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5 Historical Sites to See in Delhi

05 June 2015

Discover colour, light and joy in India's capital city of Delhi, where the scent of fried bread and jasmine mix with the earthy scent of animals.

Humayun’s Tomb
Humayun’s Tomb and museum typifies Mughal architecture, the kind which defined India’s most famous monument and tomb; the Taj Mahal.

Beeping cars and hollering locals set the tone for a bustling pace of life and the view of towering monuments speaks to the thousands of years that Delhi has held sway over the sub-continent of India.

There is a plethora of historical sites in Delhi from which travellers can pick and choose, but here is our quick-fire list of a few places that impress time and time again. Here’s our view on the best sites to visit in Delhi:

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb and museum sits in the middle of Delhi on Mathura Road, and typifies Mughal architecture, the kind which defined India’s most famous monument and tomb; the Taj Mahal. 

This beautiful building, rises up out of extensive gardens where you cannot hear the traffic from outside the complex, and eagles wheel above you in the blue sky. T

he tomb was built for Emperor Humayun in 1570, and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list because it was the first garden tomb to be built in India, and led to the architectural innovations needed to then go on and create the Taj Mahal, perhaps the world’s most famous tomb. 

For visitors, the entry fee is 250R. And if you have the chance visit the nearby Lodhi Gardens which is a beautiful tract of land within the city where ancient mosques and tombs dot the site.

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid, overlooking the old town of Delhi and opposite the Red Fort makes for a striking contrast from the tight packed, vibrant streets of Delhi that are busy with people, animals, cars, bikes, wares and food. 

Up the great stone stairs, and into the gate you are greeted with a wide, open square made of red sandstone, and a serene pool in the centre. 

If you look up, you can see the wide archways of the mosque, the beautiful minarets that punctuate the sky and the three domes that fall in silhouette when sunset arrives in Delhi.

India Gate

There are many famous gateways in Delhi, including the Kashmiri Gate, the Delhi Gate and the Punjabi Gate. 

But the India Gate stands in the centre of Delhi, and is the national WW1 memorial for all the Indian soldiers that served under the British Army during the Great War. 

The archway is impressive and stands in the newer, wide avenued section of Delhi, where the long roads harken to India’s past as a colony of the British Empire and look towards its future as a world power.

Qutb Minar

Qutb Minar’s most famous monument, the tower, rises over 70 metres high in the Delhi sky over a complex that houses medieval mosques, remains of ancient Hindu temples and tombs for the rulers of the period. 

It was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a site of some intrigue, partially because there is an inscription suggesting that the tower was built from demolished Hindu temples, and partially because the tower was said to be the a symbolise the start of Mughal rule in the sub-continent.

Red Fort

Last, but not least is the monolithic Red Fort that is stationed in the old town of Delhi. It’s imposing walls cast a reddish light over everything that stands before it. 

Past these walls, visitors will find manicured gardens, flowing fountains and white marble palaces with beautiful carvings lining their insides. 

This is a showpiece of the Mughal empire which was responsible for the architecture of the Taj Mahal and many of the palaces and forts that litter the landscape of north-western India.

If you want to experience the wonders of Delhi and its historical places then take a look at Saga's range of holidays to India. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.