Must See Historical Places and Monuments in Delhi

Delhi is an ancient city. There are many famous monuments in Delhi which serve as testaments to Delhi’s illustrious past. Delhi is a city with an impressive and remarkable history. Standing as a witness to this interesting bygone era are the various monuments of Delhi. From the Old Fort to the Tughlaqabad area to the various tombs in the city, each one represents a separate period in the history of Delhi. In the area of New Delhi, historical places and monuments cover mostly those that were built during the time of the British like the Parliament House, President’s House, the India Gate etc.

Historical Places and Monuments

Historical Places and Monuments

History of Delhi

The history of Delhi is as interesting and as grand as the city itself. It was not since its inception that Delhi got the status of a capital city. However, because of its strategic location, it always counted amongst the major and important cities. It is believed that the city was first formed around 1450 BC, at the site of the Old Fort, as the royal fortress of Indraprastha, the capital of Pandavas.

Historical Monuments in Delhi

Delhi has been the place of the rajas and the maharajas and their rule. As a result the history of Delhi is marked by several historical monuments and forts

Historical Places in Delhi

Akshardham Temple

The Swaminarayan temple and a beautiful musical fountain in the large Akshardham temple in Delhi. Akshardham Temple is an impressive structure made of pink sandstone and white marble. It is 43m high and 96m long and is decorated with 234 sculpted stone columns and more than 20,000 deities. The building is supported by 148 statues of elephants and inside there are three show rooms which hold a light and sound show teaching Indian morals and beliefs and there is also an IMAX cinema.

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun Tomb of DelhiHumayun’s Tomb is probably one of the most innovative and experimental monuments of its time, incorporating within it Indo-Islamic architectural styles. Hamida Bhanu Begum (Haji Begum), Humayun’s grieving widow built it in 1565-66. She is said to have spent 15 lakh rupees on it. Humayun’s Tomb shows a very remarkable Persian influence, and art historians conjecture that this influence could probably have its origin in Humayun’s exile in Persia. The tomb, typical of a Persian design, is a square building cut off at its corners to make it octagonal. It started a whole new form of architecture, where tombs were built in the centre of a four-portioned garden.

Purana Qila

Purana Qila of DelhiIn 1538, the Mughal emperor Humayun laid the foundations of his city named Dinpanah, 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 the Mahabharata. The Purana Qila has three gates – Humayun Darwaza, Talaqi Darwaza and Bara Darwaza. The present entrance is the Bara Darwaza, an imposing 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.

Jama Masjid

The biggest Mosque in India which took 14 years to build is Jama Masjid, and it is located in Old Delhi. It was the famous Emperor Shah Jahan who requested that it be built, as well as the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal.

Jama Masjid has three main doors, the largest of which was used exclusively by the emperor. The main courtyard of the mosque measures 408 square metres and is paved with red bricks and there is a marble sink where the devout wash before prayer.

Red Fort

Delhi’s most famous monument, the Red Fort, stands as a powerful reminder of the Mughal emperors who ruled India. Its walls, which stretch for over two kilometers (1.2 miles), were built in 1638 to keep out invaders. However, they failed to stop the fort being captured by the Sikhs and the British. To take your imagination back to the ancient era, a one hour sound and light show of the fort’s history is held each evening.

Lodi Gardens

Lodi Gardens provides a serene retreat from city life, and is the place to come if you’re feeling tired and worn out. The vast Gardens were built by the British in 1936 around the tombs of 15th and 16th century rulers. Joggers, yoga practitioners, and young couples all enjoy this park.

Gandhi Smriti

A visit to Gandhi Smriti will show you the exact spot where Mahatma Gandhi, affectionately referred to as the Father of the Nation, was assassinated on January 30, 1948. He lived in the house for 144 days up until the time of his death. The room that he slept in, kept exactly how he left it, and the prayer ground where he held a mass congregation every evening are both open to the public. Plenty of photos, sculptures, paintings, and inscriptions are also on display.