14 Apr 2014

Top Ten Tourist Places in Delhi

There is history in the air, and it is palpable the moment you land in Delhi. Apart from monuments, there are markets, charming gallis and swanky shopping centers.

1.    For me, Delhi is synonymous with the Parliament House designed by British architect Herbert Baker. You can visit the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha only after obtaining permits, but even standing afar and taking in the majesty of this building is good enough for me! There is also the Parliament Museum, a must-visit if you love history like me.

Parliament House (Photo Courtesy: http://www.thehindu.com)
2.    Another spot that any tourist must visit is the Raj Ghat. It was here that the Mahatma was buried after he was assassinated in 1948. It is indeed a serene place to stand and pay tributes to the great soul. I am moved to tears each time I come here.

Raj Ghat (Photo Courtesy: http://traveltrance.com)
3.    The next stop is the Red Fort, located opposite Chandni Chowk in old Delhi, which stands testimony to the greatness of Mughal architecture. It is where Pt Nehru made the ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech as freedom dawned on our nation. It is also where the Prime Minister of India makes his address to the nation every Independence Day.

Red Fort (Photo Courtesy: http://www.mapsofindia.com)
4.    The Rashtrapati Bhavan, home of the President of India, was designed by architect Edwin Lutyens. To say it is a mansion would be an understatement; there are 340 rooms over four floors in this palatial structure. The Mughal Gardens are open to the public every February. You would need to obtain permission to take a tour of the palace.

Rashtrapati Bhavan (Photo Courtesy: http://www.indiansecretsrevealed.com)
5.    Don’t miss the Jama Masjid, the biggest mosque in the country. It is quite close to the Red Fort, and is open on all days, except when prayers are held. The architecture and the scale will have you spell-bound.

Jama Masjid (Photo Courtesy: http://commons.wikimedia.org)
6.    If you are in old Delhi, you can’t ignore the Chandni Chowk. There are pedestrians, jostling rickshaw and cycle wallahs crowding the gallis, but the energy of the place is infectious.

Chandni Chowk    (Photo Courtesy: http://www.theindianexplorer.com)
7.    While still in the Chandi Chowk area, you certainly must not miss the Paranthe Wali Gali – the narrow lane where you get some of the best parathas in the world!

Paranthe Wali Gali (Photo Courtesy: http://www.wooplr.com)
8.    Connaught Place, built in 1931, is a shopping hub, and no visit to Delhi is complete without visiting it. There are also plenty of eat-out places here to suit different pockets.

Connaught Place (Photo Courtesy: http://akankshasinha.wordpress.com)
9.    Dilli Haat mimics the concept of the traditional village haat or market, and I love shopping here; the range is incredible.

Dilli Haat (Photo Courtesy: http://guidepal.com)

10.    Lotus Temple is the Baha’ii House of Worship and was built to resemble a lotus – a symbol common to all regions. This serene place is a great one to meditate.

Lotus Temple (Photo Courtesy: http://www.allindiadaily.com)
Before you book your tickets on one of the flights to Delhi, keep in mind that the best time to visit India’s national capital is September-November and February-March. Every day, there are Delhi flights taking off from all major airports in India and the world, so connectivity is not an issue when it comes to visiting the city at all.