If you are a history lover or a connoisseur of culture, the Indian capital New Delhi ought to be on your bucket list.
Few countries can boast of such a long and continuous culture as India. The sheer diversity of traditions and the intermingling of various cultures over thousands of years in the subcontinent has only made it richer beyond imagination.
Delhi, being in the thick of action for most of its history owing to its geographic location, has seen numerous empires rise and fall. The visible signs of this are its grandiose monuments, of which there is no dearth. You’ll run out of time and yet there will be plenty to see and do here. But for the lovers of culture, the following are must-see items when visiting Delhi.
1. Red Fort
This iconic structure is a “symbol of India .” This is where the Indian tricolor is hoisted each year on the Indian Independence Day (Aug. 15) by the prime minister of the country.
Tracing its origin back to 1648, its standout feature is the red sandstone it is made of, hence its name. The Red Fort was commissioned to be built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (the man behind the Taj Mahal). The architecture is stunningly ornamental, and a fusion of Persian, Islamic, and Hindu traditions.
2. Qutub Minar
Constructed in 1192 by the Qutub-ud-din Aibak, this world heritage site is a feat of engineering.
One understands the full brilliance of this monument only when one sees it up and close in person. The 5-storied tower gives an amazing bird’s eye view of the city. You’ll have to climb 379 steps to get to the top, and on your way you will pass engraved into the sandstone walls verses from the Holy Quran.
3. Humayun’s Tomb
The first garden tomb in the subcontinent , this was the monument that spawned a number of innovations in architecture in India.
Even though it is named after the second Mughal emperor Humayun, this tomb is home to the graves of many successive Mughal emperors, including the last one – Bahadur Shah Zafar.
Go for a Delhi heritage walk
This is a great way to cover the most of top cultural sites in this city, as well as explore its various neighborhoods, many of which have an old world charm to them. Find out the walk suited best to your interests, time, and budget. Most websites offering this also allow you to book your walk online and some of them let you customize your walk, too. A great way to see and explore this city. (image source: wikimedia)
Delhi is a history-lover’s dream come true. It’s also great for shopping, and the food is second to none. If you are going to be spending a lot of time in Delhi, you might want to check out a few of its neighboring places as well. A number of excellent weekend getaways are available from Delhi to take you to completely different landscapes and places, and refresh your mind as you make the most of your trip to the heart of India.
(image sources: freeimages.com and wikimedia.com)