Ultimate List Of Historical Places in Delhi with Pictures and Information

Delhi is a lot more than just the capital of India. It is a major tourist place and has tons of historical places worth visiting. Today, these historical places in Delhi not only serve as tourist spots but also are a popular film shooting locations.

Delhi has witnessed the rise and fall of several dynasties over the period of time. With a history of over a millennium, the capital city has a long list of forts and palaces that span from the times of the Pandavas of the Hindu epic Mahabharata to the British rulers. For your ease, Neo Travellers has summarized the seven top historical places worth visiting in Delhi. These famous places speak tons about the history and culture of the great capital city.

Here’s Neo Travellers’ List Of Historical Places in Delhi with Pictures and Information

Qutub Minar

Qutab Minar, also spelled as, Qutub Minar, is the tallest minaret in the world made up of bricks. Qutab-Ud-Din-Aibak, the first sultan of the Delhi Sultanate, laid the foundation stone of Qutab Minar in 1192. The minaret was completed by Qutab-Ud-Din-Aibak’s successor and son-in-law Iltutmish, by adding three more storeys, in the year 1220. However, a lighting strike destroyed the top storey of the Minar in the year 1369. Firoz Shah Tughlaq, replaced the damaged storey and added one more to the minaret.

Qutab Minar is 239.5 feet high and has a spiral staircase of 379 steps inside it. The design of Qutab Minar is believed to be inspired from Minaret of Jam, in western Afghanistan. The Qutab Minar is surrounded by multiple small monuments for historical significance, such as Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque, and the Iron Pillar of Delhi. Also, another monument, present in the compound of Qutab Minar, known as “Smith’s Folly”, is the residuum of the Minaret’s 19th century restoration. The Qutab complex was also declared UNESCO World Heritage site. India’s first ever mosque, Quwwat-ul-islam is at the foot of Qutab Minar.

The iconic Qutub Minar is a popular historical monument that adds culture to Delhi’s skyline. It is a 73-meter minaret in Mehrauli area of New Delhi.

Historical places in Delhi - Qutub Minar

Image source: TripAdvisor

The minar was damaged in 1369, when a lightning strike decimated the top storey. Firoz Shah Tughlaq replaced the damaged storey and built the final, fifth story.

Famous For: History & Architecture
Entry Fee: 30 INR for Indians and 500 INR for foreigners (At the time of writing this article).
Qutab Minar Delhi  Timings: All days (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Qutab Minar Address: Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030

Things To Do at & near Qutab Minar

  • Explore the architecture of the monuments
  • Visit Mehrauli Archaeological Park
  • Visit Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque

Nearest metro station: Qutb Minar station.

Quick Fact: The films like Fanaa – ‘Chand Sifaarish’ song, Jannat 2, and Black and White have been shot at Qutub Minar.

India Gate

India Gate is another one of the famous historical places in Delhi, which was built to commemorate the 70,000 Indian soldiers who were killed fighting for the British Army during World War I. This “Arc-de-Triomphe” is 42-meter-high and similar to its French counterpart.

The Duke of Connaught laid the foundation stone of India Gate in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The nearby memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later, following India’s independence. The eternal flame burns at the memorial in remembrance of soldiers who were martyred during the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971. It is best to visit this place literally anytime, and during night time, the place is dramatically floodlit.

India Gate

India Gate is surrounded by lush green lawns and a small lake. The nearby fountains with colored lights make for a soothing surrounding. At one end of India Gate is Rajpath and one can see a deluge of people moving about the area during evenings.

Famous For: War Memorial, Indian Army, Architecture
Entry Fee: Free (At the time of writing this article).
India Gate Timings: Open All Days
India Gate Address: Rajpath Marg, India Gate, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

Things To Do at India Gate

  • Pay your respect to Amar Jawan Jyoti
  • Relax in the surround Gardens
  • Picnic Spot
  • Enjoy Boat Ride

Nearest metro station: Central Secretariat

Quick Fact: India Gate bears the name of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers.

Jantar Mantar

While you are in Connaught Place, make sure you visit Jantar Mantar (which translates to Yantra – Instruments and Mantra – formulae). Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur in 1724 for the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

Jantar MantarImage source: Tourism of India

The lush green complex comprises 13 architectural astronomy instruments. These instruments are fascinating for their ingenuity and are a testament to the interest in science and astronomy in India. However, today this observatory has been reduced to a fascinating historical monument as accurate observations can no longer be made due to high rise buildings nearby.

Visit Timing: Daily, between 9AM-5PM

Entry Fee: INR 200 for Foreign Tourists and INR 50 for Indians

Nearest metro station: Patel Chowk

Quick Fact: Jai Singh built Jantar Mantar because he found his existing astronomical instruments too small to give correct readings!

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid, originally called Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, was built by Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656. It took the hard work of 5000 workers and a budget of one million rupees to complete this Masjid. The mosque was inaugurated by an Imam Bukhari, a mullah from Bukhara, Uzbekistan, on 23 July 1656. The mosque is so huge that almost 25000 people can pray in the courtyard at the same time.

Jama Masjid, or the Masjid-i Jahān-Numā (World-reflecting Mosque), is one of the most historical places in Delhi, which has religious significance. Located in the heart of Old Delhi, it is a point of interest for all the history buffs and is situated just opposite to the Red Fort.

Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid is a classic example of great Mughal architecture. It blends both Hindu and Mughal style of architecture in a unique way. The mosque has three entry gates and four towers in its complex. It is built of red stone, which helps it stand all the seasons of the year. The Jama Masjid was constructed on a higher ground and could be seen from any region within 5 kilometres of its radius. Even though the mosque still stands tall among the crowded street of Chandani Chowk, it has been overshadowed by the commercialization of the place.

Famous For: Religion, Architecture, History
Entry Fee: Free (At the time of writing this article).
Jama Masjid Timings: Open All Days (7 am to 12 pm & 1:30 pm to 6:30 pm). Tourists are not allowed during payer times.
Jama Masjid Address: Meena Bazaar, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006, India

Things To Do At and Near Jama Masjid

  • Learn more about Jama Masjid’s history
  • Visit Chawri Market
  • Visit Old City

Nearest metro station: Chawri Bazaar (Just 500m away!)

Quick Fact: The Jama Masjid of Delhi was built by around 5,000 workers, costing INR 1,000,000 (at the time of construction)!

Red Fort in Delhi

The Red Fort is one of the few historical monuments in Delhi that served the residence of Mughal emperors for as long as 200 years. This dramatic and fascinating structure was taken over by the British in 1857. The Red Fort in Delhi is surrounded by tall red-stone walls and has marble and sandstone monuments that were constructed using precious stones during the peak of the Mughal Empire’s power.

Red Fort in Delhi

The Red Fort lies on the banks of the Yamuna River. It is home to several museums that house various precious artifacts on display. Today, this historical fortification is where the Indian Prime Minister unfurls the national flag and gives his speech on the Independence Day.

Visitors should not miss the flamboyant light and sound show that happens every evening (except on Monday. The light and sound show dramatizes key events associated with the history of the fort. It is one of the most popular historical places in Delhi amongst tourists. Visitors generally combine their trip to the Red Fort with the nearby Chandni Chowk market and the Jama Masjid.

It is one of the most famous forts, not just in Delhi but in India as well. The emperors of the Mughal dynasty resided in this fort for almost 200 years. The fort was constructed in the year 1639 by the then Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. The Red Fort gets its name from the massive walls and interiors that have been built using the red sandstone. Red Fort’s architectural design and aesthetics were so marvellous that they influenced other buildings that were constructed later in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kashmir and elsewhere.

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Nadir Shah invaded the city in 1747 and the fort was plundered of its artwork and jewels during his invasion. Britishers also demolished some of the beautiful marble structures of the fort, following the revolt of 1857.

Every year, on the Independence Day (15th August), the prime minister of India hoists the national flag and addresses the nation from the Red Fort. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

Famous For: History & Architecture
Entry Fee: 35 INR for Indians and 500 INR for foreigners. Light and Sound show will cost about 80 INR for adults and 30 INR for children (At the time of writing this article).
Red Fort Delhi  Timings: Tuesday – Sunday (9:30 am – 4:30 pm)
Red Fort Address: Netaji Subhash Marg, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi – 110006
Nearest metro station: Chowri Bazaar

Things To Do in Red Fort

  • Light and Sound Show
  • Take a guided tour around the fort

Nearest metro station: Chowri Bazaar

Quick Fact: The Red Fort was formerly known as Qila-e-Mubarak, or the blessed fort.

Agrasen Ki Baoli

The ancient stepwell, Agrasen ki Baoli, is a great historical monument in Delhi that you simply cannot miss. Located far away from the bustle of city life, it has its share of references in popular culture like in the very controversial Raj Kumar Hirani movie, PK.

Agrasen Ki BaoliImage source: TripAdvisor

Agrasen Ki Baoli is a protected monument and its beguiling architecture can easily grab your attention. It is a 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical step well located on Hailey Road, near Jantar Mantar. It has a unique structure which consists of three levels. The step well of Agrasen ki Baoli has 103 steps with several carved chambers and passages.

Hours: Everyday, 9AM–5:30PM

Entry Fee: Free

Nearest metro station: Barakhamba Road

Quick fact: Agrasen ki Baoli is also called ‘Baoli of the unseen’ as it is believed to be one of the most haunted places in India. It is one of the rare haunted historical places in Delhi.

Read more about Haunted Places in Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb was built by the senior wife of Humayun Bega Begam in 1565 A.D., nine years after Humayun’s death. The tomb is located near the crossing of Mathura road and Lodhi road. This beautiful garden tomb is the first significant example of Mughal architecture in India and a must visit historical places in Delhi.

Humayun’s TombImage source: India hotels

The tomb was constructed in the year 1569 and was designed by Persian architects, father son duo, Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and Sayyid Muhammad. It was built close to Old Fort, which Humayun founded in 1533. The tomb is made of red sandstone and was the first garden tomb in the Indian sub continent. India’s pride, Taj Mahal, bears close resemblance to this tomb.

The Humayun Tomb was built near banks of river Yamuna, in order to maintain its proximity to Nizamuddin Dargah, the mausoleum of the celebrated Sufi saint of Delhi, Nizamuddin Auliya. Saint Nizamuddin Auliya was much respected by the Mughal emperors and used to live at his residence Chilla Nizamuddin Auliya, which is just north east to the tomb. The Humayun’s Tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

Once you are at this historical site, you cannot help but notice the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels and well proportional mausoleum topped by a double dome. There are various other graves of Mughal rulers in the walled enclosure.

Famous For: History, Architecture & Gardens
Entry Fee: 30 INR for Indians and 500 INR for foreigners (At the time of writing this article).
Humayun’s Fort Delhi  Timings: All days (7:00 am – 7:00 pm)
Humayun’s Fort Address: Mathura Road, Opposite Dargah Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Delhi 110013

Things To Do at Humayun’s Tomb

  • Explore the gardens and the Tomb
  • Visit Nizam al-Din Auliya Dargah nearby

Nearest Metro stations: Jorbagh, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, and Race Course stations

Quick Fact: The last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II was captured from Humayan’s Tomb by Lieutenant Hudson in 1857.

Lodi Gardens

Lodi Gardens is a city park, situated between Khan Market & Safdarjung’s Tomb on Lodhi road and is spread across in an area of 90 acres. The Garden has two major tombs, that of Mohammed Shah’s and Sikandar Lodi’s. It also houses Shisha Gumbad and Bara Gumbad. These structures were built by the Lodi dynasty emperors in the 15th century. Lodi’s ruled parts of Northern India from 1451 to 1526.

The tomb of Mohammed Shah was built by Ala-ud-din Alam Shah in 1444 as a tribute to Mohammed Shah. The second Tomb, Sikander Lodi’s Tomb was built by his son Ibrahim Lodi in 1517, who was the last sultan of Delhi from Lodi dynasty. Ibrahim Lodi was defeated by Babur during the first battle of Panipat in 1526.

There are very few pieces of architecture of the 15th century remaining in India.The site is now protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

It is a nice place for morning walk and to relax in the serene victim of the beautiful gardens. The National Bonsai Park, situated within the Gardens is another tourist attraction.

Famous For: History, Monuments & Gardens
Entry Fee: Free (At the time of writing this article).
Lodhi Gardens Delhi  Timings: All days (6:00 am – 7:30 pm)
Lodhi Gardens Address: Main Lodi Road, Beside India International Centre, New Delhi, Delhi – 110003

Things To Do at Lodhi Gardens

  • Morning & Evening Walk
  • Visit Bonsai Garden
  • Explore 15th Century Monuments
  • Picnic Spot

Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk, earlier known as the Moonlight Square, is one of the oldest markets in Delhi, built in 17th century. It is situated near Red Fort in old Delhi and was designed by Shah Jahan’s daughter Jahanara. The place had multiple canals (now closed) running across the market to reflect the moonlight. It still remains India’s largest wholesale markets.

Originally, the market had 1560 shops, designed in half moon shaped pattern, now lost. Shah Jahan’s favourite daughter Princess Jahanara Begum, created the entire design of the marketplace. Existence of Chandni Chowk dates back to the time when Shah Jahan built Red Fort on the banks of Yamuna river and established his presence in the capital city of Shahjahanabad.

Chandni Chowk is now famous for its wholesale market, diverse cuisines, street food (Parathe Wali Gali), clothes and handicrafts. A trip to Delhi is incomplete without visiting the oldest market of Delhi, Chandni Chowk. You can shop from wide range of products here, and collect artefacts and souvenirs. It is one of the oldest and busiest markets of Delhi.

Famous For: History, Cuisines, Wholesale Market, Old Monuments
Entry Fee: Free
Chandni Chowk Timings: Open All Day

Things To Do at Chandni Chowk

  • Shopping
  • Enjoy local cuisines and street food
  • Visit old havelis
  • Visit religious buildings and monuments, Red Fort is in the vicinity

Rashtrapati Bhavan

Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the president of India. It was previously called Viceroy’s House. It is located at the western end of Rajpath in New Delhi. Rashtrapati Bhavan is spread across in an area of 320 acres and the main building has 340 rooms inside it. The Rashtrapati Bhavan compound also has presidential gardens, popularly known as Mughal Gardens, which remain open to public only for a certain period of time.

During the Delhi Darbar in December 1911, it was decided to relocate the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi. The decision was also taken to build a residence for the British Viceroy in New Delhi. The construction of Viceroy’s House started in the year 1912 and was completed in 1929. It was designed by the famous British architect Edwin Lutyens. Its an architectural marvel with beautiful gardens surrounding it.

Famous For: Architecture and Gardens
Entry Fee: Prior permission required before visiting (A request for visit can be made by on-line Booking system through http://rashtrapatisachivalaya.gov.in/rbtour/). 50 INR per person and free for children below 8 years (At the time of writing this article).
Rashtrapati Bhavan Timings: Rashtrapati Bhavan Main Building and the Central Lawn – Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex [RBMC] comprising the Clock Tower, the Stables and the Garages – all days except Monday.
The Mughal Gardens and other Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan – From August to March on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. (Timings are subject to change)
Rashtrapati Bhavan Address: Rashtrapati Bhawan, President’s Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110004, India

Things To Do At Rashtrapati Bhavan

  • Visit Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Gardens
  • Visit Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex
  • Visit Mughal Gardens

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