Said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Jerusalem, Athens and Jericho, New Delhi is the capital city of the Republic of India. Over the millennia, Delhi is said to have been built and destroyed 11 times and legend estimates that this city is over 5,000 years old. With a total area of 42.7 km2, New Delhi is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. With over a quarter of a million residents, this alpha-world city is home to numerous national institutions, museums and landmarks. While the foundation of the city was planned by two British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker, the foundation stone of New Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911 at Kingsway Camp on December 15, 1911, during their imperial visit. Since then, New Delhi has transformed into one of the world’s global cities and plays host to 134 foreign embassies and high commissions. Home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. New Delhi is truly a remarkable city with numerous heritage sites and monuments. If you are visiting New Delhi, we have a list of attractions that you can visit.
Akshardham Temple – Also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, this Hindu temple complex was inspired and moderated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. Situated on the banks of the Yamuna, the main monument, depicting ancient Indian “vastu shastra” and architecture, is a marvel in pink sandstone and white marble that measures 141 feet high, 316 feet wide and 370 feet long with 234 ornate pillars. This popular tourist attraction has over 20,000 sculptures and statues of deities, eleven 72-foot-high huge domes (mandapams) and decorative arches. A double-storied parikrama of red sandstone encircles the complex with over 155 small domes and 1,160 pillars. The entire monument rises on the shoulders of 148 huge elephants with an impressive 11-feet tall panchdhatu statue of Swaminarayan presiding over the structure.
This photo of Swaminarayan Akshardham is courtesy of TripAdvisor
The entire temple complex is spread over 30 acres and has three exhibition halls with exhibitions on incidents from the life of Swaminarayan and the history of India, an IMAX feature, a musical fountain, and large landscaped gardens. One of the top attractions in this complex is the “Sanskruti Vihar” (12-minute boat ride experience of India’s glorious heritage). For visitors, entry to the complex is free. However, those who want to visit exhibition halls and theatres, it costs Rs.125 (US$2.50) for adults and Rs. 75 (US$ 1.25) for children and senior citizens. We recommend spending about half a day here, as it would require at least four hours to visit the entire complex thoroughly and see all the shows.
This photo of Humayun’s Tomb is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Humayun’s tomb – Located in Nizamuddin East, this tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s wife Hamida Banu Begum in 1562 AD, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect. Not only is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, it is also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale. This UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun, which houses the graves of his wife, Hamida Begum, and also Dara Shikoh, son of the later Emperor Shah Jahan, as well as numerous other subsequent Mughals, including Emperor Jahandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar, Rafi Ul-Darjat, Rafi Ud-Daulat and Alamgir II. There are also several smaller monuments along the pathway up to the main tomb, including one that even pre-dates the main tomb itself, by twenty years. The tomb complex of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri’s court of the Suri dynasty, who fought against the Mughals, constructed in 1547 CE. Humayun’s tomb is open from sunrise to sunset and visitors have to pay Rs.250(US$ 5) to enter.
Note: It costs an additional Rs.25(US$0.50) to film.
This photo of Friday Mosque (Jama Masjid) is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Masjid-i Jahān-Numā – commonly known as the Jama Masjid, this mosque was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, (who was also the builder of the Taj Mahal) in the year 1644 CE and completed in the year 1658 AD. Located at Chawri Bazar Road, the Jama Masjid is the largest and best-known mosque in India. The remarkable thing about this mosque is that its courtyard is capable of holding up to 25,000 devotees during prayer sessions. The mosque is open all days of the week 7am to noon and 1.30pm to 6.30pm. We suggest going during non-prayer times as visitors are not allowed in during those times. It will also cost Rs.200(US$4) to take any photographs.
This photo of Purana Qila is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Purana Qila – Founded by the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun in 1533, Purana Qila is the inner citadel of the city of Dina-panah. Built and completed on the site of the most ancient of the numerous cities of Delhi, Indraprastha, Purana Quila is roughly rectangular in shape with a circuit of nearly two kilometers. The fort rises to a height of 18 metres, and run on for about 1.5 km, and has three distinct arched gateways, the Bara Darwaza (Big Gate) facing West, which is still used today, the south gate, the ‘Humayun Gate’ and lastly, the ‘Talaqi Gate’ or forbidden gate. Surrounded by a wide moat, the gates are double-storeyed sandstone structures flanked by two huge semi-circular bastion towers, and decorated with white and coloured-marble inlays and blue tiles. Today, the Purana Qila is also the venue of daily sound and light shows after sunset, entailing history of seven cities of Delhi, from Indraprastha to New Delhi. It is open all days of the week and foreign visitors have to pay Rs.100(US$2) for entry with an additional Rs.25(US$0.50)for photography.
This photo of Qutab Minar is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Qutab Minar – This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Mehrauli and is the tallest minaret in India. Constructed with red sandstone and marble, this tower stands at a height of 72.5 meters. Building commenced in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom, and the tower was finally completed by Firoz Shah Tughlak who added the fifth and last floor in 1368. The tower’s five distinct floors are marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three are made of red sandstone while the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. Situated at the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first ever mosque to be built in India. Interesting fact, the mosque was constructed from building materials taken from demolishing 27 Hindu temples. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. Legend has it that if you can encircle the pillar with your hands while standing with your back to it, one’s wish will be fulfilled. The Qutab Minar is opened all days of the week and it costs Rs.250 per entry.
For business travelers and visitors going to New Delhi, consider staying at our luxury property, Fraser Suites New Delhi. Located in the newly developed and highly prized residential and business hub of Mayur Vihar, our nine storey, Gold-Standard property offers an ideal living environment that will impress even the most tech-savvy guest.
- Fully furnished serviced residences with integrated living, dining and kitchen
- Wireless Internet Access
- Air-conditioning with individually controlled thermostats
- Exclusive elevator access to residences with security keycard system
- Direct-dial telephone with voicemail
- In-room safe
- Steam and ironing board
- Welcome amenities
- iPod docking with alarm clock
- Comprehensive home entertainment system:
- LED TV
- Satellite, cable network – local and international TV channels
- DVD player
- Audio system
- Well-equipped kitchen:
- Electric hob and hood
- Under counter freezer (only selected apartment)
Further connectivity is provided by two arterial roads, which provide easy access to neighbouring zones. Key destinations such as central Delhi, South Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad can be reached by the DND expressway and Noida link roads.