Discover the charms of Delhi
Delhi, the capital of India, traces its history to 6th century B.C. Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many empires which have left behind a profusion of monuments which bear witness to the grandeur and glory of bygone ages. So if you are wondering what are the things to do in Delhi take a look at the following famous places, monuments and tourist spots to visit in Delhi.
If you are nostalgic about the days gone by, walk in Teen Murti House, where Pandit Nehru lived for 16 years. Stroll into the Nehru Museum and Library. Next, visit India Gate. Initially called the All India War Memorial, it is a 42 meter high structure designed by Edwin Lutyens. Salute the valiant soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, who laid down their lives during World War I.
Lodhi Gardens is the perfect urban oasis, great for jogging. Even if you are not a jogger, there is plenty to look around – tombs, stunning landscaped gardens; listen to the fluty call of the golden oriole and see the exquisite nest of the tailor bird. Nehru Park is for those who love nature trips. On a Sunday morning, you can hear famous musicians perform, or you can catch an artist or two adding inspired strokes to their canvas. Another patch of green you would love is the Deer Park, in Hauz Khas. Bump into a spotted deer on a walkway or catch a peacock dancing in the sun.
If it is spiritual bliss you seek, head first to Akshardham, a memorial to Swaminarayan, spread over 100 acres. It is a famous landmark in Delhi, popular for its grand architecture. The lotus shaped Bahai Temple resembles the Sydney Opera House, and for those who have seen the marvel in Sydney created by Danish architect Jorn Utzo, the Temple with its 27 white, unfolding petals is certainly a sight. You cannot miss Birla Mandir, also known as the Laxminarayan Temple. Once there, go into Geeta Bhavan, a hall decorated with beautiful paintings from Hindu mythology. In fact, the entire complex is decorated with paintings made by artists from Jaipur. Jama Masjid, which houses relics such as a beard-hair of the Prophet, his footprints, his sandals and Koran written on deerskin, is a must see for all tourists. It is the largest mosque in India, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1658.
Delhi has many beautiful churches, where you can walk in, sit in the pew, and enjoy your moment of communion with God. St. Peter’s church, on Bhai Veer Singh Marg, is known for its cruciform shape and the dome. If you are headed towards Old Delhi, do not miss St. James Church, near Kashmiri Gate, the oldest church in Delhi. Very close to Bangla Sahib is the Sacred Heart Cathedral, with a stunning read-and-white façade, and a beautiful altar made of carrara marble.
There is something special about the chaos in Chandni Chowk that you would not see in any other city in India. The area is redolent with perfumes and aroma of irresistible food wafting from tiny restaurants celebrated by foodies. There are jostling crowds, rickshaws scampering by, music and the occasional cow in the middle of a narrow lane. Yet once you mingle into the atmosphere, the fun will begin. Within that anarchy, resides poetry. If you ask for Gali Qasim Jaan in Ballimaran, you will see the house where Mirza Ghalib penned some of the most beautiful ghazals. The museum showcases letters written by Ghalib, last photograph of the poet, his life history, some of his couplets, books, and some personal belongings, a statue of the poet in a realistic setting with a hookah in his hand.
A tour of Delhi would be incomplete with visiting the memorials of national leaders. The simple elegance of a black stone marks the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi, the Rajghat. Nearby are other memorials, Shanti Van (Pandit Nehru), Shakti Sthal (Indira Gandhi), Vijay Ghat (Lal Bahadur Shastri) and Vir Bhumi (Rajiv Gandhi).
For your stay, there are plenty of options for accommodation from top-end luxury hotels, mid-rung and budget hotels, luxury resorts, lodges and guest houses.
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