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Old Delhi

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Old Delhi in Delhi

Old Delhi refers to the once sprawling city of Sahajahanabad. The city was built by Emperor Shah Jahan. The Red Fort Old Delhicity stands separate from New Delhi but now only the ruins speak of the lively city of Sahajahanabad. The city is mainly populated by Muslim community as it was since inception. Old Delhi is one of the Delhi attractions decorated with innumerable mosques, gardens, old mansions and temples, which majestically speak of the art and architecture of the glorious past. This fortified city has a long and interesting history and even today, the remains of its glorious past can be seen in the form of Kashmiri Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Turkman Gate, Delhi Gate and Feroz Shah Kotla.Taxi and auto rickshaws are the best means to go around the city and experience its unparalleled beauty. Visit to Delhi remains incomplete without visiting Old Delhi, which is the Heart of Delhi.

History of Old Delhi

Delhi remained an important place for the Mughals, they built palaces and forts here. Most importantly, it wasJama Masjid Shah Jahan, who built the walled city built from 1638 to 1649, containing the Lal Qila and the Chandni Chowk. Daryaganj had the original cantonment of Delhi, after 1803, where a native regiment of Delhi garrison was stationed, which was later shifted to Ridge area. Chandni Chowk, Red Fort and Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, are also a part of Old Delhi. The prime attractions of Old Delhi include Kashmiri Gate, which was witness to the desperate fighting where mutineers of 1857 were crushed by the British with an iron hand. Then, there is the British-erected Mutiny Memorial, the Ashoka pillar brought here by Feroz Shah Tughlaq, Digambar Jain Mandir, Sunehri and Fatehpur Masjid, the ruins of the city of Feroz Shah Kotla, erected by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1354, and Raj Ghat.

Attractions in Old Delhi

Chandni Chowk, Red Fort and Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, are also a part of Old Delhi. The prime attractions of Old Delhi include Kashmiri Gate, which was witness to the desperate fighting where mutineers of 1857 were crushed by the British with an iron hand. Sightseeing in Delhi takes back the visitors to the former days. Delhi has been the capital of many rulers who contributed to the Indian culture. Old Delhi is one of them. Some of the attractions in Old Delhi are:

Chandni Chowk: This is one of the oldest bazaars in Delhi. The bazaar is popularly known as the ‘light of the moon’. The market trades various types of merchandise. It is an ideal place to shop for traditional jewelry and embroidered clothes. The market serves as a gateway to the Red Fort.
Digambar Jain TempleDigambar Jain Temple: The Jain temple is the oldest temples in Delhi and is remarkable for its simplicity compared to the other temples. The temple bears intricate carvings, which give a taste of the rich art and architecture of the former days.
Gauri Shankar Temple: The temple is famous for its Shiva lingam, which is 800 years old. Thousands of devotees visit the temple to offer prayers.
Sisganj Gurudwara: In this gurudwara the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded for his fundamentalism by Aurangzeb, the last ruler of the Mughal dynasty.
Jama Masjid: The largest mosque in India.
Rajghat: It is one of the memorials in Delhi. Mahatma Gandhi popularly known as the ‘Father of the Nation’ was cremated in Rajghat. The burial place of Gandhiji is cemented with a black plinth.

Old Delhi Cuisine

Old Delhi is well known for its cuisine, both vegetarian and Mughlai cuisine. Chandni Chowk is home to the famous Gali Paranthe Wali and Ghantewala halwai. Old Delhi is the home to legendary Mughlai restaurants such as Karim's (located in Jama Masjid area) and the Moti Mahal (located in Darya Ganj). There are a plenty of other restaurants in Muslim areas of Old Delhi such as Jama Masjid, Balli Maran, and Chitli Qabar that sell mouth-watering, spicy Mughlai delicacies such as Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken, Nahari, Korma, Biryani, Seekh Kebabs, etc.

Street Food in Old Delhi

Old Delhi is also famous for its street food. Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar areas have many street joints that sell spicy chaat (tangy and spicy snacks).

Today, Purani Dilli is a labyrinth of tiny lanes lined, with the remnants of 17th century havelis (mansions), inhabited by a predominantly Muslim population. Yet other attractions of Old Delhi include Zinat-ul Masjid in Daryaganj, which is also known as Cloud Mosque and was built in 1710 by one of Aurangzeb's daughters. Then, there is the Gandhi Memorial Museum and the St. James Church, the oldest church of Delhi built by Col. James Skinner, who was the son of a Scotsman and his Rajput wife.

 

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