Central Delhi is a district in Delhi. The district contains (in its southern part) the historic core of Delhi, also known as Old Delhi (पुरानी दिल्ली Purānī Dillī). The northern parts of the district were developed mainly during the days of British rule, and are known for their Raj-era buildings and institutions. The most important attractions here are the Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Delhi. It also has several markets and is known for its variety of street food.
Central Delhi contains an interesting mix of architecture from the Sultanate, Mughal and the colonial period. It contains two of Delhi's ancient citadels, Firozabad (Feroz Shah Kotla) and Shahjahanabad. Ferozabad was constructed in 1354 by Feroz Shah Tughluq. The Shahjahanabad was constructed by the fourth Mughal ruler Shahjahan and consisted of a walled city centred on the Red Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Jama Masjid. Central Delhi is centred around the Chandni Chowk a paradise for street food lovers. It is also a favourite hunting place for shoppers. The area contains several gateways, hunting lodges and step-wells of the Sultanate period. There are also two Ashokan Pillars which were brought to Delhi by Feroz Shah Tughlaq. A significant amount of colonial architecture is present in the area and includes war memorials, churches and a couple of Christian Cemeteries.
- 3 ISBT, Kashmere Gate (Interstate Bus Terminus). The major bus terminal in Delhi. It connects Delhi to rest of India. Central Delhi is also connected to the rest of the city by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses. Private Blue Line buses (orange colour) also connects central Delhi to the rest of the city.
The Orange Line 4 New Delhi, thus providing direct access to Central Delhi for air passengers arriving in Delhi. , and lines also run over the district, which meet at 5 Kashmere Gate and provide easy access to most of the tourist spots of the district. also runs along the southern edge of Central Delhi.connects the airport to
Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) operates both air conditioned and non air conditioned buses in this district. Blue-line (orange coloured) private buses are also in operation.
There are three types of rickshaws in Central Delhi, auto-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and electric rickshaws.
Auto rickshaws are good for shorter trips. They don't run on meters and prices are fixed before the trip. Fares are generally over quoted and needs to negotiated before the trips begins.
Cycle rickshaws and electric rickshaws are ideal for very short trips. Prices needs to be negotiated and fixed before the trips start.
- 1 Khooni Darwaza (Bloody Gate), Bahadur Shah Zafar Road (opposite Feroz Shah Kotla; metro: ). It is here in this gate that Major William Hodson shot dead the last Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar's sons Mirza Mughal and Mirza Khizr Sultan as well as grandson Mirza Abu Bakr after the defeat in Revolt of 1857. The gate served as a execution chamber under Sher Shah. The severed heads of those executed were put on display in this gate. Here Jahangir ordered the killing of two sons of Rahim Khan-I-Khana who was a Navaratna in Akbar's court. The gate was part of a defensive mechanism set up by Sher Shah and was known as Kabuli Gate, as it faced the city of Kabul now in Afghanistan. But because of its bloody incidence it came to be known as the Khooni Darwaza. The 15.5 meter double storied structure is made of Delhi quartzite stone and is topped with battlements. The windows and the archways have red sandstone ornamentation. There are three different sets of stairways leading to different levels of the gateway, but these are kept under lock & key.
- 2 Majnu ka Tilla Tibetan Colony, Outer Ring road (Bus 53, 169). One of the more accessible Tibetan resettlement areas in India. A nice piece of variety for Delhi, and a popular backpacker hangout. To get there head north along Ring Road just past Majnu ka Tilla Gurudwara, or take the Metro to Vidhan Sabha station, and a cycle-rickshaw is ₹15 from there.
- 3 Yamuna Biodiversity Park. A biodiversity park developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). It serves as an ideal habitat for migratory and resident bird species.
Chandni Chowk Area
- 4 Delhi Town Hall. It was the seat of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) from 1866 till late 2009, when offices shifted to a new building at Minto Road. There used to be a clock tower near the town hall till the 1950s when it was demolished.
- 5 Fatehpuri Masjid (metro: , then rickshaw or 10 minutes walk). Fathepuri Masjid stands at the very western end of the Chandni Chowk. Fatehpuri Masjid was built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begum, one of Emperor Shah Jahan's wives who was from Fatehpur Sikri. After the revolt of 1857, the Muslims were driven out of the city and the mosques became functionless. Several of them were auctioned out including the Fathepuri Masjid. Rai Lala Chunnamal purchased the mosque at a staggering sum of Rs. 19,000 Rai Lala Chunnamal, whose descendants still live in the Chunnamal haveli in Chandni Chowk, made a fortune during the revolt of 1857 by supplying provisions to the British. Strangely the mosque was not demolished and Rai Lala Chunnamal kept it under lock and key. During the first durbar of Delhi in 1877, the prohibition against Muslims entering (or living in) Delhi was lifted. The mosque was acquired by the British and made available to Muslims for prayers. Lala Chunnilal's family received an estate of four villages in exchange for the mosque. The mosque is built using red sandstone and has a fluted dome with mahapadma and kalash on the top. Flanked by minarets, the mosque has a traditional design with the prayer hall having seven-arched openings.
- 6 Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib (metro: ). An important Sikh place of worship. Built on the spot where their ninth guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded on the orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The trunk of the tree beneath which the head of the Guru was severed and the well used by him for taking a bath during his prison term has been preserved in the shrine. The Sikh regiment of the Indian army salutes the Sis Ganj Gurudwara after saluting the president of India since 1979, the only instance of saluting twice in the Republic Day parade by a regiment of the Indian army. The Gurudwara came up in 1783. However, due to the volatile political climate in the coming century, the site alternated between being a mosque and a gurdwara. The dispute was finally settled in 1930 when the case was settled in favour of the Sikhs. The Sikhs celebrated their victory by adding gold gild to the domes. It is an oasis of calm in the chaos of Old Delhi's Chandni Chowk. You will need to cover your head (scarves provided for free) and stash your shoes in the shoe storage run by volunteers (also free).
- 7 St Stephen's Church, Church Mission Rd (local: ). Built in 1862, by Anglican missionaries and Department of Public Works Engineers in the style of Italian Gothic architecture, highly influenced by the Romanesque style. Apart from its ornate walls and ceilings the Church has a unique feature which is the stained glass rose window which is exclusive in Delhi. The baroque styled church has arched windows which allow the sunlight to brighten the interiors. the interiors are well maintained with motifs, pictures, carvings and beautiful furniture. A series of fine plasters form arcade on either side lined with beautiful carvings columns made of sandstone.
Feroz Shah Kotla
- 8 Feroz Shah Kotla. Feroz Shah Kotla is the fifth citadel of Delhi and was built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1354. The previous citadels of Delhi were abandoned due to lack of water, so Feroz Shah Kotla was built right next to the Yamuna River. Today the ruins of Feroz Shah Kotla lie nestled between the cricket stadium, of the same name, and the Ring Road. The ruins of the Feroze Shah Kotla are said to be the abode of friendly djinns (spirit) and every Thursday hordes of devotees, irrespective of religion, visit the ruins of Feroz Shah Kotla with photocopies of letters, citing their problems. They stick the letters on different strategic spots of the citadel and offer prayers to the Djinns. Feroz Shah Kotla still houses several interesting ruins. Although minimalist in nature, they still reveal the former glory and splendor of the ancient citadel. The ruins of the citadel are scattered over a large area and consist of a handful of prominent structures like the Hawa Mahal, Jami Masjid and Circular Stepwell.
- Hawa Mahal (A three stage steeped pyramid with the Ashokan Pillar at the top). Hawa Mahal or Kushk-i-Shikar lies on the northern end of the citadel and is crowned with the Ashokan Pillar (Minar-e-Zarreen). It is built with a central solid core and vaulted cells around it. Stairs at the corners lead to the uppermost terrace where the Ashokan pillar is planted. The pillar was originally from Topar in Ambala. It was shifted to the present location by Feroz Shah Tughlaq. The pillar has inscription in the Prakrit language. Stairs lead to the very top of the stepped pyramid providing close views of the inscription of the pillar along with a bird's eye view of the entire complex and beyond.
- Jami Masjid (Main Mosque of the citadel). The Jami Masjid, or the Main Mosque, lies just south of the Hawa Mahal. It is a gigantic mosque and approached by a long flight of stairs. During the time of construction it was the largest mosque of Delhi and was a inspiration for the Jama Masjid, the present largest Mosque in Delhi. The mosque is built of quartzite stone. It rests on a series of cells on the ground floor. Entrance is through a domed pavilion on the north, the pavilion in turn is approached by a long flight of steps. The roof of the mosque has long collapsed; apart from the side wall, a few pillars are all that is left of the grand prayer hall. Strangely the Jami Masjid is still an active mosque and attracts thousand of devotees during the time of eid. Even on normal days large groups of local Muslims along with Muslim office staff from nearby offices drop in for there daily namaz.
- Circular Baoli (A circular stepwell). Just in front of the step pyramid of Hawa Mahal lies the circular stepwell. Delhi has a number of stepwell but the one at Feroz Shah Kotla is unique as it is the only circular stepwell in Delhi. Sadly the stepwell is kept under lock and key and interiors are not accessible.
Jama Masjid Area
- 9 Jama Masjid (Opposite the Red Fort; metro: , ). 7AM-sunset, tourists are not allowed in from 12:15PM-1:45PM or in the half-hour before sunset.. The largest mosque in India and a must-see while in Delhi. Beware of dishonest guides who will try and convince you that a tour guide is mandatory and is included in the ₹200 camera fee; they will give you an extremely hurried 'tour' of the mosque and then demand a further payment of ₹200-300 for the tour. You can climb to the top of the minaret for ₹100 (locals maybe ₹20). The climb is steep, dark and somewhat claustrophobic, but you'll get great views over the complex and the city. You'll need to cover up your shoulders and legs (scarves and lungis available for rental - about ₹10), and take off your shoes (expect to tip the shoe minder, ₹5 is plenty, or carry your shoes with you in your own bag). - Pictures should not be taken during prayer hours. If you're going to sit down don't look too comfortable. Certainly don't eat or become too engrossed in any reading material you may be carrying, the rule is that non-Muslims must make their visits brief and guards will usher along visitors who linger. Entry is officially free, although if you have a camera with you (even if deep in your bag) the aggressive "guards" will not let you go in without paying the ₹300 fee (this includes the ₹100 minar climb), and this includes camera phones. If you just walk in they will grab you and "carry" you out.
- 10 Razia Sultana's Tomb, Sitaram Bazar (The surrounding area is called Pahari Bhojla. Turkman Gate is the nearest landmark (North of it).). 8:30AM - 6PM. Raziya Sultana was the only women ruler of Delhi (Reign 1236 - 40). The grave of Razia is located at Mohalla Bulbuli Khana near Turkman Gate in Old Delhi. The tomb was built by Razia's half brother Bahram. The dome of the tomb has long collapsed. The tomb houses two graves exposed to the open sky. The said grave is said to be of Razia;s sister Shazia. Sadly the area round the grave is heavily encroached upon and is approachable by a narrow winding lane.
- 11 Turkman Gate, Asaf Ali Rd (Jawaharlal Nehru Marg), Katra Chobey Lal, Old Delhi (from New Delhi (Orange Line, Yellow Line) metro station walk ten min eastward. East 200 of Hanuman Vatika (Temple)). This gate is named after Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Turkman Bayabani, located in southern edge of Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi). The gate the tomb of Hazrat Shah Turkman Bayabani. The tomb dates back to 1240 and predates the gate by over three centuries. The gate was part of the defensive mechanism of Shahjahanabad. It has a square plan with high arched openings.
Kamala Nehru Ridge
Kamala Nehru Ridge or Delhi North Ridge is an extension of the ancient Aravalli Range, near the Delhi University Campus. It was declared a Reserve Forest in 1915. It initially covered an area of 170 hectares but has now shrunk to 87 hectares. The ridge houses several monuments and structures from the Sultanate period right up to the colonial period.
- 12 Mutiny Memorial (Ajitgarh). After the Mutiny of 1857 several memorials were erected all over the subcontinent in memory of the Britishers and Indian soldiers who fought for the British. The Mutiny Memorial at North Ridge (Kamala Nehru Ridge) Delhi was the most prominent of the mutiny memorials of the sub continent. The 1863 built Mutiny memorial is an octagonal tapering red sandstone tower built in Gothic style. It has a richly ornamented faced and is crowned with a marble crucifix. The four tiered tower rests on a two tiered platform. The total height of the tower in 33 meters. Flights of stairs from four side of the platform leads to the base of the tower. The entry of the tower is through a gate on the western side and a flight of spiral stairs leads to the balconies of the four tiers. Sadly entry inside the tower is restricted for tourist. Apart from the gate the remaining seven sides contains marble plaques embedded inside decorated sandstone archways. Each side has a total of three plaque one large and two smaller ones at the bottom. Three of the bigger plaque narrates the incident in English, Hindi and Urdu. Among the remaining four plaques one lists the regiments present during the siege of Delhi while the second one lists actions fought at or near Delhi. The remaining two plaques list the KILLED, WOUNDED and MISSING soldiers of the mutiny, which is again sub divide into sub categories like Europeans & Natives and Officers & Non Commissioned Officers. On 15 August 1972 the Delhi’s Mutiny Memorial was renamed Ajitgarh (Place of the Unvanquished) and a plaque was put at its pedestal. Written in four languages Hindi, Urdu, English and Punjabi. It says that the “enemies” mentioned in the inscription were actually the freedom fighters and martyrs of India, who fought bravely against the repressive colonial rule in the First War of Indian Independence.
- 13 Ashokan Pillar. The Ashokan Pillar lies 200 meters north of the Mutiny Memorial and on the same side of the road. It is located opposite the Hindu Rao Hospital. The entire ridge area was one a favourite hunting location of Feroz Shah Tughlaq. This pillar was shifted from Meerut by Feroz Shah Tughlaq (reign 1351 – 1388) and was placed at the emperors favourite hunting location. Incidental this region of Delhi contains another Ashokan Pillar shifted by Feroz Shah Tughlaq from Topra and set up in Firoz Shah Kotla. The pillar contains the Ashokan Edicts, I – V, partly or almost fully. Durng the reign of Farrukhsiyar (1713 – 19) the pillar was severely damaged and broken into five pieces. The pieces were shifted to Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata. In 1866 they were received back and were erected together in 1867.
- 14 Pir Ghaib. Delhi has countless monuments and they are located in the most unusual places. The Hindu Rao Hospital houses a couple of ruined buildings dating back to the Delhi Sultanate. The ridge was once a favourite hunting ground for Feroz Shah Tughlaq (reign 1351 – 1388). Pir Ghaib, located inside the Hindu Rao Hospital complex is a remains of one of hunting lodges of Feroz Shah Tughlaq. Later on it was abandoned and probably served as a mosque and even as a astronomical observatory. It also probably served as a residence of a Muslim saint, who disappeared mysteriously. No wonder Pir Ghaib literally translates into the "vanished saint"! Today the gate of the Hindu Rao Hospital is located just opposite the Ashokan Pillar, a winding road through the hospital complex leads to the Phir Ghaib. The structure has remained intact and a stairs leads to the terrace of the two storied structure. The terrace houses a cylindrical structure. which was probably a part of the observatory. ery next to the Pir Ghaib is a step well called Hindu Rao Hospital Baoli, dating back to the same period. It is a large well with a flight of steps leading to the water. A simple structure with almost no ornamentation.
- 15 Chauburja Mosque. From the Hindu Rao Hospital gate a long walk northwards along the North Ridge leads to the park maintained by Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Next to the entrance of the park is the Chauburja Mosque. This was also constructed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and along with Pir Ghaib and the baoli was part and parcel of the hunting expeditions. Literally meaning the Mosque with four towers (or probably domes), sadly only the dome of the south – east corner survives to this day. The eastern side has three arched entrances and four bastions.
- 16 Southern Gurad House. A walk along the wanding roadways of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) park leads to the Southern Guard House and then to the Flagstaff Tower. A couple of yards to the left of the main walkway is the Southern Guard House. A small rectangular structure with a pedimented roof. Built in the first part of the nineteenth century the Southern Guard House along with the nearby Flagstaff Tower, was part of the cantonment area of the armed forces of the British East India Company.
- 17 Flagstaff Tower. Just north of the Southern Guard House and the highest point of the North Ridge (Kamala Nehru Ridge) is the Flagstaff Tower. The stout, circular, one room castellated tower was built around 1828 as a signal tower. The Flagstaff Tower played an important role during the Sepoy Mutiny (Indian Rebellion of 1857).
- 18 Roshanara Garden, Dronacharya Guru Hanuman Marg. Begum Roshanara was Aurangzeb's sister. She was the second daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaj Mahal. She was a supporter of her younger brother Aurangzeb and played an active role during the war of succession which took place after Shah Jahan's illness in 1657. She was a talented poet and a powerful lady in Mughal politics.However she is best remembered for Raoshanara Bagh, a pleasure garden laid out by her in 1650. She was discretely poisoned by her brother Aurangzeb. She died in great pain in 1671. She was laid to rest in a tomb inside her favourite garden. The tomb is popularly known as baradari (literally meaning 12 doors). The brick built structure houses four domed chatirs in the corners. The garden is centred round a lake, which attracts migratory birds during winter. The garden is laid out in Japanese style.
Kashmiri Gate Area
The locality around the Kashmiri Gate houses Delhi Junction railway station and the Interstate Bus Terminal (ISBT).
- 19 Kashmiri Gate (Kashmere Gate) (metro: ; local: ). The gate was part of a defensive mechanism set up by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and was known as Kashmiri Gate as it faced Kashmir. The entire locality is now known as Kashmiri gate. The Kashmiri Gate was the site of a fierce battle during the revolt of 1857. A sandstone memorial plaque mentions the names of the British Army Soldiers (British and Indians) who died at the Kashmri Gate area during the recapture of Delhi by the British. The architecture consists of two arched passageways. The passageways are separated by two recessed arch one below the other. Both side of the passageways have similar recesses arches.
- 20 Qudsia Bagh. Qudsia Bag was constructed by Qudsia Begum. wife of Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah and mother of Mughal emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur. She was born as a Hindu and her initial name was Udham Bai. She was a dancing girl in the court of Muhammad Shah, who later married her as his third wife. After Muhammad Shah's death in 1748, her son Ahmad Shah Bahadur (1725–1775) became emperor. As a widow, she took the title Qudsia Begum. She constructed the Qudsia Bagh in 1748. Formerly a splendid palace, has now much dilapidated and neglected.Large part of it was destroyed during the Revolt of 1857. Today the entrance gate, the Sahi (Royal) Mosque and remains of the stables are all that is left of the spectacular Mughal gardens.
- 21 St James' Church (Skinner's Church) (Near to Tikona Park). Worship at 8:30AM (Apr-Sept.): Worship at 9AM (winter). It is an Anglican church, built in 1836 by Colonel James Skinner. It is one of the oldest churches in the city. It was designed by Major Robert Smith. Construction started in 1826 and completed in 1936. The design follows the Renaissance Revival architectural style and the church is laid out on a cruciform plan. The church has three porticoed porches and is crowned with a central octagonal dome. The done is topped with a copper ball topped with a cross. The interior of St' Jame's Church are laid out with beautiful stained glass windows depicting the crucifixion, ascension of Christ and his resurrection. The church and the compound contains several graves.
- 22 Nicholson Cemetery. Located near the Kashmiri Gate the Nicholson Cemetery is an active cemetery and the final resting place of hundred of Christians (both British and Indian). The cemetery in named after Brigadier General John Nicholson, who is often considered by the British as the hero of the Revolt of 1857. During the reclaiming of Delhi in 1857 Nicholson was shot near the Lahore Gate and was carried back to the camp. He died a slow and painful death. Nicholson Cemetery is approached through a beautiful cottage styled arched gateway, which doubles up as the living quarters of the cemetery’s caretaker and his family. The grave of John Nicholson lies just right of the entrance and is fenced by an iron railing. The epitaph reads: "The grave of Brigadier General John Nicholson who led the assault of Delhi but fell in the hour of victory mortally wounded and died 23rd September 1857 aged 35." Another important person to be buried in the Nicholson Cemetery is Yesudas Ramachandra, professor of Mathematics at Delhi Government College.
- 23 Lothian Cemetery. Lothian Cemetery is southeast of St. James's Church and northwest of the Red Fort. It is the first Christian cemetery of Delhi. The cemetery operated between 1808 and 1867, and is now closed. It contains several graves of fallen British soldiers of the Revolt of 1857. The cemetery is said to be haunted.
- 24 Nili Chhatri Temple, Yamuna Bazar (On the banks of the Yamuna river). A Hindu temple is the tomb of Naubat Khan. Naubat Khan was a mansabdar (state official) during the time of Akbar. He built it during his lifetime in 1565. The tomb stands almost midway between Purana Qila and the tomb of Nizamuddin Auliya. It is built in an enclosure of several acres. Though the walls of the tomb are not extant in its entirety, some portions of it can still be seen in the surrounding area. But the gateway is relatively in good shape. At the entrance of the tomb is written the inscription, the letters of the inscription are of black marble inlaid on sandstone.
Mahatma Gandhi sites
The area consists of Raj Ghat and a museum related to Mahatma Gandhi. These sites are located in close proximity, 5 minutes walk east of.
- 25 Raj Ghat and associated memorials. 09:30AM-5:30PM. Raj Ghat (Royal Platform) is the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi at the site of his cremation. Check for closure dates/security checks around national holidays/Gandhi's death anniversary. The area also contains memorial of prime ministers, presidents and other national leaders.
- Shantivan (Peace Garden) commemorates Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
- Vijay Ghat (Victory Platform) commemorates Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second Prime Minister of India.
- Shakti Sthal (Place of Strength) commemorates Indira Gandhi, the third Prime Minister of India.
- Samta Sthal (Place of Equality) commemorates Jagjivan Ram, the fourth Deputy Prime Minister of India.
- Kisan Ghat (Farmer's Platform) commemorates Charan Singh, the fifth Prime Minister of India.
- Veer Bhumi (Brave Land) commemorates Rajiv Gandhi, the sixth Prime Minister of India.
- Ekta Sthal (Place of Unity) commemorates Zail Singh, the seventh President of India.
- Karma Bhumi (Place of Duty) commemorates Shankar Dayal Sharma, the ninth President of India.
- Sangharsh Sthal (Place of Struggle) commemorates Devi Lal, the sixth Deputy Prime Minister of India.
- Uday Bhumi commemorates K. R. Narayanan, the tenth President of India.
- Jannayak Sthal (Place of People's Leader) commemorates Chandra Shekhar, the eighth Prime Minister of India.
- Smriti Sthal (Place of Remembrance) commemorates Inder Kumar Gujral, the twelfth Prime Minister of India.
- Sadaiv Atal (Firm Forever) commemorates Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the tenth Prime Minister of India.
- 26 National Gandhi Museum (Gandhi Memorial Museum), Vikram Nagar. The museum was first opened in Mumbai, shortly after Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. It was later moved to Raj Ghat in 1961. The library at the Gandhi Museum not only showcases Gandhi's work to the public but also serves as a place for general study. The books are divided into two sections, those written by or about Gandhi and books on other subject matters. The gallery has a large number of paintings and personal items of Gandhi. The most notable items in the collection are a Satyagraha woodcut, one of Gandhi's walking sticks, the shawl and dhoti worn by Gandhi when he was assassinated and one of the bullets that were used to kill Gandhi and his urn.
- 27 Red Fort (लाल क़िला Lāl Qilā) (metro: ). One of Delhi's top tourist sights and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A brilliant red sandstone fort was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (who also built the Taj Mahal) as his ruling palace. Completed in 1648, the years since have not treated the buildings kindly: the rooms have long since been stripped of all objects, the marble inlays are long gone and quite a few buildings are off-limits. Still, the scale remains imposing and the gardens are kept lush and green even in midwinter.
The only open entrance is Lahore Gate, on the west side. Security in and around the Fort is very heavy, as it was the scene of a terrorist attack in 2000 that killed three people. Bags are allowed, but they'll be X-rayed and you'll be patted down. Tickets cost ₹30/500 for Indians/foreigners, photography is free, and video cameras ₹25 extra. Tickets can be bought online at the official Archaeological Survey of India website. Open sunrise to sunset daily except Monday. Allow for 3-4 hr in your schedule in case of long weekends and national holidays as a lot of tourists flock around then. The most scenic way of reaching the fort is to take the Metro to Chawri Bazaar and then a cycle-rickshaw through the incredibly packed bazaar to the Fort (price negotiable, aim for ₹20).
The fort has a light and sound show (₹50) in the evenings from 7:30-9PM, depending on the season.
Be careful buying tickets at the booth, as the ticket sellers will attempt to shortchange you. Try to have a small bill. Due to enhanced security, the parking can be a bit tricky as the walk from the now distanced away parking at nearby alternative slots is quite a bit. The congested traffic makes crossing the road even trickier.
The Red Fort buildings include:
- Chhatta Chowk (Covered Bazaar) — True to the name, this is a covered bazaar between the gate and the fort itself, now filled with souvenir hawkers.
- Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) — This building separates the outer court from the inner court and has a marble platform for the emperor's throne.
- Hayat Bakhsh Bagh (Life-Bestowing Gardens) — Once a grand garden full of fountains and streams, now sadly all dry, only dry channels and acres of green grass remain. Near here will you find the Sawan Pavilion.
- Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) — Built completely of marble, this is where the emperor received special visitors.
- Khas Mahal (Private Palace) — The Emperor's main residence. The octagonal Mussaman Burj tower looks out toward the Yamuna River and is where the Emperor used to appear before the public each morning.
- Rang Mahal (Colour Palace) — The residence of the Sultan's main wife.
- Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel Palace, Persian/Urdu: ممتاز محل) — Contained six apartments for Sultan's harem. Now used as a museum of court textiles, carpets, weapons, etc.
- Daawat Khana — A minor palace, this was originally the residence of a prince, but it was converted into a tea house by the British, a function it continues today. Basic meals cost around ₹60, drinks ₹ 10-20, and it also has the cleanest toilets around.
- Swatantra Sangrama Sangrahalaya (Museum of the Independence Movement) — To the left after the Chhatta Chowk, this is a reasonably well-presented museum on the history of independence activism in India, starting from the Mutiny of 1857 all the way to Mahatma Gandhi.
- 28 Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial (Mahaparinirvan Bhoomi). A memorial dedicated to anti-caste activist, political leader and neo-Buddhist Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. The memorial building is in the shape of an open book which signifies the Constitution of India. The site incorporates several Buddhist elements, including a bronze Ashoka pillar at the entrance, a Bodhi tree surrounded by fountains with that move to Buddhist chants in a sound and light show, and two Sanchi-style toranas (gateways).
- 29 National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum (राष्ट्रीय हस्तशिल्प एवं हथकरघा संग्रहालय Raṣṭrīya Hastaśilp evam Hathkarghā Saṅgrahālay), Pragati Maidan, Gate #5, Bhairon Rd (metro: ), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. 10AM-5PM. Also sells handicrafts. Foreigners: ₹150, Indians: ₹10.
- 30 National Science Centre, Near Gate No.1, Bhairon Road, Pragati Maidan, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Although the name sounds very grand, the museum is definitely a must see for science enthusiasts, especially those who are young. Has a section on DNA Science and also a section on Dinosaurs. A section on ancient Indian Science and Technology, including Vedic Mathematics & Ayurveda. The "Energy Ball" display near the entrance is interesting and perhaps the most captivating of all.
- 31 Shankar's International Doll's Museum, 4, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Nehru House (metro: ), ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM. A museum of dolls from all over the country. You get to see the costumes and art from all over India, as well as some nice crafts. ₹10.
- 32 Gurdwara Mata Sundri, Mata Sundri road (Behind JP Nayak Hospital; metro: , 15 min walk), ☏ . The temple is a tribute to Mata Sundri, the wife of the 10th Guru – Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708). The Guru was a Warrior, Poet and Philosopher. The Gurdwara is built in brick and lime mortar. On the farther end of the hall is a marble-paved gallery. The carved wood beam of the gallery bears an inscription in Gurmukhi script in bold letters. There is a marble slab in the center which is surrounded by the inscribed sacred emblem of the Sikhs. It has a standard square-domed sanctum, arched copings and a traditional styled entrance.
- 33 Jhandewalan Mandir, Jhandewalan Devi Mandir Marg, Block E, Jhandewalan Extension, Jhandewala (M from Karol Bagh Terminal 500m NE). One of the most popular temples of goddess Durga.
- 34 Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir (श्री दिगंबर जैन लाल मंदिर Śrī Digambar Jain Lāl Mandir) (metro: ). The oldest Jain temple in Delhi. The temple is said to be built during the rule of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1656. The temple compound also has a bird hospital, which treats about 15,000 birds a year. There is also a bookstore in the complex where a wide range of books on Jainism is available, apart from unique curios and souvenirs related to the religion. You should take off your shoes and all other leather goods and hand it to the concerned person before you enter the temple complex.
- 1 Ambedkar Stadium (metro: ). Watch football at Ambedkar Stadium.
- 2 Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium (previously Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium) (metro: ). Watch cricket at Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium. Watch India play in One day or T20 international in the crowded stadium with a capacity of 41,820. Five day test cricket is another option with lesser crowd. Also watch the local club Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils) play the Indian Premier League (IPL).
- 3 Indira Gandhi Arena (Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium). The largest indoor sports arena in India and among the largest in Asia. It is regularly used by tennis club Indian Aces and DSA Senior Division Futsal League.
- 4 Pragati Maidan, Mathura Rd (metro: at Gate No. 10; local: ). A venue for large exhibitions and conventions in Delhi. The complex houses many pavilions like the Nehru Pavilion, the Defence Pavilion, the Indira Pavilion, and the Son of India Pavilion. It has various building which are built in various shapes and sizes. It also has an auditorium where rock shows and plays are held quite frequently. There is also an internal shuttle service for those who do not wish to walk. The complex houses exhibition halls, eateries, performance spaces and compounds and hosts over 70 national and international exhibitions annually, with the largest being the India International Trade Fair. During the exhibitions, entry of visitors is also allowed through Gate No 4 on Bhairon Road.
- 1 Chandni Chowk, Chandni Chowk Rd, Chatta Pratap (next to Gurudwara Sis Ganj; metro: ). This is the place to go for the full-on Indian experience of crowded, twisting alleys and tiny shops. The Fountain serves as a useful orientation point, and there are great Delhi-style snacks to be found in the vicinity too (see Eat).
- 2 Karol Bagh (West Delhi Market, Gaffar Market, Sabka Bazaar), Saraswati Marg, Beadonpura (Bus 39, 39A, 71, 82N, 89, 166, 181, 212, 214A, 218, 309, 350, 351, 352,450 to 'D B Gupta Market'). known for traditional Indian Wear, sarees and shawls. Huge area and big brand showrooms. - Reputed to be the largest shopping area in Asia with 20,000 shops and traders. There are many tailors experienced in western styles (suits etc.). Also a growing number of hotels .
- 3 Paharganj, Arya Nagar (opposite ; bus: 12N, 19, 19A, 39, 39A, 82N, 166, 181, 214A, 309, 351, 753, 838, 853AC, 857 to stop 'Paharganj'). Oriented toward backpackers, this strip of shops sells items such as Indian perfumes, shawls, tablas, rugs, jewellery, etc.
- 4 Cycle Market, Block E 4, Jhandewalan Extension, Jhandewalan (M 'Jhandewalan' Blue 0.5 km S). Deals not just in bicycles, but in cameras as well.
- 5 Kamla Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Shakti Nagar (next to Delhi University's North campus; Bus 19A, 62, 92, 100A, 102, 106, 114, 115, 116, 125, 127, 128, 131, 133, 136 to stop 'Kamla Nagar'; near Pulbangash Metro Station). Popular with college students and known for its spicy street food.
- 6 Khari Baoli (Naya Bazaar) (local: , then walk 300 m E; metro: , then walk 600 m SW), ☏ , fax: . Walking away from the Red Fort through Chandni Chowk will lead you here, the primary spice market in Old Delhi where most restaurants shop. Great place to buy individual spices (especially cardamom in bulk), masala chai mixes, and various masala mixes for vegetables, meat, fish, meat, chicken, and rice. Afghan Store (lot# 6553). Reputed to be the largest outdoor, pedestrianized shopping area in Delhi. Huge bargains on all sorts of Western and Indian wear. You can also get many reputed Western brands as export surplus if you are lucky. It is also a great market for fresh fruits, vegetables and household goods.
- 7 Meena Bazar, Meena Bazaar (Eastward from Jama Masjid). a popular flea market with antiques (and not-so-antiques) — it's also known as Chor Bazar or "Thieves' Market," so hold onto your wallet and don't believe every claim you hear.
- 8 S. K. Expo, Main Bazar, Pahar Ganj, Pahar Ganj, Ratan Lal Market, Kaseru Walan, Paharganj (near the New Delhi Railway Station), ☏ . One of the largest and oldest emporiums of handicrafts and herbal products in Delhi. It was founded in 1932, and offers a large variety of gift items from different parts of India. Textiles, handmade crafts and furniture made by artists and craftsman are sold at affordable prices. Ayurvedic and plant remedies, herbal soap, shampoos, oils and natural fragrances are also manufactured. This complex of two four-storied buildings is welcoming and a popular place for foreign visitors to Delhi.
- 9 R. Expo House, Paharganj (near the New Delhi Railway Station).
- 10 Nai Sarak Bookshop Area (near Chawri Bazaar. Metro: Chawri Bazaar or Chandni Chowk (Yellow)). Narrow alleys where most publishers are based. This is very popular with students, particularly college students as course books are available here. They carry books in nearly all major languages spoken in India. Don't expect bargaining to work here as shopkeepers are too busy to argue. The shopkeepers do more business than any proper branded shop, selling at least 5,000 books daily. There are also many wholesalers. Very few books will be on display and you need to ask for a particular type of book as the variety of books sold is huge. Most books are original and the shopkeepers get very irritated if you question the book's genuineness. You can either take a rickshaw or walk. One of Delhi's oldest shopping complexes, you can find any book there after a day of searching. Also good areas for sightseeing.
- 11 Daryaganj and Asaf Ali Road. Similar to Nai Sarak, but a little better organised. Hindi Book Centre on Asaf Ali Rd is well known, stocks many Hindi books, and has a good website.
- Kamla Nagar Bookshops, F-Block (opposite to Birla Mills compound and on the road leading to Roop Nagar roundabout). This shop provides a range of books and stationery.
- 12 Aap ki Pasand, Sterling House, 15 Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj (opposite the post office, walking distance from Red Fort), ☏ . Tea Shop, A great place to sample Indian chai and the exotic Darjeeling and Assam teas and buy tea in handcrafted fabric bags. Located in an old colonial era building, its teas have been savored by Bill Clinton, Gorbachov, Koizumi and are taken as official state gifts of India.
You will find many shops in Chandni Chowk area. Paranthe Wali Gali is a street with shops selling paranthas, where you will find many verieties of paranthas.
- Haldiram's, 1454/2 Chandni Chowk (just west of the fountain) and other outlets around town. This is a famous manufacturer of Indian snacks and sweets that has now gone global. This always-packed, two-story outlet in the heart of Chandni Chowk was its first in Delhi and dates back to 1924. The ground floor houses a vast array of sweet and sticky Indian confections, while the first floor has a popular vegetarian restaurant. This is a great place to try authentic and hygienic Delhi chaat and other Indian snack foods. Try the Raj Kachori, a mixture of different types of stuffing with sweetened yogurt and chutneys in an oversized hollow dough shell. All chaat is under ₹50, or you can get a full daily thali for ₹90. Choley Bhature, and the various Dosas are great options to try as well from their Southern Indian selection. Be sure to save room for dessert, as Haldiram's offers some of the best rasmalai, rasgullah, gulab jamun and other tasty delights in India.
- Kake Di Hatti, Chandni Chowk near Old Delhi Railway Station. The most extensive varieties of naans (Indian bread) you will find in Delhi. They make the biggest and best tasting naans for your money.
- Tadka, 4986, Ram Dwara Rd, Nehru Bazar, Paharganj, (side road off of Main Bazaar). A notably clean restaurant by Paharganj standards. Serves only vegetarian food, a full thali for ₹ 60. Their tea is really good and their most popular dish is paneer masala.
- 1 Karim's, ☏ . Jama Masjid, Gali Kababian. As you'd expect from a restaurant on Kebab Lane, the main dish is Mughal-style meat (mutton and chicken), served up since 1913. Is down a little alley just South of the Jama Masjid southern entrance (past the auto supplies market). Favourites include badam pasanda (boneless mutton cooked with yogurt, almonds and spices) and chicken noor jahan, but if you're really hungry, try Tandoori Bakra; an entire stuffed goat for ₹4,500, 24 hr notice and down payment is required. Some of the dishes have huge puddles of oil on top, which you're supposed to drain off before eating. Under ₹200 at the original; more at the branches.
- 2 Kake Di Hatti. Kake Di Hatti has a variety of naans along with North Indian curry vegetables, like Dal Makhani, Shahi Paneer etc. The naans are very big and usually one naan is enough for two people. One person can eat within ₹200 to ₹250.
- Kitchen Cafe Roof Top @ Hotel Shelton, 5043 Main Bazaar, Pahar Ganj, ☏ , email@example.com. 24 hours daily. Great view and ambiance.
- Felafel Man, Main Bazaar, Paharganj. (About a 10 min walk down Main Bazaar from New Delhi train station). Small shop selling falafel rolls and sabeekh. Multilingualcook, the rolls come with hummus, tahini and mineral water washed vegies. Don't forget to wash it down with the seasonal fruit lassi, so thick it takes some effort to suck it up the straws.
- Aap ki Pasand Tea Shop, Sterling House, 15 Netaji Subhash Marg, Daryaganj (opposite the post office, walking distance from Red Fort), ☏ . A great place to sample Indian chai and the exotic Darjeeling and Assam teas and purchase the same. Located in an old colonial era building, its teas have been savoured by Bill Clinton, Gorbachev, Koizumi and are taken as official state gifts of India.
- Ashiana, 50 Ara Kashan Rd, Ram Nagar (500 m from the New Delhi Railway Station and within minutes of Connaught Place), ☏ . Single ₹1,290-3,190, double ₹1,490-₹3,490.
- 1 Rail Yatri Niwas, New Delhi railway station (Metro: New Delhi - Line 2), ☏ . ₹450.
- 2 Bloomrooms @ New Delhi Railway Station, 8591 Arakashan Road (2 blocks north of the exit of the New Delhi Railway Station), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Extremely modern and comfortable rooms. Rooms are noisy due to the location near the station. Single ₹1,700, double ₹2,000-2,600, breakfast ₹250.
- 3 Ivory Palace, 14A/27 WEA, Channa Market, Karol Bagh, ☏ , , email@example.com. From ₹1,200.
Paharganj is an area directly west of, bordered by Panchkuian Road in the south, Igdah Road in the north, and Deshraj Bhatia Marg/Chitragupta Road in the west. The neighbourhood is noisy, filthy, and full of touts, but it's also centrally located and has many cheap hotels and thus very popular with budget travellers. Paharganj is considered a safe area.
- 4 Ajanta, Main Bazaar, ☏ , , , firstname.lastname@example.org. Decent restaurant and nice atmosphere on a rooftop bar, although the rooftop seems like a construction site. The staff are often rude and may try to offer overpriced tour package bookings as often as they can. The rooms are small and many do not have windows. Bath/shower facilities are archaic. The hotel does not offer a luggage storage service. US$24.
- 5 Ajay Guest House, 5084-A, Main Bazaar (Opposite Khanna Cinema), ☏ , , fax: , email@example.com. Has a good restaurant and German Brown Bread Bakery. Single ₹700-900, double ₹800-1,200, triple ₹1,200-1,800.
- 6 Chanchal Deluxe, 8524 Arakashan Road (behind Sheela Cinema), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 54 rooms. US$24.
- City Inn DX, 5415-16, Ladoo Ghati, Nehru Bazaar (about a 10-min walk from the railway station), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Rooms with double bed, flat screen TV (with HBO, VH1, CNN, lots of Hindi channels), clean bathroom with Western toilets. Each bathroom has its own hot water heater. Room service, computers in the lobby for ₹30/hr. Very friendly staff. Located just around the corner from Hotel Relax and the vegetable market. Single ₹400-900, double ₹600-2,000.
- Delhi Resort, Main Bazaar, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Facilities of meditation, spider web, Burma Bridge, cliff jump, nature walk, rappelling, trust fall, and more. US$24.
- 7 Durga International, 8715, D.B. Gupta Rd (500m from New Delhi Railway Station), ☏ . Basic hotel. Single from ₹1,900, double from ₹2,100, Family Suite ₹4,500, Honeymoon Suite ₹6,500.
- 8 Hare Rama Guest House, 298 Main Bazaar (Down the side road near the Khanna Cinema), ☏ . Popular hotel and place to book sleeper buses if you're heading to Dharamsala or Pushkar. They're very laid back staff which makes a nice change. 24 hour hot water and check in, and 24 hours stay from when you arrived. ₹400 single, ₹500 double for an OK non-air-con room. Extra 50% for air-con.
- 9 Metropolis Tourist Home, 1634 Bazaar Hand, ☏ . More expensive than the average Paharaganj hotel. It also has a good restaurant. Double ₹2,500-3,500.
- Staybook-Pinky Villa[dead link]- 2463-N, (Nalwa St, Chuna Mandi), near New Delhi Train Station that offer rooms at very affordable price. +918527703312.
- 10 Hotel Namaskar, 917 Chandiwalan, Main Bazaar (located down a side alley), ☏ , , , email@example.com. Be prepared for a somewhat gloomy hotel, with possibly roaches in the rooms. No sheets or towels. Primary school right next to the hotel makes sleeping past 9AM nearly impossible. Double Room: ₹400-650. Breakfast not included..
- 11 (on a side street off main bazaar at the intersection with the vegetable market), ☏ . Cheap and cheerful. Single: ₹300; Double: ₹400..
- Sai Palace, 22, Main Market Road, Pahar Ganj (Middle lane opposite railway station, Paharganj). Double: ₹550-₹1,350.
- Sham Nath Villa, 12, Sham Nath Marg, Civil Lines (Opposite Oberoi Maidens), ☏ , , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Double rooms with air-con US$90. Breakfast included..
- 12 Smyle Inn, 916, Chandi Wali Gali, Main Bazaar (right street before Masjid, coming from New Delhi station in Main Bazar), ☏ , , email@example.com. Check-in: Noon, check-out: 11AM. Breakfast and internet access included in price. Single ₹940-1,090, double ₹980-1,180, triple ₹1,200-1,380.
- Staybook Jai Balaji, 9918,Street no- 5, Multani Dhanda, ☏ . Free wifi throughout. Normal room rent of 1500rps.
- 13 Hotel Aira Xing by Staybook @ Paharganj, police station, 1/5, Desh Bandhu Gupta Rd (opposite Motia Khan), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: noon, check-out: 11AM. Hotel with clean rooms, fast Wifi, rooftop restaurant. Single: ₹2999.
- 14 Vivek, 1534-50 Main Bazaar (about a ten-minute walk from the railway station), ☏ . This has a pleasant rooftop restaurant, but rather bland food. Economy Room (single ₹650, double ₹750); Standard Room (single ₹750, double ₹800); Luxury Room (₹1,100-1,200); Club Room (₹1,500-1,600).
- 15 Ginger Delhi (Rail Yatri Nivas), IRCTC- Rail Yatri Niwas, New Delhi Railway Station, Bhav Bhutti Marg (opposite New Delhi Railway Station or take Rail Yatri Nivas exit from New Delhi Metro station). Run by Tata group, known for clean and cost-effective no-frills budget hotels ₹1,500-1,800.
- 16 Maidens Hotel. A Raj-era hotel.
This area, west of Paharganj, is quieter, but not as centrally located. It is served by the Karol Bagh metro station.
- Anand Hotel, 8/41, WEA, Abdul Aziz Rd, Channa Market (near Jessa Ram Hospital, Karol Bagh), ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Basic hotel. From ₹1,990.
- Gulnar, 7A / 45 W.E.A. Channa Market, ☏ . Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Clean and pleasant design/style. Free breakfast when you book directly from the hotel website; otherwise there is a ₹200 charge. Double: ₹2,400; Triple: ₹3,000.
- Royal Palace, 11A/27, W.E.A, Channa Market, ☏ , fax: . Clean and pleasant design/style.
- Hotel Pitrashish Premium, 59/36, New Rohtak Road, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Clean and pleasant design/style. ₹2000.
- TJS Grand, 16/16, Arya Samaj Road, ☏ . 32 rooms. ₹2,000.
East of New Delhi station
- Hotel Broadway, 4/15A, Asaf Ali Road (across from Maulana Azad Medical College & Hospital, 5 minutes away from Connaught Place), ☏ , email@example.com. India's first hotel to get ISO 9002 certification. ₹1,800.
- 17 Tara Palace, 419 Old Cycle Market, Chandni Chowk (opposite Delhi Parade Ground, near the Red Fort), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: noon. Friendly budget hotel, free breakfast and free airport pickup. From $40.
Majnu ka Tilla
Majnu ka Tilla is a compact Tibetan settlement and the place of departure and arrival for buses to/from Dharamsala, the home of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the Dalai Lama. Stay here if you have an interest in Tibetan culture, politics and religion, or if you need something quieter (and just slightly more expensive) than Paharganj. Rooms are mostly doubles averaging ₹700, but some ₹400 singles can be had (2015). An auto-rickshaw from New Delhi train station should cost around ₹ 50 (use the prepaid stand). The Vidhan Sabha metro station is also nearby and popular. From there, cycle-rickshaws charge ₹ 15 and take about five minutes.
- Ama Rabsel House, House No 47, New Aruna Nagar (Behind Dolma House restaurant), ☏ , , email@example.com. Check-out: noon. A surprisingly large and modern hotel, hidden down a dark alleyway next to Dolma House restaurant. Friendly staff appear to be constantly cleaning. The attached restaurant, on the other hand, is of low quality. ₹500-1,000.
- 18 Hotel SPB 87, Plot No. 2, Block no. 17A, WEA, Karol Bagh (near Karol Bagh Metro Station), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Budget hotel. 1500.
- Delhi Public Library. A national depository library.