Busy and colorful New Delhi, the capital of India, is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and prominent government buildings. The city was destroyed and rebuilt many times throughout its turbulent past and so it has a variety of architectural styles that illustrate the rich history of this fascinating cultural center.
Visit Qutab Minar to see a perfect example of New Delhi’s mixed heritage. This minaret represents the beginning of Muslim rule in India. It was built following the alleged destruction of 27 Hindu temples in 1193. Less than 30 minutes away by car is the Presidential Palace (Rashtrapati Bhavan), where you can see the contrasting British and Indian architecture that is typical of much of New Delhi.
Take time to explore the city’s many Mughal gardens. Their Islamic-style design is influenced by gardens in Persia. The straight-lined layouts of these walled enclosures usually feature pools, fountains and waterways. Head to Humayun’s Tomb to see a classic example of Mughal landscaping in the city. Walkways divide the garden into square lawns, with narrow waterways representing the rivers of Islamic paradise.
A range of spiritual traditions are represented in the many temples of New Delhi. Exhibitions and displays at one of the world’s largest Hindu temples, Swaminarayan Akshardham, teach visitors about Indian heritage and spirituality. On the other side of the city, carvings on the exterior of the Birla Mandir Temple depict scenes from Hindu mythology. This temple is just down the road from the commercial hub of the city, Connaught Place, where you will find markets, shops, and many restaurants and cafés.
New Delhi is a popular destination for people who seek a spiritual retreat. If you are looking for a traditional Hindu place of worship, head to ISKCON Temple. Visitors can meditate, join in the chants and eat at the Hindu vegetarian restaurant within the complex.
Located in northern India, New Delhi has a long spell of hot weather each year, with June being the hottest month. Monsoon season lasts from July through September, bringing high humidity and frequent rainstorms.