Diwan-e-Aam Pillars

Top Attractions In Delhi – South Delhi

Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar

Located in the Mehrauli Archeological park, the principal attraction in South Delhi is the Qutub Minar, an iconic 800-year-old tower that has endured earthquakes and lightning for eight centuries.

The Qutub tower at 72.5 meters (tallest stone tower in India) is a stunning example of collaboration across generations. It was started by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1193, to commemorate his victory over an Indian Rajput King, Prithviraj Chauhan, but he could only complete the first floor, before he died. Iltutmish then completed the rest of the tower by building three more floors (yes, it originally had only four floors). It is believed that the tower is named Qutub Minar, not after Aibak, but his namesake, Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, a much revered Sufi saint, who lived around that time, and whose tomb is built nearby.

In any case, it’s a testament to Iltutmish’s humility to build 60% of the tower and not name it after himself! Around a hundred and forty years after he built it, the fourth floor was damaged in a lightning strike – it was repaired by the then ruler, Firuz Shah Tughlak, who added the fifth floor and made a few changes.  In fact when further lightning strikes and earthquakes damaged the Minar, there were other rulers down the line who repaired it. In the sixteenth century, Sikander Lodhi undertook some repair; while the British did some repairs in the nineteenth century. Having been started by Qutubuddin Aibak and then built on by further Kings, the Qutub Minar is a wonderful example of collaboration among multiple rulers.

Qutub Minar – Key Information

Expected time spent:
1-2 hours
Opening days:
All days of the week
Opening hours:
Sunrise to sunset (typically 7 AM to 6 pm)
Entry fee/ Ticket price:
Indians (INR 30)/ Foreigners (INR 500) and free for children under 15 years
Cameras: 
Still camera allowed for free
Address:
Aurobindo Marg
Closest metro station:
Qutub Minar
How to get there:
The nearest metro station is Qutub Minar station which is around 2.3 km away. You can hire an auto from the metro station to reach the site.

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb is India’s first garden tomb, and a worthy precursor to the Taj – built around seventy years before the Taj, in the year 1571.

This beautiful building stands majestically on the banks of the Yamuna river perfect in its symmetry and awe-inspiring grandeur.

Built in the rather unique octagonal shape, it stands out among the hundreds of tomb structures in Delhi.

That symmetry, however, could not be more ill-suited to describe the life of the ruler for whom it was so lovingly created: the Mughal Emperor, Humayun, second ruler of the Mughal dynasty, and the son of its founder, Babur.

Humayun’ means ‘fortunate’. However, many believe that, given his tragic life, Humayun was quite unfortunate. A ruler who would’ve remained forgotten had it not been for this extraordinary tomb built for him, redeeming his legacy forever.

Humayun’s Tomb – Key Information

Expected time spent:
Around 1-1.5 hours
Opening days:
All days of the week
Opening hours:
7 am to noon, 1:30 pm to 6:30 pm (tourists are not allowed during prayer hours)
Entry fee/ Ticket price:
Free
Cameras:
Still camera is free
Location:
Mathura Road, opposite Nizamuddin Dargah
Closest metro station:
JLN Stadium (Violet Line)
How to get there
You can take an autorickshaw from the JLN Stadium metro (about INR 50). Alternate metro stations include Khan Market and Jor Bagh.

Hauz Khas

The Hauz Khas complex contains the ancient ruins of Alauddin Khilji’s historic city, Siri, which dates back to the 13th century. In addition to its numerous ancient stone monuments, the entire village is dotted with domed tombs of minor Muslim royalty, who were laid to rest here from the 14th to 16th centuries. Other highlights include the water tank, remnants of an ancient college and the tomb of Firoz Shah, who ruled Delhi in the 14th century, as well as Ki Masjid, a fine mosque built in Lodi style.

Once famous for ancient ruins and architecture, Hauz Khas is now one of the most vibrant places in Delhi with a number of art galleries, fashionable restaurants, and boutiques.

Hauz Khas – Key Information

Best time to visit:
Any time of the day
Expected time spent:
Allow for at least 1-2 hours, more if you plan to visit the shops and boutiques.Opening days:

Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday). Restaurants are open on all days till 11 PM

Opening hours:

10:30 AM to 7 PM

Entry fee/ Ticket price:
Free

Cameras:
Free

Closest metro station:

Hauz Khas (yellow line)

How to get there:

Drive along Aurobindo Marg towards the Hauz Khas enclave. Follow the signages for the village or ask a local. If you’re taking the metro, the Hauz Khas and Green Park stations (on the Yellow Line) are just a 5-minute auto-ride away.

 

 

Lodhi Gardens

Spread over 90 acres, Lodhi Gardens is a beautifully landscaped city park strewn with ancient monuments belonging to the Sayyid and Lodhi periods. Located on the main Lodi Road, about 1 km east of Safdarjang’s tomb, it contains – Mohammed Shah’s Tomb, Tomb of Sikandar Lodi, Shisha Gumbad and Bara Gumbad – architectural works of Lodhis who ruled parts of northern India & Pakistan, from 1451 to 1526.

Muhammad Shah’s Tomb

The tomb of Muhammad Shah (1434-44), the third ruler of the Sayyid dynasty is located in the southwestern part of the garden. Built in 1444 by Ala-ud-din Alam Shah as a tribute, it is a typical octagonal tomb with the central chamber surrounded by a verandah having three arched openings on each side. There are stone lintels (chhajjas) along the arches of the verandah with the sloping buttresses at the corner and a chhatri on the roof over the center of each side. The tomb definitely shares its prominent features with the previous octagonal tombs but the beauty of this tomb lies in its proportions, the crowning lotus and decoration on the domes. There are eight graves inside the tomb of which the central one is said to be the grave of Muhammad Shah.

Bara Gumbad

Bara Gumbad is a square tomb surmounted by a large dome, situated 300 meters northeast of Muhammad Shah’s tomb. Though often considered as a gateway of Bara Mosque, which it is not, the tomb has facades and turrets and was supposedly built during the reign of Sultan Sikandar Lodi (1489-1517). According to the records, the interior of the tomb was beautified with stuccowork and paintings. Since the tomb had no graves, the person buried inside is till date unidentified. It is assumed that he must be an officer of high rank for whom such a magnificent structure was constructed.

Sheesh Gumbad

Few meters north of Bara Gumbad Mosque lies another Lodi period tomb, the Sheesh Gumbad also known as ‘glazed dome’ because of the beautiful blue tiled decoration of the tomb, of which now only traces remain. Very similar to Bara Gumbad in appearance, the western wall of the tomb has the mihrab that served as a mosque. The tomb is surmounted by a dome, which was originally decorated with blue tiles. Some of the similar decoration can be seen today but only above the main façade. The interior of the tomb was also decorated with incised plasterwork containing floral designs and Quranic inscriptions.

Sikandar Lodi’s Tomb

Located in the northwestern corner of Lodi Gardens, this octagonal tomb lies about 250 meters north of the Sheesh Gumbad. It has a central octagonal chamber with each side opening in three arches with sloping buttresses at the corner. The tomb is enclosed within a square garden and has a wall-mosque on the west.

Athpula
Athpula is further located east of Sikandar Lodi’s tomb. As the name suggests (Ath-eight, Pula-piers), the stone bridge has eight piers and seven arches and crosses the small waterway running through the garden. The bridge is said to have been built during Mughal Emperor Akbar’s reign by Nawab Bahadur.

 

Lodhi Gardens – Key Information

Best time to visit:

Mornings

Expected time spent:
Around 1-2 hours
Opening days:
All days of the week
Opening hours:
6 am to 7 pm
Entry fee/ Ticket price:
Free
Cameras:

Free

Location:
Lodhi Road
Closest metro station:
Jor Bagh (yellow line) or Khan Market (Violet line)
How to get there
This landmark garden is situated right between Khan Market and Safdurjung’s Tomb on Lodhi Road. Jor Bagh (on the Yellow Line) and Khan Market (on the Violet Line) are the closest metro stations.

Lotus Temple

Bahai Temple or the Bahai House of worship, is literally constructed in the shape of a large, white lotus flower. Like all other Bahá’í Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion, or any other distinction. It is a gathering place where one is allowed to read or chant from holy scriptures belonging to any religion, but nobody is allowed to play musical instruments, give sermons or hold religious ceremonies inside the hall. The main temple area prohibits visitors from making any noise whatsoever and lays emphasis on meditation as a means to experience divinity.

Lotus Temple – Key Information

Best time to visit:

Late evening, when it is lit up

Expected time spent:
Around 1-2 hours
Opening days:
All days of the week except Monday
Opening hours:

9 AM to 7 PM (Summer); 9 AM to 5:30 PM (Winter)
Entry fee/ Ticket price:
Free
Cameras:

Free

Location:
Lotus Temple Road, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Bahapur, Near Kalkaji Temple
Closest metro station:
Kalkaji Mandir (Violet line)
How to get there
The temple is located close to the Kalkaji Mandir metro station (on the Violet Line) and right next to the Kalkaji Park. Entry to the temple is via parking lot.
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