Delhi, the capital of India, is known for its rich culture and heritage. The city has a lot to offer to any tourist or traveler. Delhi is home to many historic monuments that you should definitely visit if you are in this majestic city. This article will talk about the best monuments of Delhi.
1. Red Fort
The Red Fort is one of the most visited monuments in Delhi. The fort was built on a small hill by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1368. In the 18th century, the fort was taken over by the Sikhs and they used it as their residence for nearly 200 years. In 1803, after the defeat of the Sikhs before British forces, this fort was handed to them. The British renamed it, Fort William, after William Bentinck and took control over it thereafter. Even with the British in control, the fort still had a lot of significance and was used by them as military headquarters till India’s independence. In 1952, after India obtained its independence, the government took over the Red Fort.
Today, it is one of Delhi’s most popular tourist destinations and attracts thousands of tourists every year. The Red Fort houses several museums, art galleries, and different archaeological departments that showcase a collection of ancient artifacts. Some of these are more than 500 years old.
2. Humayun’s Tomb
Humayun’s Tomb, built-in 1562, is one of the most beautiful Mughal architecture structures in India. This mausoleum was built by Humayun’s wife Haji Begam who, after the death of her husband, had it built to honor his memory. The tomb is a perfect example of Mughal architecture and is made up of red sandstone with marble inlay work. The entire structure stands on a square base and is raised on a terrace platform. The interior walls are decorated with intricate latticework and marble inset panels that depict floral as well as geometric designs.
3. Qutub Minar and Complex
Qutub Minar is one of the tallest buildings in the world. It was built by Qutubuddin Aibak between 1197 and 1206 to commemorate the Battle of Badr where the Muslim forces defeated their Hindu counterparts. The structure consists of two parts – a 65-meter minaret on a square base and a 48-meter tall shaft rising out of it. The latter is known as the next generation (or second) minaret, which was built after Qutub’s death by his grandson Iltutmish who took over Delhi from his father Iltutmish as sultan in 1236 AD.
4. Alai Minar, Delhi
Alai Minar is another one of the famous historical monuments of Delhi. This tower was built by Qutubuddin Aibak, the founder of the Slave Dynasty, but never completed. The construction of this minaret was started in 1199 AD and stopped around 1206 AD. The minaret stands at a height of 72 meters and is believed to have had five stories when it was being constructed. If it was constructed completely, it would have been the tallest structure in the world at that time.
5. Bara Gumbad
The Bara Gumbad or Great Dome is one of the funerary monuments of delhi that houses the tomb of Sheikh Sanai or Sayyid Nuruddin. This tomb was built during the reign of Jahangir in 1618 AD by the then chief architect of Qutbuddin Aibak. This structure consists of a rectangular chamber and a dome resting on a high platform. The facade is decorated with marble inlay and contains inscriptions written in Arabic.
6. Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid is one of the largest Islamic mosques in India, with a capacity to hold 10,000 worshippers. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1658 AD, this mosque is well known for its beauty and grandeur. The entire structure is made out of red sandstone, with marble used extensively throughout its construction. The Jama Masjid is massive, standing at a height of 42 meters and having a width of 156 meters. It is the largest mosque built in India, the largest in any Indian city, and the fourth largest mosque in the whole world.
7. Purana Qila
This fort was built on a high rocky plateau by Sher Shah Suri between 1535 and 1537 AD as an extension to his Citadel in Delhi. This fort is one of the best-preserved forts in all of India and is often referred to as the “First City” because it was longer-lived than any other city before or after it. This fort was built to serve as a garrison for the soldiers of Sher Shah Suri’s army.
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8. Lodhi Garden
Lodhi Garden was built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in 1629 as a hunting lodge. Located at Lodhi Road in New Delhi, it has some of the most magnificent gardens and structures built at that time. Lodhi Garden is beautiful not only due to its magnificence but because of the architecture and wealth that it incorporated: it is one of the best examples of Mughal architecture in India.
9. Lotus Temple
The Lotus Temple was built by His Holiness Shri Guru Maharaj Ji in the memory of His Divine Grace, the Ninth Sikh Guru, Sri Gurbani Dhun. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and was made possible because of the efforts of millions of devotees. The main building at that time was in need of repair and so a new structure needed to be built – an entirely new temple.
10. Iron Pillar, Delhi
The Iron Pillar of Delhi is the most ancient and one of the most intriguing structures in Delhi. It was built in the 4th century and has stood the test of time. It is believed to be a pillar made from a single piece of Iron ore measuring 1.7 meters high and weighing 6 tons. The Iron Pillar has been tested for its authenticity several times, and tests have proved that it was manufactured between 200 BC to 200 AD in the pre-Punjab region of India, probably near modern Haryana or Punjab. This pillar stands at the entrance of the Qutub complex near Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque known as “Iron Pillar Mosque”, from where it derives its name.
Rajghat is a memorial built by Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi. The building was designed by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and is located near the banks of the Yamuna River, just south of the Yamuna Bridge. It was originally known as ‘Raj Ghat’ in memory of Bhagat Singh, who was cremated there after his death on 7 March 1931, along with Rajguru and Sukhdev at what later became Sukhna Lake.
Rajpath is a road running from Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate, in New Delhi to India Gate, on the banks of the River Yamuna at Rajghat. It is lined with government offices like the Indian Institute of Technology, National Textiles Academy (NTA), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), and other such institutions. Rajpath or Rashtrapati Marg was established in 1905 to commemorate the visit of King Edward VII of Britain to India. The name “Rajpath” was suggested by Dr. Govind Ballabh Pant in 1917 when he was appointed as chairman of the Public Works Department and Chief Engineer.
13. Teen Murti Bhavan (Nehru House) and Nehru Planetarium
Nehru House was the official residence of the Prime Minister of India from 1947–2004. It is currently a museum and archive maintained by the National Archives of India. The estate has been bestowed with gardens and lawns. The house was designed by Robert Tor Russell in 1913, as the residence of Sir Narendra Singh Sarila, a judge of the High Court and member of an aristocratic family known as “the grand old man of Punjab”. After his death in 1930, Sarila’s wife Lady Cynthia (née Pattle) donated it to the nation to be used as a memorial for Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946.
14. Old Fort, Delhi
Old Fort was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar between 1546 and 1553 in the area known as Azimabad, while the newly founded city of Shahjahanabad (City of Shah Jahan) was still under construction. Old Fort served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from the mid-16th century to the early 18th century after which the capital shifted to Lahore. The fort is located in between two earlier settlements Azimabad and Khairabad which were annexed by it. The fort is a walled area with an irregular hexagonal outline that rises to a height of over 30 meters (100 ft) surmounted by merlons (parapets). The fort is built of red sandstone and has a water tank in the center.
15. Isa Khan’s Tomb, Delhi
Isa Khan, also known as Mirza Isa Beg, was the founder of the Pashtun Lodi dynasty in Delhi. He was a great-grandson of Timur on his father’s side and his mother was the great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan. Isa Khan’s tomb complex is located in Mehrauli Archeological Park and houses the tomb of Isa Khan and other related tombs. It is an example of early Pashtun architecture in India.
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16. Agrasen ki Baoli
Agrasen ki Baoli is a well-known stepwell located in Mehrauli Archaeological Park in Delhi, India. It was built in 1565 by the Agrasen Jain clan. It is a popular heritage site and attracts many tourists from around the world. The step-well has 23 steps which descend down to the water level through three stories of balconies. The architecture resembles that of the Rajasthan stepwells, and it also has religious significance for Hindus as well as Jains.
17. Safdarjung Tomb, Delhi
Safdarjung Tomb is a tomb complex located in the south of Delhi, India. It was built by the Mughal emperor, Muhammad Shah Rangila. This mausoleum is located in South Delhi and is primarily used for prayer and meditation purposes. It has a rectangular garden that surrounds it and is a popular tourist attraction in Delhi.
18. Tughlaqabad Fort
Tughlaqabad Fort is located in Tughlaqabad, in the South-East Delhi district of Delhi. It was built by Ghiyas ud din Tughluq, the sultan of Delhi between 1321 and 1324. Tughlaqabad fort was the first major fort constructed by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq after he shifted his capital to Delhi from Thanesar. The fort has been described as a “wonder of the world” due to its massive structure and grandeur, with a perimeter wall of nearly 8 kilometers (5 statute miles).
19. Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar is an architectural observatory built in the city of Delhi. It was constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur between the years 1728 and 1734. It consists of 13 architectural astronomical instruments, including 3 large stone astrolabes, 2 large sundials, a large quadrant, 7 huge circular and octagonal pillars (resembling a giant ‘Dolmen’) used for determining time by observing the shadow cast by its gnomon on those pillars. It is located near Connaught Place at Jantar Mantar Road.
20. India Gate
India Gate, also known as Rajiv Gandhi Delhi-Indira Gandhi Delhi Memorial, is one of the monuments of Delhi built by the Indian government in memory of the former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, and his wife, Indira Gandhi. It is located at the end of Janpath near the India Gate in New Delhi. The memorial has four domes and the main structure with an area of 33 m (103 ft) x 32 m (105 ft). It was constructed in 2 phases: Phase I from 1984 to 1986 and Phase II from 1997 to 1998.
21. Hauz Khas Fort
Hauz Khas Fort is located in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi, and was used as a summer residence by the Mughal rulers. It was constructed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and was the largest residential complex of its time. It is now one of the most famous tourist sites in Delhi. The fortress complex is built around a small lake and houses many palaces, halls, and temples, including Ranjit Sagar Garden which is a natural waterfall on the Alaknanda River at a distance of 5 km from Chandni Chowk.
22. Mehrauli Archaeological Park
Mehrauli Archaeological Park is a site of archaeological excellence and tourist attraction in Delhi, India. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site tentative list in 2004 and on UNESCO’s tentative list of Tentative World Heritage Sites in 2005.
23. Lodhi Gardens
Lodhi Gardens was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1564 and includes several monuments of Delhi including the Shia Ithna Ashari mosque, the tomb of Humayun, a fort, and four gardens. The garden is also home to several royal palaces including Salimgarh Fort, which serves as an art gallery today. The park has many fountains that are still functioning.
To sum up
We hope you enjoyed reading about the various monuments of Delhi. We’ll keep coming back with more articles about delhi that will help you understand more about this mighty city.
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