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10 Things to See and Do in Delhi
1. Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum
Delhi, the capital of India and home to an estimated 18 million people, is a thriving urban sprawl that does not often win many fans from visiting tourists. Called a gritty, congested city by some, one thing is certain, it’s a city stuck somewhere between reality and the modern metropolis the Indian Government has spent years and billions of dollars to change. Below is a list of 10 things to see and do in Delhi; A starter’s guide of the top destinations which will help immerse any tourist in the history, culture, appetite, and consumerism of India.
The first female Prime Minister of India won many fans as well as enemies for her political actions. Unfortunately, it was her enemies who were successful in assassinating her in 1984. As she walked from her home through the lush, well-groomed gardens to a scheduled interview just yards away, she was gunned down by her bodyguards. Her home was converted into this museum where visitors can learn of her life inside, and outside of politics.
2. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
The father of Indira Gandhi and one time Prime Minister of the newly independent India, his untimely death in 1964 was a national tragedy. Now converted into a memorial museum, Teen Murti Bhavan still houses many of his personal belongings. Press clippings and photos tell the story of his life as visitors move through the various rooms on both levels. Simple gardens surround the whitewashed building which once played backdrop to the most powerful people in India.
3. India Gate
This magnificent archway is located in one of the central nerves of New Delhi. Tourists will find themselves driving past the monument several times as crisscross the city. The names of the 90,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in the First World War, Afghan campaign of 1919 and the North-West Frontier operations are inscribed on the walls of this grand structure.
4. Jama Masjid
A final and fitting end of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan’s extravagant building era can be seen in the magnificent Jama Masjid; A massive complex comfortably taking the title as the largest mosque in India. Properly referred to as Masjid-i-Jahan Numa meaning ‘the mosque commanding a view of the world’, today the landmark of India is a tourist ‘Must See” while in the city of Old Delhi.
5. National Gallery of Modern Art
Housed in the imposing former residential palace of Maharaja of Jaipur, the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) is situated at the eastern end of Rajpath near India Gate administered by the Government of India. Inaugurated on March 29, 1954, the gallery has a wonderful collection of around 15000 paintings, sculptures, and works of arts by Indian as well as international artists. The gallery acquires, preserves, and displays works of modern art from mid 19th century onward.
6. Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk, meaning Silvery, Moonlit Square, once had a canal running through it. Laid out in 1648, it was Shahjahanabad’s most elegant boulevard lined with mansions and grand shops. Tightly packed stalls selling everything from jewelry, clothes, shoes, and more line the current day alleys and lanes. Behind every corner, travelers can find shops tucked behind another bend where only pedestrians could possibly fit.
7. Lodi Gardens
The Lodi Gardens are a beautiful example of history preserved in the heart of modern south Delhi. A walk around the serene oasis of the Lodi Gardens is sure to prove a refreshing break from the urban rush of bustling Delhi. The gardens are a popular picnic spot in winter and the park can get very crowded during winter afternoons. Yoga classes are held every morning in the park and regular walkers exercise early in the morning and late at night. Street lamps along the paths and jogging track ensure the route is well lit.
8. The Imperial Hotel
Impeccably maintained grounds of palm trees, green grass, and perfectly sculpted hedges surround the immaculately clean art deco building. This showcase for tourists of India houses many restaurants and boutiques as well as a spa and pool. This is a place to relax and indulge. Come hungry and ready to shop!
9. Qutub Minar
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is considered the highest stone tower in India. Local and foreign tourists converge to the ancient ruins as a top sightseeing location of not just Delhi, but all India. Years ago it was considered one of the “wonders of the East”, second only to the Taj Mahal.
There are plenty of great sites to explore in Delhi, India, but none more so than Akshardham. This newly built temple is simply…perfection. It’s an architectural experience combining religion, culture, and history into one area. Big and bold, this temple skipped no expense during the construction process. Built of hand-carved stone covering acres of land, this tourist Must Do is sure to impress even the most cynical of India.