When you make a decision on where to go on holiday, what’s the most important thing to you? For many people, it’s relaxation – somewhere quiet where they can let their worries float away. For others, it’s nightlife. As long as a destination has great clubs and bars, it’s perfect. For still others, oddly, it’s the chance to go somewhere that has echoes of home. Hence you get people from English speaking countries decamping to holiday resorts filled with theme pubs. When it comes to choosing a destination that really stands out, one issue you might like to consider is the historical aspect.
History and culture are what make a country or city identifiable as itself. You know when you’re in London – you can’t miss the famous landmarks. You know when you’re in Paris, Rome or Athens. And you know when you’re in India, too. One of the most populous nations in the world, India is not necessarily somewhere you go for a quiet holiday. Certainly if you go to the capital, Delhi, you can expect a riot of color and sound. If you’re someone who wants to get a real flavor of culture, it comes highly recommended.
The Red Fort
Built in 1648, the Red Fort is one of Delhi’s most venerable buildings and stalwart tourist spots. The Fort was built for the Mughal emperors and was their residence until they were deposed in 1857. In its present form, the fort is home to numerous museums. The main attraction for visitors is the sound and light show each evening. It gives the story of Mughal history and brings the stories very much to life.
The Lotus Temple
Although built as recently as 1986, the Lotus Temple has in the intervening three decades become a major attraction. How major? In 2001 it was reported by CNN to be the world’s most visited building. This may have something to do with the fact that, as a Baha’i Temple, it is a genuinely inclusive house of worship. Whatever your faith, you are free to worship here. It’s easily accessible, too. Kalkaji Mandir, the Lotus Temple nearest metro station, is just half a mile away.
Between 1914 and 1921, the death toll of Indian soldiers in all wars – including the First World War – was 82,000. At India Gate, the names of many of those are etched into the stone. Designed by Edwin Lutyens – the architect of much of the new city – it is a sobering reminder to Delhi locals and visitors alike. If you’re visiting Delhi, it is one of the sites you must visit – along with the nearby Humayun’s Tomb.
There is more to Delhi than just its monuments, of course. Along with the historical sightseeing, you will find a modern city with teeming shops and street markets. Excellent restaurants serve traditional and international cuisine. As India steps forward as a 21st-Century economic force, its capital is becoming more modern while still keeping a firm eye on its history. All of this makes it a place that you should check out next time you’re looking for a holiday destination.