Rediscover Delhi This World Heritage Day
The 18th of April was established as World Heritage Day by UNESCO in 1983. Living in the National Capital Region, home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites gives us a unique opportunity to celebrate our heritage by appreciating the historic magnificence of the city of Delhi. We’ve come up with a day trip plan with heritage destinations that you can marvel at in a day’s time.
We suggest you start your day trip early, around half past seven in the morning so you can enjoy the monuments before the late afternoon sun starts depleting your energy.
A Royal Village
A 35 minute car ride away from Block C, NH8, Hauz Khas Fort should be your first stop. The site is very popular and gets quite crowded during late afternoons and evenings, but is relatively peaceful during mornings. A relic of the 13th century Delhi Sultanate, the complex comprises of an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb, numerous pavilions and a lake (which gives the site its name, ‘hauz’ means water tank and ‘khas’ means royal). Diverse in its aesthetics, the site offers a lot of photogenic locations for you to capture with your camera. Outside the fort, the urban spectacle of rows of cafes and shops standing in sharp contrast to the ruins adds to the charm of the place.
Next Stop: Safdarjung’s Tomb.
Around 5 KM, 12 minutes by car, from the previous destination is sandstone and marble mausoleum built in 1754 called Safdarjung’s Tomb. The imposing red, brown and white monument is the last tomb garden constructed by the Mughals. The sprawling green lawns, sparkling water channels and elaborate ornamentation on the walls will transport you back a couple of centuries. The serenity of the structure, still standing strong in the lap of nature is the perfect place to enjoy a lovely Brunch to replenish your energy and prepare you for the next leg of the tour.
Delhi’s Answer to Agra’s Taj Mahal
3 KM from safdarjung’s Tomb is the brainchild of 16th century Persian prodigy Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, an architect in the time of Emperor Akbar. The Humayun’s Tomb was the first garden tomb to be built on the Indian Subcontinent and looks like it was a really tough act to follow. The complex is also a site for architecture that predates the main mausoleum like the tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri’s court of the Suri dynasty. This particular tomb complex, positioned in an octagonal garden of great beauty is a must see. As you enter the gateway to the garden and see the structure for the first time, you will be awestruck by the flawless symmetry of it all. The main tomb, sitting amidst the stunning Char Bagh garden with a water channel in the centre leading up to it, is absolutely exquisite. Humayun’s Tomb is a destination that we suggest you spend the most amount of time exploring simply because there is so much to explore in the 53 acres that the complex occupies.
Well, What Do We Have Here
Less than 5 KM away from Humayun’s Tomb is an archealogical site that was famously featured in the film PK. Agrasen or Ugrasen Ki Baoli is a 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical step well which legend says was built during the Mahabharat epic era. Modern day evidence shows that it was rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community which traces its origin to Maharaja Agrasen. The Baoli was full of water till the 1970s but over the years as the urban jungle around it grew, the water level receded. Restoration work was undertaken recently to revive the site. There is a lot of talk about the site being haunted but even though there’s no real evidence of anything supernatural about the place, you will notice that it has a strange air of mystery around it. In the west corner of the site, above a flight of stairs is a small mosque with a missing portion of roof. What’s interesting about the structure though is that there are Buddhist motifs carved on the columns.
No Destination Like A Dinner Table
For your final destination, we suggest Bengali Market at Todermal road, merely a kilometer away from the Baoli, to replenish your tissues with some delhicious food. The Aaloo Tikki comes highly recommended.
So pack your knapsacks and get set to rediscover the splendor of the city of Delhi!
May the weather be fair and may you be welcomed joyously everywhere!