What to See and Do in Delhi
Delhi is the capital of India is the mother of all chaos. And yet it remains an exciting travel destination like few others, which has valuable places within its condition of being unbeatable. In addition to that coming and going of rickshaws with its symphony of horns, cows crossing the street and many more people than we can imagine, Delhi beats you with arguments based on a good number of loose lines of a glorious past, its own thousand and one nights.
Many times the metropolis of Delhi is the gateway (and exit) for those who visit India . And, although many travelers use it as a mere link to very diverse destinations, it has corners that are worth not being lost for anything in the world. To show this selection of essentials with which to enjoy the city in two days that serves to demonstrate that this madness inhabited by many millions of people is capable of melting the heart of any traveler.
What to see and do in Delhi in two days?
Delhi at first seemed to me a huge madness, a noisy and dilapidated city with no beginning, end, or any sense. Although we recognize that a trip through these lands without that strange mixture of frustration and joy, of sugar and salt would be something else. It would not be India directly. And Delhi, not to break that essence, has the best and worst of a country that can get desperate but ends up hooking you.
So if we had to choose 7 places to see in Delhi for the first time (and in two days) you would stay with them to return home happy enough:
The Red Fort of Delhi
The monumentality of what was the palace of the ancient Muslim city of Shahjahanabad (now Delhi) is beyond doubt. Named a World Heritage Site in 2007 it is one of the symbols of the grandeur of the Indian capital, to which in the 17th century Agra handed over the relief. Its pavilions and gardens make us forget the traffic out there, just a few meters from the entrance. The doors and walls of red sandstone are the patina of the best of Delhi, although if there is a building capable of exciting the traveler is Moti Masjid, the white marble mosque and three beautiful onion domes crowning the religious construction.
More than half a thousand artisans from all over the Empire collaborated with the construction of Jama Masjid or, what is the same, Friday’s mosque, destined to be the most important in the city. With the capacity to house more than 25,000 faithful, being among the largest in the whole country, it became another of the masterpieces of the time of Shah Jahan, the same Mughal emperor who commissioned the construction of the Taj Mahal . And a certain resemblance has its central pavilion to those at the ends of the Taj, taking advantage of the use of marble and red sandstone that we find just opposite, in the red fort.
It is highly recommended to mix with people and find a way to finish at the top of one of its minarets, something that can be done without any difficulty. The views deserve it.
The shops and stalls of the crazy Chandni Chowk
Without leaving the area where the Red Fort and Jama Masjid are located, a bazaar is born that indescribably borders on the most absolute imbalance. We talk about one of the traditional markets of the city in which you have to look for a position between posts, paying attention to the variety of personnel that share the street with you. It is Delhi at its best.
Rajpath and the door of India
We add to Delhi the adjective “New” when we see that the most important avenue in the city has little to do with Chandni Chowk and everything that boasts of the depths of the old city. We talk about a kilometer-wide, tree-lined boulevard that tries to cover the main avenues of the great capitals of the world, where the celebrations are born (on January 26, National Day of India, gathers millions of people) and national symbols such as India Gate or several government buildings.
The Lotus Temple
Not everything in Delhi is kept for centuries but there is also room for modernity and avant-garde, even if it has to do with a religious theme. And if not, as a button shows the Lotus awarded the greatest architectural awards and which has surpassed since its creation in 1986 the 50 million visitors, something to which in the country has reached only the Taj Mahal . A lotus flower with 27 large marble petals justifies at least one visit to India in the 21st century.
Taj Mahal’s father is Humayun’s Tomb, since apparently from his design one of the new seven wonders of the world was born. But this mausoleum of King Mughal does not have as much fame or number of tourists. That is why it can be assured that it is one of the most beautiful corners of the city without any discussion. The aesthetic perfection of the mausoleum, with the symmetry and beauty to which the best Mughal artists have accustomed us, makes this an unavoidable visit in the Indian capital. In the tomb of Humayun ( World Heritage Site since 1993 ) there is no disappointment. Either you can also take the India’s famous luxury train, Palace on Wheels which start and end their journey from Delhi.
Inside an Islamic archaeological complex that is more than eight centuries old, just outside New Delhi (an hour’s journey from the Red Fort) is another of those irresistible monuments. And if not, there is nothing more to observe from top to bottom, with detective detail, a surprisingly sculpted minaret. The tallest of those built in brick, with 72.5 meters, which are carved in detail, requires a getaway to realize that this city has wonders like this (which is also a World Heritage Site ).