Intriguing Delhi - the sights of the Indian capital
Experience the charm of one of the oldest existing cities in the world - intriguing and full of contrasts Delhi. Here you will experience all emotions, from awe through excitement to surprise, and your senses will go wild with luscious colors, intense smells and ever-present bustle. The capital of India hides numerous monuments that will impress more than one traveler. Which ones? Explore New Delhi and check out its top tourist attractions!
Magical Delhi - sights and attractions of the Indian capital
Delhi - monuments and attractions - Kutb Minar
One of Delhi's oldest, as well as most visited monuments, is the Kutb Minar, a 72-meter tall sandstone minaret from the early 13th century. It was raised along with the country's first mosque. It was founded by the Muslim conqueror of the city Kutb ud-Din Ajbak, so in addition to its sacral functions it was obviously meant to symbolize the leader's victory. Next door you'll see the Alai Darwaza (Alauddin Gate), built by Sultan Alauddin Khalji in 1311. It, also made of red sandstone, from other similarities you can mention one chamber covered with a dome, as well as entrances in the form of arches. Around the site you'll find an archaeological zone with tombs and the remains of two other mosques, which were built with materials from more than a dozen demolished Hindu temples. The entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this proves that Delhi's monuments are valued not only in India, but all over the world!
Delhi - monuments and attractions - Taj Mahal
Delhi's most beautiful, important and spectacular Muslim monument is the Grand Mosque, also known as the Friday Mosque (Jama Masjid). It was built in the mid-17th century by order of Shahjahan, a ruler of the Great Mogul dynasty, on a hill in the center of the old city. Emperor Shahjahan was also the originator of another building - an architectural icon that attracts millions of tourists, the famous Taj Mahal. Built in memory of the ruler's prematurely deceased beloved wife, it consists of a main mausoleum with an onion-shaped dome and a large gate symbolizing the gateway to Paradise. The site showcases India's greatest architectural achievements from the Great Mongol era - no wonder why it has become one of the seven new wonders of the world!
Delhi - monuments and attractions - Red Fort and Gateway of India
The Grand Mosque and Taj Mahal are not Shahjahan's only construction achievements. Another memento of his reign is the Red Fort, built after the state capital was moved from Agra to New Delhi. It's hard to say what impresses more: whether the intense red color that gives it its name, or the size of the building, whose wall stretches for about 2.5 kilometers (and reaches heights of 15 to 33 meters, which is also quite impressive!), or the striking combination of Persian and Indian building traditions. The fort is also important from a symbolic point of view - it is understood that the hoisting of the Indian flag on the mast in 1947 marks the beginning of the country's independence from Britain. There is also a similar political dimension to the historic Gateway of India, which was erected in 1921-31 in honor of all Indians killed in World War I. Without a doubt, both sights of Delhi must be on your travel plan!
What else to see in Delhi?
Delhi - sights and attractions - Lotus Flower
A completely new building on the city's map is the Lotus Flower Temple, which belongs to followers of Bahaism, a monotheistic religion founded in Iran in the 19th century. It was built in 1986 and has a modern exterior that perfectly reflects its name. It has no religious symbols, making it regarded as an ecumenical site that is also enjoyed by believers of other faiths. As you can see, you will find religious monuments in original forms in Delhi!
Delhi - monuments and attractions - Great Tombs
In Delhi you will also find two monuments related to sepulchral art. The first, more popular, is the Tomb of Humayun, a Mogul monarch who ruled in the early 16th century. The structure resembles a grand palace in an oriental style - you can go inside and see the unremarkable interior, and then take a moment to breathe in the beautiful garden. Also be sure to visit the lesser-known but equally beautiful Safdarjung Mausoleum from the mid-18th century. Sandstone, marble, domes and monumental arches - the impression of spaciousness and monumentality strikes you from every nook and cranny. You must check it out with your own eyes!