Highlights of Delhi
Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India with a capacity to hold up to 25,000 people; it once served as the royal mosque to the Mughals. It is also the last edifice built by Shah Jahan before his ultimate downfall. When the Mughal ruler first set out to build the Jama Masjid, it was called the Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, which translates into ‘mosque commanding view of the world’.
The best time to visit is early morning. Whilst the entrance is free, if you wish to take photographs you have to purchase a ticket for Rs 200 (approximately £2) for photography.
A rickshaw ride through the bustling markets and alleys of Old Delhi is an amazing experience and a fantastic way to get a glimpse of daily life in the city.
You become part of the crowds in the heart of the city; it is definitely a memorable experience.
A tour of India’s oldest market, Chandni Chowk, is a treat for the senses. Here you can find everything from delicious street food, beautiful fabrics, jewellery, wholesale materials, exotic spices and much more.
Chandni Chowk shows you the old side of Delhi with the people bustling around the adjoining streets carrying on with their daily lives.
Both the Red Fort and Jama Masjid are close to Chandni Chowk and so it is ideal to combine it with a visit to either or both.
Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
A visit to the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara is an enriching experience and it is a popular place of pilgrimage for thousands of people every day. As well as Sikhs, people from various other religions, and backgrounds visit everyday. The Gurudwara is housed in a bungalow which was formerly owned by Raja Jai Singh of Amber (Jaipur). For art lovers, the Art Gallery in the basement is definitely worth seeing as it exhibits paintings that depict the various historical events related to the Sikh history.
The Langhar, which is a free kitchen, is run entirely by volunteers. It feeds approximately 25,000-30,000 people on weekdays and up to an incredible 45,000 on weekends. Every day around 700 kilos of daal, 250-300 kilos of rice, 1,000 kilos of vegetables and up to 100,000 rotis are prepared by volunteers to feed people from all races, religions and backgrounds. Everyone is welcome and everyone is equal here. A visit to the kitchen to see the food being prepared is a wonderful experience.
At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, resembling an “Arc-de-Triomphe” like archway in the middle of a crossroad. It commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the First World War and bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers. At the top it has “INDIA” inscribed.
The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin.
Khan Market is a popular shopping destination in Delhi. It is a large U-shaped market with two parallel ‘U’s and some extensions. Here you can find a huge variety of shops, restaurants, bakeries, street food stalls and bars.
The Red Fort, located in Old Delhi, is an iconic symbol of India and each year India’s Independence Day is celebrated here. Despite vast destruction by the British forces in the aftermath of the Indian rebellion in 1857, the size of Red Fort and its beautiful inner courts and pavilions are truly impressive and provide a great insight into the time of the great Mughal empire.
The Red Fort was built by the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who also built The Taj Mahal, and it served as the chief residence for the dynasty for almost 200 years.
Whilst in Delhi, a visit to Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial site as well as Lodi Gardens are also recommended.
You will also visit Khajuraho, famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings.
Your last port of call is Varanasi, regarded as the spiritual capital of India. The city draws pilgrims who bathe in the River Ganges’ sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along its winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the ‘Golden Temple,’ dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.
For more details on our itineraries or to discuss a bespoke itinerary, call Simply India Holidays by Somak on 0208 423 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to help you plan your trip to Incredible India.