Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: 2 Days in Delhi

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Emily:  Delhi, India, has so many historical sights to see and things to do that it was hard to pack it all in in 2 days.  It is a wonderful city to visit!

A Day in Delhi

At Humayun’s Tomb

Trip Report Index:

Our first stop on our first evening in Delhi was the Qutub Minar complex where construction started in 1192 AD.  You get tour tickets across the street, and then enter the scalloped archways to enter the ruins of the old city.

A Day in Delhi

Entrance to the Qutub Minar

There were lots of old ruins, and it was nice being able to walk among them and dream of what it must have been like when the city was bustling with activity.

A Day in Delhi

Ruins by the Qutub Minar

I loved exploring , and you could easily spend at least an hour here.  We admired the detail on the pillars and took some pictures.  However, we arrived close to the closing time and were shooed away soon!

A Day in Delhi

Connie by the Ruins

It’s amazing how well crafted the stone buildings and pillars were.

A Day in Delhi

Emily by the Pillars

It’s marvelous to look at the architecture and ponder about how they did it so long ago by hand.  There is occasional English signage with detailed descriptions in the complex.

A Day in Delhi

About the Qutub Minar

The minaret is the tallest minaret in India and is the main attraction in the Quatub Minar complex.  It was built in the late 1100s.

A Day in Delhi

The Complex

It is made of sandstone and marble and has 379 stairs, through you cannot go inside and climb up them.

A Day in Delhi

The Qutub Minar

In addition to the minaret, there are walls with arched doors and inscriptions carved into the stone.

A Day in Delhi

Walls with Arches

It was nice to imagine what the city would have looked like 1,000 years ago.  I’m sure it was beautiful!

A Day in Delhi

Old Ruins

There were more covered walkways.

A Day in Delhi

Covered Walkways

It seemed like every way I turned, there was a new area to explore.  It was hard to decide where to go!

A Day in Delhi

So Much To See!

Through an arched doorway, we discovered a small tomb.

A Day in Delhi

Stairs Leading To…

My mom also really like the complex and was excited to get her picture with the minaret.

As we were leaving, we found another area to explore, but did not have time.

A Day in Delhi

Couldn’t Explore Here

After breakfast on our 2nd day, we went to Humayun’s Tomb, whose father, Babur, was the founder of the Mughal Empire in India.

A Day in Delhi

Connie Outside Humayun’s Tomb

The tomb was built in the 1500s.  It was amazing to go to the tomb and walk the grounds.  The size and level of detail was beautiful, and I can see how this tomb might have inspired the Taj Mahal.

A Day in Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb

The Archaeological Survey of India is in the process of renovating the tomb.

A Day in Delhi

Tomb Being Renovated

I loved exploring the gardens. It was interesting to see the natural irrigation system as well.

A Day in Delhi

The Gardens

We went inside to see the cenotaphs.  The red sandstone with white detailing was beautiful.

A Day in Delhi

Red Sandstone

I would have really liked to visit the top of the tomb, but you can only visit the ground & first floor.

A Day in Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb

The gardens were also fun to explore.

A Day in Delhi


I also liked how it was less crowded than the Taj Mahal and more peaceful.

After the tomb, we went to see the Red Fort.

This was the center of the Mughal Empire until the mid-1850s, when the British invaded.  It was built in the 1600s.

A Day in Delhi

The Red Fort

This massive structure could have taken hours to explore.

A Day in Delhi

Old Moat of the Red Fort

Mughal architecture is a mixture of Islamic, Persian, Turkish, and Indian architecture.  It has a decorative and symmetrical quality about it, and the domes and arches are very common.

A Day in Delhi

The Red Fort

Unfortunately, the British razed some of the old architecture and built barracks.

A Day in Delhi

British Barracks in the Red Fort

The Red Fort is huge – it takes a long walk to get there and can take a long time to tour the whole thing.  I would advise getting a guide or an audio guide. We walked past many old structures and were not sure what their purpose was.

The complex below might have been the music room, or a place where visitors riding their elephants came to get dropped off.

A Day in Delhi

Part of the Red Fort Complex

My mom really liked exploring, too.

A Day in Delhi

Connie Exploring

We also found the Rang Mahal, or Palace of Colors.  This is where the Emperor’s wives and mistresses lived.  It had a ceiling with gold and silver inlay that reflected in pool that cut through the floor of the palace.

A Day in Delhi

Intricate Inlay Work

We also saw the site where the Peacock Throne was housed at one point.  And what looked like the Hammams or the royal baths.

A Day in Delhi

The Hammans

I would love to see the fort restored to its original glory.

After lunch, we went to Jama Masjid, which is India’s largest mosque and just across from the Red Fort.  We arrived in the late afternoon.

A Day in Delhi

The Jama Masjid

There was lots of birdseed on the ground, and the birds were flocking to it.

A Day in Delhi

Pigeons by the Jama Masjid

Shah Jahal built the Jama Masjid, along with the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal.

A Day in Delhi

Outside the Jama Masjid

You have to take off your shoes before entering the mosque, so be sure to wear socks or your feet will get cold (if you travel during the winter season).  I also had to wear a light robe to cover myself which they hand out for free at the entrance to the mosque.

My mom liked meeting the kids who were visiting the mosque.

A Day in Delhi

Connie & her Friend

The mosque was pretty and had some nice views of the city, including the Red Fort.

A Day in Delhi

View of the Red Fort from the Jama Masjid

My favorite site of the day was still Humayun’s tomb, followed by Qutub Minar.  I loved stepping back in time and imagining what it might have been like, living so long ago.

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10 responses to “Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: 2 Days in Delhi

  1. Damn, I thought this TR was over.. It seems like you spent an eternity there.

  2. @Matt, I agree. This was pretty fun at first but I’m getting flashbacks to the Tahiti trip.

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  6. you missed the Iron pillar in Qutub Minar complex, there is truncated photo.

  7. Your India trip report is quite exhaustive and good. The name of the emperor who had the Jama Masjid and Taj Mahal built was Shah Jahan.

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