The Red Fort with its red sandstone walls - also known as the Lal Qila - extends for over two kms and varies in height from 18 metres on the river side to 33 metres on the city side. Built by Shah Jahan in 1638, this massive fort took a full 10 years to complete. Entry to the fort costs Rs 2 and is free on Friday.
Feroz Shah Kotla
The fifth city of Delhi, built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1354, is the Feroz Shah Kotla of today, close to Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg between Old and New Delhi. A 13-metre-high Ashoka pillar made of sandstone is still preserved in the old fortress palace. Most of the ruins have been used for construction of later cities and all that remains are the ruins of an old mosque.
Indraprastha, the original city of Delhi was supposed to be constructed where the Purana Qila now exists. The Afghan ruler, Sher Shah, who briefly interrupted the Mughal Empire by defeating Humayun, completed the fort during his reign from 1538-45. Located south-east of India Gate, the Purana Qila, now in ruins, is still an interesting monument. There is a small lake inside the fort, and boating facilities are provided for tourists.
The tomb was built in the mid-16th century by Humayun's widow, Haji Begum. It is an early example of Mughal architecture. The squat building lighted by high arched entrances and topped by a bulbous dome is surrounded by formal Mughal gardens. The same design, refined over the years, led to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Haji Begum is also buried in the tomb. Entry is free on Fridays.
The Nawab of Avadh built this tomb for his father in 1753-54. This was one of the last Mughal monuments to have been constructed before the great empire collapsed. Adjacent to the Safdarjung airport, the tomb stands on a high terrace in a huge garden. Entry is free on Friday.
Situated east of Qutab Minar, the Tughlaqabad Fort is known as the third city of Delhi. Built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, it is a massive structure, and a favourite picnic spot.
The Bahai house of worship, constructed in the shape of a giant lotus, is a marvel of modern architecture. Located on the Bahapur Hill, the Lotus Temple, as it is popularly known, is meant for worship of God, irrespective of caste, creed, race or nation. It represents the Bahai faith - an independent world religion with humanitarian principles.
Located at the junction of Janpath and Rajpath, the National Museum displays a rich collection of the artistic treasures of India and Central Asia.
An amusement park for children, it is open throughout the week. One can visit the park on Mondays to Saturdays from 1.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. and on Sundays from 12.00 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. The park has various rides for children.
15 kms south of Central Delhi is the sprawling complex that houses one of Delhi's most well known landmarks - The Qutab Minar. Known primarily for the tower, there are other notable monuments in the complex. Qutb-ud-din Aibak built the Quwwat-ul-islam mosque and the first storey of the Qutab Minar. Iltutmish added the second and third storeys of the Qutab Minar and 6 more arches to the Quwwat-ul-islam mosque. The fourth and fifth storeys of the Qutab Minar were added by Firoz Shah Tughlaq. A must see.
Built in 1725 by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, the massive salmon-coloured Jantar Mantar is an observatory dominated by a huge sundial, known as the ' Prince of Dials'. The other instruments define the course of heavenly bodies and predict eclipses.
North-east of the Feroz Shah Kotla on the banks of the Yamuna lies a simple square block of black marble depicting the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated, following his assassination in 1948. Over the years, Raj Ghat has been the resting place for some of India's greatest leaders - Jawaharlal Nehru (1964), Indira Gandhi (1984), Sanjay Gandhi (1980) and Rajiv Gandhi (1991).
Adjoining the India International Centre are the Lodi Gardens. They contain the tombs of the Sayyid and Lodi rulers, including Mubarak Shah (1433), Ibrahim Lodi (1526) and Sikander Lodi (1517). The Bara Gumbad Mosque is a fine example of the plaster decoration prevalent during that age.
India Gate is a 42-metre high arch-shaped structure at the eastern end of Rajpath. This is a War Memorial, in tribute to soldiers who laid down their lives in the campaigns of World War I, the North-West Frontier operations of the same time and the 1919 Afghan fiasco. On it are inscribed the names of 85,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in these operations.
The Indian Parliament House. Permits to visit this circular building and sit in its public gallery are available from the reception office on Raisina Road. Non Indian tourists need a letter of introduction from their embassies to visit the parliament house.
The 108 room Rashtrapati Bhavan, built in 1929 to be the official residence of the British Viceroy, is the official residence of the President of India. Situated opposite Rajpath, it incorporates a wonderful blend of Mughal and Western architectures. The Mughal Gardens, to the west of the building, occupy 130 hectares and are open to the public in February.
Connaught Place, Delhi's premier shopping centre is famed for handicrafts, curios, old paintings and wooden carvings. The shops sell the best brands in music, electronics, clothing and accessories, and lots more. Connaught Place also houses some of the best-known eateries in the city.