Top 4 Sights in Delhi for First-Time Visitors

September 23, 2011 by

Best Of Lists, Free Things to Do, Local Recommendations, Sightseeing, Suggested Itineraries, Things To Do, Top Attractions

White tigers are the top attraction at the National Zoological Park in Delhi
- photo courtesy of Santosh Namby Chandran via Wikimedia Commons

As the second most populated area in India, the city of Delhi can be a daunting target for travelers unfamiliar with the subcontinent. The following four suggestions should help get you started.

1. Raj Ghat and National Gandhi Museum

First-time visitors to Delhi ought to make it a priority to visit the shrine erected to Mohandas Gandhi after his untimely death at the hands of a Hindu fundamentalist in 1948. The site, adorned with a black marble slab, flowers, and a perpetually lit flame, is the spot where Gandhi’s ashes were spread. Across the boulevard is the National Gandhi Museum, where you’ll find an array of the influential leader’s personal artifacts and a film about his life that is shown weekday afternoons.

2. National Zoological Park

Designed in the late 1950s by the German designer Carl Hagenbeck, Delhi’s zoo is a good place for visitors on tight schedules to take in emu, gazelle, Indian rhino, deer, water birds, and other animals all in one place. Make no mistake, however, the starred attractions are the astonishingly beautiful white tigers. Plan on long lines and large crowds, but rest assured, your patience will be richly rewarded.

3. Lutyens’ Delhi

If you follow the broadest avenue in Delhi (Rajpath), you eventually come to Sir Edwin Lutyens’ so-called “Imperial City”. Built between 1914 and 1931, this district is a great way to take in the lasting impact (for better or worse) of British colonial rule.

4. Hazrat Nizamuddin Darga

With the tomb of Sufi mystic Hazrat Nizamuddin Auli at its center, this district is a sure bet for perusing open-air restaurants and Urdu bookstores while breathing in the haunting refrains of ecstatic devotional Muslim music.

- John Reality

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