The capital of India, Delhi, is home to many amazing attractions worth visiting depsite some of the country’s highest levels of pollution, growth and poverty. The city is the heart of modern India, and provides astonishing contrasts of old against new, foreign against familiar. Additionally, it is an excellent starting point for exploring northern India.
Delhi has some amazing architecture, including Rashtrapati Bhavan, a 1920s British imperialist masterpiece. History buffs will want to visit Rajghat, the park where Gandhi was cremated in 1948. Alternatively, the Qutb Complex is a feat of architecture – well preserved and covered in detailed carvings.
Another major attraction, the National Museum, is a must-see with its 150,000 pieces covering some five millennia. Here, you can delight in antiquities like the 12th century statue of Lord Shiva, and the country’s finest collection of Indus Valley relics (2700 BC). Lal Qila (Red Fort) was the seat of Mughal power from 1639 to 1857 and is an awesome structure covering almost two kilometers.
Most visitors to Delhi travel the 200 kilometers to Agra to see the famous Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan as an everlasting representation of his love for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Alternatively, Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is 300 kilometers from Delhi and known for its many palaces. Just six hours by road from Delhi is the state of Bharatpur, where you can explore Keoladeo National Park (also called Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary).
In the evening, you can take in a show such as Dances of India, held at the Parsi Anjuman Hall, or the sound-and-light show at the Red Fort. Djinns (named after William Dalrymple’s book, City of Djinns) is a popular pub located in the Hyatt Regency. Shoppers will want to visit the Cottage Industries Emporium near Connaught Place; this huge complex offers quality goods from all over India and is excellent for souvenirs.