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Delhi, Capital of India
Tour Information & Highlights
Capital - New Delhi.
Area - 491 sq km.
Population - 16,753,235
Language - Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, English is equally in the use.
Touring season - Oct, Nov, Feb and March. However,winter is severe and long from Nov to early March.
Climate - The summer season lasts from mid-March to the end of June, with average maximum and minimum temperaturesof 36º C and 25º C. The monsoon season, following the hot summer,continues until the end of September, with an average rainfall of about 26 inches. The winter season extends from late November to mid-February. The coldest month is January, when both the mean maximum temperature and the mean minimum temperature are at their lowest- 21º C and 7º C, respectively.
Delhi, capital city of the Federal Republic of India. It is one of India's fastest growing cities. It has sprawled over the West Bank of the riverYamuna, straddling the river. The city has two distinct parts, Old Delhi & New Delhi. Old Delhi is centered on the Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jehan between 1636 & 1658.
The streets of Old Delhi are narrow & bustling. The beauty &serenitylies inside the courts of the main buildings. Delhi has some of the fine stmuseums in the country. Its boutiques and shopping arcades offer access to a wealth of traditional and contemporary crafts, from all over the country. New Delhi was proclaimed the capital of India by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944), & is tree-lined & spacious.
Major Tourist Attractions in Delhi: The Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Purana Quila, Qutub Minar, Iron Pillar, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Teen Murti Bhavan, Rajghat, Santiban, Vijay Ghat etc.
The Red Fort, Delhi
The Red Fort, with a circumference of over 2.2 kilometers, was laid out by the banks of the Yamuna river in the 17th century. The Mughal emperor Shajahan built it with the ambition of concentrating the Mughal power in one monument. Monument is perhaps not the right word. A mini-city is more like it.
Unfortunately for the emperor, before he could move his capital from AgratoShahjahanabad in Delhi, he was taken a political prisoner by his son Aurangazeb. The fort is a delight to one's imagination. Imagine the NaqqarKhana (Drum room) also called NaubatKhana (Welcome Room), where once drumsloudly heralded the arrival of the emperor and the Diwan-e-Am (Hall of Public Audience) resounded with the incantations of the people. Amazing,isn't it?
There's more to see - Mumtaz Mahal, Rang Mahal (Palace of Colours), Khas Mahal (Emperor's Palace), Diwan-e Khas (Hall of Private Audience), the Hammam (bathing area) and Shah Burj. The fort has two mainentrances - Delhi Gate and Lahore Gate. The latter get its name from the fact that it faces Lahore in Pakistan. It's entrance leads to Delhi's mostcrowded bazaar, Chandni Chowk. A must see!
There is a Light and Sound Show every evening.
Summer timing : Hindi - 7 pm to 8 pm, English - 8 pm to 9pm
Winter timing : Hindi - 6 pm to 7 pm, English - 7 pm to 8pm
Purana Quila, Delhi
In 1538, the Mughal emperor Humayun laid the foundations of his citynamedDinpanah, or the Refuge of the Faithful. The inner citadel of this city is today called Purana Qila or the Old Fort.
An old fort, it is! One can almost smell the ancient stories oozing from the corners of the fort. The site of the fort was also Indraprasta, the capital of the famed warriors of the Mahabharata, the Pandavas. Excavations near the eastern wall of the fort reveal that the site had been occupied since 1000 B.C. Archaeologists found painted grey ware pottery and other remains, which date back to theMahabharata. The Purana Qila has three gates - Humayun Darwaza, TalaqiDarwaza and Bara Darwaza. The present entrance is the Bara Darwaza, animposing red sandstone gate on the western wall.
Inside the Purana Qila is the Sher Mandal, a two-storied octagonal pavilion in red sandstone, built by Sher Shah. Humayun used it as a library after he captured the fort. However,the Mandal is tragic, since it was here where the emperor is said to have tripped on its tortuous stairs and tumbled to his death in 1556.
Timings : 6 am to 6 pm
Qutub Minar, Delhi
The highest stone tower in India, the Qutub Minar was built by Qutbuddin Aibak,the viceroy of Mohammed Ghori in 1192. It was built to celebrate Ghori's victory over the Rajputs. The tower and the victory are very significant,because both her alded the birth of a new dynasty - Slave Dynasty. And it laid the foundations of the Delhi Sultanate. And the rest, as one would put it after witnessing this monumental tower, was history.
The Minar is a five-storey building with a height of 72.5 metres. The first storey of the QutbMinar was completed in the life time of Qutbudd in. Hisson-in-law and successor, Iltumush, added the next three storeys.
Within the complex, is the famous Iron Pillar which has stood for millennia without rusting, Quwwat-ul-Islam, the first mosque built in India, and the Alai Darwaza, the gateway to the complex erected by Alauddin Khilji. The entry to the Minar has been closed, after the tower became infamous for the several suicides that were committed here.
QutbMinar is a successful tribute to architecture, as it captures one'sattention by its sheer mass appeal. Even on close encounter, the attentionlingers, owing to the delicate and almost ethereal carvings.
Timings : 6 am to 6 pm
The 7.2 metre high pillar, standing with in the QutbMinar complex, is a proof of India's advanced knowledge of metallurgy 2000 years ago. For it continues tostand, even today, rust-free. The pillar was erected sometime between the 4th and 5th century AD as a Dhavaja-stambha (flagpole) of a Vishnu temple.
It was erected in memory of King Chandragupta Vikramamditya who ruled from 375 to 413 AD. The Sanskrit inscriptions on the pillar record these facts.Unbelievable, considering today, even the spoons in our kitchens cannot guarantee this kind of an immortality after centuries of scientific progress! Another thing one has to do after laying one's sight on this pillar is, to go and give it a bear hug. Besides the metallurgic excellence, it is believed that hugging the pillar will make all of one's wishes cometrue. So… go, see and hug!
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
India Gate, Delhi
This solemn monument was built in memory of the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in World War I. It was built in 1931, designed by Lutyens, and was originally called the All India War Memorial. The names of the soldiers areinscribed on the walls of the arc of the gate. Later in 1971, an eternal flame was lit here in memory of the unknown soldiers who died in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.
India Gate stands at the end of Rajpath, and is a popular picnic site especially during hot summer evenings. At night, the Gate is brightly lit and the fountains near the Gate are lit with colouredlights.The sight is delightful.
Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi
The house that houses the President of India and the house that boasts of having welcomed the most powerful men in history.TheRashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens and built in 1931, tobe the central point of the British power in Delhi. Originally called the Viceroy's House, the Rashtrapati Bhavan covers an area of 4.5 acres of land. It has 340 rooms, 37 salons, 74 lobbies and loggias, 18 staircases and 37fountains.
The most magnificent room in the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the Durbar Hall, which lies directly beneath the main dome. All important Indian State and Official ceremonies are held here. To the west, is the famous and beautifully landscaped Mughal Gardens, designed after the terraced gardens the Mughals built in Kashmir. The garden is famous as the 'Butterfly Garden'for the numerous butterflies that visit the varied flowers. The garden is open to the public in February.
Teen Murti Bhavan, Delhi
The Teen Murti Bhavan housed the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. It was designed by Robert Tor Russel, the architect of Connaught Place, and the Eastern and Western Courts on Janpath.
The Bhavan was originally the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in India. However, after independence the house was taken over as the residence of Jawaharlal Nehru. And on his death, the house was converted into a national memorial comprising a library and a museum. The library is one of the finest ones for information on modern Indian history. The house gets its name after the Teen Murti (three statues) Memorial, which stands on its extensive grounds. The memorial was built in memory of the Indian soldiers who perished in World War I.
The Bhavan is closed to public on Mondays and on all public holidays.
4 km away from Janpath to the N-East of Feroz Shah near Delhi Gate at Ring Rd on the bank of Jamuna situated Rajghat. Jawaharlal Nehru Rd also ends opp. Rajghat.
On 31st Jan. 1948, Mahatma Gandhi's last rites was performed here. The memorial stone of Gandhi is square in shape made of black stone. His last ward- 'HeyRam' is inscribed on it. Ordinary people, VIPs, foreign tourists all come here at Rajghat to pay their homage to him. On every Friday (the day of his death) a prayer is being held.
Except Monday, a regular feature ofprojecting Gandhi philosophy in picture, sculpture and photos from 10-00 to17-00 is being performed at Rajghat. Besides, there is Gandhi Memorial Museum projecting his life and the philosophy of Sarvodaya Movement in film from 9-30 to 17-30 except Thursday and on Sunday at 16-00 in Hindi and 17-00 in English. Another Gandhi memorial is Gandhi Balidansthal or assassinated spot at Tis January Marg of the city. On 30 Jan. 1948 on his way to prayeratBiralBhawan , he was assassinated by bullets. Hence, this memorial.
To the north of Rajghat is Santiban. 1st Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's last rites was performed here on 27 May, 1964. A tombstone has been erected on his funeral place. Next to it, the tomb of Sanjay Gandhi who was died in a plane crashin 1980.
Vijay Ghat, Delhi
This is the memorial of 2nd Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. After the Indo-Pak war of 1965. Shastriji went to Taskhand in Russia on peace mission. In 1966 his last rites was performed here.
How To Get There?
By Air - Delhi has an extensive network of international and domestic flights. All the major airlines in the world fly through Delhi and it iseasily accessible from any where in the world. Domestic air links cover Delhi from all the major cities in the country.
By Train - The Indian Railway with their modern and organized network connects Delhi to major and minor destination in India. There are three important railway stations in Delhi to all major and minor destinations in India, namely New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway StationandHazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. Trains run from all the parts of the country to Delhi. For nearby places like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gwalior, Bhopal, Lucknow and Kanpur, the Shatabdi Express is recommended.
By Bus - Delhi is well connected by road to all major destinations in North India. The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) is located at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan and Anand Vihar. Delhi Transport Corporation and Road Transport Corporations of the neighboring States provide frequent bus services through Air Conditioned, Deluxe and Ordinary Coaches. Buses from all the major places in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are available for getting to Delhi. During summer months, air-conditioned coaches are recommended.
Airports in Delhi : Delhi has two airports.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, is 20km away towards city in the same area. Palam is city bound Internal Terminal Airport. Between the two shuttle coach service is in operation. Indira Gandhi links Delhi with the whole world. Flights of almost all Airways of the World come to Delhi besides Air India. IAC, Alliance Air, Vayudoot and such other Airlines serve from Palam to all parts of the country.
Best Season for Delhi Sightseeing
For Sightseeing, the best season to visit Delhi is between October to March. Summers in Delhi are very hot and it is not recommended to visit it during May, June or July