The capital of India and bulging with over 18 million people and visiting Delhi is an experience in itself.
Break down your sightseeing into areas and allow plenty of time to get there via rickshaw or train. Delhi is vast and the sights are dotted across the city.
These are my favourite sights in Delhi, please leave a comment if you have more suggestions!
A UNESCO Heritage Site, Humayun’s Tomb, in eastern Delhi, is the resting place of the last Mughal Emperor. This breathtaking mausoleum inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Visiting at sunset offers you the best light for photos and far less people in them.
When you first enter the complex, on your right is Isa Khan’s tomb, this smaller tomb was my favourite area to visit and photograph.
It was a more majestic and peaceful setting to soak up the afternoon sun than the busier and bigger tomb of Khan-i-Khanan
JAMA MASJID MOSQUE
Jama Masjid Mosque is India’s largest mosque holding 25,000 worship within is great gates and towers.
No shoes are allowed in the complex and there is a strict dress code, most tourists have to wear gowns available at the entrance to cover up.
There are supposed ‘shoe minders’ who ‘voluntarily’ guard your shoes from thieves but request a tip when you return, cheeky but everyone needs to make a living in this heaving city.
7,000 skilled workers built this breathtaking temple in just five short years.
The word Akshardham means the ‘abode of god’ in Hindu and holds the world record for the ‘World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple’.
Attracting 70% of all tourists who visit Delhi, this temple is a feast for the eyes.
The Red Fort was built in 1648 by the fifth Mughal Emperor and became the Royal Residence for 200 years. Like most historical buildings in Delhi, the fort is made from red sandstone and the architecture is heavily influenced by 17th century Persian and Timurid architecture.
If you head into the fort I would suggest taking a guided tour as once inside there is very little to do and see. A history lesson would enrich your visit otherwise you can simply take photos of the exterior.
HAUS KHAZ VILLAGE
The main reason to head to this mini oasis other than a break from the chaos of Delhi is to watch the sunset from the balcony of one of the overlooking cafés or restaurants over the Hauz Khas Fort.
Sip a rare alcoholic cocktail after a long day of sight-seeing as the sun drops behind the smog skimming Delhi’s ocean of rooftops.
Hauz Khas Fort Complex is dotted along a lake reservoir, known as the ‘water tank’, and next to Deer Park, a popular green space in the city.
Situated in New Delhi, the Lotus temple is the house of worship for the Bahá’í Faith, a religion whose ‘’purpose is to unite all races and peoples in one universal cause and one common Faith’’.
There are seven Bahá’í houses of worship across the world; Western Somoa, Australia, Uganda, Panama, Germany, USA and this beautiful temple in Delhi, India.
Not only architecturally breathtaking, this temple has incredible acoustics. I would suggest staying for a service, which involves many languages and singing that bounces of the curved roof evoking a unique spiritual experience.
Chandni Chowk is the epitome of Old Delhi and all the chaos, colours and smells that encompass a visit to India.
This main road was the pulse of the 17th century walled city and runs from the Lahori Gate (by the Red Fort) to the Fatepuri Masjid. Chandni Chowk road is lined with vendors selling everything from food and spices to books, clothing, electric goods and leather.
Congested with traffic, pollution and beggars, Chandni Chowk is an unforgettable place but not for the faint hearted. I wouldn’t suggest women walk alone here at night.
There are numerous bazaar/markets to visit in Chandni Chowk
– Chawri Bazaar for paper, stationary items and musical instruments
– Nai Sarak for books, stationery items and musical instruments
– Cloth Markets at Fatehpur and the various Katras for textiles
– Dariba Kalan and Kinari Bazaar for jewelery
– Moti Bazar for shawls and pearls.
– Khari Baoli for dry fruits, pulses, food grains, spices and saffron
GANDHI MUSEUM & MEMORIAL
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Gandhi
The face and leader of India’s Civil Independence movement, Mahatma Ganhdi is a man everyone needs to know about.
The museum in Old Delhi houses personal items, a thorough life story of this world leader and the trials and tribulations he faced before his assassination on 30th January 1948 in New Delhi.
SLUM WALKING TOUR
PETE INDIA (Providing Education to Everyone) is a non-profit organisation who runs walking tours and other volunteer programs in Delhi’s largest slum, Kathputli Colony and has now expanded to other areas in India.
It is more of a ‘privileged experience’ than a tour as you meet and interact with the slum’s families in the maze of a city within a city. Pete’s Walks were the highlight of my time in Delhi and a place I will visit every-time I return to Delhi.
India Gate is a memorial to the 82,000 fallen Indian soldiers fighting in the British India Army during WWII.
Beware of scams here there are organisations asking for donations for needy children or money for a photo permit.
This was my favourite market in Delhi, I visited multiple times.
This is one of the few markets you need to pay a few rupees to enter but the market stalls have a huge variety of items from all over India and home wares, linens, clothing, artwork and knick knacks I haven’t come across in any other Indian cities.
QUTB MINAR COMPLEX
Construction of this 72.5 metre sandstone tower began in the early 13th century and is carved with verses from the Qur’an.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the imposing tower is surrounded by ancient ruins and the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque built in India.
INTERESTED IN BUYING PRINTS?
I have been on the road for ten years accumulating an absurd number of images that I would love to share.
Head over to my photography site, IndiaParishPhotography.com to browse prints from across the globe.