8 Best Historical Places in Delhi

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Discovering and exploring all the beautiful, historical places in Delhi is something every visitor must do. Keep reading to find out the 8 best historical places in Delhi, India.

When traveling in India, one of the top places to include in your itinerary is Delhi. As someone who has lived in Delhi all her life, I know what a vibrant and culturally rich city this is. With so many monuments to explore, history to learn and Instagram-worthy places to visit, Delhi is the perfect city to learn about the tradition and culture of India.

One can even plan to visit places around Delhi during the weekend but with so many places to see inside Delhi, chances of you getting bored here are extremely low.

As a history and architecture buff, I have to say that Delhi has a lot of beautiful monuments to explore. From the great Purana Quila to the mesmerizing Safdarjung Tomb, Delhi offers a visual treat to all the art connoisseurs out there.

In this guide, you will find some of the most amazing historical places in Delhi and all the important details you need to know to plan your visit.

This is a guest post from Rachita Saxena, the owner of the travel blog Meanderwander.

(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)

8 Most Historical Places in Delhi

Red Fort

  • Entry Fee: 35 INR for Indians, 500 INR for Foreigners
  • How to Reach: You can take a cab to Red Fort or you can take a metro to Chandni Chowk and then walk to the Red Fort entrance.
historical places in Delhi  - huge red fort in Delhi

Popularly known as the Lal Quila, the Red Fort in Delhi is one of the historical marvels by Mughals that you cannot miss out on. This fort was built by Shah Jahan in 1639 and was used as the royal residence for the Mughal emperors who stayed in Delhi at the time. The most wonderful thing about the Red Fort is that it is made from red sandstone, hence the name.

Apart from holding such a historical significance, Red Fort still is an important part of Delhi and is where the Independence Day celebrations take place annually. Here, the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag on Independence Day and addresses the citizens of India every year. This is one of the top Indian landmarks to see in India!

One of the most prized Indian heritage sites, the Red Fort used to be decked with gorgeous artworks and jewels at a time. Now, only the sandstone buildings remain that used to be home to several emperors and their queens. This building holds a strong significance to India making it a must-visit for your Dehli travels when looking for the best historical places in Delhi.

India Gate

  • Entry Fee: Free
  • How to Reach: You can take a metro to Rajiv Chowk and then take an autorickshaw to reach India Gate.
Orange colored gate

One of the top places to visit in Delhi and one of the best historical places in Delhi is the India Gate. The India Gate is a war memorial built during the British Era to commemorate the soldiers of the British Indian Army that died during the First World War.

A splendid piece of architecture, this structure is lined with lush green grass and has become a popular picnic spot in Delhi nowadays. You will find locals sitting around in the garden here, spending time with their loved ones, and admiring this grand structure.

There is also Amar Jawan Jyoti that was installed here later in the memory of the soldiers who died during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The tower is 138-feet tall and is lit up at night under which the names of the soldiers glow proudly. The lengthy and diverse history make this one of the best historical places in Delhi.

Qutub Minar

  • Entry Fee: 30 INR for Indians, 500 INR for Foreigners
  • How to Reach: Take a metro to Qutub Minar station and then walk to the entrance gate.
Tall structure made of stones

One of the top historical places in Delhi, Qutub Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world. Due to its rich history and design, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sees visitors from all over the world. Although the construction of this minaret started in 1192, it took several years for its completion.

Apart from the minaret, there are several other historical buildings in this complex for you to explore such as Alai Darwaza, Tomb of Iltumish, and many more. One can enjoy an evening stroll in this complex while admiring the beautiful architecture of this tall minaret here. This is a hotspot for finding historical places in Delhi.

Humayun’s Tomb

  • Entry Fee: 30 INR for Indians, 500 INR for Foreigners
  • How to Reach: You can take a metro to Jorbagh or JLN Stadium and then hire a cab/auto from there to reach Humayun’s Tomb.
Red and white fort in Delhi

Delhi is not only home to the most gorgeous forts but some breathtaking mausoleums as well. These mausoleums are the resting home for some great Mughal emperors who played an important role in Indian history. One such mausoleum is of Humayun known as Humayun’s Tomb which was built in 1570 and is one of the architectural marvels to admire in India.

Humayun’s Tomb was designed by Persian architects in a garden layout and was one of the first garden tombs in India. After the construction of this tomb, several other garden tombs were also inspired including the great Taj Mahal.

One of the most interesting things about this tomb is that it was commissioned and supervised by Humayun’s wife, Bega Begum. A visit here is one of the top experiences in Delhi to be had.

Purana Quila

  • Entry Fee: 20 INR for Indians, 200 INR for Foreigners
  • Light and Sound Show Timings: 07:30 to 10:00 p.m. Everyday (closed on Fridays)
  • How to Reach: You can take a metro to Pragati Maidan and then walk to the entrance of Purana Quila.

One of the oldest forts in Delhi, Purana Quila is 5000 years old and is more of a boundary wall to defend the city. It is an impenetrable wall as the fortifications are 20 meters high and 4 meters thick and played an important role in protecting the Mughal empire during attacks on Delhi.

An interesting thing to know about this old fort is that emperor Humayun died inside the fort while slipping from the stairs of his library. Although this fort has lost its importance now, one can still visit the fort to learn about the grandeur of the Mughal empire and can even take a peaceful boat ride on the outskirts of the fort.

There is also a light and sound show conducted here regularly that will take you through the history of this fort which was built in the 16th century. This is a time-traveling place to visit to discover as one of the top historical places in Delhi.

Jama Masjid

  • Entry Fee: Free
  • How to Reach: Take a metro to Chawri Bazar Station and then walk on foot to reach Jama Masjid.

Another beautiful piece of architecture made from red sandstone, Jama Masjid is one of the biggest mosques in India that was built between 1644 and 1656. Built by the great Shah Jahan, this mosque was originally known as Masjid e Jahan Nurma, meaning the mosque that commands the world’s view.

The mosque, after completion, was inaugurated by Imam of Uzbekistan. This mosque consists of 3 gates and two minarets that are 40m high and made from red sandstone and white marble, one of the most marvelous historical places in Delhi.

A whopping 25,000 people can be accommodated in the courtyard here. Nowadays, the masjid sees a lot of worshippers during the festival of Eid where they offer the morning Namaz inside this architectural beauty. If you wish to observe the culture, then do pay a visit in the evening when the skies are adorned with sunset colors and the worshippers pay their respect here.

Agrasen Ki Baoli

  • Entry Fee: Free
  • How to Reach: Take a metro to Barakhamba metro station and then walk to reach here.
Old brick stepwell in Delhi

A gorgeous stepwell in Delhi, Agrasen Ki Baoli is a historical stepwell that is 60m in length and 15m in width. Believed to be built by Maharaja Agrasen, this ancient reservoir has 108 steps and offers a dank smell as one ventures deep inside it. One of the most interesting things to know about this stepwell is that it has been featured in several Bollywood movies such as Sultan, PK, etc. as well.

Protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, this ancient stepwell looks gorgeous with its old stone construction and will instantly transport you into the historic era. And it offers as a gorgeous backdrop for photographs as well. So, if you are a history buff or a photography enthusiast, you should definitely pay a visit to this beautiful stepwell in Delhi as it is one of the best historical places in Delhi.

Jantar Mantar

  • Entry Fee: 5 INR for Indians, 100 INR for Foreigners
  • How to Reach: You can take a metro to Patel Chowk and then take a rickshaw/auto to reach Jantar Mantar.
The exterior of an old red and white shaped building

Finally, you can visit the famous Jantar Mantar in Delhi which is an equinoctial sundial and observatory. Built in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, this instrument is how the rulers of olden times used to determine the date and time on a day. The 13 astronomy instruments used the movement of the sun and other celestial bodies to determine the distance and the location of these heavenly bodies.

The instruments could predict not only the position of the sun but the shortest and the longest day as well. Sounds fascinating, right?

So, if you wish to learn how the people lived without a calendar, pay a visit to this historical monument and learn the ancient secrets of astronomy.

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I hope this guide on historical places to visit in Delhi helps you plan your own heritage walk in this city. Trust me, once you start exploring the historical and architectural marvels here, you will have a hard time stopping and heading to some other destination.

This is a guest post from Rachita Saxena, the owner of the travel blog Meanderwander.

Rachita Saxena is a travel blogger from India who has been traveling full-time for 3 years now. She shares her travel stories on her blog – Meanderwander and loves trying new food and experiences in a new destination. When she isn’t traveling, she loves reading about new places and planing her next trips!

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