Attractions in New Delhi
New Delhi is a huge city and as well known capital of India. No wonder you find some amazing attractions and sights here.
Bahá’í Temple (Lotus Temple)
The Bahá’í Temple or Bahá’í House of Worship is located in southern New Delhi amidst green gardens and fountains. The temple is actually shaped like a lotus flower and is very spectacular at sunset when the lighting from the river is turned on. It is open from 8am. 9 am to 2 pm 1900 in the summer, and from 1 p.m. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1730 in winter. It’s closed on Mondays.
- See AbbreviationFinder for commonly used abbreviation of city New Delhi, India. Also includes meanings of the same acronym.
Qutb Minar Complex
The Qutb Minar Complex in Mehrauli is a collection of old buildings and monuments surrounded by manicured gardens. Here it can get quite crowded on the weekends. The Qutb Minar is a 72 meter high stone tower 13th century. Here also stands a 1,600-year-old and seven-meter-high column of pure iron, which apparently does not rust. The entire Qutb complex is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Entrance fee is approx. 40 kroner. The complex is open from sunrise to sunset.
Humayun’s Tomb is one of New Delhi’s landmarks. It is a mausoleum built for the Mughal Empire Emperor Humayun in 1565. The building set the architectural standard for later Mughal monuments and you can very clearly see the similarities to the Taj Mahal in Agra. Humayun’s Tomb is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It is open daily from 7 am 1000 to 6 p.m. 1800, and it’s free admission.
Red Fort (Lal Qila)
This impressive fortress from 1640 is one of the most recognizable in New Delhi and is a well-known motif from postcards. The fortress is built of red sandstone, and here India’s independence was declared in 1947. The fortress houses a military museum, an archaeological museum and the largely well-preserved ruins of the Mughal emperors’ palaces. The entrance fee costs approx. 15 kroner.
Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest markets in New Delhi. It is located just off the Red Fort. It is mainly a local market and not intended for tourists. Here you can buy fabrics in meters and spices in hectares from thousands of small stalls in hundreds of narrow alleys. The mood is as most people imagine India to be the most exotic, with several surrounding temples and the most famous mosque close by. Bring water and patience when visiting Chandni Chowk! Bicycle rickshaw is recommended.
In Old Delhi you will find Jami Masjid, India’s largest mosque with room for 25,000 kneeling worshipers. It was built around 1650 by the same man who built the Taj Mahal, the mogul emperor Shah Jahan. The pool in the middle is used for purification rituals. From the south tower you have the best view of New Delhi. There is free entry, but you have to pay eight dollars to bring a camera with you. You need to take off your shoes at the entrance, and shoulders and knees must be covered.
New Delhi’s own triumphal arch is located in Rajpath, New Delhi. It is a 42-meter-high memorial of Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I and the wars against Afghanistan. The foundation stone was laid down in 1921, and the space around India Gate is one of New Delhi’s most common meeting places, with its green parks and pedal boat rental pools.
Bangra Sahib Sikh Temple
Not far from Connaught Place you will find this gem of a Sikh temple, where, after Sikh tradition, food is served to all visitors. Here the sacred book of the Sikhs is worshiped, which is closed every night and put into its own bed. There are great views from the pool in front of the temple. There is free admission, but the head must be covered with a scarf or similar
Purana Qila, or Old Fort was built in the 16th century and is one of New Delhi’s most famous monuments. The Mughal emperors left this fort and built a new one, Lal Qi’lah, after realizing that there was a curse on Purana Qila. Today you will find New Delhi’s zoo and a boat club in the area. It costs approx. 15 kroner to get in, and it is open from 10am. 0600 to 6 p.m. 1900.
Just south of Raj Path, midway between India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan, is the New Delhi National Museum. Here you will find exhibitions and objects from Indian culture and history for more than five thousand years. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 p.m. 1000 to 6 p.m. 1700. It costs 22 NOK for entrance fees and 45 for a camera.
The toilet museum Since very many of India’s tourists spend considerably more time than planned on the toilet, it is very fitting that in New Dehli you will find the world’s only toilet museum!!! At the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets you can immerse yourself in the history of the toilet from thousands of years back. The museum is open from 1000 to 1700 Monday to Saturday and is located in Palam Dabri Marg.
New Delhi Tourist
To get around New Delhi, you are dependent on transportation. The easiest thing is to rent a taxi for a day. If you have bargain properties in order, you should be able to get the price down to 7-800 rupees (about 100-120 kroner) for eight hours, which should last for a day’s sightseeing. Then the driver will take you where you want and wait in the car while you are at the attractions.
Day 1 in New Delhi
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, start the day by asking the driver to drive you to the Lotus Temple, or Bahai Temple, also called. On the weekends there can be a lot of people here, so it’s a good idea to take this early. The area around the lotus-shaped temple from 1986 is characterized by stone-paved paths between green lawns that are not allowed to walk. The interior is simple, white and spartan, with no big altars or goddesses you see anywhere else. And here it is mostly structured, with good signage showing where to go and where to find stalls where you hand in your shoes for receipt before entering the temple area itself.
Afterwards, head west to Qutb Minar. The entire area with 800 to 1000 year old monuments, towers, mausoleums, mosques and temple ruins is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Qutb Minar itself is a 72 meter high stone tower, India’s tallest and a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. The tower is built in red sandstone and is 14 meters in diameter at the pedestal and 2.7 meters at the top. Unfortunately, it is no longer allowed to go up into the tower. Among the area’s more curious sights is a 1,600-year-old and seven-foot-high pillar of pure iron that mysteriously does not rust.
Then maybe it will be time for lunch? One suggestion is that on the road north towards the center, stop in Hauz Khas Village. This is a nice shopping and restaurant area where you can have a good and affordable lunch at the Village Bistro with rooftop terrace and idyllic views of Deer Park, a river and a castle ruin.
From Hauz Khas Village continue north. If you have the time and the desire, you can stop for a while in the Dilli Haat market. Here you will find clothing and fabrics from all over India as well as gold items, crafts and traditional tourist souvenirs at good prices. Here there is considerably less hassle and stress than in the more central markets.
Walk through the Lodi Gardens and Khan Market park area before coming up to New Delhi’s distinctive India Gate. This 42-meter-high Triumphal-like monument is in memory of Indian soldiers who have lost their lives in war. It is blocked off to the public (2006) and guarded by armed soldiers as it is considered a potential terror target. The vast green area around India Gate is a favorite outing destination for families and couples, including, among other things, cycling in bike boats in small green pools.
The two kilometer long, grand open boulevard leading up to Parliament and the Presidential residence, with manicured trees on each side, is not what most people expect from Delhi. The street is more suitable for cities such as London or Paris, while the buildings that make up the Parliament could just as well have been in Athens or Rome.
In the afternoon, ask the driver to drive to Bangra Sahib Sikh Temple, a gem of a Sikh temple located just off Connaught Place. Here, the shoes must be handed in at their own tourist office and their heads covered with a scarf. Inside the temple is worshiped the sacred book of the Sikhs, which is closed every night and put into a separate bed in a separate room in the corner of the temple. Everyone who comes in is offered hot food in a classic Sikh tradition. Outside is a large pool where some Sikhs take cleansing baths among carp and goldfish. Tourists are advised to stroll around the pool. The view from the other side towards the temple is excellent.
After a trip back to the hotel for a much needed cold shower, a change of clothes and some peace and quiet, it’s time for dinner. Most people want to eat Indian food when they are finally in India, so why not try the little restaurant Karim’s. You will find this little gem that has attracted both locals and well-informed visitors for years, in Jami Masjid 16, above Hotel Bombay Orient. The lamb dishes are legendary, but be prepared that you get neither beer nor wine for food, nor can you pay by card.
Day 2 in New Delhi
The next day you take it a little more quietly. A few kilometers southeast of India Gate is a building that you would think seems incredibly well known. But surely Taj Mahal is in Agra? Humayun’s Tomb, like the Taj Mahal, is a mausoleum, and both buildings have the same form and construction technique. Humayun was one of the Mughal emperors, and his mausoleum set the standard for future edifices. Humayun’s Tomb is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list today.
Afterwards, head north to Old Delhi and find the distinctive Red Fort. From the main gate here India’s independence was declared and the Indian flag raised for the first time in 1947. The fortress dates from the 1640s and is built in red sandstone. Today it houses several museums and more or less well-preserved remains of the Mughal emperors’ palaces. The British destroyed much of the interior under their rule, but the area is definitely worth a visit. The street inside the gate has a number of souvenir shops that sell pretty much exactly what you can buy outside, only at significantly higher prices.
If shopping is tempting today, you have legendary Chandni Chowk just outside the Red Fort, but for a tourist who isn’t looking for 50-kilo bags of rice or yards of silk fabric, probably Janpath at Connaught Place is a better option. This is a classic shopping street for tourists, where you will find most of clothing, fabrics, crafts and souvenirs. You get good prices if you bargain hard, but it is tiring, and the salespeople are very skilled and convincing. Have patience and mood, haggle with a smile, and do not lose sight of the slog or go over the price you have decided.
For dinner, try Rampur Kitchen, a Muslim small restaurant at Khan’s Market. The specialty is milled lamb meat eaten in freshly baked hot bread with rice and vegetables, served on large copper plates. It is far from the cheapest restaurant in town, and you should not come here in T-shirts and shorts, but it is still affordable by Norwegian standards and an experience you do not get in Norway.