24 Hours Layover in New Delhi

There are more than a hundred monuments in New Delhi so a day is not enough to cover these considering how big the city is.

But if you have only a day to spare, then these monuments and sites should not be missed:

Qutub Minar

Built in 1192, it laid the foundations of the Delhi Sultanate after Mohammed Ghori defeated the Rajputs, which heralded a new dynasty—Slave Dynasty. It is also considered the oldest monument in Delhi and the highest stone tower in India.

The famous Iron Pillar, which has stood for 2,000 years without rusting, is also located within the complex of Qutub Minar.

The pillar was erected between the 4th and 5th century AD as a flagpole of a Vishnu temple. It is also believed that hugging the pillar will make one’s wishes come true.

The monument’s ethereal carvings, intricate designs and uniqueness make it worth to stay a minimum of one hour.

India Gate

Originally called the All India War Memorial, it was built in 1931 in memory of the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in World War I. The names of the soldiers are inscribed on the walls of the arc of the gate. It is best to go at night as it is cooler and the gate is brightly lit along with fountains around it.

Rashtrapati Bhavan

The house of the president of India boasts of having welcomed the most powerful people in history. Up to this day, all important Indian state ceremonies are held here.

Built in 1931, this was meant as the nerve centre of the British power in Delhi. Standing on a 4.5-acre land, it has 340 rooms, 37 salons, 74 lobbies, 18 staircases and 37 fountains. The change of guard ceremonies are being held here as well.

Lodi Gardens

The 15th century gardens are famous among locals who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital. The charm of the gardens lies in the carefully manicured lawns and the medieval monuments, including Muhammad Shah’s and Sikander Lodi’s tombs. Muhammad Shah (1434 – 44) was the third ruler of the Sayyid Dynasty.

Another interesting structure in the gardens is the Athpula bridge, meaning eight bridge, as it rests on eight piers, forming seven arches. Different bird species also make Lodi Gardens their permanent home.

Habitat Centre

It is not exactly a monument but it is still worth a visit as it is just a cool 10-minute walk from the Lodi Gardens.

The Habitat Centre regularly hosts art exhibits and performances important to feed the soul of the artist in us. It promotes cultural exchanges, environmental issues, among others. If you’re tired from eating South Asian food, it has a ‘70s style American diner that offers affordable and enticing menu.

Janpath Market

It’s one of the famous bargain-hunting places in Delhi where you can get a 200-rupee (US$4) table cover or shawl. Like any other markets in the world, bargaining is a must here. Never settle for the first price because the best deal is half the price. Even locals go to Janpath to buy silverware, kurta (Indian clothing, usually long-sleeved), joti (handcrafted Indian shoes) and accessories.

Connaught Place

It is one of the busiest and largest commercial areas of Delhi. Despite housing modern, high-end brands, CP has maintained its British colonial look. Walking around (literally because it is circular), this Victorian architecture building is much better than getting stuck in a modern mall devoid of culture.

Dilli Haat

Haat means informal weekend bazaar but Dili Haat, which showcases rural products, is the upgraded and sophisticated version to make shopping more hassle-free.

For a 15-rupee (31 US cents) entrance fee, you get to appreciate Indian crafts and buy them at reasonable prices. It also has several food stalls that offer a variety of Indian cuisine. A snack of momo (Tibetan dumpling) with hot milk tea at Momo Mia is guaranteed to energise your tired body.

(Originally published on  ANN/ AsiaNews)

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