Must see attractions in Delhi

  • Top ChoiceSights in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    Mehrauli Archaeological Park

    There are extraordinary riches scattered around Mehrauli, with more than 440 monuments – from the 10th century to the British era – dotting a forest and the village itself behind the forest. In the forest, most impressive are the time-ravaged tombs of Balban and Quli Khan, his son, and the Jamali Khamali mosque, attached to the tomb of the Sufi poet Jamali. To the west is the 16th-century Rajon ki Baoli, Delhi's finest step-well.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Red Fort

    Founded by Emperor Shah Jahan and surrounded by a magnificent 18m-high wall, this fort took 10 years to construct (1638–48) and is rumoured to have had the decapitated bodies of prisoners built into the foundations for luck. It once overlooked the Yamuna River, which has now shrunk to some distance away. A tree-lined waterway, known as nahr-i-bihisht (river of paradise), once ran out of the fort and along Chandni Chowk, fed by the Yamuna.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Humayun’s Tomb

    Humayun’s tomb is sublimely well proportioned, seeming to float above its symmetrical gardens. It's thought to have inspired the Taj Mahal, which it predates by 60 years. Constructed for the Mughal emperor in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, Humayun's Persian-born wife, the tomb marries Persian and Mughal elements. The arched facade is inlaid with bands of white marble and red sandstone, and the building follows strict rules of Islamic geometry, with an emphasis on the number eight.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Jama Masjid

    A beautiful pocket of calm at the heart of Old Delhi's mayhem, the capital's largest mosque is built on a 10m elevation. It can hold a mind-blowing 25,000 people. The marble and red-sandstone structure, known also as the ‘Friday Mosque’, was Shah Jahan’s final architectural triumph, built between 1644 and 1658. The four watchtowers were used for security. There are two minarets standing 40m high, one of which can be climbed for amazing views.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Dargah

    Visiting the marble shrine of Muslim Sufi saint Nizam-ud-din Auliya is Delhi's most mystical, magical experience. The dargah is hidden away in a tangle of bazaars selling rose petals, attars (perfumes) and offerings, and on some evenings you can hear the qawwali (Sufi devotional singing), amid crowds of devotees. The ascetic Nizam-ud-din died in 1325 at the ripe old age of 92. His doctrine of tolerance made him popular not only with Muslims, but with adherents of other faiths, too.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    Qutb Minar Complex

    If you only have time to visit one of Delhi's ancient ruins, make it this. The first monuments here were erected by the sultans of Mehrauli, and subsequent rulers expanded on their work, hiring the finest craftspeople and artisans to set in stone the triumph of Muslim rule. The complex is studded with ruined tombs and monuments, the majestic highlight of which is the Qutab Minar, a 73m-tall 12th-century tower, after which this complex is named.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Purana Qila

    Shh, whisper it quietly: this place is better than the Red Fort. Delhi's 'Old Fort' isn't as magnificent in size and grandeur, but it's far more pleasant to explore, with tree-shaded landscaped gardens to relax in, crumbling ruins to climb over (and even under, in the case of the tunnels by the mosque) and no uptight guards with whistles telling you not to go here and there.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    Tughlaqabad

    This magnificent 14th-century ruined fort, half reclaimed by jungle and gradually being encroached on by villages, was Delhi's third incarnation, built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. The sultan poached workers from the Sufi saint Nizam-ud-din, who issued a curse that shepherds would inhabit the fort. However, it's monkeys rather than shepherds that have taken over. There are fantastic emerald-green views. Interlinking underground rooms, which you can explore, were used as storehouses.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    Qutab Minar

    The Qutab Minar that gives the complex its name is an unmissable, soaring Afghan-style victory tower and minaret, erected by sultan Qutb-ud-din in 1193 to proclaim his supremacy over the vanquished Hindu rulers of Qila Rai Pithora. Ringed by intricately carved sandstone bands bearing verses from the Quran, the tower stands nearly 73m high and tapers from a 15m-diameter base to a mere 2.5m at the top. Admission price is to the whole Qutab Minar Complex.

  • Sights in New Delhi

    Rajpath

    Rajpath (Kingsway) is a vast parade linking India Gate to the offices of the Indian government. Built on an imperial scale between 1914 and 1931, it was designed by Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and underlined the ascendance of the British rulers. Yet just 16 years later, the Brits were out on their ear and Indian politicians were pacing the corridors of power.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Akshardham Temple

    Delhi's largest temple, the Gujarati Hindu Swaminarayan Group’s Akshardham Temple was built in 2005, and is breathtakingly lavish. Artisans used ancient techniques to carve the pale red sandstone into elaborate reliefs, including 20,000 deities, saints and mythical creatures. The centrepiece is a 3m-high gold statue of Bhagwan Shri Swaminarayan surrounded by more, fabulously intricate carvings. The 'exhibitions' ticket includes a boat ride through 10,000 years of Indian history, with animatronics telling stories from the life of Swaminarayan.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Lodi Garden

    Delhi's loveliest escape was originally named after the wife of the British Resident, Lady Willingdon, who had two villages cleared in 1936 in order to landscape a park containing the Lodi-era tombs. Today, these lush, tree-shaded gardens – a favoured getaway for Delhi's elite, local joggers and courting couples – help protect more than 100 species of trees and 50 species of birds and butterflies, as well as half a dozen fabulously captivating 15th-century Mughal monuments.

  • Sights in New Delhi

    Gandhi Smriti

    This poignant memorial to Mahatma Gandhi is in Birla House. He was shot dead on the grounds by a Hindu zealot on 30 January 1948, after campaigning against intercommunal violence. The house itself is where Gandhi spent his last 144 days. The exhibits include film footage, modern art, and rooms preserved just as Gandhi left them. The small clothes shop within the grounds sells garments made from khadi, homespun cotton that was championed by Gandhi during the Independence movement.

  • Sights in New Delhi

    Connaught Place

    This confusing circular shopping district was named after George V’s uncle, the Duke of Connaught, and fashioned after the Palladian colonnades of Bath. Greying, whitewashed, colonnaded streets radiate out from the central circle of Rajiv Chowk, with blocks G to N in the outer circle and A to F in the inner circle. Today they mainly harbour brash, largely interchangeable but popular, bars, and international chain stores, plus a few good hotels and restaurants. Touts are rampant.

  • Sights in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Chandni Chowk

    Old Delhi’s main drag is lined by Jain, Hindu and Sikh temples, plus a church, with the Fatehpuri Masjid at one end. Tree-lined and elegant in Mughal times, the thoroughfare is now mind-bendingly chaotic, with tiny little ancient bazaars tentacling off it. In the Mughal era, Chandni Chowk centred on a pool that reflected the moon, hence the name, 'moonlight place'. The main street is almost impossible to cross, full as it is of cars, hawkers, motorcycles, rickshaws and porters.

  • Sights in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

    More than half of India's 1.3 billion people still don't have a toilet in their homes, but since 1970 the Sulabh NGO has worked to address India's sanitation issues, constructing new public toilets. The organisation also educates, and their small, quirky museum traces the history of the water closet from 2500 BC to modern times. It's 650m south of Dashrathpuri metro station, straight along the main road.

  • Sights in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Lahore Gate

    The main entrance to the Red Fort is hidden by a defensive bastion built in front by Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb. During the struggle for independence, nationalists promised to raise the Indian flag over the gate, an ambition that became a reality on 15 August 1947. The Prime Minister makes a speech here every Independence Day.

  • Top ChoiceSights in South Delhi

    Hauz Khas

    Built by Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji in the 13th century, Hauz Khas means ‘noble tank', and its reservoir once covered 28 hectares. It collected enough water during the monsoon to last Siri Fort throughout the dry season. Today it's much smaller, but still a beautiful place to be, thronged by birds and surrounded by parkland. Overlooking it are the impressive ruins of Feroz Shah’s 14th-century madrasa (religious school) and tomb, which he had built before his death in 1388.

  • Sights in New Delhi

    Raj Ghat

    On the banks of the Yamuna River, this peaceful, very well maintained park contains a simple black-marble platform marking the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his assassination in 1948. This memorial is a thought-provoking spot, inscribed with what are said to have been Gandhi’s final words, Hai Ram ('Oh, God'). Every Friday (the day he died) commemorative prayers are held here at 5pm, as well as on 2 October and 30 January, his birth and death anniversaries.

  • Sights in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Sunder Nursery

    One of Delhi's newest tourist sights, this wonderful park was an overgrown wasteland until recent renovations brought the 16th-century Mughal gardens back to something approaching their former glory. It's now a vast landscaped heritage park with clipped lawns, delicate waterways and a network of paths dotted with fruit trees, flower beds, tree-shaded benches and numerous 16th-century Mughal tombs and pavilions, some of which still lie in a charming state of ruin, some of which have been lovingly restored.