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Delhi by Walk - Uncover the enchanting facets of the Capital

One of the oldest cities in the world, Delhi has been continuously inhabited since the 6th century BC. This giant melting pot of influences from around the world suffered numerous armed invasions, pestilences, wars, fires, looting and has been rebuilt several times. Yet the city retained its 1,300-year old fort walls and victory towers, and has one of the world's largest mosques, famous Mughal monuments and architectural remnants of British Raj grandeur which compete for space with modern wonders.

The earliest reference to a settlement is found in the epic Mahabharata, which mentions a city called Indraprastha built on a huge mound somewhere between the sites where the historic Old Fort and Humayun's Tomb were later to be located. From Indraprastha to the present day New Delhi, the city underwent many facelifts and has served as capital of various dynasties and empires. Delhi was built in phases by Rajputs, followed by a string of Muslim invaders like Qutubuddin Aibak, Alauddin Khal ji, Firuz Shah Tughluq and the Mughals. They were ousted by the British who built Lutyens' Delhi or New Delhi. Modern- day Delhi is said to be an amalgam of eight such cities and still carry aspect sof different civilizations who made it their citadel.

Today, after centuries of growth, its citizens live in an environment where new elements are juxtaposed with old ones. Often centuries-old buildings and groups of buildings lie out of sight behind modern development. Sometimes new growth tends to overshadow the older areas of the city. But these areas and the communities that live in them represent the city's history, tradition, heritage, culture, architecture and craftsmanship.

The best way to experience Delhi is through walks and we recommended that below will help you unearth the real essence of the city and acquaint you with a vast range of architectural styles.

Shahjahanabad

In the 17th century, the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, made his capital in Shahjahanabad, the area that broadly covers present-day Old Delhi, also called the walled city. Ten gates connected the city with the surrounding region. Some of the gates and parts of the wall still stand. The romance of the bazaars of Delhi can be experienced at its best in and around Chandni Chowk and it's by lanes.Today, the walled city is one of the metropolis' most crowded, chaotic and captivating areas, with a bamboozling orchestra of sights, and sounds. This walk starts from monuments of the Pre-Shahjahan period like Kmentalan Masjid and tomb of Turkman Shah. Walking through the narrow lanes and by-lanes one comes across different havelis(old mansions) of rich and famous people of that time and colourful bazaars(markets). Religious shrines of all faiths including the famous Jama Masjid of Muslims and the Sis Ganj Gurudwara of Sikhs can be seen during this walk. Shahjahan's Delhi, is today more visible than all the Delhi's built before it. The scale on which he built was also more heroic, as can be seen from the magnificence of the Red Fort (World Heritage Monument at present).

Duration: 3.5 Hours

Delhi before 1911

The Mughal Power had declined by the end of the 18th century. A battle was fought between the Marathas and the Britishers in 1803 which the Britishers won. At that time, the main control and administration over India by the East India Company was managed from Calcutta. With Delhi as a new centre it was important to build some administrative buildings. Thus came the Residency building in 1803 and many more of these buildings came around the Kashmiri Gate area and the Civil Lines. The walk is divided into two phases and is covered partially through a vehicle. The walk starts from The British Magazine and ends at the Mutiny Memorial covering various buildings related to the British Period in Delhi from 1800 to 1900 AD before the establishment of New Delhi.

Duration: 4 Hours

Edwin Lutyens' Masterpiece

The British Empire established their capital in New Delhi with much fanfare in 1911. King Edward of Britain came to Delhi and designated the leading British Architect, Edward Lutyens, with the task of building the new capital in Delhi. Lutyens' Delhi primarily consists of the administrative area of the capital and Lutyens' bungalow zone (LBZ). The Viceroy's House (which is now known as Rashtrapati Bhawan) was in the heart of this new city. The Secretariat Building, which house various ministries of the Government of India including the Prime Minister's Office are beside the Rashtrapati Bhawan and were designed by Herbert Baker. Also designed by Baker was the Parliament House. The main road leading from the Viceroy's house to the India Gate was named as King's Way (now renamed as 'Rajpath'). The road crossing at right angle was named Janpath, which also connected to the Central Business District of Connaught Place. Connaught Place was designed to serve as the commercial & financial centre of the new capital. A visit to Delhi is incomplete without going to Lutyens' Delhi which one can say, is the place where the Central Government of India currently resides and works from.

Duration: 4 Hours

Hazrat Nizamuddin Walk

The bustling enclave of Hazrat Nizamuddin in the heart of New Delhi is an urban sprawl with a medieval ambience. Named after the highly venerated 14th century Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the narrow alleys hold a treasure trove of history and stories. Home to a 13th century mosque and a number of beautiful Mughal era tombs and monuments, the principal attraction of this area is the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and the tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun. The Dargah is a significant repository of the cultural heritage of Sufi philosophy and spirituality. It is venerated through the vernacular poetry of Amir Khusrau and stirring Qawwali performances. The tombs of poet Amir Khusro and Mughal princess Jehan Ara Begum are also located within the Nizamuddin Dargah complex, In keeping with the pluralistic Sufi traditions millions from across all faiths visit the Dargah annually. The other important monuments in the Nizamuddin heritage area include Humayun's Tomb, Chausath Khamba, Mirza Ghalib's tomb, Barakhamba, Sabz Burj (Blue Gumbad) at the Nizamuddin Circle and Lal Mahal. Love, faith and some very soulful music pervades this walk.

Duration: 3 Hours

These tours are bound to leave you with more than just beautiful pictures. You will leave with a slice of Delhi, taking back with you everlasting memories of the joyful, fun, wild, insightful, touristy and healing aspects of Delhi.