Before jumping on to the list of amazing places to visit in Delhi, let’s first understand the important aspects related to Delhi. So that, your Delhi exploration can become more fulfilling.
Delhi is a city and union territory of India and contains New Delhi, which is the capital of India. Delhi has been the center of Indian politics for thousands of years. And because of its history and royal lineage, it has got that old charm which never fails to amaze.
Delhi is full of amazing historical monuments and has always been a popular destination for tourists from around the world. We will cover the 10 places to visit in Delhi in 2021.
If you wish to visit the northern region of India – it is most probable that you will take a flight to Delhi to reach India and start your tour from there. So, Delhi will be the first city you would want to explore on your expedition to India.
Delhi falls on the popular Golden Triangle circuit which contains the famous tourist destinations of Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi itself.
History of Delhi
Delhi’s original name is to be Indraprastha which built by Pandavas around 5,000 years ago in around 3000BC. Pandavas were five warrior brothers princes but exiled from their own Kingdom by their stepbrothers wrongfully. Because of this, it results in the epic ‘war of Kurukshetra’ which also document in the legendary scripture Mahabharat.
Several architectures from the ancient and medieval periods discovered by archaeologists. And the excavations are still going on.
Delhi ruled under King Ashok of the Mauryan empire in around 200 BC. Due to such a long old history of thousands of years, much of the history of Delhi is lost and has no records. Only the parts of it are found to be documented and verify with the scriptures, monuments, and the discoveries of the excavations.
Prithviraj Chauhan ruled the city from 1178 to 1192. In the year 1192, he defeated by Muhammed Ghori, a ruthless Muslim invader from Afghanistan. The Hindu empires began to crumble and it led to the start of the Muslim empire in northern India which will continue for the next 500 years.
In 1526, Babur from present-day Uzbekistan invaded India and defeated the Lodhi sultan in the first battle of Panipat. This led to the foundation of the Mughal empire that ruled from Delhi and Agra, which continued till the British. Their well-known emperors- Akbar, Shahjahan (who built the Taj Mahal in Agra), and Aurangzeb belonged to the Mughal Dynasty.
In 1803, the British East India Company defeated the Maratha forces, and in 1857 Britishers captured Delhi by defeating the Mughal’s last emperor ‘Bahadur Shah Zafar’. Britishers announced Delhi as the Capital of Britisher’s held territories in India. In 1927, Britishers rename it ‘New Delhi’, and in 1931, the inauguration done to announce New Delhi as the capital.
After India gained independence on 15th August 1947, New Delhi announces as the capital of the Union of India.
10 amazing places to visit in Delhi in 2021
I belong to Delhi and hence can assure you that in the below list you will see the best and most authentic places to visit covering the old Delhi as well as the New Delhi which will give you a fulfilling exposure to the rich culture and diversity of India.
Though there are hundreds of places to visit in Delhi it is mostly because several places develop to provide more spots to tourists. However, if you cover the below mentioned 10 places, you will cover what Delhi is all about. Hence, I am not mentioning the several budget markets (I already cover one of the most famous) and some of the recent architectures which
This list covers the historical monuments, old bazaars, and popular spots to elevate your taste buds with amazing Indian delicacies.
1. Red Fort
Red Fort in Old Delhi is one of the most famous monuments of India and no visit to Delhi is complete without covering the Red Fort, even for the locals. The built-in the year 1639 by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, this fort has served as a residence for Mughal Emperors since then.
The chief architect of this fort was Ustad Ahmad Lahori who was also the chief architect of the incredible Taj Mahal located in Agra which is about 233 kms away from Delhi.
Every year on Indian Independence Day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag on Red Fort and also gives a speech to address the Indian masses which broadcast live on Television.
2. Chandni Chowk Bazar & Gali Paranthe wali
Chandni Chowk establishes as a market by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan and his daughter Noorjahan in 1650, in front of the Red Fort. There used to be a water pool which surrounds by the half-moon-shaped market (now lost among the so many shops).
The water-pool then used to reflect the moonlight in the night, hence the name Chandni (Moonlight) Chowk (Square). The water-pool later replaced by a clock tower which is called Ghantaghar.
This used to be the biggest market in India with lots of silver merchants. Nowadays the bazaar is famous for its authenticity and delicacies. This is a wholesale market where locals shop for sarees and end the shopping with a meal of heavenly food.
If you roam around the market, you will be amazed by the variety of shops, the vibrant colors all around and food shops serving authentic Mughlai and other Indian food all around the market.
For foodies, there is a proper street name as ‘ Gali (Street) Paranthe (Pancakes) wali i.e street of pancakes. This street has age-old shops which serve the Indo-Mughal era dishes and also the modern famous food.
3. Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar is the tallest minaret in the world and is around 72.5 meters tall before the fifth final section was added to it in 1369. It is among the UNESCO world heritage site and is a popular tourist destination.
Qutubuddin Aibak started building this tower in the year 1169 when he was a deputy of then ruler Muhammad Ghori (who played the foundation of Muslim rule in India). Aibak’s son in law and successor, Iltutmish, later completed the 3 stories of the tower.
4. India Gate
The foundation stone of India Gate was laid in 1921 under the British rule in India to pay tribute to the 70,000 soldiers of the British India Army who fought in the first world war and Anglo-Afghan war.
It has the names of 13,300 servicemen including some soldiers from the UK. The memorial is often compared to the Arch of Constantine in Rome and the Arc of Triomphe in Paris.
5. Humayuns Tomb
Humayun’s tomb was commissioned by Mughal emperor Humayun’s wife Begam Bega in 1569 and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is an amazing reflection of Persian artwork. This was the first tomb garden of India and also the first tomb in which red sandstone was used on such a massive scale.
This monument is the tomb of Humayun and also has the graves of his wife’s Bega Begam and Hamida Begam and his great-grandson and son of later emperor Shahanjahan, Dara Shikoh. It also became the tomb of several subsequent Mughals.
6. Purana Qila
This is one of the oldest forts of India in Delhi. Puran Qila is the Urdu word for Old Fort. The archaeological survey of India has found the remains dated back to at least 2500 years.
This site is often refer to as ‘Indraprastha’ which was the capital of ‘Pandavas’ from the Mahabharat war period, as mentioned earlier in this article. Even until 1913, there was a village called ‘Indrapat’ inside the fort walls.
The archaeological findings and artifacts are exhibit in the museum inside the fort. Several other monuments were also built in the complex during the Mughal dynasty which also has great historical importance.
7. Akshardham Temple
Akshardham temple is a Hindu temple in Delhi. The complex displays millennia of traditional Hindu and Indian culture. It is the best spiritual campus in Delhi.
8. Jama Masjid
Masjid is the Urdu word for Mosque. This mosque built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan in 1650 with a cost of 1 million rupees. This Mosque is a pilgrimage site for the Muslim population in the country and lies in the old Delhi is very close to the Red Fort and Chandni Chowk.
9. Hauz Khas
It developed by Alauddin Khilji in the year 1296. ‘Hauz’ means water tank and ‘Khas’ means royal. The water reservoir is still preserve and the remains of medieval times around the reservoir attracts tourist for its peaceful and serene environment.
Along with the ancient remains it also offers an urban feel due to the development of a modern market comprising several food joints and boutiques.
10. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Gurudwara BanglaSahib is the most prominent place of worship for Sikhs in Delhi, India. In 1783 during the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Alam II, Guru Har Kishan (Eighth Sikh Guru) built it.
It is easily recognizable by Golden Dome and tall flagpole and also situated in Connaught place in Delhi. Connaught Place is the heart of New Delhi and has world-famous Indian Cuisine restaurants and top international clothing and accessories brands. It also has a famous bargain market called ‘Palika Bazaar’.
So, above is the list of 10 places which remain in my favorites as far as visiting Delhi s concerned.
Though, as said earlier, there are several other places that can be explored during your stay in Delhi. But, if you are coming on an India tour then you can’t spare all the days to Delhi, right? However, if you cover the above places or at least ~70% of the above places, your Delhi experience can be a fulfilling one.
Please let me know your thoughts on the above list and if there is any place which you would like to swap with any of the places mentioned in my list. Bon Voyage!!