New Delhi is a place that we stayed more than 3 years and we still wondering why took us so long to publish a post for this controversial destination. Controversial because especially for Western Countries, India is still an unexplored destination from the main tourism mass and maybe some times is assumed as not that interested or even dangerous.
The capital of India is a city full of treasures, many mind-blowing buildings, and a highly interesting culture trip that will broaden your horizons. Here is a guide to ten things to do in New Delhi!
1. Visit the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is not in New Delhi but if you are there you cannot miss visiting one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. The city of Agra where the Taj Mahal is is just three hours away. There are options for getting there by train and by bus but we chose to book an Uber driver for the entire day. It costs a little bit more (around 100€) but it is value for money while you are totally free.
Taj Mahal is India’s most recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site monument with 7 million visitors per year.
Taj Mahal is a memorial of the Mughal’s emperor Shah Jehan to his wife who died on the 17th of June, 1634. The emperor Shah Jehan built the Taj Mahal in 1648 and as main material was marble and houses the tombs of the couple.
Over twenty thousand people and one thousand elephants to carry the building material were used during the construction.
The Taj Mahal represents the Shah Jehan’s vision of Mumtaz Mahal’s home in paradise. The entire structure combines Islamic, Indian, Persian, Ottoman, and Turkish art elements fully decorated with floral motifs and calligraphy.
What excited us was that the color of the Taj Mahal’s marble changes during the day. It appears pinkish early in the morning, milky at noon and sparkling golden at sunset.
An avenue lined by shops leads to the eastern entrance gate and security checkpoint. Our recommendation is to go through the eastern entrance from the total three since it involves a walk through the Great Gate
The Great Gate, known also as Darwaza-Rauza is a remarkable building on itself and a fine example of Islamic architecture while offers a first glimpse of the Taj Mahal. From that point of view, the marble mausoleum is perfectly framed in the red colored archway.
2. Garden of Five Senses
The Garden of Five Senses is a beautiful park that was created in order to stimulate the five senses of the visitor.
You will need around 1-2 hours to walk around the park and its thematic areas. To promote the already good relationships with Mexico India has even constructed a Replica of the Mayan Labná Arc.
3. India’s Gate
India Gate is a 42 meters high arch gate designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and serves as a memorandum of the 80.000 victims on World War I.
On the walls are written of around 13300 servicemen’s names fallen in the battle. If you are lucky and visit New Delhi on the 26th of January you will be able to watch a great parade just in front of India’s Gate.
4. Shopping in Sarojini nagar market
Sarojini Nagar Market is the most famous market in Delhi and India. You will find there everything that you may look for. Everything is available here. Western wear, Indian wear, shoes, belts leather products, and so on in amazing low price.
A shirt for 100 (2$) rupees or pair of jeans for 300 rupees is absolutely normal there. As mentioned in our post for Goa you can even bargain on those prices especially if you are going to buy a quantity!
The fact that the clothes are cheap does not mean necessarily that they are fake. You may find factory rejects but be aware that there are also properly made clothes for the people that cannot afford the “regular” prices and unfortunately in India there are many.
5. Hauz Khas Village and Hauz Khas Fort
The Hauz Khas Village is famous for its nightlife where a lot of teenagers are going to party. Apart though from the nightlife there a many small coffee shops, designers’ stores, and restaurants.
If you want to buy some high-quality clothes and home décor accessories but without paying a lot Hauz Khas Village is the place to get them.
The Hauz Khas Fort Built between 13th and 14th century is something that you cannot miss it. A popular place for chilling, taking a walk, and even make a photoshoot session. The scenery is pretty beautiful with a small lake inside the complex and maybe is the quietest place in Delhi.
A place to enjoy a coffee is Kunzum Travel Café. A place where travelers from all over the world will visit at least once when they will be in India. Prepare to meet interested people from all over the globe and share your stories. The store is all about traveling and wouldn’t be a bad idea to become a worldwide franchise!
6. Visit the Red Fort known also as LAL QILA
The Red Fort is located in Old Delhi just next to the river Yamuna an Salimgarh. It is an impressive, huge red fort that was built from the same person who built the Taj Mahal, Emperor Shah Jahan. This happened when he decided to move from Agra to Delhi. There are only two Red Forts in the world, the Red Fort in Delhi and the Agra Fort which is also built by emperor Shah Jahan.
Regardless its current red colour, according to Archaeological Survey of India, the Red Fort was originally white. It is made up of limestone but when the white colour began to fade the British decided to paint in red.
An interesting story is the one of the Kohinoor Diamond which was part of the throne in Red Fort. During the British colonization of India, the Diamond was taken to England and today is a part of the crown of Queen of England.
7. The Lotus Temple
Lotus Temple is an absolutely amazing building in Kalkaji in New Delhi. It is dedicated to Bahai faith, a religion founded by Baha-ullah, a Persian nobleman from Tehran. It looks like a lotus flower which is why it is called Lotus Temple.
The Persian architect who designed the Temple, Fariborz Sahba, presented the design to the construction company by actually holding a lotus flower floated in the water for the cardboard model. Why lotus? The Lotus temple is a temple which symbolizes peace, purity, love, and immortality while it is open to people from all religions.
The temple looks like a half-opened Lotus flower with 27 freestanding petals made of concrete and covered by marble from Greece while the tallest one is 35 meters high.
8. Akshardham temple
Visiting Akshardham temple is one of the things that you must do when you visit New Delhi. It is a phenomenal structure from architecture and size points of view. It is a mind-blowing building, and many will say that is at the same level as the Taj Mahal while others prefer Akshardham temple over Agra’s temple.
You are going to love the details in the stone and marble while you are going to be amazed by the light show and the massive 3d projections.
Unfortunately, all the electronic devices have to be turned off before the entrance and that’s why, unfortunately, we didn’t have the luck to take photos and share with you in our post.
9. Qutb Complex and Qutb Minaret
Qutb complex is an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the complex, you will be able to admire Hindy temples alongside the mosque which is also believed that it is an ex Hindy structure.
The highlight of the Qutb Complex is the Qutub Minar. It is the tallest minaret in the world over 60 meters high. There is a big controversial discussion regarding the actual origins of the tower and in general the first use of the complex. Many logical questions that are against the current theories such as why minaret door is facing north while it should face East or why the buildings that surround the minaret are Hindy temples.
The bottom line is that the entire structure and its architecture is amazing. Maybe we are not able to give the credits to the people who visioned and constructed it but it is absolutely spectacular!
10. Take a guided food walking tour
As we mentioned in another post regarding India, eating is absolutely safer when it is in a restaurant but it is better when you have the chance to actually try specialties like a local! Indian cuisine is famous for its spices and actually has influenced many countries and areas around the globe such as Great Britain, the Caribbean, South America, and so on.
Get your Guide offered us many options and we do not hesitate to share them with you!