Delhi (or Dilli as it is affectionately called) is India’s capital city and a bustling metropoliswhere ancient history meets modern architecture, especially since it is brimming with monuments and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
If you are new to the city, you must have heard a million times already that Delhi comes to life at night, but that’s not true. There is lot more going on throughout the day, whether you’re exploring the narrow lanes in Old Delhi, shopping and eating in the scanty lanes of Chandni Chowk or soaking in the old-world Mughal charm at Qutub Minar. So, for the history enthusiasts, here are a few places that are a must-visit once you are in Delhi, whether you travel solo or with your friends.
1. The Red Fort
Anyone who has read about the history of India knows that the list has to begin with Red Fort.In the year 1638, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan shifted the capital of his empire to Delhi (then Shahjahanabad) from Agra. The fort is a culmination of Mughal architecture reflecting a fusion of Timurid, Persian, and Hindu traditions.
2. India Gate
A stunning archway designed by Edwin Lutyens, India Gate is a monumental ode to all the Indian soldiers serving the British Army who died in World War I. This 40-m high gate has been built with sandstone, with the walls having been inscribed with the names of around 13,516 soldiers killed in the North-western Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919 as well as the 90,000 Indian soldiers martyred in World War I.
3. Hauz Khas
Well known for its bustling nightlife, Hauz Khas is home to vast land with buildings that surround the reservoir. The remnants of Islamic architecture are vaguely felt when you’re exploring the fort. With so many students and tourists flocking to indulge in the old charm of the place and aesthetic appeal, the market has been refurbished while still keeping its history intact.
4. Jama Masjid
Built in 1656, Jama Masjid is located in the centre of Delhi’s most crowded places, while offering a peaceful setting built over a 10-m elevation. It is also known as ‘Masjid-i-Jahanuma’ and was designed as Emperor Shahjahan’s principal mosque.The spacious courtyard can hold thousands of devotees – 25,000 devotees at a time.
5. Qutub Minar
Built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, Qutab Minar is a 73-mhigh tower of victory in the history of India. There are five distinct storeys, each marked by tapers and a projecting balcony on each of them. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone whereas the fourth and fifth storeys are carved out marble and sandstone.
6. Jantar Mantar
This observatory interests children as well as adults, who are intrigued by the archaic astronomical instruments. This historical site was built in the year 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh. The monument has been built using bricks, limestone, and plaster to help us understand and improve the study of time and space.