- Old Delhi(=walled city)
The lively, chaotic Old Delhi with its narrow alleys, founded in 1639, is a must to visit. Back then chic gardens, mosques and mansions as well as elegant people dominated the cityscape. Nowadays it is a pretty crowded area with a rustic charm, narrow lanes and tiny shops, and an important part of Delhi.
- New Delhi (=the British city)
New Delhi was designed by British architects and also called “the British city”. Compared to Old Delhi it is a lot less chaotic, but rather tidy and neat. New Delhi is the capital city of India, and residents the Indian government as well as many international organisations. In northern India it is the largest commercial city.
- Jama Masjid
The biggest mosque in India, and even one of the largest ones in the whole world, is located in Delhi. Three gates, four towers and two minarets characterize the red sandstone and white marble mosque. The site reveals an impressive view overlooking Old and New Delhi.
Visitors are urged to dress discreetly by covering arms and legs.
- Red Fort (=Lal Qila) (HOHO route)
The Red Fort is an enormous fortification and palace complex located at the Eastern shore of the river Yamuna in Old Delhi. If you plan on visiting the Red Fort in Agra however, then looking at the red sandstone complex from the outside is enough.
- India Gate (HOHO route)
The India Gate is the Arc de Triomphe of Delhi – it bears an uncanny resemblance to it. In its 42 metre high walls it holds the names of 85,000 Indian and British soldiers who lost their lives during WWI and the third Afghan war.
- Humayun’ Tomb (HOHO route)
Nestled in geometrical laid out gardens and watercourses resides the splendid tomb. From afar the 43 metre tall building resembles the famous Taj Mahal in Agra. At the upper platform visitors are able to enjoy the beautiful view over the oasis of calm. Especially in the afternoon with the fabulous light the complex is worth a visit. Inside the domed building one will marvel at the colourful walls and ceilings.
With good reason it was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and counts to the well worth seeing buildings in Delhi.
The money spent on the admissions fee, is well invested.
- Safdarjung’s Tomb (HOHO route)
The Safdarjung Tomb is a garden tomb in the South of Delhi. In 1753 Safdarjung’ son built this tomb for his father. A big park with watercourses surrounds this mausoleum.
- Qutab Minar (HOHO route)
The world’s tallest brick minaret, Qutb Minar, is located in the southern part of the city surrounded by gardens, sepulchres and ruins. The 70 metre tall tower used to be open for tourists to go upstairs but since an accident happened a few years ago, visitors can only look at it from the ground. Tourists and natives are separated at the entrance as Indians get in a lot cheaper than visitors do – for locals 10RS and foreigners 250RS. Nevertheless is it still worth a visit.
The five story triumphal column was built with red sandstone, and is covered with beautiful but intricate carvings and verses.
- Raj Ghat (HOHO route)
Raj Ghat is the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi and can be found in a park at the river side of Yamuna. A plain black block of marble indicates where he was laid to rest.
- The Purana Qila (=Old Fort) (HOHO route)
With some 5000 years on the hump the Old Fort is the oldest fortress in Delhi. On top of a hill the remains of the fort can be visited by tourists.
- Lotus Temple (HOHO route)
The temple with the spectacular architecture got its name from its form resembling a lotus flower. It is surrounded by nine water tanks and made out of marble cement, dolomite and sand. In the inner part of the lotus flower people from all nations and religions are welcome to pray or meditate. It ranks among the most visited monuments in India.
- Jantar Mantar (HOHO route)
Jantar Mantar is one of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in 1724. Group tours on regular basis will give interested tourists more information about the 13 oversized observation instruments.
- Salaam Baalak Trust
Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) translated means “salute the children” and is a program that supports street and working kids in Delhi. Since 1988, the organization provides education, basic schooling, health care, trainings, sports, counselling and job placement for children who are in need.
2007 they established the City Walk Program, which is an English tour of almost 2 hours guided by former street children. During the walk the guides share their personal story and lead the participants through the streets of the inner city where they once lived and worked. With being part of this special tour, tourists not only get a glance of what those kids went through and experience something far from the main attractions, but also contribute to enable more opportunities to help the children.
- Akshardham Temple
Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit everything in Delhi. We started off with the sights located on the HOHO route and time flew by, so in the end we had no time left to visit this beautiful, a little outside of the city located temple complex. Following information is just what I have heard about it 😉
Security guidelines are pretty strict; no camera, no mobile phone, no food, no shoes, just water and a small wallet. However does the temple provide storage rooms, where tourists are able to leave their things during their visit.
The entrance is for free, but extra attractions like picture documentations, water shows and information films. The complex includes the beautiful temple and a lot of gardens and what I have heard of is definitely worth a visit.
- Connaught Place (Rajiv Gandhi Chowk)
The Connaught Place is a huge circular place in the northern part of New Delhi. The fixed scale of 8 starlike streets running away from the Connaught Place let visitors know immediately that they are no longer in the chaotic Old Delhi, but rather in the well structured New Delhi. Whereas the circle is surrounded by noble shops and restaurants the centre is a big nice park.
In memory of the past premier minister Rajiv Gandhi Chowk, who got killed in an assassination, the place got named after him. But most people still call it Connaugth Place.
Delhi has to offer a lot of those Asian markets and bazaars – crowded, colourful, cheap prices once bargained, spices, an overload on exotic goods… Dilli Haat, Janpath Market and Lajpat Nagar Market are some that are located on the HOHO route.
Generally, it is advisable to be very careful with your belongings and don’t pay the prize the sellers ask you to pay – bargain bargain bargain. They would never sell anything if they didn’t profit from it anymore. But other than that, enjoy the colors and smells, and let yourself soak into the Indian market life 🙂
Extra information: Behind a few sights I put the words “HOHO route”. HOHO stands for “hop on hop off” and is a bus route connecting those sights. The bus stops are marked with a sign and located close to those tourist attractions. It is a really great way to get around Delhi.