A Delhi City Excursion Tour is a must for any India first
timer. The capital of this vast, ancient, incredible land
is very aptly called a mini India. Delhi city can truly be
dubbed as a Heritage City of the world - it is actually seven
cities successively built over more than a thousand years,
all inter-meshed within each other, with British built New
Delhi making an eighth! This has resulted in a fascinating
heritage collection of mostly Mughal monuments and relics
juxtaposed with modern architectural wonders.
A brief historical timeline of Delhi -
1. Lal Kot (or Qila Rai Pithora) : area around Qutab Minar
founded in 1060 A.D.
2. Siri Fort : a fortress rather than city, commissioned in
3. Tughluqabad : fortified city built in 1321 but deserted
4. Jahanpanah : Founded 1326 as an extension of Lal Kot
5. Firozabad : remains are a fortified palace, Firoz Shah
Kotla, founded 1354
6. Purana Qila : 1533 A.D. fortress , said to be the site
of ancient Indraprastha
7. Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad) : Founded in 1638 as capital
of Mughal India
8. New Delhi : Inaugurated by the British in 1931 as their
brand new capital Today's buzzing international metropolis
is both daunting and alluring. Form the tourists point of
view, Delhi is divided into two main parts. Old Delhi is the
city of the Mughals, dating the 17th century, with ancient
monuments in marble and sandstone and teeming bazaars. Spacious
New Delhi is full of tree-lined boulevards, museums, classy
Our unique two day Delhi City Excursion Tour makes the mammoth
task of an inner excursion easy, comfortable and thoroughly
enjoyable! Highlights of Delhi City Excursion Tour
Day one ------ Red Fort - Morning, you start
your excursion with a visit to the magnificent Red Fort, the
most famous and largest of heritage monuments. The massive
fort is built in red sandstone and its ramparts stretch for
about 2 km. The fort contains halls of public and private
audience, domed and arched marble palaces, private apartments,
a mosque and elaborate gardens.
* Jama Masjid - Next on the agenda is India's largest mosque,
the Jama Masjid. It has huge minarets and offers bird's eye
views over the old city. The mosque accommodates 25,000 worshippers
and was built by a workforce of 5000 men. It looks east to
sprawling Red Fort and down onto the seething streets of Old
Delhi. In its northeast section, a shrine protects a collection
of Muhammad's relics shrouded in rose petals and watched over
by keepers who reveal the contents: two sections of the Koran
written on deerskin by relatives of the prophet, a red beard
hair of Muhammad, his sandals and his footprint 'miraculously'
embedded in a marble slab.
* Chandni Chowk - At this point, you can have a fascinating
foray into Chandni Chowk on cycle rickshaw or foot - Asia's
biggest wholesale market said to be 400 years old and running
since! It is Old Delhi's main thoroughfare that was once a
tree lined canal with opulent bazaars. There are heritage
buildings signposted at intervals. Starting east to west,
just across Red Fort is Lal Mandir, a Jain temple with carvings
and gilded paintwork. The 18th century Hindu Gauri Shankar
Temple is next door with shrines, a statue of Lord Shiva and
an 800 year old lingam.
Go further west to Gurudwara Sisganj, a 1784 Sikh temple marking
the spot where Emperor Aurangzeb beheaded the ninth Sikh guru,
Tegh Bahadur in 1675. The guru was forced to see three of
his followers executed - one was sawn in half from head to
foot, another wrapped in cotton and slowly burned to death,
a third boiled alive in a cauldron of water. This happened
across the street in what is now Fountain Chowk.
* Finally you reach Connaught Place or 'CP' - the popular,
modern commercial and shopping hub full of restaurants, shops,
cinemas, banks and airline offices. Its central park is beautifully
landscaped and offers a quiet retreat from the hurly-burly.
Neon advertisements adorn the roofs and verandas of buildings
that circle central park. You can break here for a sumptuous
lunch at any one of numerous fine dining spots or munch yummy
snacks at a food joint out here.
We continue our Delhi City Excursion Tour :-
* Jantar Mantar
- located just south of CP, built in 1725 A.D.- one of five
open-air observatories designed by Maharaja Jai Singh II -
huge red and white slanting stone structures used to calculate
time, solar and lunar calendars and astrological movements
with an admirable degree of accuracy.
* Bangla Sahib Gurudwara - Delhi's largest Sikh temple with
a vast white marble structure topped by a huge, golden dome
* Lakshmi Narayan Mandir - an extravagant modern Hindu temple
commissioned by a wealthy merchant family, the Birlas and
inaugurated in 1939 by Mahatma Gandhi.
The Delhi City Excursion Tour will now take you on a drive
down the grand avenue Rajpath viewing hotspots : * Rajpath
- South of CP , the grand avenue Rajpath stretches from India
Gate to the Presidential Palace, flanked by gardens and fountains
floodlit at night. It's wide grassy margins are a popular
spot for families, picnickers, courting couples. It is the
location of the annual National Republic Day Parade.
* India Gate - a must see war memorial raised in honor of
Indian soldiers, designed by Edward Lutyens in 1921. The 42
meter high arch commemorates Indian soldiers and bears names
of more than three thousand soldiers. India Gate has a carnival
atmosphere with sellers of balloons, ice cream and candy-floss,
families enjoying a day out .
* Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace) - one of the largest
and most grandiose of the Raj constructions, with classical
columns, Mughal style domes, Indian filigree work and use
of the red sandstone.
* Sansad Bhawan (Parliament Building) - its well known circular
structure is located just north of Rajpath.
You round up the first day of your Delhi City Excursion Tour
with the must visit must see Akshardham Temple Complex. *
Akshardham Temple is a sprawling, modern construction that
has stupendous stone cutting in stunning sculptors and carvings
and is set amidst beautiful flood lit fountains in the evening.
It's back to your hotel to tuck in a sumptuous dinner before
Day two --------- Raj Ghat or Gandhi Smriti
- Morning you start off with a visit to the Memorial site
of the peace apostle, Mahatma Gandhi. An open air, black marble
platform with an eternal flame burning at one end, set amidst
lush greens and a tangible, pervading atmosphere of peace.
Humayun's Tomb - Next on the agenda is the Mughal garden tomb
in red sandstone and white marble set amidst lovely gardens
- considered to be the elegant forerunner of the Taj Mahal.
* Purana Quila - remains of the fortress citadel built in
1533 A.D., Delhi's sixth incarnation . Surrounded by a lake
on which boating is very popular. The Delhi zoo is adjacent
* The Lotus (or Baha'i) Temple - A stupendous piece of iconic
modern architecture in the form of 27 free standing petals
comprising a gigantic lotus structure. Said to receive the
maximum number of annual visitors in the world after the Eiffel
Tower in France!
* Qutab Minar Complex - The impressive ruins of 13th century
Delhi comprise the Victory Tower, the tallest single tower
in the world and famous 4th century Iron Pillar that has not
rusted in 1500 years! The red sandstone tower tapers up to
a height of 72 meters and has beautiful carvings on its floor
landings. The area to the south is rich with relics from many
historical periods and is now an Archeological Park. as the
hotspots. Head East Delhi and arrive at the must see must
not miss Akshardham Temple with stupendous stone cutting and