New Delhi: Interesting Sites (Days 1-6)

Qutb Minar

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I was extremely excited to check out the Qutb Minar on this visit! Standing at 234 feet tall, this minaret can be seen from many parts of the city. The Qutb Minar was completed over 900 years ago by the Mughal rulers and was built using red sandstone.

So why did the Mughals build this impressive structure? As it turns out, no one’s really sure! Some people think it was to celebrate a major victory for the empire. Some others believe that it was used as a place of prayer. Yet others believe that it was strategically placed to be utilized as a watchtower to detect potential threats to the empire. Regardless of the reason, the Qutb Minar is an integral part of Delhi’s history.

Note: The entire Qutb Minar complex which includes Alai-Minar (unfinished tomb), gardens, and other monuments.

Red Fort

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The Red Fort was easily one of my favorite structures in Delhi. The Red Fort is entirely imposing from the outside, due its massive walls, sharp features, and vibrant red sandstone color. The fort was constructed by a Mughal emperor (Shah Jahan), and served as residence for future Mughal emperors. The Red Fort is a peaceful site to visit, and I found myself on a bench surrounded by green space and flocks of bird for almost 30 minutes.

Note: As I was walking through the Red Fort, I kept seeing similarities between it and the Forbidden Palace in Beijing, China!

Dilli Haat

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Dilli Haat is a unique craft bazaar and food plaza that features goods from all parts of India. It is a government sponsored bazaar, and it allows local artisans to sell their products directly to customers at reasonable prices. The craft stalls change every 15 days and follow a theme (when we visited, it was “Weaves”). In addition, there are permanent food stalls where we had an option of trying foods from every state in India. Think of the Dilli Haat as a “Taste of India”, both for crafts and foods!

Chandni Chowk

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One of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi, and is known all over India. There are 2,500 stores located within the market selling an extremely diverse set of authentic Indian clothing, food, and other goods. Even compared to rest of Delhi, I find this market to be extremely congested! Some of the most notable Indian brands can be found with a location in Chandi Chowk, including the original location of Haldiram’s. After a nice walk through the market, I paid a quick visit to the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, which is a historical place of worship for the Sikh followers. It was a neat experience, and I even had to purchase and wear a head covering before I could enter!

Other Sites
Purana Qila/Old Fort – Aged more than 5 thousand years, is considered to be the oldest existing structure in Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb – Famous tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun
Khan Market – Most expensive retail location in India (21st most expensive in world)
Jain Lal Mandhir – Best-known temple for the Jain religion in Delhi

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