Jama Masjid(sometimes called “Friday Mosque”) in Old Delhi is the largest mosque in India, with a capacity of 25,000 people! It is an impressive sight to behold, with Mughal architecture surrounded by swarms of pigeons. The mosque is busiest on Fridays, when worshipers come for their Friday prayers. Note – Foreigners have been getting increasingly hassled at the entrance by scammers with non-existent entrance fees and camera fees for even smartphones, but walking with a pre-arrange tour guide should help avoid these distractions.
The Bahai Lotus Temple is a vision of calmness and peace in New Delhi, a city known for its hustle and bustle. The last of seven major Bahai’s temples built around the world, the temple has won numerous architectural awards for its beautiful main structure and surrounding pools. The lotus shape was used by the architect as it is a symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam. Visitors of any faith are free to enter the temple and pray or meditate.
Qutab Minar in Old Delhi is the red-sandstone 238 feet high 12th century tower, covered with inscribed verses and intricate carvings. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid, the first mosque in India. There is a 24-foot-high, 5th-century iron pillar at the mosque – legend has it that if you stand with your back to the pillar and can reach around and touch your fingers, any wish you make will come true!
The Lal Qila or Red Fort in Old Delhi, a massive 17th century fort complex that once housed 3000 people, gets its name from the red sandstone walls. A bit of imagination is needed to visualize the fort interiors to the pomp it must have had in the past, but the audio guide option available with the ticket purchase does a great job of bringing this monument to life. Be sure to come in the early morning to avoid the crowds and the heat!
Lodi Gardens is popular for well maintained green gardens doted with 15th century tombs and mosques ruins. The park is also a local favorite spot in New Delhi when looking for a picnic area, a jogging trail, or a date spot. Plenty of parakeets and butterflies also frequent the park grounds. When enjoying the atmosphere, it's hard to believe that one of the busiest cities in India is right outside the park grounds.This memorial is the location where the internationally respected Mahatma Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation” in India, was assassinated in 1948. The house where Gandhi spent his last 144 days is now an interactive museum with rooms full of photographs and paintings depicting Gandhi’s life and work. A few hours spent at the museum and lovely gardens of Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi is a great way to learn and reflect upon India’s volatile early history.