Delhi is situated roughly in the middle of North India, and has been the gateway for many invasions. As a result, the city is an amalgamation of seven previous cities, the first dating from around 1200 BC, and the most recent completed in 1931. Delhi has thousands of designated archaeological sites scattered over the city. There are two main areas: Old Delhi to the north, and New Delhi to the south. Old Delhi is a labyrinth of narrow streets, constantly crowded markets and queues of traffic, where you can see bullocks amongst the rickshaws and trucks & head horns all the time. New Delhi, has space combined with imperial buildings, suburban houses and villas along quiet avenues. In Old Delhi we saw the Jama Masjid the second largest mosque in the subcontinent, with a capacity for 20,000 people. The mosque was built between 1644 and 1658 by the last two of the great Moghul rulers, Shah Jahan and his son, Aurangzeb. The view from the top of the tower is worth the climb (& very different from 20 years ago according to parents). We also visited The Red Fort before walking through the Chandni Chowk Bazaar area where we bought (Xmas present spoiler alert)
LOTS of spices before we ate dinner at Bukhara. Did we finish the naan?
In New Delhi we visited the Qutub Minar: a tower of victory erected after Delhi’s last Hindu king was defeated by Turkic invaders in 1199, the remains of a mosque erected in the same era, using stones from even earlier temples of Hindu and Jain origin.
Then we saw the India Gate & buildings which Sir Edward Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker designed at the end of the Imperial.
Onto Humayun’s Tomb, an example of Mughal architecture & a forerunner to the Taj Mahal. It was built for the second Mughal Emperor, who was defeated by the Afghans in 1540 but managed to recapture Delhi in 1555.
After all that walking, we had a food tour trying street food in Chawri Bazaar and Chandni Chowk including aloo chaat (crisp fried potatoes) with chutneys, varieties of stuffed paranthas and butter chicken & finally, many flavours of Kulfi.