full of green gardens and delicate ruins amidst the main minar, which itself is intricately carved with inscriptions of the Quran. Everything here seems larger than life, and the fact that Qutab Minar seems so popular even with non-Muslims is testimony to its endearing legacy.
What was your favourite attraction in Delhi? Let me know in the comments below.