After checking in to your New Delhi Airport hotel get out and see some of the amazing sights around New Delhi.
Lal Quila (Red Fort)Distance from New Delhi Airport: 19.9km
The Red Fort’s massive curtain wall and battlements dominate the skyline of Old Delhi. Inside, the bastions – built, like the nearby Jama Masjid, by Shah Jehan – are an array of exquisite seventeenth-century Mughal buildings, which provided the living quarters for the Emperor, his courtiers and family. The flawless balance and proportion of these buildings, as well as their intricate decoration, is wonderful to behold and in complete contrast to the military might of the fort itself.
Qutb MinarDistance from New Delhi Airport: 13.5km
The Qutb Minar is an immense tower, started at the end of the twelfth century to commemorate the Muslim conquest of Delhi. Standing 72.5m (238ft) tall, it is built of fluted red sandstone and decorated with calligraphy representing verses from the Koran. The top two levels are faced in white marble. The Minar rises above a site that is home to the oldest extant Islamic monuments in India.
Qutb Minar complex
Rajpath and Rashtrapati BhavanDistance from New Delhi Airport: 11.3km
Rajpath runs between the Secretariat Buildings and India Arch, the war memorial designed by Lutyens in 1921. Rajpath is a formal conception, lined with trees, fountains and pools, intended by its architects Lutyens and Baker as the epicentre of British India. The Secretariat Buildings combine monumental classical and oriental detail and, while not beautiful, are certainly an imposing statement of colonial power.
National MuseumDistance from New Delhi Airport: 15.7km
It takes a good few hours to get a decent overview of Indian culture at the National Museum, which is filled with exhibits covering over 5000 years of history.
Tel: (011) 301 9538.
Chandni ChowkDistance from New Delhi Airport: 17.8km
The bazaars that surround Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi offer a colourful, heaving, pungent slice of Delhi life, with shops and stalls displaying a spectacular array of goods, from fish and poultry to ‘second-hand’ (stolen) goods, gemstones and gold, garlands, turbans, tinsel and spare car parts.
Humayun’s TombDistance from New Delhi Airport: 17.7km
Often seen merely as a forerunner of the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb is, in its own right, a stunning example of the Mughal architectural style, combining dome, mausoleum and plinth in perfect proportion. The Tomb is set in a square garden designed along Persian lines, shaded and geometric, crisscrossed with waterways and paths. In the grounds, there are some other monuments, including the Tomb of Isa Khan.
Lodhi Road and Mathura Road
Baha’i TempleDistance from New Delhi Airport: 17.8km
Otherwise known as the Lotus Temple, the modern Baha’i Temple has often been compared to the Sydney Opera House. Giant white petals of Rajasthani Macrana marble open out from nine pools and walkways in the shape of an unfolding lotus, symbolising the nine spiritual paths of the Baha’i faith. Inside, the central hall rises to a height of over 30m (98ft) without the visible support of any columns. Visitors should take their shoes off before entering.
National Gallery of Modern ArtDistance from New Delhi Airport: 14.7km
The National Gallery of Modern Art contains a large collection of twentieth-century Indian art. There are examples of the work of the painters of the Bengali Renaissance and of the poet and artist Tagore. The highlight is the room devoted to the pictures of the female Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941), whose portraits – more successful than her genre scenes – are painted with the confident bravura of the youthful Augustus John.
Tel: (011) 338 2835.
TughluqabadDistance from New Delhi Airport: 20.6km
The immense, brutal fortifications of Tughluqabad are an impressive monument to the militarism of the Tughluqs, an antidote to any idea that the Delhi Sultans were merely effete builders of mosques and palaces. Nowadays, the only living things that visitors are likely to see at the vast, barren, sun-scorched site are goats, donkeys and the occasional archaeologist, although in the fourteenth century, the citadel, the third city of Delhi, was the Sultan’s capital. Below the walls is the forbidding tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughluq, the builder of Tughluqabad. It is approached from a causeway that crosses a lake, now dry.