Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
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!
Trip Report Index:
- Introduction & Planning
- Kansas City to Chicago
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge
- American Airlines Flagship Service From Chicago To London
- British Airways First Class from London to Mumbai
- Shopping in Bombay
- Eating in Bombay
- Sights in Bombay
- Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa
- Park Hyatt Goa, Park Suite
- Park Hyatt Goa, Park King
- Park Hyatt Goa, Park Hyatt Goa Activities
- Eating In & Around the Park Hyatt Goa
- Radisson Blu, Agra
- A Day in Agra
- Hyatt Regency Delhi
- 2 Days in Delhi
- Eating in Delhi
- United Business Class Back to the US
- Conclusion and Blog Giveaway
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.
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.
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!
It’s amazing how well crafted the stone buildings and pillars were.
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.
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.
It is made of sandstone and marble and has 379 stairs, through you cannot go inside and climb up them.
In addition to the minaret, there are walls with arched doors and inscriptions carved into the stone.
It was nice to imagine what the city would have looked like 1,000 years ago. I’m sure it was beautiful!
There were more covered walkways.
It seemed like every way I turned, there was a new area to explore. It was hard to decide where to go!
Through an arched doorway, we discovered a small tomb.
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.
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.
The Archaeological Survey of India is in the process of renovating the tomb.
I loved exploring the gardens. It was interesting to see the natural irrigation system as well.
We went inside to see the cenotaphs. The red sandstone with white detailing was beautiful.
I would have really liked to visit the top of the tomb, but you can only visit the ground & first floor.
The gardens were also fun to explore.
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.
This massive structure could have taken hours to explore.
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.
Unfortunately, the British razed some of the old architecture and built barracks.
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.
My mom really liked exploring, too.
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.
We also saw the site where the Peacock Throne was housed at one point. And what looked like the Hammams or the royal baths.
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.
There was lots of birdseed on the ground, and the birds were flocking to it.
Shah Jahal built the Jama Masjid, along with the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal.
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.
The mosque was pretty and had some nice views of the city, including the Red Fort.
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.