A First Timer's Guide To Delhi

A First Timer's Guide To Delhi
The Red Fort lights up every Independence Day (August 15th) when the Prime Minister of the country hoists the Indian flag on this Mughal marvel. , Photo Credit: Meenketan Jha

Through every nook and cranny of Old Delhi to the elegantly put together Connaught Place, here is a list of places that you cannot miss on your first trip to the national capital.

Meenketan Jha
October 06 , 2018
03 Min Read

I remember as a kid getting up early every 26th January to watch the parade march through the roads at India Gate. Top government officials along with international leaders would observe the varying cultures of the country. The army, navy, and air forces would all combine to show off their might and the tiranga would sway high above as the national anthem took center stage. 

As an NRI far away in Hong Kong, national holidays like Republic and Independence Day were always occasions to connect with my motherland. Even after shifting to India for college, these two days remained the only days where I would actually get up in time to see the sunrise. What was even more magnificent about the celebration was the grandeur of the location it took place at. The iconic Red Fort from where the Mughals ruled the country and the India gate, the war memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in World War I.
So, when I did shift to Delhi, it became imperative that I visit these extraordinary places. My trip around the national capital with stopovers at the Red Fort and the India Gate also involved a short stroll through the crowded streets of Chadni Chowk to the monumental Jama Masjid. I sat along the quiet corridors of the mosque watching as hundreds prayed for the happiness of their families and future. Add to all of this, a pit-stop at Qutub Minar made my trip around Delhi a memorable one. In between, a timely trip to the haunted Agrasen Ki Bowli also beckoned.   
On our way to the Jama Masjid, we walked through scores of markets like these flooded with accessories.
The Jama Masjid was constructed by over 5000 workers and is one of the largest mosques in the world. It is usually swarmed by followers of the Muslim faith and is a sight of absolute wonder during 'nawaz' when the entire Masjid complex is covered by people.
The Red Fort used to be the residence of the Mughals for over two centuries. The architectural style is fusion of the Timurid and Persian traditions.
Connaught Place is one of the largest commercial centers in the capital. The complex sees the use of the Classical style developed during the European Renaissance.
Agrasen Ki Baoli is a historic step well near the Connaught Place believed to have been built by King Agrasen in the 14th century.
The Baoli is also regarded as one of the most haunted places in India with visitors not permitted to stay beyond sunset.
The India Gate is a war memorial built in tribute to the British India Army soldiers who died during the first Great War. Every year on the occasion of Republic Day (26th January), a parade depicting the various cultures of India is conducted here.
The Qutub complex was built during the 12th century. Through the years, it has seen several major natural disasters and repair works.
The Qutub Minar overlooking the entire complex is one of the largest minarets in the world.

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