Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) that includes the Indian capital; is the second largest metropolis of India after Mumbai. With the population of 16.7 million in 2011, the city is the 2nd most populous metropolis in India and 8th most populous metropolis in the world. The NCT and its urban region has been given the special status of National Capital Region (NCR) under the Indian constitution's 69th amendment act of 1991. There are nearly 22.2 million residents in the greater NCR urban area, which includes the neighboring cities of Baghpat, Gurgaon, Sonepat, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida along with other smaller nearby towns.
Top 10 Delhi Attractions
1: The Red Fort (usually transcribed into English as Lal Qil'ah or Lal Qila) is a 17th century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the walled city of Old Delhi (in present day Delhi, India) that served as the residence of the Mughal Emperors. It also served as the capital of the Mughals until 1857, when Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled by the British Indian government. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The earlier Red Fort was built by Tomara king Anangpala, now known as the Qulb Mosque.
The Red Fort was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh city in the Delhi site. He moved his capital here from Agra in a move designed to bring prestige to his reign, and to provide ample opportunity to apply his ambitious building schemes and interests. The fort lies along the Yamuna River, which fed the moats that surround most of the wall. The wall at its north-eastern corner is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh Fort, a defence built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. The construction of the Red Fort began in 1638 and was completed by 1648. The Red Fort has had many developments added on after its construction by Emperor Shah Jahan. The significant phases of development were under Aurangzeb and later under later Mughal rulers.
2: Jama Masjid:The Masjid-i, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal,in the year 1650 CE and completed in the year 1656 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, the Chawri Bazar Road.
The later name, Jama Masjid, is a reference to the weekly Friday noon congregation prayers of Muslims, Jummah, which are usually done at a mosque, the "congregational mosque" or "jami' masjid". The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including an antique copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin.
3: Humayun's Tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun's wife Hamida Banu Begum in 1562 AD, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi, India, close to the Dina-panah citadel also known as Purana Qila (Old Fort), that Humayun founded in 1533. It was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and since then has undergone extensive restoration work, which is still underway. Besides the main tomb enclosure of Humayun, several smaller monuments dot the pathway leading up to it, from the main entrance in the West, including one that even pre-dates the main tomb itself, by twenty years; it is 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.
4: Chandni Chowk, originally meaning moonlit square or market, is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, now in central north Delhi, India. Built in 17th century by the great Muslim Emperor of India, Shah Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara, the market was once divided by canals to reflect moonlight, now closed, yet it still remains one of India's largest whole sale markets.
The complex 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. It represented a leap in Mughal architecture, and together with its accomplished Charbagh garden, typical of Persian gardens, but never seen before in India, it set a precedent for subsequent Mughal architecture. It is seen as a clear departure from the fairly modest mausoleum of his father, the first Mughal Emperor, Babur, called Bagh-e Babur (Gardens of Babur) in Kabul (Afghanistan). Though the latter was the first Emperor to start the tradition of being buried in a paradise garden. Modelled on Gur-e Amir, the tomb of his ancestor and Asia's conqueror Timur in Samarkand, it created a precedent for future Mughal architecture of royal mausolea, which reached its zenith with the Taj Mahal, at Agra.
5: Lodi Gardens is a park in Delhi, India. Spread over 90 acres (360,000 m2), it contains, Mohammed Shah's Tomb, Sikander Lodi's Tomb, Sheesh Gumbad and Bara Gumbad, architectural works of the 15th century Sayyid and Lodis, a Pashtun dynasty which ruled much of Northern India during the 16th century, and the site is now protected by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
The gardens are situated between Khan Market and Safdarjung's Tomb on Lodi Road. It is beautiful and serene, and is a hotspot for morning walks for the Delhiites.
6: Qutub Minar also Qutb Minar, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Delhi, India. The Qutub Minar was constructed with red sandstone and marble, and is the tallest minaret in India, with a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft), contains 379 stairs to reach the top, and the diameter of base is 14.3 meters whereas the last store is of 2.7 meters. The Construction was commenced by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1192 and completed by Iltutmish. It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as Qutub complex. Tradition assigns the erection of the Pillar to Anang Pal, whose name it bears, with the date 1052 C.E.
Qutab Minar is the nearest station on the Delhi Metro. A picture of the minaret also features on the Travel Cards issued by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
7: Gandhi Smriti formerly known as Birla House or Birla Bhavan, is a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, situated on Tees January Road, in New Delhi, India. It is the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on January 30, 1948. It was originally the house of the Indian business tycoons, the Birlas. It now houses the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum established in 2005.
8: The India Gate is the national monument of India. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, the India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
It is inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was built in 1931. Originally known as the All India War Memorial, it is a prominent landmark in Delhi and commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the Indian Empire, or more correctly the British Raj, in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. It is composed of red and pale sandstone and granite.
Originally, a statue of George V of the United Kingdom stood under the now vacant canopy in front of the India Gate, but it was removed to Coronation Park together with other statues. Following India's independence, the India Gate became the site of the Indian Army's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, known as Amar Jawan Jyoti ("the flame of the immortal soldier").
9: The Garden of Five Senses is a park spread over 20 acres, in Saidul Ajaib village, opposite Saket, near the Mehrauli heritage area in Delhi, India. The park was developed by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTDC), Government of Delhi at a cost of Rs 10.5 crore, over a period of three years and open in February 2003. Partly built over a rocky terrain, the garden has various theme areas, including a section on the lines of Mughal Gardens, plus pools of water lilies, bamboo courts, herb gardens and solar energy park.
10: Lotus Temple:The Bahai House of Worship in New Delhi, India, popularly known as the Lotus Temple because of its flowerlike shape, is a Bahai House of Worship and also a prominent attraction in Delhi. It was completed in 1986 and serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent. It has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
Like all other Bahai Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all regardless of religion, or any other distinction, as emphasized in Bahai texts. The Bahai laws emphasize that the spirit of the House of Worship be that it is a gathering place where people of all religions may worship God without denominational restrictions. The Bahai laws also stipulate that only the holy scriptures of the Bahai Faith and other religions can be read or chanted inside in any language; while readings and prayers can be set to music by choirs, no musical instruments can be played inside. Furthermore no sermons can be delivered, and there can be no ritualistic ceremonies practiced.