Say you are going to Delhi, to do the tourist-y things. Where do you begin? As someone who is natively from Delhi, that is a very tough question. Whenever I’m visiting Delhi there are a few places that I have to go to (mostly to hog, but still):
1. Chandni Chowk to eat Bedmi Aloo
2. Khan Market to eat at Big Chill Cafe
3. Connaught Place to shop at Janpath and eat at Nirula’s and Wengers
4. Nani’s house in old Delhi and to eat bedmi aloo.
5. Taiji’s house to eat whatever is the latest street food fad.
You get my gist, right? It’s mostly about food when I’m in Delhi. But, I decided the next time I go, I’m going to do some touristy things, and visit some actual tourist spots that I only went when I was some 9-10 years old on a school trip, back when I was still living in Delhi.
So, here’s a few places that you must visit on your first trip to Delhi:
- Red Fort
This is the beginning one for Delhi right? And luckily, it’s situated like right next to Chandni Chowk.
Little about the place:
It was the main residence for the Mughal Emperors for about 200 years, after it was constructed by the emperor Shah Jahan. But, since then it’s been through a lot: Invaders and Britishers (or, you know the same thing!). Nowadays, it’s used as the location for Republic and Independence day in Delhi. It’s an iconic spot where the Indian flag flies high.
- Lotus Temple
Delhi’s architectural marvel, the Lotus temple is a beauty. The temple is open to all religions but needs you to be very, very quiet inside.
- Humayun’s Tomb
Inspired by Persian designs, it was a tomb to the Mughal emperor, Humayun.
- Akshardham Mandir
One of the most popular tourist spots in Delhi, the Akshardham Mandir is the main attraction of the Akshardham Complex. The beautiful temple is one of the most peaceful places to visit in Delhi. Keep in mind that you can’t really carry any cameras or mobile phones inside- so either leave them back in the hotel or in the car. Because the queue to storage is VERY long. There are photographers inside who will take picture inside for a reasonable fee.
- Tomb of Safdarjung
Because of the Mughal emperors, a lot of Delhi’s old architecture reflects Persian roots. This was built for Mughal Statesmen Safdarjung.
- Agrasen ki Baoli and Jantar Mantar
These are both really close to Connaught Place- and can be included when you’re in and around the area. Agrasen ki Baoli is said to be super old- older than the 14th century (when it was re-built!) and is a step well.
Jantar Mantar is a giant sundial, built in the 18th century.
- Hauz Khas Fort
If you’re in Delhi, you will end up in Hauz Khas Village- you know for a few bites and drinks. The whole place is built near the Hauz Khas Fort- that traces itself back to the 13th century. If you read about it carefully, it is essentially a giant water tank from the century.
- Lodhi Gardens
It’s a local hotspot for early morning walkers. There are three historical buildings that you should visit- including the Tomb of Sikander Lodi, the second of the very short-lived Lodi Dynasty.
- India Habitat Centre
Soak in Delhi’s culture. There’s an amazing American Diner while you’re there- and with several art galleries, and lush gardens- it’s a must visit.
- Dilli Haat
This one’s a tourist’s dream. Colourful little stores everywhere, with everything “desi” you’d want to buy. I took my friend, Lucy there, and both of us went completely mental and ended up having a very relaxing time there.
- Qutub Minar
This 5 floored piece of architecture is on several itineraries. But, because it’s in the south of Delhi, it’s sometimes bumped off last minute. I visited there so many times a kid from school.
- India Gate
This is a proud war memorial near Rajpath. It was a memorial for the Indian soldiers who died in France during the First World War. Underneath burns the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the eternal fire as a sign of respect to the immortal soldiers.
- Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
A Sikh Gurudwara, it’s also near Connaught Place. On the grounds is the Gurudwara, holy pond, a school and an art gallery.
- Jama Masjid
One of the largest mosques in India, it was built by Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan.