It's a tough task when it comes to choose top 10 places to visit in a city as old as Delhi. Continually inhabited since 300 BCE with built destroyed and rebuilt 7 times, New Delhi is currently in its 8th avatar rising from its own ashes like a phoenix every time it was laid to waste.
Rise and fall of mighty empires have ensured that Delhi is dotted with an array of monuments and relics of the past of this ancient city. Here's a list of the top 10 places to visit in Delhi (not necessarily in ascending or descending order).
Although activities and things to do in Delhi are not limited to these destinations/attractions, but these 10 iconic places do present to visitors, the myriad hues of New Delhi, blending seamlessly the ancient and the modern.
Probably not the iconic image of Delhi but unarguably the most splendid work of Mughal Architecture in the capital, Humayun’s Tomb is UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site and definitely tops the list of must visit place.
The structure will give you a glimpse of the iconic Taj as it was here that the Persian Charbagh style was put to test by the Mughal architects and was later perfected in the construction of Taj Mahal in Agra.
|Humayun's Tomb: A UNESCO World Heritage Site|
Dilli Haat is an open-air food plaza cum craft bazaar located in Delhi near INA (AIIMS), run by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC).
There are over 62 craft shops inside this plaza where artisans from every corner of this vast country gather to sell and showcase their handicraft. Then there are food stall offering savory cuisines for the platter of guests. Eat here to get an authentic taste of the pan-Indian cuisines in an enchanting ethnic setting.
Once the pivot of the mighty Mughal Empire, Red Fort, or what’s left of it, is stark reminder of ephemeral nature of empires and powers that be.Once a sprawling fortress complex with an array of palaces and grand structures, lush courtyards and cascading waterholes; Red Fort today is only a shadow of its majestic past.
The significance of this structure is evident in the fact that it was here that the flag of India was hoisted when she gained independence from British Raj, a tradition which is still observed on each anniversary of Indian Independence Day. The Red Fort
was declared a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ in 2007.
|View of the front facade of Red Fort|
One of the modern marvels of architecture, this sprawling temple complex by the bank of Yamuna is a sight to behold.The architecture and design of this temple complex is a manifestation of the time tested ancient traditions of Hindu culture, beliefs and spirituality which has percolated down the ages.
The popularity of this temple is evident in the fact that 7 out of 10 people who visit Delhi pay their visit to Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple.The son-et-lumiere (musical fountain) show in the complex is the most popular attraction and most recommended too.
|Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple|
A haven of overseas travelers throughout the year, Khan Market is all drenched in the hues of Christmas this time of the year.This high-end shoppers and foodies paradise is located at a short distance from Connaught Place and also well connected to Delhi Metro.
Khan Market shopping complex houses an array of gourmet food joints and plush restaurants serving cuisines domestic and international cuisines.Then there are gift shops, bookshops, boutiques and fast food joints to keep the shoppers on their toes.
|A view of the floodlit India Gate after sunset|
Attribute it on the British or the location of this war memorial, India Gate is arguably the most iconic and enduring symbol of New Delhi.
It was build to commemorate the Indian and British soldiers who lost their life during Second World War. Evening is perhaps the best time to visit this resplendent structure when it is floodlit while the fountains nearby make mesmerizing display of varied hues.
Rajghat (Gandhi Memorial)
Rajghat is the place where India’s ‘Father of the Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi’s remains are buried. Einstein when said that people years from now would find it impossible to believe that a person like Gandhi ever walked this earth.
Mahatma Gandhi is best known for his philosophy of Non Violence or Amimsa. A visit to this serene memorial of Gandhi who inspired leaders like Martin Luther and Nelson Mandela is definitely recommended as one of the things to do in Delhi.
Lotus Temple or the Baha’i House of Worship located in Greater Kailash is a spectacular specimen of contemporary architecture and one of the must visit places in Delhi.
The choice of Lotus was a conscious decision of the architect Furiburz Sabha as lotus is an important symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Believers of any faith could visit this temple to pray and meditate.
|Lotus Temple or the Baha'i House of Worship|
[ Read More About Louts Temple ]
Once known as the old Lady Wellington Park, Lodi Garden is a verdant refuge located indelhi renowned for monuments belonging to the Sultanate period in Delhi. The Tomb of Muhammad Shah and Sikander Lodi are the prime attraction in the park.
The garden is well manicured and also offers ample opportunity to photographers. There’s a eponymous restaurant too located at the edge of park offering succulent cuisines in nonchalant ambience.