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Delhi Attractions

As the capital of India and a stop of the classic “India Golden Triangle” tour, Delhi is chosen by most travelers as the starting point of their trip to India. Delhi offers its visitors diverse cultures, plentiful recreational activities, flourishing landscaped gardens, bustling markets, high-profile art galleries, as well as numerous splendid monuments including tombs, forts, mosques and museums. Humayun's Tomb, Red Fort and Qutub Minar are the three world cultural heritages that must be visited. In general, travelers can cover the highlights of Delhi in 2-3 days.

Top Attractions

1. Red Fort

A typical Mughal-style Islamic structure built by Shah Jahan - the fifth-generation Mughal monarch in 1648, the Red Fort stands not only the seat of the Mughal regime, but also a symbol of India’s struggle for freedom. Octagonal in shape and surrounded by a moat, the stunning building is made of red sandstone and marble without using a piece of wood or nails. Within its magnificent walls, the busy Chandni Chowk market, resplendent palaces, and Sound and Light Performance given in every evening are special attractions that show visitors the turbulent history of the Fort. In 2007, Red Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage.

2. Qutub Minar

Another World Cultural Heritage in Delhi, Qutub Minar, a representative of early Indo-Islamic architecture is the world’s tallest brick minaret built by India’s first Muslim King to celebrate the victory over local Hindus in 1193. With a height of 72.5 meters (about 238 feet), the red stone tower has five distinct storeys, each of which is covered with intricate carvings and Koran inscriptures. Surrounded by a lush green garden, this Delhi attraction is also a good place for leisurely activities. In addition, a grand international music festival is held here in November or December every year when one can watch live music and dance performances by Indian artists.

3. India Gate

Located in the heart of Delhi, India Gate is a significant structure marking the division of Old and New Delhi. Aka All India War Memorial, the India Gate was built in memory of the brave soldiers of British Indian army who lost their lives fighting against British invaders in the World War I and the third Anglo-Afghan War. India Gate has a similar architectural style with the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the top of the Gate is a three-storey tower, with the Indian words engraved in the middle and the British Imperial suns on both sides. Evening is the best time to visit India Gate as all the lights are lit and nearby fountains make a wonderful show.

4. Jama Masjid

The largest mosque in Delhi, Jama Masjid can accommodate 25,000 devotees at a time. As Shah Jahan’s final architectural feat, the Masjid was built by over 5,000 craftsmen and it took six years to complete in 1656. It has three white marble domes on top and two 40 meters (131 feet) high minarets that are constructed with the strips of red sandstone and white marble. There are 130 steps in the southern tower, from the top of which visitors can enjoy a stunning city view and overlook the Qutub Minar in the distance. Remember to be dressed appropriately to enter the Masjid and other holy religious places in Delhi.

5. Humayun’s Tomb

Built in mid-16th century by Humayun’s wife Haji Begum, Humayun’s Tomb is India’s first garden mausoleum that constructed with white marble and red sandstone. It has a typical Mughal architectural style on the prototype of the Taj Mahal in Agra, also integrating the styles of Islamic architecture and Hindu architecture skillfully. Humayun’s Tomb is surrounded by lush trees and scattered with fountains, looking beautiful and serene. Next to the cemetery is a small museum displaying the mausoleum’s photos that tell about the evolution and development of the Mughal tomb. It was included in the World Heritage List in 1993.

Read more about Top 8 Things to Do in Delhi

More Tourist Attractions in Delhi

1. Agrasen Ki Baoli is an ancient water reservoir made of yellow gravel, which is 60 meters long and 15 meters wide with four layers of structure from top to bottom.

2. Akshardham Temple is India’s largest and grandest Hindu temple constructed with red sandstone and white marble. Its dome is extremely exquisite made up of nine large arched buildings.

3. Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is the biggest Sikh temple in Delhi where people can experience Sikh culture and enjoy a free Indian meal. All the garlic-shaped roof of the temple are covered with gold foil, appearing to be very noble.

4. Birla Mandir, aka Laxminarayan Temple, presents a unique Orissan architectural style in red, white and yellow mainly. It is dedicated to the goddess of wealth Laxmi, and her husband, the protector God Narayan.

5. Chandni Chowk is the oldest and most bustling market of Delhi, filled with shops where visitors can find various goods, snacks, clothing, electronic products, and silver jewelry.

6. Chattarpur Mandir is an amalgamation of North and South Indian temple architecture, built with extensive marbles and dedicated to Katyayani.

7. Connaught Place is the commercial, tourist and transportation center in New Delhi. This place has a variety of specialty restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and numerous brand stores where one can have a wonderful shopping experience.

8. Delhi Crafts Museum serves as one of the most famous art houses famous for 33,000 pieces of unique specimens, including paintings, wooden carvings, and terracotta horses.

9. Hauz Khas Complex is situated in south Delhi, closer to a large lake. It holds Islamic seminary, 13th century pavilions, mosque, water tank, deer park and much more.

10. Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah is a marble shrine visited by thousands of pilgrims every week.

11. Jamali Kamali Mosque is comprised of two monuments adjacent to each other - a mosque and the tomb of Jamali and Kamali.

12. Jantar Mantar Observatory houses 13 astrological instruments, each of which has its own specialized functions, such as calculating the eclipse.

13. Lodhi Gardens is a beautiful garden dotted with many monuments and mausoleums. Home to a large number of precious tree species, it provides a good habitat for birds, squirrels and other small animals.

14. Lotus Temple has an appearance like a blooming lotus flower, symbolizing the coexistence of four religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam.

15. Mehrauli Archaeological Park, adjacent to Qutub Minar, offers visitors a peaceful and tranquil place to get relaxed.

16. Mughal Gardens is a beautiful place scattered with fountains and blossoming flowers.

17. National Gallery of Modern Art houses over 17,000 art pieces including photographs, prints, illustrations and paintings by contemporary and modern Indian artists.

18. National Gandhi Museum is a memorial museum to commemorate the Mahatma Gandhi. Visitors can learn his life stories and see his personal items like letters, photographs, manuscripts and books.

19. National Museum of India is the largest and most important museum in India, home to 200,000 art exhibits including ancient Indian bronze wares, Buddha statues, weapons, fabrics, silverware, pottery, paintings, and carvings.

20. National Zoological Park houses more than 1,350 animals of over 130 species from around the world, such as leopard, hyenas, African wild buffalo, zebra, and giraffe.

21. Parliament House, also called Sansad Bhavan, is a very magnificent government building blending traditional Indian style and Victorian architectural characteristics.

22. Purana Qila is the oldest fort in Delhi, where visitors can fully appreciate the wonderful sound and light show that telling the past stories of Purana Qila.

23. Raj Ghat, the grave of Gandhi, is surrounded by a green space. In the middle of Raj Ghat, there is a black marble mausoleum engraved with Indian words “Hi Romo”, which are the two words that Gandhi called out when he died.

24. Rashtrapati Bhavan is the place where President of India lives. Opposite the Indian Gate, it covers an area of about 20,000 square meters, with 340 palaces, 227 columns, 35 gazebos, 37 fountains, and a Mughal-style garden.

25. Safdarjung Tomb is a garden tomb built in 1754 for Nawab Safdarjung. The monument holds a striking similarity to the central dome of Taj Mahal, made of sandstone and marble.

26. Tughlaqabad Fort a ruined place in Delhi, stretching for 6.5 km (4 mi) to the nearby Tughlaqabad commercial area. It was built in 1321 by the founder of Tughlaq dynasty, Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq.