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India Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in India

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Taj Mahal
* Overcrowded with overtourism issues
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As you approach the famous Taj Mahal of India, your eyes will be drawn up to the incredible white dome, which rises in the center, flanked on each side by more white domes and surrounded by incredible white towers. The construction of this splendid building was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jana as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Taj Mahal architecture

The Taj Mahal is an early example, perhaps the first, of Mughal architecture and is a masterpiece combination of Turkish, Indian, Persian, and Islamic architectural styles. It was designed by an entire team of designers to create and was not completed until 1648, long after Mumtaz Mahal died during their fourteenth child's birth. The gardens and outbuildings of the Taj Mahal were not completed until five years later.

Even the Taj Mahal's outer sections are incredible to look upon, including the gardens, a traditional char bagh, a formal garden of the Mughal period, divided into four parts... read more arrow

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Red Fort

Another one of Shah Jahan's architectural masterpieces is the Red Fort (Lal Qila). "If there is paradise on the face of this earth, this is it." The emperor had these words inscribed on the white marble pavilion, Diwan E-Khas, of the Red Fort. Though this ornately decorated hall, which was meant for a private audience, is one of the more celebrated areas in the fort, having housed the famed Peacock Throne till Nadir Shah plundered it in 1739, it is the magnificent palace, the Red Fort itself, which is absolutely breathtaking. It is made of red sandstone, from which it derives its name.

The palace is inextricably linked with some of the most country's most important historical events. It has witnessed the end of Mughal rule, freedom from colonial rule and Nehru's announcement of India's freedom from the British yoke, and his raising the Indian tricolor from its ramparts in 1947... read more arrow

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India Gate
Another landmark of Lutyen's Delhi is the majestic stone archway set on the eastern end of Rajpath – India Gate. Everything about and around India Gate is grand. From the enormous road that circles it, the lovely lawns flanking it, and the 42 meter high archway itself, made of red stone with 'India' written on both sides. This stunning war memorial was built to commemorate the soldiers who died during World War I and the Afghan wars. Over 70,000 names of soldiers are inscribed on the arch and after Independence the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial, the eternal flame marking the Unknown Soldier's Tomb, was added as a tribute to all the unknown heroes who died while defending the country. Though the memorial is of a serious nature, India Gate and it's surroundings are picturesque and absolutely lovely any time of the day. Whether playing host to picnickers, who come to spend the day in the lawns, or in the freezing winter when everyone drops by to eat ice cream, this grand structure is quintessentially Delhi... read more arrow
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Qutub Minar
Towering high over an assortment of Afghan architectural marvels is the iconic Qutub Minar. Built by Qutub-Ud-Din-Aibak in 1199, with three more storeys added later by his son-in-law, as a monument to give calls for prayer, the Qutub Minar is a 72.5 meter high tribute to Islamic architecture. It's a striking structure of red and buff sandstone, with intricate carvings and inscribed verses from the Koran.

There are other intriguing monuments surrounding it like the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, a mix of Hindu and Islamic design and materials, with Islamic calligraphy and brocaded designs and pillars with Hindu motifs. These pillars were taken from Qila Rai Pithora, the city of the Rajput king, Prithviraj Chauhan.

The Iron Pillar, which has never rusted through hundreds of years, in the courtyard of the mosque, as well the unfinished Alai Minar, the ornamental entrance to the complex, Alai Darwaza... read more arrow
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A fortress, whose crumbling ruins still exist today, dominated the center of the sixth city, Dinpanah. Purana Qila's main highlights are two buildings within its massive walls: Qila-I-Kuhna Masjid and the Sher Mandal. Sher Shah, who was in power briefly after displacing Humayun, built the former in 1541 in Afghan style.

It is an elegant construction in black and white marble, red sandstone and adorned with graceful arches. The Sher Mandal served as an observatory and library for Emperor Humayun, who later returned to power. This octagonal red sandstone building is where, in 1556, he plunged to his death down a steep flight of stairs, on his way to say his prayers. A climb to the top treats you to wonderful views of Delhi and the Yamuna River.... read more arrow
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Nizamuddin is situated in a busy area and the change from the modern frenzy of the outside to when you enter this village from the Middle Ages, with its winding alleys and old buildings, is distinct. Dominating this area is Hazrat Nizamuddin Darga, one of the greatest Sufi shrines. This marble tomb was built for Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya, the fourth saint of he Chishtiya order, in 1325. It has been renovated several times and the actual tomb is enveloped by lattice screens, arches, a marble rail and covered by a mother-of-pearl canopy. The dargah is vibrant and alive, drawing devotees from all over the world. Evenings here are filled with religious songs and music, performed by qawwals, or poet-singers.

In front of the saint's tomb is another one made of red sandstone, the resting-place of Amir Khusro. He was the Sheikh's main disciple, poet and chronicler, regarded as the first Urdu poet and creator of the khyal, a form of North Indian classical music... read more arrow
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Humayun's tomb was the first Mughal garden tomb in the country and Safdarjung's was the last. The history surrounding its construction is one of dying glory when Nadir Shah looted the city and the Mughal Empire's might and power had dwindled to almost nothing. Many consider its design to be symbolic of the over extravagance and degeneracy that had become a part of the later Mughal era. The tomb consists of a longish dome and gaudy plasterwork interiors.... read more arrow
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Hauz Khas is a fashionable area with some of the most chic boutiques and restaurants in the city. It is also one of the most historic areas, deriving its name from the Royal Reservoir that was excavated in 1300 A.D to supply water to Alauddin Khilji's capital, Siri. The picturesque ruins comprising a madrasa (Islamic school), which was built by Feroz Shah Tuglaq, and his tomb, are stunning. The latter is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture. Night is an especially good time to visit this area as the lighting creates a tranquil, mellow ambience. You can round off a nocturnal ramble with dinner at "Terrace in the Sky", a roof top restaurant with great views of the ruins and the intoxicating strains of the sarod, tabla and other instruments.
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Built by the Tughlaqs in a short span from AD 1321-25, this imposing fort may be crumbling, but its soaring walls, massive bastions and huge towers are absolutely magnificent. It's lovely at night when it's lit up and the soft glow gives it a haunting beauty. Steeped in tales of conspiracy, curses and political unrest, this fort built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq to protect his people from the Mongols, is one of the most captivating sights in the city.... read more arrow
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Jama Masjid is an extravagant structure of cusped arches, towers, two minarets, 260 pillars, 15 marble domes and a main prayer hall, which can hold up to 25,000 people. Made of alternate stripes of red sandstone and white marble, this was Shah Jahan's final architectural indulgence. It is the principal mosque of Old Delhi and the largest and arguably the most famous one in India. Its size does not take away from its elegance and the fact that it is built on high ground, the hill of Bho Jhala, adds to its majestic beauty. You can visit any time between 5 A.M and 9 P.M and visitors should remember to remove their shoes. Those who are inappropriately dressed can hire robes at the gate.

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Built between 1921 and 1929, this palatial structure, designed as the official residence of the Viceroy, but now home to the Indian President, incorporates within its distinctly British style, Indo-Islamic and Buddhist design elements. The most visible feature is the drum-mounted Buddhist style dome. The building contains 340 rooms and is built on 330 acres of land, including a private garden. Classical columns with bells carved into them grace the front entrance. The apparent symbolism behind this is that Lutyens felt the bells being silent meant that British rule would never end.

Rashtrapati Bhavan is flanked by the two Secretariat buildings, which are now the headquarters of the Finance and External Affairs ministries. Though the inside of the palace is not open to the public, the Mughal Gardens within are on display in February each year. Quadrants divided by waterways and fountains, tennis courts, a swimming pool and butterfly enclosures make up this leisure space modeled on Mughal parks... read more arrow
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This grand avenue runs between Rashtrapati Bhavan in the west and India Gate and the National Stadium in the east. Flanked by manicured lawns and fountains, this is where the annual Republic Day Parade is held every year on January 26.... read more arrow

* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

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