New Delhi Sightseeing
Sightseeing – New Delhi The independence movement took a turn to New Delhi when the British moved its capital from Calcutta to New Delhi on December 1911. Along with ancient historical sites, many buildings and monuments have been built since then, attracting tourists from all around the world. Most places charge an admission fee, so check the listings. Connaught Place Located in the heart of New Delhi, Connaught Place is the prime shopping location of the city. Named after England’s Duke of Connaught V to commemorate his visit to New Delhi, Connaught Place is always bustling with activity. Travelers can find restaurants and India’s finest boutiques at Connaught Place, with armed guards that stand in front of the jewelry stores. Palika Bazaar This underground shopping area is located under Connaught Place and near Central Park. The shops sell items not as high in quality as Connaught Place, but travelers can find a variety of CDs, silks, fabrics, and much more. If planning to make purchases, travelers must be able to bargain. Jantar Mantar Built by Maharaja Jai Singh, Jantar Mantar is the world’s largest stone observatory in the world. The observatory’s brick foundation was built with a coat of calcium carbonate. It has 6 sundials and many other instruments for observation. Admission is free. India Gate This memorial was built to honor Indian soldiers who were killed in WWI, the Indo-Pakistani War, and the Afghan War of 1919. The highlight of the memorial is the 42m wall covered with over 90,000 names of soldiers. The large grass area is a good place for picnics or just to take a break from a hectic day. Every January 26th, the Republic Day Parade takes place here. Vijay Chowk Vijay Chowk is the heart of Indian government as one of the fist locations to be built by the British when the capital was moved from Calcutta. The official residence of the president and other government buildings are located at Vijay Chowk. The president’s home has 34 decorative rooms. Adjacent to the residence is the official government building with over 1,000 rooms. Outside, there is a road that connects to India Gate and the majestic 171m capitol building. Lackshmi Temples Located 2km south of Connaught Place, this Hindu temple was built by the wealthy Birlas in 1938 to honor the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. The colorful fountain, the Orissan-style architecture, the Krishna statue, are just a few of the wonderful things to see at this beautiful temple. Purana Qila Also known as ‘Old Fort’, Purana Qila is the oldest region in New Delhi. This fort is where the bloody 16th century battle against Afghanistan took place. The great castle wall made of stone, the 3 gates, the octagonal 2-story tower called Sher Mandal, the strategic point of Lodi; laedl, and the museum off the main entrance, make this historical site a fascinating place to visit. Humayun’s Tomb This beautiful tomb set against lush gardens and palm trees is the resting place for Humayun, the 2nd Mughal emperor. Humayun’s wife built this tomb in 1565, 9 years after his death. Since then, many other Mughal leaders have been buried at this site. The 48m octagonal tomb is considered to be the landmark work of Mughal architecture. Qutb Minar The Qutb Minar is located 16km from central New Delhi. The 73m, 5-story stone tower with a 379-step staircase is the defining historical site of New Delhi. The construction of the Qutb Minar began in 1199 and was completed in 1206. It was built to mark the beginning of an era of India’s first Islamic kingdom. It also served as the tower for Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, the oldest mosque in India. Sightseeing – Old Delhi Lal Qila Also known as the ‘Red Fort’, Lal Qila began construction in 1639 by Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor, and was completed in 1648. This great Mughal monument with red sandstone walls stands 33.5m tall. One of the highlights of the fort is their Sound & Light Show held November ~ January at 7:30pm, February ~ April at 8:30pm, May ~ August at 9pm, and September ~ October at 8:30pm. Raj Ghat This memorial is dedicated to the father of India, Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was cremated at this site after his death in 1948. Only Gandhi?s last words, ‘Hai Ram’ (‘Oh God’) is on the monument. Hundreds of visitors come daily to pray and pay their respects to this great leader. To the north of Raj Ghat is Shanti Vana, another memorial dedicated to India’s other political heroes, such as Sanjay Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Jama Masjid Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India, standing at 36m long and 60m wide. Legend has it that the mosque took 5 years to build and cost Rs100,000. The mosque can hold up to 20,000 worshippers at one time. Nearby are shops and vegetarian restaurants. Chandni Chowk Located approximately 1,200m west of Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk is one of Old Delhi’s most popular attractions, with an array of shops and souvenirs. The back alleys of Dariba Kalan has many art & craft stores. The Delhi Station is just north of the central fountain, and Hindu, Jaina, and Sikh monestaries surround the area. Legend has it that Shah Jahan’s beloved daughter Jahanara Begum designed Chadni Chowk.