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10 Historical Places In Delhi You Must Visit Once In Your Lifetime

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Exploring the historical sites in Delhi gives you a glimpse into the legacies of the empires that have shaped the history of India. From ancient ruins to magnificent forts, each historical place in Delhi is equally unique and is a testament to the cultural heritage of our country. So, without any further ado, let’s take a quick look at the top 10 historical places in Delhi you should definitely visit.

1. Qutub Complex

When you are visiting Qutub Minar, you are about to witness an architectural marvel of the ancient ages. It is an iconic tower that is a part of the vast Qutub complex. It stands as a reminder of India’s past and the fusion of different arts and cultures. This particular historical monument should be at the very top of your list while you visit Delhi.

Qutub Minar is also a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, standing 72.5 m tall and being the tallest brick tower in the world as well. The construction work of Qutub Minar began in 1192 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak who was the founder of the Delhi Sultanate. But the construction was later finished by his successors and went through many renovations.

The five-story tower is made of red sandstone and marble and includes 379 steps in total. The complex also includes some other important features, including Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, one of the earliest mosques in India. Qutub Minar is an important historical structure in India that attracts both Indians and international tourists. it’s a very popular destination in Delhi that you must visit.

Another remarkable monument is the Iron Pillar, famous for its rust-resistant power. The main material of this pillar is iron, and it dates back to the 5th or 6th century, During the reign of the Gupta Empire. The main feature of this pillar is that even after being exposed to different weather conditions, it still has caught no rust at all. This particular phenomenon has fascinated researchers and scientists from all around the world.

2. Red Fort

The Red Fort built during the Mughal era still stands as a magnificent testament to the architectural brilliance of that time. This fort, too, is a declared UNESCO world heritage site that attracts many visitors every year.

The fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan constructed the Red Fort in the middle of the 17th century. It served as the main palace of the Mughal emperors for nearly 200 years. The fort is named after the red sandstone used in its construction.

The red fort includes a huge complex with impressive walls, high gateways, multiple pavilions, gardens, and a courtyard. The Lahori Gate is the main entrance of the red fort and leads you to Chatta Chowk, a bustling market inside the fort complex. Then there is the Delhi Gate, or Dilli Darwaza, where Aurangzeb was held captive during the last days of his life.

This fort also has important structures, such as Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Khas Mahal, Rang Mahal, etc which have outstanding artwork and craftsmanship of the Mughal era. The fort stand as a testimonial to how glorious those days were when the Mughal Empire ruled India.

The red fort stands as a captivating historical structure in Delhi and also a national pride of India. It’s one of the prominent historical places to visit in Delhi.

3. India Gate

India Gate is one of the best historical places to visit in Delhi. It is an arch-shaped structure that stands at a height of 42 metres and is placed in the middle of a majestic lawn. It serves as a symbol of India’s spirit, unity, and resilience.

Constructed in 1931, India Gate was built in honour of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War I and the Indo-Afghan War. The names of more than 13,000 brave souls are written on the walls of the monument. The inscription serves as a reminder of their bravery and valour.

The architecture of the India Gate draws inspiration from the Arc De Triomphe in Paris. Made of red sandstone, the monument includes detailed designs, and the area is perfect for tourists and locals to take a walk. The monument and the surrounding area light up at night and present a mesmerising sight. You can also take a walk in the area, enjoying street foods from the food stalls.

4. Lotus Temple

The Lotus Temple, also known as the Baha’i House of Worship, is a must-visit place in the capital. This unique temple was designed by Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba and finished in 1986. The structure resembles a lotus flower, with twenty-seven marble-clad petals arranged in groups of three and nine sides.

The entire temple is primarily made of white marble to provide a pristine appearance. The surrounding area also includes nine ponds and gardens. You can take part in a variety of activities like attending classes or participating in devotional meetings while visiting the temple.

You can pray or meditate while sitting in the temple, there is no chanting or other such rituals followed, you just have to maintain silence while you are there. Hundreds of tourists come to visit the Lotus Temple every year to witness the spirituality and outstanding architecture. However, photography is not allowed inside the temple, so you can take pictures from the outside.

5. Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar stands as an iconic astronomical site situated in the heart of New Delhi. It is one of those historical places that has stood beyond time and still serves as an important observatory.

Founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur at the beginning of the 18th century, Jantar Mantar acts as a testament to the architectural and scientific brilliance of that time. It includes 13 astronomical instruments which were quite useful back in the day for different kinds of purposes. These instruments are made of stone and marble, and each instrument works differently. For example, there is Samrat Yantra, the largest instrument, which is a sundial that calculates time within seconds.

The Jaiprakash Yantra includes hollow hemispheres to measure the position of celestial bodies. The Rama Yantra is a cylindrical structure that can measure the altitude of stars. In 2010, this place became a UNESCO world heritage site as well.

If you are interested to know exactly how people from the ancient era measured time or create a calendar, then the Jantar Mantar is a place you should not miss visiting.

6. Agrasen ki Baoli

Agrasen ki Baoli is a historical step well located in the heart of Delhi. Surely it is an architectural marvel which is like a hidden gem in the middle of the bustling city. Historical records do not provide any clarity on the origin of this place, but it is said that this Maharaja Agrasen built this step well and then it was rebuilt in the 14th century.

According to popular belief, this stepwell is named after Maharaja Agrasen, a legendary king of the Agarwal community. The baoli includes three stories and 108 steps in total. It has managed to gain huge popularity among locals and tourists in recent years.

Apart from being an architectural marvel, the place is also termed mysterious with many haunted stories associated with it. A lot of people complained about hearing strange noises and some also said that they have seen ghosts as well. This place has also been featured in some of the most popular Bollywood movies such as Sultan and PK.

7. Rashtrapati Bhawan

Rastrapati Bhawan in Delhi is the official residence of the president of India. Whether you are a political enthusiast or just an interested citizen, you should definitely pay a visit to this place. Take a walk through the Mughal Gardens or check out the museum to take a look at the historical artefacts.

Spread across a whopping 330 acres, the Rashtrapati Bhawan stands as a symbol of the nation’s power, history, and values. Constructed by British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, the Rashtrapati Bhawan was originally known as the Viceroy’s House. It then served as the residence of the British viceroy until India got its freedom.

The whole building is no less than an architectural masterpiece that includes both Indian and Western elements. The design reflects grace and elegance, with its gigantic central dome and the magnificent Mughal gardens making it more appealing.

So, next time you are in Delhi, make sure to take a guided tour to visit this gigantic complex.

8. Mehrauli Archaeological Park

Mehrauli Archaeological Park in Delhi is a historical treasure park spread across more than 200 acres. The park is one of the most ancient places in Delhi. Located near the Qutub Minar complex, this place includes over a hundred monuments, some of which date back to the tenth century. Within the park, you can explore ancient monuments and structures that date back to different periods. There are the ruins of the Tomb of Balban, the Jamali Kamali Mosque, and the ancient stepwell known as Rajon Ki Baoli, etc.

9. Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid is one of the largest and most magnificent mosques in India. Built in 1656 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, it is a prominent historical structure. The mosque is made of red sandstone and white marble, with detailed carvings and calligraphy.

The courtyard alone can hold around 25,000 worshipers at a time for prayers. It has a grand central dome and two gigantic minarets facing the city. You can visit the mosque in the evening and enjoy the sunset while sitting in the courtyard.

10. Humayun’s tomb

Built in the 16th century, Humayun’s Tomb is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are a history buff, then this place should be on your list. Followed by the initiative of the wife of Humayun, the tomb was founded in 1565. The architecture of the tomb is inspired by a Persian-styled theme.

It was also the very first structure built by Mugal architecture in India. It later influenced the main architecture of the magnificent Taj Mahal. This particular historical structure situated in east Delhi is made of black and yellow marble, and the building is made of red sandstone.

Delhi is a place that will never disappoint you. Apart from the monuments mentioned above you can also visit other places such as Lodhi Tomb, Hauz Khas, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, Tughlaqabad Fort. Purana Qila. Alai Minar and more. The capital city is not only known for its historical monuments but also for its awesome nightlife.

Plan your Delhi trip and allow Thomas Cook to create an itinerary that will help you witness the best of what Delhi has to offer. Go to the official website, browse through various packages, and choose the one that suits your preferences.

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