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. Here's a list of the top attractions and places to visit in Delhi.
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.
A relatively new attraction, this massive temple complex was built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha spiritual organization and opened in 2005. It's dedicated to showcasing Indian culture. As well as the astonishing architecture of the pink stone and white marble shrine, the complex includes sprawling garden, sculptures, and boat ride. Allow plenty of time to explore it thoroughly -- at least half a day. Do note that cell phones and cameras are not permitted inside.
If you think Humayun's Tomb looks a bit like the Taj Mahal in Agra, that's because it was the inspiration for the Taj Mahal's creation. The tomb was built in 1570, and houses the body of the second Mughal emperor, Humayun. It was the first of this type of Mughal architecture to be built in India, and the Mughal rulers followed it up with an extensive period of construction all over the country. The tomb is part of a greater complex that's set among beautiful gardens.
I tried to cover as much as I could for a newbie to get started, but if you still have a question in your mind, feel free to give us a comment
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