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What to See and Do in New Delhi – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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A swirling blend of proud Indian heritage and the fast evolving modern world, New Delhi is a magnetic and intriguing city. Dotted with historic ruins and evocative traces of the Mughal era scattered among the most imposing of modern buildings, India’s capital has something for all tourists. Whether you want to brave the intoxicating markets of the old town or browse an impressive collection of contemporary art, there’s much to choose from.
Humayun’s Tomb

 

 

Claimed by many to be the inspiration behind the Taj Mahal, this 16th-century, marble-domed miracle of red sandstone design was declared a World Heritage Site in 1993 and it’s easy to see why. Constructed to house the remains of an early Mughal emperor, this elaborate and immaculate tomb is chequered with gorgeous arches and elegant balconies. An example of Persian-inspired architecture at its best, the tomb is part of a walled site that includes the Lodi Gardens.

 

India Gate

 

 

This towering archway at the heart of New Delhi was erected in memory of the 70,000 Indian soldiers killed fighting for the British Army in World War I. Looming magnificently over swathes of glistening green gardens, the structure comes to life at night when it’s bathed in a pool of warm orange light and surrounded by lively crowds. It’s a great place to stop for a bite to eat, whether you pack your own grub or grab something quick and tasty from the street vendors.

 

Chandni Chowk

 

 

Roughly translating as the “moonlit square”, Chandni Chowk is traditional urban India at its colorful and crowded best. It’s a market place swarming with tradesmen and women selling anything and everything, from cheap and interesting jewellery and fabrics to all sorts of electronic gadgets. Any foodies in the area will find themselves hard-pressed to resist the fragrant spice of the street stalls. This enthralling taste of India's capital is cramped and can be claustrophobic, so it’s best to resist driving.

 

Gallery of Modern Art

 

 

New Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art dates back to the 1950s and boasts a vast hoard of works by Indian artists of every generation and style since the mid-19th century. The country’s premier art gallery, it’s visited by thousands upon thousands of culture enthusiasts every year. As well as a marvellous core collection, it plays host to a great array of travelling exhibitions. Souvenirs are available in the gallery’s gift shop, while a tour around the gardens is worth it for the wonderful sculptures.

 

Lodi Gardens

 

 

Lodi Gardens provide the perfect foil to the city’s busier attractions. About 3 kilometres from Humayun’s Tomb, this serene and tranquil landscape is particularly popular for morning walks, picnics, and general lazing about. Home to a spattering of famous tombs and 15th-century architecture, it makes for a stimulating stroll through the ages. Should the mood take you, why not grab a good book, a rug, and a tub of something nice and pass the afternoon basking in the peaceful and picturesque surroundings.