New Delhi has been the capital of India since 1911. Kolkata was the previous capital, under the British, but a proposal to change the capital was granted by George V, Emperor of India. It made sense, as Delhi is more conveniently located in central Northern India and had been the capital of ancient India. At the heart of the city is Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President, which is the largest residence of any head of state in the world!
The idea of Old Delhi and New Delhi can be confusing. Old Delhi, or the walled city, was the ancient capital of the Mughal Empire, established in 1639 until the downfall of the dynasty. It vastly differs from its days of glory, when you could walk through gardens, mansions, and mosques. Now it is jam-packed full of narrow streets, and if you look up you will mainly see jumbled electrical cables. It’s a wonder it still stands and is definitely worth a visit. You might need an expert to navigate the streets, but don’t fear, a cycle rickshaw is always on hand! Old Delhi is also famous for it’s delicious cuisine; from fancy Mughlai-style meals to tangy street food, you’ll find lots of variety to satisfy your taste buds!
When visiting Delhi there are numerous sights you must see!
Starting with India Gate, which is the national monument of India, built in 1931 upon the completion of the new capital. Try and guess which monument in Paris it was inspired by! Next is Gandhi Smriti, the place where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. The Qutub Minar is also worth a look, it is an ancient Islamic monument built in 1192. It has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is surrounded by ancient structures and ruins. The Jama Masjid, built in 1650-56, towers over Old Delhi and is the largest mosque in India, capable of holding 25,000 people! Lastly, but by no means least, is the famous Red Fort in Old Delhi. It was the residence of the Mughal Emperor for over 200 years, built under the instruction of Emperor Shah Jahan. It is built from red sandstone, which contributed to the naming. In the evenings there is a sound and light show, which attracts travellers from all over the nation and the globe.
There are also many, many museums and temples to visit, amongst other delightful attractions in Delhi!
Here are some of our wonderful tours to North India where you can experience Delhi’s intriguing sights.
Beauty Unwound textile tour : Northern Exposure : North India Ashram, & Spiritual Jouney : Living the Ayurvedic Way North : North India Spiritual & Cultural Tour
Click here to see our full list of tours to India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Tibet
Hope you enjoy our Blog!