With a civilisation over 5000 years old, India is home to an unfathomable amount of incredible history in the form of ancient architecture. Spectacular ruins of ancient cities. Forts, palaces and gardens built by the maharajas of old. Opulent tombs, the final resting place of the deceased. Temples and shrines and mosques for the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh faiths.
During our time in Northern India, we were lucky enough to visit a number of it’s incredible sights. We would spend hours at each one, getting lost in the different levels, paths and rooms. Spending so much time exploring naturally led to some spectacular photos. We hope you enjoy what we’ve taken.
Red Fort, Old Delhi
Surrounded by an 18m high wall, Old Delhi’s Red Fort is a sandstone structure, built in the 1630’s. It was converted to barracks by the British in the mid 1800’s. The fort sprawls – containing entry gates, covers bazaars, public audience halls, private audience halls, a mosque, private chambers and ancient step wells.
Jama Masjid, Old Delhi
India’s largest mosque, with room for 25 000 worshippers was built in the 1640’s. It’s a spectacular sight, with its perfect proportions and soaring minaret towers.
No entry fee, but a 300 Rupee camera fee is charged. Foreigners can enter from 8AM til dusk, but not during prayer time. Robes are provided for women. Be careful of so called ‘free guides’ – who are not free.
Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi
This mausoleum served as inspiration for the Taj Mahal and it’s easy to see why. Humayun’s tomb is captivating from every angle, and has sprawling gardens to be enjoyed also.
Entry fee is 250 Rupees per foreigner.
Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, New Delhi
A beautiful Sikh temple, Gurdwara Bangala Sahib is pristine with its white floors and golden domes. It’s sparkling gold interior – which we only viewed from afar – was mesmerising.
No entry fee, foreigners are welcome – remove your shoes and check them in at the locker room, and you can borrow a head scarf if you don’t have your own. Food is provided to all visitors.
Qutub Minar, Greater Delhi
The star attraction at the ruins of Qutub Minar is it’s 73m tall minaret – the tallest in India. Building initially started in 1193 by Sultan Qutub-ud-din, with his successors completing the project over the next several decades.
Entry fee is 250 Rupees per foreigner. The complex is located quite a distance from Delhi’s centre – the easiest way to get here is to take the Metro to Qutub Minar Station, and then an auto-rickshaw to the complex.
Agra Fort, Agra
Not to be outshone by its famous neighbour, Agra Fort is a spectacular sight and not be missed. Construction began in the 1560’s, and over the years the fort became both a palace and a prison. It’s a city within a city, with its sprawling grounds surrounded by a 20m high wall.
Entry fee is 300 Rupees per foreigner.
The Taj Mahal, Taj Ganj
World renowned for being one of the most romantic sights – the Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his third wife Mumtaz Mahal – a visit to India isn’t complete without a visit to the Taj. You can read more about our visit here in our article ‘Visiting the Magical Taj Mahal’.
A magnificent ancient city, Fatehpur Siri was constructed in the late 1500’s but was abandoned not long after it’s emperors death – the area suffered water shortages. The UNESCO site is magnificently preserved – be sure to visit both the palace grounds and the nearby mosque – the 54m victory gate cannot be missed!
Entry is 500 Rupees per foreigner.
Hawa Mahal, Old City
Hawa Mahal or ‘Palace of the Winds’ is Jaipur’s most famous sight – we haven’t seen anything else quite like it. View it from the street side, or cross the road and climb up between a few old shops to get a higher vantage point.
City Palace, Old City
In the centre of Jaipur’s Old City is it’s City Palace – a complex of buildings and courtyards and gardens, with impressive museums – costumes, armoury and vehicles are all on show.
Entry is 300 Rupees per foreigner.
Amber Fort, Amer
Rising out of the mountainside and surrounded by a glittering lake, Amber Fort is a must-see when in Jaipur. Built in 1592, the fort is made up primarily by a royal palace, each with its own courtyard. Amber Fort is one of the most explorer-friendly forts we visited – nearly every nook and cranny and alleyway is open to check out.
Entry is 400 Rupees per person.
Jaswant Thada is a picturesque marble memorial sitting above a lake and overlooking the blue city of Jodhpur. The gardens are beautiful, and the intricacy of the marble latticework is incredible.
Entry is 50 Rupees per person, plus a 25 Rupee camera fee.
Mehrangarh Fort sits atop a rocky hill, 120m above the blue city of Jodhpur, and is surrounded by battlement walls up to 36m high. The fort is made up of a museum – the former palace is now a showcase of elephant howdahs, paintings, textiles, costumes, weapons and impressive bedchambers. Explore the fort further to come across the ramparts – with antique artillery on display and impressive views out over Jodhpur.
Entry is 500 Rupees per person, with lift tickets an additional 35 Rupee each way per person.
The sandstone fort of Jaisalmer is a living, breathing community – with over 3000 people residing within its walls. Contained within the fort is it’s main palace, Jain temples, Hindu temples and picture perfect havelis – carved stone doorways.
The fort itself is free, but its various temples and palaces each have their own entrance charge. Various restaurants within the fort offer magnificent views over the fort walls out to the city of Jaisalmer.