Old Delhi has a unique charm of its own. The old town feel, quaint lanes laden with history and steeped with stories, famous Dilli ki chaat and other mouthwatering delicacies, and of course the beautiful monuments, there is so much to explore in Old Delhi. Whenever you plan a trip to Delhi make sure you set aside one full day to enjoy the sights and wonders of Old Delhi.
Visiting Jama Masjid, Red Fort, or Sisganj Gurudwara, or tasting delectable non-vegetarian cuisine, and shopping in one of north India’s best wholesale market – Chandni Chowk, you can never have a dull moment in Old Delhi. It’ll remind of you the bygone era and you can relive the magic of a quaint city. The narrow streets have witnessed Delhi evolve to a global hub, but still those streets have a magic of their own.
Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid, Red Fort
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The City of Shahjahanabad was founded by the great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and was then the capital, but little remains of that old city. Presently, Old Delhi or the then Shahjahanabad is a getaway to experience the remains of glorious history and cultural heritage of India. This walled city served as the capital for many rulers. Kashmiri Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Turkman Gate and the Delhi gate remains narrate the old world charm. Old Delhi or Shahjahanabad was a center for the Mughal Dynasty, with concentration of power and politics. The architecture of the city made this place central as well. With Red Fort, Chandni Chowk and numerous mosques, Old Delhi has several places of interest for history lovers.
Chandni Chowk, a busy commercial zone in Delhi crowed with people from all walks of life, is one of the most famous areas. The narrow street with age old constructions, wholesale market with busy buyers & sellers and lot more chaos defines Asia’s largest wholesale market. Yet, a place to know the core of Delhi. It is the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Gauri Shankar Mandir, Sis Ganj Gurudwara, Jain Mandir and some churches as co-exist here in harmony and make this place worth a visit. It is not only about heritage here. Foodies & shopaholics cannot afford to bypass Chandni Chawk.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Fort is an octagon shaped fort constructed in 1639 by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.
It was the Mughal dynasty emperors’ residence for nearly 200 years. The fort accommodated emperors and their households and also was the ceremonial and political center of the Mughal state. The majestic architecture built is enclosed with massive walls of red sandstone of around 2.4 km. This fort’s architectural style later influenced many buildings and gardens in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab and other places. Unfortunately, the fort was devastated and robbed of all artwork and jewels during Nadir Shah's invasion. Also the British destroyed several precious marble structures following the Revolt of 1857, subsequently used the fort as a garrison. Every year on the Independence Day of India, the Prime Minister of our country hoists the Indian Tiranga at the main gate of the fort and addresses the country.
The Jama Masjid, at Chandni Chawk is also known as Masjid-i-Jahan Numa and is one of the largest mosques of India. Made by Shah Jahan in 1656, it can accommodate around 25,000 people to pray at a time.
Other places of interest here also include the Khari Baoli - Asia’s largest wholesale spice market since 17th century; Fatehpuri Masjid - of 1650 built by Fatehpuri Begum (wife of Shah Jahan); Digambar Jain Lal Mandir and the 800 years old Gauri Shankar Temple; and the Raj Ghat - Mahatma Gandhi memorial on the banks of the river Yamuna. The old world charm of Old Delhi remains in the heart of every wanderlust tourist forever.
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