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What to Do in Delhi: Top Places to Visit
By November 1, 2023 No Comments

What to Do in Delhi: Top Places to Visit

Delhi, India’s dynamic capital, is a veritable storehouse of historical and cultural riches. The city’s glorious past is meticulously conserved through a myriad of splendid monuments and heritage sites. India tours are incomplete without including Delhi. In this article, we invite you to embark on a voyage through time, delving into some of the city’s most iconic and historically profound landmarks. From the majestic Red Fort to the towering grace of Qutab Minar, and from the poignant India Gate to the tranquil ambiance of Humayun’s Tomb, each monument weaves a narrative of India’s opulent heritage. From strolling the streets at the heart of Old Delhi, tasting the delicious street food, to going to colorful shopping places, your quest to know what to do in Delhi ends here!

The Cities: The Heartbeat of the Golden Triangle

The Red Fort: A Glimpse into Mughal Splendor

The Red Fort in Delhi, commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638, is a historic marvel. It experienced damage during Nadir Shah’s invasion in 1739 and the 1857 Revolt. Spanning 255 acres, it showcases diverse architectural styles, including Islamic, Hindi, Timurid, and Persian, with red sandstone walls, turrets, and pavilions. Today, it’s a prominent tourist spot, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, and houses attractions like the Red Fort Complex, the evening light and sound show, and more. Tickets can be purchased at the fort or online.

Qutab Minar: Where History Touches the Sky

Another of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that graces Delhi is the awe-inspiring Qutab Minar. This towering beauty is the epitome of Indo-Islamic architecture and stands as a remarkable symbol of Delhi’s rich heritage.

The Qutab Minar soars to a height of 73 meters and is a stunning example of the amalgamation of different architectural styles over the centuries. Its intricately carved sandstone surface is a canvas depicting the tales of victory and valor.

Exploring the Qutab Minar complex offers a glimpse into the history of Delhi’s earliest Islamic rulers. One can marvel at the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the Iron Pillar of Delhi, and the Alai Darwaza, each a piece of the city’s heritage puzzle.

India Gate: A Monument of Remembrance

India Gate in New Delhi, akin to the “Arc-de-Triomphe,” commemorates 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the First World War. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, its construction began in 1921, dedicated a decade later by Viceroy Lord Irwin. Amar Jawan Jyoti, a post-independence addition, honors those fallen in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.

The structure, set on a red Bharatpur stone base, ascends through stages to a grand molding. Its cornice displays Imperial suns, with “INDIA” inscribed on both sides, flanked by 1914 and 1919. The shallow domed bowl, initially for burning oil on anniversaries, is seldom used.

In the evenings, India Gate is illuminated, complemented by fountains’ captivating lights. It stands as Rajpath’s endpoint, encompassing the ‘India Gate’ area. The well-kept lawns are a popular spot for picnics, especially during summer evenings, when visitors revel in the well-lit atmosphere.

Humayun’s Tomb: A Mughal Gem

Named after the Mughal Emperor Humayun, this tomb is his final resting place, and it’s located in the Nizamuddin East area of Delhi. Notably, it’s the first garden tomb of its kind in the Indian subcontinent. Empress Bega Begum, Humayun’s chief consort, initiated the construction of this remarkable architectural masterpiece, and the tomb was built from 1569-70. Its extensive use of red sandstone during that era is a distinguishing feature. Designed in the typical Mughal style with Persian influences, it was the brainchild of Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyath. Due to its historical and architectural significance, it earned a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1993.

The architectural grandeur of Humayun’s Tomb is captivating. This magnificent mausoleum is ensconced within a meticulously designed Mughal Garden, and its allure is particularly pronounced during the winter months. Positioned along the Yamuna River’s banks, it not only serves as Emperor Humayun’s final resting place but also houses the remains of numerous other Mughals, including his wives, sons, descendants of Emperor Shah Jahan, and later Mughal rulers.

What to do in delhi

The Spiritual Sojourn: Places of Worship

1. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib: A Sanctuary of Serenity

Situated at the core of central Delhi, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib stands as a serene and sacred refuge amidst the bustling urban landscape. This significant Sikh place of worship is renowned for its tranquil atmosphere and unwavering dedication to acts of selfless service.

As you enter the gurudwara, you’re greeted by the soothing sounds of hymns (kirtan) that resonate through its marble halls. The shimmering Sarovar (pond) within the complex adds to the sense of tranquility. Devotees and visitors are encouraged to partake in the Karah Prasad, a sanctified offering, and to experience the community spirit of the langar—a free meal served to all, regardless of their background.

The langar, in particular, is a unique and heartwarming experience. Volunteers tirelessly prepare and serve wholesome vegetarian meals to everyone, fostering a sense of equality and unity. Visitors are welcome to join in, contributing to a heartening sense of community.

2. Lotus Temple: Embracing the Bahá’í Faith

Located in South Delhi, the Lotus Temple is a remarkable place of worship that represents the Bahá’í Faith. Its distinctive lotus-like architectural design is not only a visual marvel but also symbolizes purity and universality.

As you approach the temple, its pristine white marble petals unfurl gracefully against the Delhi skyline. Inside, the serene environment encourages reflection and meditation. The central hall, devoid of religious icons, serves as a platform for silent contemplation and prayer.

The Lotus Temple embraces the Bahá’í principle of welcoming people of all faiths, promoting unity and inclusivity. This makes it a unique place where individuals from various backgrounds can seek solace and connect with their inner spirituality.

3. Jama Masjid: A Grand Mosque of Old Delhi

Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, one of India’s largest mosques, is a stunning red sandstone and marble masterpiece initiated by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1644. Often dubbed “Masjid-I-Jahanuma” or the “mosque commanding the view of the world,” it boasts a vast courtyard accessible from the north, south, and east via historic staircases. The courtyard, elevated 10 meters, features three gates, two soaring 40-meter-high minarets, and four towers providing splendid views of bustling Old Delhi.

Jama Masjid is renowned for housing sacred relics of Prophet Mohammad, including a Quran written on deerskin, the Prophet’s sandals and footprint in marble, and a red hair strand believed to be from his beard.

Designed by the renowned Mughal architect Ostad Khalil, legend has it that the eastern gate was once reserved for the royal family.

The mosque is most enchanting during the festive celebrations of Id-ul-Fitr and Id-ul-Zoha, attracting devotees from across the nation.

Modern Delhi: Leisure and Entertainment

Delhi, the dynamic capital of India, is not just steeped in history but also boasts a vibrant contemporary scene. Modern Delhi offers an array of leisure and entertainment options that cater to diverse interests.

1. Dilli Haat: A Cultural Extravaganza

Located in South Delhi, Dilli Haat is a cultural and culinary haven. This open-air marketplace is a hub for traditional crafts, handlooms, and delectable snacks. The ambiance is a riot of colors and cultural diversity, offering a glimpse of India’s myriad traditions. You can shop for exquisite handicrafts and artifacts, savor regional cuisines from different Indian states, and enjoy folk performances that reflect the country’s rich heritage.

2. Hauz Khas Village: Where History Meets Modernity

Hauz Khas Village is a captivating neighborhood that beautifully melds history with contemporary charm. Stroll through its narrow lanes and explore boutique stores, and art galleries, and get a taste of quaint New Delhi restaurants. It’s also known for its buzzing nightlife with an array of Delhi clubs, offering a diverse range of music and experiences. The highlight of this area is the picturesque Hauz Khas Fort and the adjacent Deer Park, providing a scenic retreat from the urban bustle.

3. Connaught Place: The Epicenter of Entertainment

Connaught Place, or CP as it’s fondly called, is the pulsating heart of New Delhi. This circular market area is a hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment. You’ll find high-end shops, international brands, and charming boutiques. When it comes to food, the choices are endless, from street food stalls to fine-dining restaurants. Don’t miss the delightful Cha Bar, a haven for tea enthusiasts offering an extensive range of tea blends. CP is also a venue for cultural events, art exhibitions, and live performances.

4. F9-Go-Karting: Unleash Your Inner Speedster

Wondering what to do in Delhi as an adventure enthusiast? F9-Go-Karting is the ultimate destination for those who crave adventure and exhilaration. Situated in the city center, it provides an electrifying avenue to invigorate your senses. Take on the challenge of navigating high-speed go-karts around a meticulously crafted circuit, engaging in friendly competition with your companions. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned racer, the adventure guarantees enjoyment and a surge of excitement for everyone.

Modern Delhi caters to the evolving interests and passions of its residents and visitors. From cultural exploration at Dilli Haat to the fusion of history and contemporary life in Hauz Khas Village, and the vibrant shopping and dining scene at Connaught Place, there’s something for everyone. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, F9-Go-Karting ensures an action-packed adventure right in the heart of the city.

Natural Retreats: Parks, Gardens, and Zoo

Delhi, the bustling metropolis that it is, may surprise you with its many pockets of greenery and serene escapes amidst the urban chaos. Amidst the towering structures and busy streets, you’ll find a delightful collection of parks and gardens, each offering a unique experience for nature lovers and those seeking a tranquil retreat. Let’s explore some of the notable natural retreats that adorn the city.

1. Lodhi Garden: A Historic Oasis in the Heart of the City

Nestled close to Safdarjung’s Tomb and Khan Market in Delhi, you’ll discover Lodhi Garden, a lush haven that not only serves as the final resting place for two historical figures – Sayyid ruler Mohammed Shah and Lodhi king Sikandar Lodhi – but also boasts architectural marvels like the Shisha Gumbad and Bara Gumbad within its leafy confines. This beautiful garden is a testament to Delhi’s rich heritage, with its architecture seamlessly blending Sayyid and Lodhi styles, showcasing splendid engineering dating back to the 15th century. Today, it’s lovingly maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Once known as ‘Lady Willingdon Park,’ Lodhi Garden received a name change after India’s independence from British colonial rule. The garden’s tranquil greenery provides a striking backdrop to the stately mausoleums, making it a beloved destination for both tourists and locals. Beyond its historical and architectural significance, it has become a popular spot for residents to enjoy their morning and evening exercise routines.

2. Garden of Five Senses: A Sensory Wonderland

Tucked away in South Delhi, the Garden of Five Senses is a delightful escape that offers a sensory experience like no other. This expansive garden is designed with themed areas, each dedicated to one of the five senses – touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste.

One of the best leisure spots in Delhi, this garden invites you to explore its various facets. In the “Khas Bagh,” the central area, you’ll encounter beautiful sculptures, including M.F. Husain’s famed artwork. The “Neel Bagh” or the blue garden delights your senses with vibrant flowers and a serene water feature. In the “Color Garden,” you’ll be visually transported to a vibrant world of blossoms in myriad hues. Explore the dedicated fragrant plant area, where you can immerse yourself in the delightful scents of blooming flowers.

The Garden of Five Senses is more than just a feast for your eyes and nose; it’s a lively hub for cultural events and festivals. You can enjoy art exhibitions, music performances, and a variety of cultural activities here. With its enchanting ambiance, the garden is a top pick for hosting weddings and other joyous celebrations.

For those seeking relaxation, you can unwind on the well-kept lawns or enjoy a peaceful walk around, surrounded by the diverse flora. The garden’s innovative design and the sheer variety of experiences it offers make it one of Delhi’s most celebrated leisure destinations.

3. Deer Park

Nestled adjacent to Hauz Khas Village, Deer Park is a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and home to various animals, including deer, providing an opportunity for up-close observation. The park also serves as an excellent location for birdwatching and capturing wildlife through photography.

Deer Park offers more than just wildlife encounters; it’s an ideal setting for picnics, strolls, and outdoor fitness routines thanks to its well-kept walking and jogging paths. You’ll find peaceful lawns for relaxation and can wander around different areas, such as the charming Duck Park with its ponds, perfect for tranquil walks. Throughout the year, the park offers a picturesque backdrop for photographers and nature lovers, allowing them to capture its scenic beauty, the regal deer, and the vibrant avian population.

Moreover, Deer Park boasts historical significance with the presence of medieval structures like the Kali Gumti and Bagh-I-Alam Ka Gumbad, enhancing the park’s appeal and offering a glimpse into the city’s bygone eras.

Deer Park is a versatile natural haven in South Delhi, offering a refreshing fusion of wildlife, history, and leisure. Whether you’re a birdwatcher, wildlife aficionado, or simply someone seeking serenity in the great outdoors, this park caters to diverse interests.

4. National Zoological Park

Situated near Old Fort in Delhi, the National Zoological Park is a highly popular tourist attraction. It was initially named Delhi Zoo but was later renamed to serve as a model zoo in the country.

The National Zoological Park provides a natural habitat for numerous wild and domestic animals. It is home to approximately 1,300 animals from around 130 Indian and international species, serving as both a sanctuary and a breeding ground for these creatures. Nestled amidst the bustling city of Delhi, this natural haven offers a tranquil escape for its residents.

Among the captivating animals residing in the zoo are spider monkeys, Asiatic lions, Royal Bengal tigers, zebras, Indian rhinoceroses, brow-antlered deer, swamp deer, giraffes, Gir lions, and migratory birds like peafowls and various waterfowl. These creatures draw visitors from all corners of the world. In addition to these animals, the zoo also provides shelter for several reptiles, with a designated underground habitat for them.

One notable achievement of the zoo is its successful breeding program for antlered deer, which commenced in 1962. Over the subsequent decades, the deer population flourished, and these deer were subsequently relocated to various zoos in Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Junagarh, Mysore, and Kanpur.

For the Foodies: Street Food and Dining

Still wondering what to do in Delhi? New Delhi restaurants and old Delhi street food have quite a good reputation among tourists. So get ready to go into a food coma after visiting the city’s most famous food places.

1. Khan Market

Khan Market, strategically situated near the heart of the city and near some of Delhi’s renowned monuments, is a well-known shopping district characterized by its blend of high-end brand stores, vibrant street shopping, and celebrated dining establishments. Its history dates back to 1951, and today, it stands as one of the most exclusive and expensive markets in Delhi.

The shopping complex, designed in a U-shaped layout, boasts a diverse range of shops. Visitors can wander around bookstores, silver jewelry boutiques, electronics outlets, grocers, kitchenware emporiums, and home decor showrooms. Khan Market is synonymous with upscale and elegant merchandise, making it a magnet for expatriates and diplomats hailing from various corners of the world.

While navigating the bustling streets and indulging in street-side shopping for clothing, accessories, or jewelry, haggling is an essential skill, as shopkeepers often initially quote higher prices. Beyond its reputation as a shopping destination, Khan Market is also a haven for food enthusiasts. It offers a plethora of dining options catering to various budgets. Whether you prefer the ambiance of a Khan Market restaurant, the flavorful delights of street food vendors, or the laid-back charm of cafes, you’ll find a culinary experience that suits your taste and budget. Khan Market truly encompasses the essence of shopping and dining in Delhi, offering a blend of sophistication, cultural diversity, and culinary delights.

2. Pandara Road

Found in the city’s center, Pandara Road is a locale celebrated for its high-end dining establishments. If you aspire to enjoy a luxurious dining experience and relish local delicacies crafted to culinary perfection, this district is your ultimate destination. The road serves as a vibrant hub for discerning connoisseurs who are in pursuit of an exquisite gourmet culinary adventure. Several of New Delhi’s finest restaurants are nestled in this neighborhood, each offering a unique culinary journey. Whether you have a penchant for North Indian, Mughlai, or international cuisines, Pandara Road provides a smorgasbord of dining options to please your taste buds. From succulent kebabs to rich curries, and aromatic biryanis to mouthwatering desserts, Pandara Road is a culinary treasure trove that promises an unforgettable dining experience.

3. Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk, often referred to as the bustling spice market of Delhi, is a multifaceted gem for anyone passionate about food. Beyond its reputation as a vibrant marketplace, it is also a culinary haven where food enthusiasts can embark on a delightful gastronomic journey. Chandni Chowk’s streets are lined with food vendors and eateries offering a rich tapestry of authentic Delhi street food. Here, you can savor a diverse array of traditional dishes and delectable sweets that truly embody the essence of Delhi’s culinary culture. Whether you’re craving spicy chaat, sumptuous parathas, mouthwatering jalebis, or any of the city’s iconic street food delights, Chandni Chowk has it all. It’s a place where your taste buds can explore the myriad flavors and spices that make Delhi’s street food scene legendary. Various street food vendors await your arrival to get the right taste of Delhi!

For Shopping: A Shopper’s Paradise

Certainly! Delhi offers a diverse array of shopping experiences, and here are four renowned places to shop, each with its unique charm:

1. Sarojini Nagar Market

Nestled in South Delhi, Sarojini Nagar Market is a haven for budget-conscious shoppers. This bustling market is celebrated for its affordable and trendy fashion. Visitors here can explore a wide range of clothing, accessories, footwear, and more, all available at very reasonable prices. Bargaining is the norm, and you’ll often find fashionable items at incredibly affordable rates. It’s the go-to place for anyone looking to update their wardrobe without overspending.

2. Dilli Haat

Situated in South Delhi, Dilli Haat is akin to an open-air treasure chest that proudly displays the rich tapestry of India’s arts, crafts, and delectable cuisines. A visit here promises a sensory delight, offering a vast array of handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and an assortment of other items just waiting to be explored and savored. Each stall represents a different Indian state, showcasing its unique culture and craftsmanship. It’s an excellent place to purchase souvenirs, immerse yourself in traditional artistry, and sample regional delicacies. Dilli Haat provides a true taste of India’s rich heritage.

3. Karol Bagh

Karol Bagh Market in the western part of Delhi is famous for its souvenir shopping and is a go-to place for tourists. It’s also a wedding shopping hub with an array of lehenga cholis and accessories. The market serves as a wholesale bazaar and extends to nearby areas like Gaffar Market and Book Market.

The main street is lined with stalls and shops offering clothing, footwear, accessories, home decor, and more. Bargaining is key for good deals on quality items. There are “Custom Shops” claiming to sell original branded products at low prices, though quality can vary. The market also has a variety of eateries and food stalls to satisfy your hunger.

4. Chandni Chowk

Located in the historic quarter of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk offers an exhilarating shopping experience. This iconic market is renowned for its bustling and chaotic atmosphere, where narrow lanes are teeming with activity. Chandni Chowk is a treasure trove of traditional Indian clothing, intricate jewelry, fragrant spices, and delectable street food. While navigating the labyrinthine alleys might be a bit overwhelming, the market rewards shoppers with unique finds and local specialties. It’s a vibrant and colorful snapshot of India’s cultural and shopping heritage.

What to do in delhi

Off the Beaten Path: Unique Delhi Experiences

1. Nehru Planetoarium

The Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi is situated amidst the green expanses of Teen Murti House.

It stands as a commemoration of the legacy of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, and this site carries significant historical importance as it was once the home of the former Prime Minister. The planetarium is a valuable repository of information on space and cosmology, delivered through engaging audiovisual presentations that enable visitors to establish a profound connection with the stars.

It hosts regular interactive sessions, and art competitions, and showcases an array of stellar space equipment, making it a major attraction for tourists.

Formally recognized as the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, the museum was inaugurated in 1984 by the former Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi. Its primary mission is to advance the cause of science and astronomy in India, a cause passionately championed by Chacha Nehru himself. The facility is furnished with state-of-the-art telescopes, solar filters, and projectors that provide a captivating perspective on almost 2 million stars, imparting a profound sense of the immensity of the cosmos. Distinctive attractions encompass the dome-shaped Sky Theatre and the Soyuz T-10 capsule, which transported India’s inaugural cosmonaut, Rakesh Sharma, into space. Attracting an annual crowd of nearly 200,000 visitors, the planetarium is a coveted spot for those in search of a glimpse into the vast universe beyond our world.

2. India Habitat Centre

Located on the upscale Lodhi Road in Delhi, the India Habitat Centre is a versatile edifice that houses distinct zones dedicated to commercial activities, culinary delights, and social interactions. It stands as one of the city’s most comprehensive convention centers, notable not only for its stunning architecture but also for its world-class auditoriums, extensive library, multi-cuisine restaurants, and a picturesque amphitheater, all enveloped by a serene ambiance.

Encompassing a sprawling nine-acre expanse, this remarkable campus is the brainchild of visionary architects Joseph Stein, Doshi, and Bhalla.

Since its founding in 1993, this center has impressively evolved from a traditional workspace into a vibrant hub for art exhibitions, music events, cultural festivals, and more. It’s now a premier cultural destination that enriches the local community and encourages collaboration across various sectors of society.

3. Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple is a famous Hindu temple and cultural complex dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, celebrated for its size and architecture, earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Akshardham Temple is celebrated for its breathtaking architecture, boasting eight intricately carved mandapams that adorn its structure. The temple’s walls are adorned with timeless Hindu teachings and vibrant devotional traditions. At its heart, the Murti of Lord Swaminarayan takes center stage, surrounded by 20,000 deities, notable figures from Indian history, and revered sages. Together, they encapsulate the essence of Indian architecture, traditions, and enduring spiritual wisdom.

The Akshardham complex offers a wealth of attractions, including India’s largest step well, which hosts a captivating water show, an expansive open garden, Narayan Sarovar, a range of exhibitions, and spiritual rituals. This complex serves as a veritable paradise for those in search of spiritual enlightenment.

Delhi, the dynamic and multifaceted capital of India, seamlessly combines its illustrious past with contemporary life. Travelers can explore a broad spectrum of attractions, ranging from magnificent historical landmarks like the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, and Jama Masjid to peaceful green spaces like Lodhi Garden and the Garden of Five Senses. Delhi’s cultural vibrancy is reflected in its bustling markets like Sarojini Nagar, Chandni Chowk, and Dilli Haat, where you can indulge in shopping for traditional crafts and savor delectable street food. For a dose of spirituality and architectural grandeur, the Akshardham Temple and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib provide serene and culturally enriching experiences.

The city also caters to enthusiasts of astronomy with the Nehru Planetarium and offers a diverse cultural experience at the India Habitat Centre. Animal lovers can explore the National Zoological Park to witness a variety of wildlife in a natural habitat.

Delhi has something for everyone. Check out our Delhi tours page to learn more about what to do in Delhi, check out our India tours page. If you need any help in planning your trip to India, reach out to us and our experts will be happy to help.


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