New Delhi Things to Do Tips by lynnehamman Top 5 Page for this destination
New Delhi Things to Do: 431 reviews and 880 photos
Iron Pillar in front of Mosque Ruins
This ancient complex houses the famous Qtub Minar, which is the tallest brick minaret in the world.Decorated with carvings from the Koran, it stands 73m high, and has five stories. The lower two were erected by Qutb-ud-din,ruler after the defeat of the last Hindu Kindgom in Delhi.Various successors after him added the upper stories, and the fifth story was added in 1368. It was, however, destroyed by an earthquake in 1803. An English patron replaced it and the cupola..
The Minaret is a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture.It may be climbed, to give a view of Delhi, but was closed the day we visited.
In the complex also stands the ruins of the very first mosque to be built in Delhi (Quwwat-ul-Islam) It was constructed in 1190's , from marble pieces that had been taken from Jain Temples that were destroyed to make way for the mosque complex. All that remains today are the ruins of the mosque, and some pillars from the Jain temples.
The famous IRON PILLAR is also a remnant from the Jain temple- it remains a mystery to many experts, who have not yet understood why it has never rusted, despite standing open to the elements for centuries. Metallurgists have tried for many years to find an answer.
Address: Gurgaon Rd- Mehrauli
Directions: Outskirts of Old Delhi
FLOWER SELLER CHANDNI CHOWK
Delhi, old and new, is a great city to explore on foot. The old city, around Chandni Chowk, teems with life all day. One gets a glimpse of the past here- although many of the fine old havelis that once stood here ar now hidden by shops, stalls and markets. Here and there one can still see a fine curved archway or a balcony with delicate carved filigree.Close by stands The Jama Masjid and Red Fort. Although there are numerous organized walking tours, I recommend doing this in your own time. The organized tours are quite hurried. I prefer the flexibility of being able to stop or go on at leisure.There are small guide books available at kiosks around the old city. TAKE NOTE OF THE CHAOTIC TANGLE OF OVERHEAD WIRES IN OLD DELHI
Friday is a very busy day around the Mosque- so choose a mid-week day.
Directions: Close to and opposite the Red Fort.
Jama Masjid Old Delhi
The mosque, which is the largest in Asia, was commissioned by Shah Jahan (builder of the Taj Mahal) and construction finished in 1656. It is located in Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi. 5000 workers were needed for the building of this mosque, which stands on elevated ground, and is thus even more imposing.
Under the domes of the mosque, is a hall with seven arched entrances facing the west and the walls are covered with marble. Beyond this is a prayer hall, which has eleven arched entrances. The centre arch is wide and forms a massive gateway, with minarets in each corner. An octagonal pavilion surmounts it. Over these arched entrances are tablets inlaid with inscriptions in black marble. These inscriptions give the history of the building of the mosque, and are dedicated to Shah Jahan. Above the arch are inscripted the words "The Guide" The floor of the mosque is covered with white and black marble tiles,designed like Muslim prayer mat; a black marble border is marked for the worshippers.
When entering the mosque- heads have to be covered, and shoes removed. Photography is allowed, but not encouraged.
The name, Jama Masjid, is a reference to the weekly Friday noon prayers of Muslims. The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshipers. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including a copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin
The forecourt of the mosque was filled with people when we visited- there were schoolchildren playing games, and worshippers sitting around informally, chatting.Thousands of pigeons were strutting around, being fed by tourists and pilgrims alike.
Directions: Next to Chandi Chowk, Old Delhi
South Delhi, Nizamuddin is where one of the most important shrines in the city is situated.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was a Sufi mystic. From 1238 until 1325 his wisdom grew in popularity, and followers flock to his shrine daily to pay respects.
Make your way through the winding streets of Nizamuddin, past open-air dhabas and market stalls- its an interesting if somewhat crowded walk.
The shrine is an important pilgrimage site for many Muslims from near and far, and you will see many supplicants making their way to pay their respects.
The Sufi religion is a completely different form of Islam- and music plays a huge part.
On Thursdays, Sufi musicians play traditional songs to the revered mystic,and the audience is huge. It is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist attraction, and tolerates all religions as onlookers.
The music is known as Qawwali. Is a style of music performed by a troupe of singers and instrumentalists called qawwals. The word 'Qawwali' derives from Persian and Arabic (qaul meaning (holy) words.
There are smaller mosques and tombs surrounding the area..
Women are not allowed to enter Inner Tomb- and when visiting-head has to be covered and shoes removed.
Directions: Located on Mathura Rd, near the junction with Lodi Rd, opposite Humayun's Tomb
RICHARD & OLD LOCOMOTIVE
We spent a wonderfully interesting afternoon at this Rail Museum. On entering, one could easily be walking into a huge Railway Shed- there are old Rail carriages and Locomotives lined up- they are all well preserved, and well marked with information.We counted over 30.
Amongst the locomotives are some of the very first ever to ply the country, dating from the mid 19th century.
The carriages were also interesting- some belonged to Royalty- and must have been very ornate and well appointed. One cannot enter these, but a peek through the windows gives a good idea of the opulence of the times.
Also on the grounds is an indoor museum, which has much information and many photographs, detailng the history of tha Railways in India.
The museum has an extensive collection of locomotives. Some of the saloons that are on display and are still in working condition are the Viceregal Dining Car, Prince of Wales Saloon, Maharaja of Mysore's Saloon and Maharaja of Baroda's Saloon. The Fairy Queen is the star attraction in the museum and is the best preserved locomotive.
There were busloads of sweet Indian children lining up (crocodile style) waiting with their teachers to enter.All so well behaved, they were waiting with excitment to have a ride on the miniature train.
This is really an good place to visit, especially for anyone interested in trains. There is a cafe on the premises.
Address: National Rail Museum Satya Marg, Delhi
Directions: Take an auto or cab or disembark at Indraprastha Metro station
Timing 10A.M. to 6 P.M except Monday
Phone: +91 1126161816
Safdarjung's Tomb is a garden tomb in a marble mausoleum in Delhi, India. It was built in 1754 in the style of late Mughal architecture. The top story of the edifice houses the Archaeological Survey of India. The garden, in the style evolved by the Mughal Empire that is now known as a charbagh, is entered through an ornate gate. Its facade is decorated with elaborate plaster carvings.
It was built by the Nawab of Avadh for his father, Safdarjung.
Inside are two graves- that of Safdarjung and his wife.
Directions: Location: At the intersection of Safdarjang Road and Aurobindo Marg, near the Safdarjang airport
The monument is just 20 minutes drive from Connaught Place.
Mahatma Gandhi's last walk.
On 30 January 1948, the life of this great man was ended by a Hindu zealot, who shot him at point-blank range.
He was on his way to pray with his followers, a daily occurance, in the gardens of Birla House- his last home. This museum, called Gandhi Smriti , is dedicated to his memory.
In the gardens there is a small pavilion - it is reached by following a pathway of concrete footsteps. These were Gandhi's footsteps, taken on his last walk. The pavilion, called The Martyr's Column", marks the spot where he fell, uttering the words " Hey Ram" (Oh God).
It is very peaceful, and the surrounding gardens are beautiful.
The Inner Museum has a theatre showing films of Gandhi's life and historical achievements. Photographs & letters line the walls, and personal memorobilia is preserved in glass cases.
His few posessions are testament to the simple life of a great man.
Truly, this is a place that everyone should visit. It is extremely moving, and fantastically interesting.
Address: 5 Tees January Delhi (Birla House)
Directions: A few kilometeres from Connought Place
Can be reached by Auto-rickshaw
Me outside Humayuns Tomb
This magnificent Mughal Tomb was constructed by order of Hamida Banu Begum for her late husband, Emperor Humayun. Building started in 1562, and it took 8 years to complete.
The graceful and ornate architecture of this tomb was said to be the inspiration for the famous Taj Mahal. Similarities are noticeable, particuarly in the graceful curved domes and perfect symmetry. A water channel leads from the entrance gate to the tomb. Beautiful Gardens surround the complex,which also contains the tomb of Ali Isa Khan and other lesser known tombs. A very serene atmosphere surrounds the area.
The very last Mughal Emporer in India, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was captured at Humayuns Tomb by the British in 1857, just after the Indian Mutiny. His two sons and extended family were also taken. The Emperor was sent into exile at Burma with his wife. His two sons, were , however murdered by their captors.
Directions: Nizamuddin East
Floral Decorated Pillars
These two magnificent halls stand inside the grounds of the Red Fort.
The Diwan-i-Am is the Hall of Public Audience, from where the emperor would hear disputes from his subjects. It has an alcove in the wall, where he would sit- this was once studded with beautiful & precious stones. These were looted following the uprising of 1857.
The Diwan-i-Khas is the Hall of Private Audience-There is an alcove in the back wall where the emporer sat in state, on a richly carved inlaid marble platform. The throne (or Qursi) was removed by Nadir Shah in the 18th century.The walls of the recess show magnificent mosaic art work done by French Artist Austin de Bordenux.
Below the throne is a marble dias- the Wazir used to present applications to the Emporer from this dias, while proclaiming foreign news.
There are water channels running through here to what was the Royal Baths and Ladies Quarters. This Hall is constructed from white marble, and is decorated with delicate floral mosaics.
Directions: In the grounds of the Red Fort
Baha'i Temple, Delhi
The award winning architecture of this wonderful temple complies with the rules of Bahai faith, in that it has a dome and a nine sided circular shape.The style of this temple is very similar to the Sydney Opera House. In keeping with the Baha'i faith, no statues or images are allowed within the temple. The grounds surrounding the temple are well laid out, with a water feature. There are always hundreds of people waiting to enter, as the Bahai Faith is a "Universal Faith" and worshippers from all different religions are welcomed. The Temple was consecrated in 1986.It can hold up to 2,500 worshippers at any given time.
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