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Delhi represents the many faces of India’s history; it has been a battleground during the Mughal reign, the capital of India’s colonial era, and at the foreground of India’s quest to become a superpower. Ancient architecture, state-of-the-art construction, busy street markets, tranquil hideouts, assorted religious edifices – Delhi has it all. Here is a pick of New Delhi’s finest attractions by the Forbes Travel Guide’s editors:
1. Mughal-era monuments
Delhi’s opulent Mughal architecture is its biggest pride and jewel. Three of the city’s Mughal-era monuments are UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Lal Qila, a colossal red sandstone fort; Humayun’s Tomb, the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent; and the Qutub Minar, the tallest skyscraper in the world at the time it was built (much before the Mughal era) – while others like the astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar and the ruins of imperial forts dating back to the 14th century stand true to the grandeur of India’s history.
2. Garden of Five Senses
On the busy streets of Delhi, tranquility can sound like a distant promise. Garden of Five Senses, located close to the Mehrauli heritage area, is a wonderful expression of that promise. It is designed to awaken the five senses, with its two hundred varieties of plants, live music at the amphitheater, art workshops, colorful landscapes, fresh flowers, fountains of light, cascading waterfalls, rickety bridges, elaborate sculptures and spiral walkways. Amid this magical setting sits one of Delhi’s most romantic restaurants – Magique.
3. Lotus Temple
A Bahai House of Worship, the Lotus Temple is indeed shaped like a lotus and made entirely of white marble, for which it has won numerous architecture awards. Spectacular and imposing on the outside, it has a calm and soothing vibe within, a perfect escape from the city’s hustle bustle. It upholds the teachings of the Bahai faith, welcoming people from all faiths and religions to worship in its midst.
Rajpath runs from the impressive Rashtrapati Bhawan, through Delhi’s most famous landmark, the India Gate, alongside lush gardens and beautifully landscaped surroundings. Literally meaning king’s way, it is a ceremonial boulevard on which Indian soldiers march during the Republic Day celebrations of January 26th. Rajpath is brightly lit after nightfall everyday, and reflects Delhi’s colonial glory.
5. Lodi Gardens
Spread across 90 acres, the Lodi Gardens are home to verdant landscapes interspersed with ruins dating back to the 15th century. It is here that you can have a garden picnic in the shadows of an ancient tomb, or spread out your yoga mat before the union of Delhi’s ancient splendor with the serenity of nature.