Old Delhi, with its narrow lanes, bustling bazaars, and architectural marvels, is a treasure trove of history and culture. The vibrant energy and rich heritage of this part of the city attract visitors from around the world. In this blog post, we present a curated list of 10 must-visit places in Old Delhi, each offering a unique glimpse into the bygone era.
Top 10 Old Delhi Tourist Places to Visit
1. Red Fort
A symbol of Mughal grandeur, the Red Fort stands tall as a testament to India’s rich history. With its massive red sandstone walls and intricate architecture, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a glimpse into the royal life of the Mughal emperors. Walk through the Lahori Gate, which once served as the main entrance, and explore the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience) and Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) where the emperors held court. Don’t miss the sound and light show that brings the fort’s history to life in the evenings, narrating tales of valor and splendor.
2. Qutub Minar
The soaring Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a striking example of Indo-Islamic architecture. Dating back to the 12th century, this minaret stands at an impressive height of 73 meters and offers panoramic views of the city from its top. Admire the intricate carvings and calligraphy on its walls as you climb the spiral staircase to the balconies. Explore the surrounding Qutub Complex, which houses several historical structures, including the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza, and the Iron Pillar.
3. Jama Masjid
One of the largest and most beautiful mosques in India, Jama Masjid showcases the architectural finesse of the Mughal era. Commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan, the mosque took six years to complete and was inaugurated in 1656. Step into the vast courtyard, capable of accommodating over 25,000 worshippers, and marvel at the red sandstone and white marble domes that dominate the skyline. Climb to the top of the minaret for breathtaking views of Old Delhi, where you can capture the essence of the bustling city.
4. Humayun’s Tomb
Step into the enchanting world of the Mughals at Humayun’s Tomb, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent mausoleum, surrounded by lush gardens, is the resting place of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Designed by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, the tomb’s architectural brilliance served as a precursor to the Taj Mahal. The intricate detailing and symmetrical design of the tomb, along with the serene Charbagh garden, make it a photographer’s delight.
5. Chandni Chowk
The vibrant heart of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, is a bustling marketplace that dates back to the 17th century. Lose yourself in the maze of narrow lanes and explore the colorful shops, street food stalls, and historical landmarks. Start your journey from the iconic Red Fort and make your way through the bustling lanes. Experience the sensory overload as you pass by shops selling textiles, jewelry, spices, and electronics. Indulge in mouthwatering street food, from the famous Parathewali Gali to the delectable sweets at Ghantewala. Chandni Chowk offers a microcosm of Old Delhi’s charm, blending history, culture, and culinary delights.
6. Shri Digamber Jain Lal Mandir
Located in the heart of Chandni Chowk, the Shri Digamber Jain Lal Mandir is the oldest and best-known Jain temple in Delhi. Its stunning red sandstone architecture, intricate carvings, and tranquil ambiance make it a place of spiritual solace amidst the chaos of the city. Admire the ornate interiors, which include paintings depicting Jain mythology, and visit the Bird Hospital, a unique feature of the temple that offers medical care to injured birds.
7. Raj Ghat
Pay homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, at Raj Ghat. This serene memorial site is where Gandhi was cremated, and a simple black marble platform marks the spot. Surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens, the memorial exudes peace and tranquility. Take a moment to reflect on the life and teachings of this iconic leader who played a pivotal role in India’s independence movement.
8. St James Church
With its elegant architecture and serene atmosphere, St James Church is a hidden gem in Old Delhi. Built in the early 19th century, this Anglican church boasts beautiful stained glass windows, imposing columns, and a tranquil courtyard. Step inside to experience a moment of tranquility away from the bustling streets. The church’s historical significance adds to its allure, as it witnessed the tumultuous events of the 1857 Indian Rebellion against British rule.
9. Khari Baoli
Step into a fragrant world at Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice market. Located near the historic Red Fort, this bustling market is a feast for the senses. Marvel at the vibrant colors and aromas of a wide range of spices, nuts, and dried fruits. Witness the hustle and bustle of traders as they weigh and package their aromatic wares. Be sure to carry a camera to capture the vibrant ambiance and interact with the friendly shopkeepers, who are always willing to share stories and knowledge about the spices.
10. Fatehpuri Masjid
Fatehpuri Masjid, built in the 17th century by Fatehpuri Begum, is a stunning mosque that showcases exquisite craftsmanship and architectural grandeur. Admire the towering minarets, marble domes, and intricate carvings that adorn the mosque. Step inside the peaceful courtyard and experience the tranquility that envelops the premises. Fatehpuri Masjid is not just a place of worship but also a reflection of Delhi’s historical and cultural heritage.
Old Delhi is a tapestry of historical wonders, each site offering a unique glimpse into the city’s past. From majestic forts and grand mosques to bustling markets and serene memorials, this part of the city is a treasure trove for history buffs and culture enthusiasts. Exploring these 10 must-visit places will transport you to a bygone era, leaving you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.
At Majestic Taj Tours, we understand the importance of experiencing Old Delhi in a way that captures its essence and unveils its hidden gems. That’s why we are dedicated to providing guided tours that offer a truly immersive and unforgettable experience. Our knowledgeable and passionate guides will take you on a journey through time, sharing captivating stories and insights along the way.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply someone eager to explore the rich cultural heritage of India, our guided Delhi Tours will cater to your interests and preferences. We strive to create exceptional experiences, ensuring that every aspect of your tour is carefully curated and designed to exceed your expectations.
For any tour inquiries or to book your Old Delhi exploration, please contact us via email or simply initiate a chat below. Our team is always here to assist you and provide personalized recommendations based on your interests and preferences. Let us be your trusted companion as you embark on a remarkable journey through the historical treasures of Old Delhi and beyond.