Delhi is in fact several cities built on top of each other. There are still plenty of vestiges of the previous Delhis to be seen. Here are a few but see also my next post on things to see in ‘Old Delhi’. They’re all on my map here.
When I lived in Delhi my street, Jantar Mantar, was named after the astronomical observatory at the end of the road. I’ve visited another Jantar Mantar in Jaipur (post here) which is in much better nick but my local one is still an interesting place to walk around.
A bit further away was Lodhi Gardens, a park containing the tombs of the Lodi dynasty of sultans that ruled Delhi for much of the 15th century and some of the 16th. One of the most impressive is the Tomb of Mohammed Shah.
At the centre of the gardens is the Bara Gumbad or ‘Big Dome’, which was possibly a gateway to the attached three domed mosque.
The Qutub Minar www.delhitourism.gov.in is a 13th century UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mehrauli, a little further south from New Delhi proper. This ‘victory tower’ is Delhi’s equivalent of the leaning tower of Pisa, an ancient pillar leaning at an angle. The tower itself and the decoration of the site are very impressive.
Unfortunately, like it’s Italian equivalent, it is now closed to the public for safety reasons, in this case due to a horrific accident when 600 people died in a panic to escape the tower during a stampede. A sad place but beautiful nonetheless.
A little to the east in Bahapur is a more modern sight. The Lotus Temple was opened in 1986 and is an example of Expressionist architecture. It’s a place of worship for the Baháʼí Faith and as such is open to people of all religions.
According to a CNN report in 2001 it was then the most visited building in the world surpassing even the Taj Mahal with 4.5 million visitors a year.
More stuff to see in Old Delhi next…