You Can’t Afford To Miss These Places In Your Visit To Delhi
It was the famous Urdu poet Ghalib who said, “I asked my soul, ‘What is Delhi?’ It replied: ‘The world is the body, Delhi its soul” Delhi is a melting pot of cultures that has been shaped by the people and cultures that lived here over hundreds of years. To discover the soul of Delhi, we will have to look at the structures and the experiences that shape Delhi and what better way than to visit some of these places that signify the spirit of Delhi the best.
Top 20 Places to Visit in Delhi
- India Gate
- Rashtrapati Bhawan
- Red Fort
- Chandni Chowk & Jama Masjid
- Lotus Temple
- Humayun’s Tomb
- Jantar Mantar
- Qutub Minar
- Dilli Haat
- Palika and Janpath
- Sarojini Nagar
- National Museum
- India War Memorial Museum
- Birla Mandir
- Safdarjung Tomb
- Agrasen ki Baoli
- Tughlaqabad Fort
- The Garden of Five Senses
- Gandhi Smriti
1. India Gate
A memorial built to commemorate the memory of the soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War, the India Gate is a must-see in your visit to the capital. The names of around 13300 soldiers who lost their lives in the WW1 are carved on the gate. The construction of the gate was started in 1921 and completed in 1931. The memorial is situated in the heart of Delhi at Rajpath and is easily accessible. If you are in Delhi in January, you can witness the India gate parade or the Republic Day Parade which is the most prestigious event in the country held on 26th of January to commemorate the day of India becoming a republic.
Entry timings: India Gate is open on all days 24×7
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee
- The best time to visit India Gate is between October to February in the afternoon and evening.
- If you bring packaged or home-cooked food with you, you can have a picnic there in the open grounds in front of the gate.
2. Rashtrapati Bhawan
After India Gate, your next stop should be the residence of the President of India also known as Rashtrapati Bhawan. (Rashtrapati meaning President and Bhawan meaning house).
Understandably, access to this colonial piece of marvel is restricted. However, you can still get a tour to see certain areas of this vast palatial quarters with four floors and 340 rooms in an area of 200,000 square feet. The architecture is modelled on the Edwardian Baroque and is the largest residential quarters of any head of state in the world.
Entry timings: 9 am till late evening. You can book tickets on the official Rashtrapati Bhawan website (http://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in/rbtour/) for an inside tour
- Strolling through the road, you can see the parliament house, Defence headquarters and National Secretariat.
3. Red Fort
The Red Fort is an example of the glory and grandeur of the Mughal dynasty that ruled in India for more than 300 years. This was also the place from where Jawaharlal Nehru made his historic midnight speech when India became free. Every Prime minister ever since has made his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Do not miss the Red Fort Light and Sound Show
The light and sound show is about the history of Delhi and the Red Fort. The duration of the show is one hour and shows are voiced in Hindi and English. The shows start from 6 PM onwards. Adults have to pay Rs 80 and tickets for children cost Rs. 30.
Red Fort timings: The fort is closed on Mondays but is open on all other days from 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM
Red Fort entry fee: Entry fee for Indian citizens is Rs.10 and for foreigners it is Rs.150.
- Museum entrance fees are included in the ticket price for international visitors
- Taking your own car to the fort is not a good idea as the parking lot is not near the fort and traffic jams on the connecting roads make it a pain to cross the roads on foot. Thus, using a taxi is advisable.
- You can book the light and sound ticket online at www.theashokgroup.com.
- Winters from October to March is the suitable time to visit Red Fort.
4. Chandni Chowk & Jama Masjid
Anybody who wishes to see the ‘real Delhi’ up close and personal just needs to pay a visit to Chandni Chowk (literally the Moonlit Square). It so derives its name from the canals that once divided the market shops and reflected the moonbeams that fell on its waters. Chandni Chowk is the oldest & most famous market in Delhi where the old world and the new world jostle for space side by side, where you will find remnants of old havelis and reminders of the bygone Mughal splendour alongside 21st century poor imitations of an bygone era.
Today the most famous places for shopping in Chandni Chowk are the flea market that shapes up every Sunday morning, Nayi Sadak market and Darya Ganj market which are famous for the books shops on the pavements. Book lovers looking for used copies of almost anything under the sun will have a field day rummaging through these pavement stalls littered with books and magazines.
Chandni Chowk is also famous for its mouth –watering street food. If you want cheap and best non-vegetarian food, there is no better place than this in entire Delhi.
Nestled within this hullabaloo is also the largest mosque in India –Jama masjid which can hold 25000 devotees at one time. This was the first architectural marvel of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who gave the world another famous monument – The Taj Mahal.
You need to be dressed in proper attire meaning no short or skimpy clothes that show lot of skin. If you are not wearing appropriate attire you may rent an attire provided by the mosque authority.
Entry fee: Free, In case of videography fee is INR 300
Opening hours: Daily, 7 am-12 pm & 1:30 pm-6:30 pm. It is closed during prayers and the timings depends upon the moon’s direction.
- Morning hours are the best time to visit the mosque as it is not crowded
- Women need to cover their heads while visiting the mosque
- Admission fee is zero so beware of any fake “guides”
- Beware of touts who might try to harass you into buying something from them
- You have to pay INR 200 for taking a camera inside and clicking pictures.
- Try Chicken Changezi at Karim’s Hotel nearby
5. Lotus Temple
The Lotus temple is a temple that represents the Bahai faith and is a temple where people of all faiths are welcome. True to its name, it resembles a Lotus flower in its shape. The Lotus temple attracts people from India as well as abroad.
Entry fee: No entry fees
Entry timings: The Temple is open on all days except for Mondays. The entry timing is from 09:00 am to 07:00 pm in summers and in winter it is open from 09:00 am to 05:30 pm.
- Photography is not permitted within the temple
- You can walk around in the gardens near the temple
- You can attend prayer sessions in the temple
6. Humayun’s Tomb
Another world heritage site under UNESCO, Humayun’s tomb, as the name suggests is the resting place of the Mughal Emperor Humayun which was built by his wife Haji begum in 1570. This complex not only has the grave of Humayun but also secures the graves of Bega Begum, Dara Shikoh and other significant members of the Mughal royal family. The tomb which served as an inspiration for the Taj Mahal later on is made of white marble and red sandstone and looks serene even after centuries of its creation.
Entry fee: INR 10 for domestic visitors, INR 250 for others
Opening hours: Daily, up till sunset.
- On Thursday evenings, you can listen to qawwali (devotional music) rendition at the Dargah of Nizam-ud-din Auliya, (a mausoleum of the Muslim saint Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya).
- There is no charge for listening to this and beware of anyone who asks you for money for this.
- It is best seen in the morning or a full moon evening.
7. Jantar Mantar
There are five Jantar Mantars in India and the one in Jaipur, Rajasthan is a UNESCO heritage site. All of them are open air astronomical observatories and the one in Delhi is no exception. Built in 1724 by the Maharaj Jai Singh of Jaipur, these dials could give local time and predict the movement of the sun, moon and the planets. These are astronomical marvel and stand testimony to the ingeniousness of medieval India.
Entry fee: INR 5
Opening hours: Sunrise to sunset
- It is advised that you take the services of a guide to spend your time here as they can explain all the instruments to you.
8. Qutub Minar
A visit to Delhi will be incomplete without visiting the Qutub Minar or victory tower built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak the ruler of the slave dynasty. The brick minaret stands at a height of 73 meters with carvings and scriptures adorning it. It is also a world heritage site.
Entry fee: INR 10 for Indians INR 250 for foreigners, Free for kids under the age of 15
Opening hours: Sunrise until sunset, Closed on Mondays
Insider Tips: Waiting in queues to book your ticket can be time-consuming especially during noon when it gets really crowded. You can alternately book tickets at https://asi.payumoney.com/#/
9. Raj Ghat
Another must- visit place. Raj Ghat is the place where the father of the nation – Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. The spot of his cremation is marked by a black marble platform where a lamp is lit with a flame that never goes out. Mahatma Gandhi’s last words “Hey Ram” are inscribed on the marble.
Entry Fee: No Charges
Opening Hours: 6.30 AM to 6 PM (All days except Monday)
- Other than Mahatma Gandhi, Raj Ghat is also the memorial for many notable people such as Jawaharlal Nehru, KR Narayan, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and others.
- A Gandhi Memorial Museum here shows a film in both Hindi and English on Gandhi’s life every day except on Thursday.
10. Dilli Haat
Dilli Haat is an upmarket simulated version of an Indian handicrafts bazaar with open-air food stalls from different states of India. In short, you can taste and shop from a mini India here. Artisans and craftsmen from across the country gather here to showcase and sell their handicrafts.
- INA market opposite Dilli Haat is a good place to shop for spices
- If you are a theatre fan, numerous theatres are close-by.
Entry fee: INR 20
Opening hours: 10 am to 10 pm, Daily
- Don’t forget to try the cuisine of different states at the food stalls here. You’ll get the local dishes of different states at one place.
11. Palika and Janpath
Connaught Place – There is always something more to see in Connaught Place. Palika bazaar is an underground bazaar located between the inner and outer circle of Connaught Place. It was set up in the late 1970s and has more than 380 shops which are famous for selling electronic items and duplicate versions of popular brands of clothing.
Janpath market is another roadside market in CP which is famous for bargain clothes, junk jewellery and interior décor items.
Opening hours: 10 am till late evening
- Aggressive bargaining is the key to getting a good deal in Palika and Janpath. If you don’t bargain here for a good price, you’re leaving money on the table.
12. Sarojini Nagar
Such is the fame of Sarojini Nagar that there are few people across India who have not heard about Sarojini Nagar. The market boasts of wide ranges of products at throw away prices.
Entry timings: Barring Monday, the shops will be open on all days from around 10:00 am to 09:00 pm.
Entry fee: No entry fee needed
- The sizes of the garments may not be correct. The best way is to try them out there itself, if possible or else just hold it against yourself.
- The best time to visit Sarojini Nagar is on weekdays, between 12pm – 4pm because it is less crowded at the time.
Arguably one of Delhi’s biggest landmarks, Akshardham is also known as the Swaminarayan Temple and is a traditional temple established in the year 2005. It is a tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The campus is beautiful with its open gardens, courtyards and water bodies along with the spiritual and calm setting. A major attraction is the Sahaj Anand or Multimedia Water Show. A story from the Kena Upanishad comes alive for 24 minutes in the evening with a jaw-dropping presentation. The Thematic Gardens and Exhibitions are a must visit along with the Abhishek Mandap.
Entry Fee: Entry is free for the Mandir Darshan and Complex.
The additional charges are INR 50 per person for the Abhishek Donation, Water Show Tickets (Free for children below 4 years of age, INR 50 for children between 4-11 years and INR 80 for adults/seniors) and Exhibition Tickets (INR 220 for adults, INR 170 for seniors, INR 120 for children between 4-11 and free for children below 4 years of age).
- Mobiles, cameras, laptops and other gadgets are not allowed inside.
- Requires a dress code for entry. No revealing dresses allowed.
- There is a vegetarian food court to indulge in lip-smacking delicacies.
14. National Museum
The National Museum at Delhi is one of the largest museums in India that is located in the Rajpath Area. It was established in 1949 and currently has over 200,000 artefacts to exhibit. You can see sculptures, murals, wood carvings, paintings etc. ranging from the time of the Buddha and Harappan Civilization. It covers almost all the departments like Anthropology, Jewellery, Manuscripts, Decorative Art, Textiles and more. If you are a person who takes an interest in history and is curious about the past, do visit the museum while visiting Delhi.
Entry timings: 10 am to 6 pm every day (except Mondays)
Entry fee: Indians- INR 20 (Free for students up to class 12)
Foreigners- INR 650 (Audio Guide included)
- Videography is prohibited but photography is allowed with prior permission.
- Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhavan are the nearest metro stations.
15. India War Memorial Museum
The India War Memorial Museum was built in the honour of the soldiers who fought World War I for the British Government in India before independence. It is located on the second and third floor of the Red Fort. You can see various weapons that were used to fight wars by the Indian army of yore including swords, armours, kukris, battle axes etc. If you are interested in history, this is the best place to spend a day when in Delhi.
Entry timings: Tuesday to Sunday- 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Mondays closed.
Indians- INR 35
Foreigners- INR 500
- Chandni Chowk is the nearest metro station
- For videography, you have to pay an extra amount of INR 25
- It is located inside Red Fort. The entry fee is for the Red Fort.
16. Birla Mandir
It is also known as the Laxminarayan Temple as it is devoted to Laxminarayan. It is located in Mandir marg near Gole Market. It is a perfect place for worship and spending a few hours in devotion. You can feel the spirituality and calmness of the place while you visit here. It is a huge red, yellow and white three-storey temple built around 1939 by industrialist Baldeo Das Birla. It is located very close to Connaught Place.
Entry timing: Every day from 4:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
Entry fee: There is no entry fee
- Located on the West of Connaught Place.
- No cameras are allowed inside.
- The best time to visit is during Navratri.
17. Safdarjung Tomb
It is a sandstone and marble mausoleum built by the son of Nawab Shuja ud Daula. It was built around the late 18th Century and remains to be the last Mughal architectural monument built in India. Safdarjung and his wife are also laid to rest in an underground chamber of the monument. The mausoleum is a historic marvel and should be visited at least once during a visit to Delhi. It is located at the intersection of the Aurobindo Marg and Safdarjung Road.
Entry timings: Every day from 7 am to 5 pm
Indians- INR 15
Foreigners- INR 200
- Photography is free but INR 25 has to be paid for videography.
- Food and water can be carried inside.
- Jor Bagh metro station is the nearest metro station.
18. Agrasen ki Baoli
Located near Jantar Mantar, Agrasen ki Baoli is also known as Agar Sain Ki Baoli or Ugrasen ki Baoli, is a beautifully constructed water reservoir with different stone and rocks assortments. It still holds some water in the lower part, serving its ancient purpose. There is also a mosque located inside the Baoli. When in Delhi, do not miss this place to witness some marvels of Mughal Architecture.
Entry timing: Every day from 9 am to 5:30 pm
Entry Fees: No entry fee
- Morning hours are the most the preferable time to visit.
- Rajiv Chowk is the nearest metro station.
18. Tughlaqabad Fort
It is a fort built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq which is now in ruins. However, this fort is still of great historical importance. The wall barricade is about 15 metres high and has battle parapets with 2 metre high bastions. It is a huge fort that takes you back in time to the Tughlaq Dynasty. You can spend about 2 to 3 hours exploring the fort.
Entry timings: Everyday 7 am to 5 pm
Indians- INR 5
Foreigners: INR 100
- No restrictions for photography
- No food stalls or shops available nearby
- Morning is the best time to visit.
19. The Garden of Five Senses
It is located in the Saidul Ajaib village, opposite Saket and near the Mehrauli heritage area. It is a park that is spread across 20 acres and is a perfect place to be close to nature. It was inaugurated in 2003 as a leisure park. It has some beautiful flowers, plants, water cascades, colourful fountains etc. Children love to visit the park. There is a food court with a rooftop seating arrangement. You can spend quality time here with your friends or family while in Delhi.
Entry timing: 9 am to 7 pm, all days in April to September
9 am to 6 pm, all days in October to March.
Adults- INR 20
Kids and senior citizens- INR 10
Physically challenged citizens- Free
- Winter is the best time to visit.
- Saket is the nearest metro station
- No restrictions on photography
20. Gandhi Smriti
Gandhi Smriti was known as the Birla Bhawan or Birla house before. It is a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi. It is situated on Tees January road. Gandhiji spent the last 144 days of his life at Birla Bhawan before he was assassinated. The museum has some personal documents, journals, photographs, books, manuscripts, relics etc. on Gandhiji. There is also a shop where you can buy Khadi souvenirs.
Entry timings: Every day except Monday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Entry fee: No entry fee
- Lok Kalyan Marg, Udyog Bhavan and Khan Market Metro stations are the nearest ones from this place.
- Closed on National Holidays.
P.s. You might like these related resources:
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- 10 Novel Things To Do In Delhi
- Best Time to Visit Delhi- When and Where