The attractions in this part of the city comprise the elegant and majestic sweeps of Edward Lutyen’s architectural vision, museums that display India’s historic treasures and several historic monuments, crumbling remnants of the old cities that make up Delhi.
Connaught Place – This majestic colonnaded sphere is the commercial hub of the city, housing numerous offices, restaurants and shops.
Jantar Mantar – A collection of massive brick-red colored sundials make up this outdoor astronomical observatory.
Laxmi Narayan Temple – Also known as the Birla Mandir since it was built by the industrialist G.D Birla in 1938, this cream, white and brown structure is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu and is set amid lovely gardens.
Rajpath – Also known as Kingsway, this luxuriously wide avenue is hemmed in on either side by decorative pools and gardens. It’s an apt site for the annual Republic Day Parade held on January 26 every year.
India Gate– At Rajpath’s eastern end is one of New Delhi’s most recognizable landmarks, India Gate. This impressive 42m high archway was built as a memorial to the soldiers who died during World War I.
Rashtrapati Bhavan – At the western end of Rajpath, is a grand structure blending Mughal and western architectural elements - Rashtrapati Bhavan or the President’s Residence. Resembling a palace, it crowns Raisina Hill and has two large buildings on either side, which house the Foreign and External Affairs ministries. The grounds also include the Mughal Gardens, which are only open to the public once a year, usually in February.
Sansad Bhavan (Parliament House) – This imposing structure is a spherical colonnaded creation located just north of Rajpath.
Humayun’s Tomb – This Persian char bagh (four gardens) style tomb was built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, Mughal Emperor Humayun’s (father of Akbar the Great) most senior wife. She, along with Humayun, and other members of the royal family are buried here.
Qutub Minar – This 73m high tower is Delhi’s most iconic landmark dating back to the 13th century, when it was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak. The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, which is the first mosque built in India, the Alai Minar, some tombs and Alauddin Khilji’s madrasa (Muslim religious school) are also within the Qutub Minar Complex.
The Bahai Temple – Also known as the Lotus Temple, because of it being in the shape of this flower, this architectural masterpiece was built by followers of the Bahai faith. It is made of white marble and surrounded by pools and gardens, and has gained critical acclaim from all over the world.
Hauz Khas Village – This is one of Delhi’s most fashionable areas, brimming with chic boutiques, shops and restaurants. This region used to be the reservoir for the ancient city of Siri and the crumbling ruins are extremely atmospheric, highlights being Feroz Shah’s tomb and the remnants of a college.
Tughlaqabad Fort – Built by the founder of the Tughlaq Dynasty, Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, this impressive fort replete with gigantic ramparts, battlements and made with huge stones, is a crumbling ruin. However, it is hauntingly beautiful, evoking past might and splendor.
Purana Qila – The Old Fort was completed by Sher Shah, the Afghan ruler who disrupted Mughal rule for a while when he defeated Humayun, during 1538-45 after which Humayun regained control. You can catch some great views of New Delhi from on top of the gate and stroll around the inside of the fort, which has the Sher Mandal - Humayun’s library, the Qila-I-Kuhran Mosque and an archaeological museum.
ISKCON Temple – Many locals refer to this temple as the ‘Hare Ram Hare Krishna Mandir’ as it was created in 1998 by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness followers in devotion to Lord Krishna. It’s a massive, yet graceful, complex - one of the largest in India.
Safdurjung’s Tomb – This marble tomb is one of the last pieces of Mughal architecture, a tribute by the Nawab of Avadh for his father, Safdurjung.
National Museum – Here you can find a dazzling collection of work from all over India, including pieces from South India’s Vijayanagar Empire, wooden sculptures dating back as far as the 2nd and 3rd century BC and the largest set of Indus Valley artifacts.
National Gallery of Modern Art – The former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, it has an extensive collection of work by both Indian and colonial artists.
Rail Museum – This museum holds a fascinating array of India’s railway engines, including an 1855 steam engine, the Fairy Queen that runs till today between Delhi and Alwar.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg, as the city has several relatively unknown treasures tucked away in its intriguing nooks and corners.