The Old Delhi Tour takes you to explore the historic walled city built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. This is usually known as ‘Old Delhi’ to distinguish it from ‘New Delhi’, but in fact it is by no means the oldest city of Delhi. Indeed, six notable cities are said to have preceded it.
At the start of the excursion, you will be picked up from your hotel in Metropolitan Delhi at the time pre-arranged with the tour operator. If your hotel is close to a Metro station you will be met at the hotel by a tour guide. If your hotel is far from a Metro station you will be picked up by vehicle and taken to meet your guide.
With your guide you will travel by Metro to Old Delhi. There's a chance to kick start the day with a cup of chai before diving into the sights, sounds and smells of the old city.
This part of town is famous for its street food, markets, bazaars, temples and famous historical sites. There will be plenty of opportunity to stop and sample a samosa or other tasty snack from a street stall.
A visit to Old Delhi is a feast for all your senses – with incomparable colors, sights, sounds and smells. You will walk through a maze of narrow alleyways to see people going about their daily lives and no two trips will be the same as there is always something happening in this part of town. In the bylanes you will see some of the lovely old havelis (mansions) dating from the time when Delhi was one of the world's most beautiful and elegant cities.
Wandering about you may stray into Dariba Kalan, a street famous for silver jewellery, or the Zariwala Kalan that deals with the rich silk sarees of a bridal trousseau.
You will experience the hustle and bustle of Chandni Chowk, the main axis of the walled city. You will see the famous Red Fort, former palace of the Emperor Shah Jahan, from the outside, and will enter the majestic Jama Masjid. This magnificent mosque was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who also built the Taj Mahal. It was completed in 1656 AD. The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to 25,000 worshippers. History tells us that the Emperor would ride forth from the Ref Fort every Friday on an elephant to attend prayers at the Jama Masjid.
Stops include significant historical sites linked to the 1857 Mutiny (also known as India's First War of Independence), which was ruthlessly put down by British colonial forces and was a precursor to a later more peaceful struggle for independence led by Mahatma Gandhi in the early 1900s. Your local guide will provide you with a background into India's more recent history.
You will also visit local temples dedicated to the various gods where your local guide will give you an insight into the Hindu religion. And you will enjoy a delicious authentic Indian lunch at a local restaurant.
At the end of the trip you are free to explore further on your own or the guide can assist with arranging a taxi back to your hotel.