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Delhi Holidays Overview

Delhi is the capital of India and one of the top urban areas in the world. According to legends, Delhi is more than 5,000 years old, so it is also one of the oldest cities in the world. Delhi can come across as gritty, noisy and chaotic at first glance, but once you explore it, you'll find the city rich in beautiful ancient monuments, performing arts, good museums and excellent food.

The history of Delhi is captivating and can be experienced by visiting Old Delhi's medieval bazaars, Jama Masjid and Red Fort while the cosmopolitan side of the city can be experienced in the many trendy bars and cafes of New Delhi.

The leading tourist attraction of Delhi is the Red Fort. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan, it is a red sandstone fort. Humayun's Tomb is one of the city's World Heritage Sites. The Qutub Complex is another World Heritage Site with houses dating back to the Slave Dynasty and well maintained gardens.

The Lotus Temple in South Delhi is a stunning temple shaped like a lotus flower suspended above ponds. Jama Masjid in Old Delhi is India's largest mosque and has stunning architecture.

Delhi had been the capital of the Mughal Empire and the birth place of Mughal cuisine. The city's food scene is diverse and exciting. Some of the classic dishes of Delhi are famous throughout the world today like lassi, Butter Chicken, jalebi and Aloo Chaat.

Delhi is also an excellent shopping destination with mega malls and ancient bazaars in every part of the city.

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Delhi holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Red Fort
Entrance from Lahore Gate or Chatta Chowk
What is it? The Red Fort, known locally as Lal Quila, is Delhi's signature attraction, rising high above the clamour of Old Delhi as a reminder of the wealth and power of the Mogul empire. The massive sandstone walls were built in the 17th century to keep out marauding invaders and still dominate the skyline today. Inside are an array of exquisite buildings, which once provided the living quarters for Shah Jehan, his courtiers, family and staff of three thousand. Visitors can marvel at the intricate decoration and only imagine the scenes here at the empire's height when the walls were studded with precious stones and a 'stream of paradise' drove an ingenious air conditioning system. The fort was the scene of the Indian uprising of 1857 and the mighty Lahore Gate, on the west side of the fort, remains a potent symbol in the fight for Independence. Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Sunday, dawn to dusk Phone:



2. Jama Masjid
Matya Mahal, Bho Jala
What is it? Shah Jehan, the architect of the Red Fort and much of Old Delhi, built Jama Masjid between 1644 and 1656. This grand structure is situated on a hill a few hundred yards west of the Red Fort and towers over the mayhem of Old Delhi's sprawling streets. Jama Masjid is India's largest mosque and can hold 25,000 worshipers at one time. Wide red sandstone steps lead to entrances on the North, South and East sides of the mosque. Inside is the massive courtyard dominated by two red and white striped sandstone minarets that cap the main prayer hall on the west side (facing Mecca). There are smaller towers at each corner of the mosque; energetic visitors can climb the 122 narrow steps of the southern one to be rewarded with magnificent views of Old and New Delhi. Those wearing shorts or skirts can hire a lunghi to cover their legs. Hours of Operation: Daily dawn-dusk; closed during prayer times Phone:



3. Qutb Minar

What is it? The Qutb Minar is a mammoth tower that was built between 1193 and 1369 to symbolise Islamic rule over Delhi and commemorate the victory by Qutab-ud-din over the city's last Hindu kingdom. Standing 238ft (72m) tall, the tower is decorated with calligraphy representing verses from the Koran and tapers from a 50ft (15m) diameter at the base to just 8ft (2.5m) at the top. There are five distinct stories each encircled with a balcony, the first three are built of red sandstone, and the upper two are faced with white marble. At the foot of the minhar, stands Quwwat-ul-Islam, India's oldest mosque, which is built largely from the remains of 27 Hindu and Jain temples that were destroyed by the new Muslim rulers of India. The cloisters that flank the nearby courtyard are supported by pillars unmistakably pilfered from Hindu temples. Faces of the decorative figures have been removed to conform to Islamic law, which strictly forbids iconic worship. Incongruously, in the corner of the mosque, stands an Iron Pillar, bearing fourth-century Sanskrit inscriptions of the Gupta period attributing it to the memory of King Chandragupta II (373-413). It is said that anyone who can encircle it with their hands whilst standing with their back to it will have their wishes fulfilled. Hours of Operation: Daily dawn to dusk Phone:



Delhi holidays - Top Events


1. Republic Day Parade

From 2007-01-26

To 2007-01-26

What is it? The impressive Republic Day Parade is held every year on the anniversary of the formation of the Indian Republic and serves to showcase the country's military might. Marching columns represent the armed forces accompanied by armoured vehicles, military bands, decorated floats and folk dancers. A highlight is an air display presented by the Indian Air Force. Where is it? The parade starts at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, winds through the city and ends at the Red Fort in Old Delhi



2. Festival of Holi

From 2007-03-03

To 2007-03-03

What is it? Delhi puts on a colourful face in March for the light-hearted Festival of Holi, celebrating the triumph of good over evil. The exuberant spring festival starts on the night of full moon when bonfires are lit on street corners to clear the air of evil spirits. The next morning sees the streets full of people of all ages chasing each other and throwing pots of bright coloured powder pigment over each other in uninhibited mischief. The fun ends at noon when everyone retires to wash off the paint and finish the day relaxing. Where is it? Throughout the city and northern India



3. Diwali (Festival of Lights)

From 2007-09-21

To 2007-09-21

What is it? India's most popular traditional festival, with its origins in Hindu mythology, turns the streets of Delhi, and in fact all major cities in India, into a carnival each year. Traditionally all houses are decorated with earthenware lamps and candles for the occasion, and the letting off of firecrackers can reach deafening proportions. There have been complaints that so many fireworks are used in the city that pollution levels on Diwali nights rise dramatically. Neighbourhoods generally bristle with fun rides, food stalls and curio sellers during the festival. At this time of year, it is customary for people to buy new clothes and household utensils, and exchange sweet gifts. Where is it? Throughout Delhi



4. Garden Tourism Festival

From 2007-02-01

To 2007-02-28

What is it? Delhi, always a colourful city, blooms with the rich hues of hundreds of flowers in February each year when the Garden Tourism Festival gets underway, providing a visual feast for visitors and an extravaganza for the horticulturally inclined. Delhi tourism also provides a full programme of cultural performances and entertainment alongside the flower fest. For more information contact the India Tourist Office on (11) 371 8379. Where is it? Talkatora Gardens




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About This Page

Information on Delhi Holidays, Delhi Hotels, Holiday Packages in Delhi (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Delhi Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.