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10 Must-See Attractions in Delhi

posted in: Asia  |  posted by: Ian Harrison on December 29, 2009  |  2 Comments

The vast, diverse capital of India has a wonderful panoply of attractions to enjoy. Like the rest of urban India, Delhi is a busy, frenetic hive of activity and a dynamic metropolis to boot.

This may present a formidable challenge to those of us who shudder at the thought of travel to a city of close to 16 million people. Yet to the intrepid visitor, Delhi charms and cajoles with landmarks old and new, phenomenal, affordable cuisine, museums, arts and culture galore. A splendid capital city not entirely devoid of social and infrastructure problems, Delhi has dozens of must-see attractions. We present ten of our favorites for your perusal.

10. Bahá’í House of Worship

The incredibly progressive Bahá’í House of Worship is more famously known throughout Delhi as the Lotus Temple. A relative newcomer on the cityscape, the thoroughly modern house of worship has become a top photo op in the capital city and has won many architecture awards.

9. Connaught Place

The veritable heart of Delhi is also the pulse point of the financial district. Home to many corporate headquarters, Connaught Place is a notable remnant of British rule and has many Georgian landmarks to show for it.

8. Akshardham

Delhi is awash with gorgeous temples and places of worship and the Akshardham Hindu complex is no exception. The vast majority of tourists to the city make a pilgrimage to Akshardham and no wonder. The complex is magnificent and the most comprehensive in the Hindu world.

7. Chhatarpur Temple

The Chhatarpur, or Adya Katyayani Temple complex, ranks second in size in India and was built in 1974. The vast shrine area covers almost a quarter of a square km and features many inherent temples and spiritual landmarks.

6. Lodi Gardens</strong

The fact that the Archaeological Survey of India protects Lodi Gardens in Delhi is proof enough that the park has many vital treasures to explore. The history of Lodi dates back to the late 15th century, when the mausoleum of the last Sayyid dynasty ruler was built. Since then, the serene calm of the Gardens has been ground zero for beauty and recreation in Delhi. With a lot to see in the premier city park, devote a few hours here.

5. National Museum

A National Museum is seldom not a go-to attraction in a capital city. The Delhi version is exceptional and quite immense. The museum has exhibits on just about every aspect of India’s prolific cultural legacy, from artifacts to artwork, jewelry to manuscripts.

4. Raj Ghat Memorials and National Gandhi Museum

Two landmarks in one form one of the best must-see attractions in Delhi. The eternal flame of Raj Ghat marks a prominent memorial to Mahatma Gandhi but tributes to other major figures throughout India’s history, from Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi serve to inspire and educate visitors as well. The National Gandhi Museum rounds out this must-see area of Delhi.

3. Qutab Minar Complex

We end our look at Delhi with three excellent UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first is the incredible Qutab Minar Complex, which dates back to the 12th century. The exemplar of Indo-Islamic architecture receives more annual visitors than the Taj Mahal.

2. Tomb of Humayun

A foremost archetype of Mughal design ingenuity, the 16th century Tomb of Humayun is a red sandstone marvel. Subject to a superb restoration effort which endures to the present day, the mausoleum is one of the most remarkable in the world, if not India.

1. Red Fort Complex

The Red Fort, or Delhi Fort, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Construction on the popular capital city landmark began at the behest of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in the early 17th century. The complex is massive and was once home to more than 3,000 people. As a result, book a few hours to fully explore the must-see attraction.

Check out superb hotel deals in the capital of India.

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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