Memos from Asia

4 Must-Visit Historical Sights in Delhi

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Delhi has a centuries-old, culturally rich heritage.

Not surprisingly, it has some of the most impressive historically important monuments in India.

From grand buildings built by emperors to religious places, no visit to Delhi is complete without admiring some of its most astounding architectural wonders.

Qutub Minar

India, Qutub Minar

Standing tall and overlooking the city, Qutub Minar is an integral part of Delhi, much-loved by every resident.

The 72.5-meter high minaret, made of bricks, is the tallest of its kind in the world.

Construction of the minaret began in 1192, and since then, it has suffered occasional damage from lightning and earthquakes.

It has, nevertheless, undergone several restorations over the years.

The Qutub Complex is also home to another marvel, the Iron Pillar, which is over 1600 years old.

The fascinating aspect of this pillar is that even after staying in the open for so long, it remains rust-free. The reason is apparently because of a “passive protective film” that has formed on top of it unintentionally. (c.f. Atlas Obscura)

Humayun’s Tomb

Bu Halima’s Tomb in the Humayun s Tomb Compex, India, New Delhi.

Humayun’s tomb is one of several beautifully constructed memorials in Delhi.

Empress Bega Begum, the wife of Emperor Humayun, commissioned the tomb in 1569, and it took a little over a year to finish it.

This historical site is particularly impressive because it is the first “garden tomb” in the region.

Visitors in Delhi exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site will discover several other fascinating tombs and buildings in the area, some of which have been standing from long before Humayun’s Tomb.

Jama Masjid

People’s after paying namaz at Jama Masjid in New Delhi

Jama Masjid, built by Emperor Shah Jahan during the 1650s, is one of India’s largest mosques.

The marble and limestone structure consists of three domes in-between two 40-meter tall minarets, making it a truly magnificent historical sight in Delhi.

The grand courtyard of Jama Masjid, regularly used for prayers even today, can hold over 25,000 people.

Jantar Mantar

Historic observatory, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, India

The Jantar Mantar in Delhi is one of five similar astronomical sites in North India.

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur is responsible for the construction of all, between 1724 and 1730.

The complex in Delhi features 13 stunning structures, each one used to calculate various planetary movements.

Amongst these structures is Misra Yantra, which combines five instruments, and can predict when it is noon in any part of the world.

Jantar Mantar is located in Delhi’s center and is of particular interest to those wanting to learn more about astronomy or architecture.

Besides these famous historical locations in Delhi, you are bound to come across many other monuments while traveling around the city.

Safdarjung’s Tomb, Agrasen ki Baoli, Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Lodi Garden, and Purna Qila are some of the other sights worth checking-out.

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