Old and New Delhi Sightseeing
Your full day tour of India's capital city begins with a visit to Raj Ghat, the moving memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, set in landscaped gardens, before continuing to the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Take an enjoyable rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, the main thoroughfare of the old city, lined with 17th century mansions and colourful, crowded bazaars; your journey takes you past the famous Mughal Red Fort. Next comes a visit to the elegant Humayun’s Tomb, a fine example of early Mughal architecture, clearly reflecting its Persian antecedents and pointing ahead in style to the Taj Mahal. The Victorian historian James Ferguson called the fluted sandstone tower "the most beautiful example of its class known anywhere". Before heading for New Delhi you will pay a visit to the colossal Qutb Minar (below left); this amazing 73-metre high Victory Tower was completed in 1236 to celebrate Qutb-ud-Din’s defeat of the Turks and can be seen for miles around.
At the spectacular Delhi Durbar of 1911, the ‘King-Emperor’ George V announced that the capital of British India was to be moved from Calcutta to Delhi. Planned on a grandiose scale by the architect Edwin Lutyens and his colleague Herbert Baker, the city of New Delhi was inaugurated in February 1931. You will drive along the wide avenues of this late-imperial capital, viewing the vast complex of government buildings and the famous India Gate (below right), built to commemorate the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the First World War.