New Delhi is the City Capital of India. Despite being a dirty, polluted and dense city, there is so much to see and love here. The following were the highlights of my trip when I visited New Delhi:
Humayun’s Tomb is older than Taj Mahal. If Taj Mahal was built by a King for a Queen, Humayun’s Tomb was built by a Queen for a King. It is said that much of the architectural designs of Taj Mahal are derived from this tomb. It is made of sandstones and marbles. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Raj Ghat or the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi is a black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation in 1948 – a day after his assassination. It is an open space with nice garden. An “eternal flame” burns perpetually here. Shoes and socks are removed when entering this site. Very solemn.
India Gate is the National monument of India built in 1931 to commemorate the 90,000 Indian soldiers who defended the Indian Empire in World War I. It is made of red and pale sandstones. The monument is a favorite hang-out place among locals. It is very crowded here.
Rashtrapati Bhavan or the Presidential Palace is the largest residence of any Head of State in the world. It is one of New Delhi’s stunning landmarks. Visitors are not allowed to enter though.
Lotus Temple is officially called the Baha’i House of Worship was completed in 1986. It is the most visited building in India and the world. It has an annual visitor of 4.5 million. The temple is open to all religions but only the readings of the Baha’i Faith are allowed inside. The temple is said to be the Mother of all Temples.
Qatab Minar is the world’s tallest brick minaret (a free standing column with half-moon on top usually seen in Islamic mosque – similar to the 4 kiosks in Taj Mahal) with a hight of 72 meters. It is known as the earliest and most notable Indo-Islamic architecture made of red and buff sandstone. Entrance fee is 750 Rupees.
Gandhi Smriti also known as Birla Bhavan is a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi where he spent his last 144 days before he was assassinated point blank by a Hindu zealot. The museum features articles related to his life and death. I particularly enjoyed this place having an interest in Gandhi’s life and works.
Connaught Place is a commercial district in New Delhi set in the middle of many circular roads or ring roads. In here, one will find shops of all kinds and nature. There is also an underground market beneath the green park right at the center of the place. Be very careful though when visiting this place as hundreds and hundreds of touts abound. Never accept assistance from a stranger!
Chattarpur Temple is a huge Hindu Temple that houses several images of Hindu Gods. Before climbing the stairs of the temple, all shoes and socks are removed and camera are placed in a locker. There is a briefing room for foreigners where personal things are kept.
For an authentic Indian experience, a visit to Chandni Chowk is a must. It is located in central Old Delhi teeming with narrow streets, shops, rickshaw, garbage, dogs, and anything you can imagine! The rule here is “no rules”. It’s a market place where anything and everything goes. A true Indian voyage is here!
I have a separate entry for this.