Immerse yourself in the chaos and vibrancy of Old Delhi. The capital of the Mughal Empire until the mid-1800s, this bustling city was then the centre of the British Raj and to this day is filled with the old mansions of former aristocrats and members of the royal court. The city is brimming with magnificent landmarks from beautiful mosques to manicured gardens. The Old Delhi City tour highlights Delhi’s complex heritage as it takes you through a new world infused with the traditions and ethos of an ancient people and culture.
Engaging all your senses from the start at the whirling market of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi’s oldest and most animated marketplace. Steeped in royal roots, it was established by a Mughal princess nearly 400 years ago and was renowned for the silver merchants. Today it is a mass of narrow, tangled streets where travellers can hop aboard a rickshaw for an authentic glimpse into this bright dynamic place. Flow with the crowds, sample tasty street food and swathe yourself in rich fabrics.
Next, head off to the sweet-smelling spice market at Khari Baoli Street. Set up in the early 17th century, this thoroughfare remains part of the heritage circuit of Old Delhi. The streets are scented with the fragrances of India, igniting a sensory experience awash with aromatic spices, perfumed herbs, fresh produce, pearled rice and organic nuts.
At the end of your tour, marvel at the majestic Jama Masjid, completed in 1656 AD, with a towering structure and courtyard that can comfortably accommodate 25 000 worshippers. The mosque boasts 40m (130ft) high minarets with prominent balconies decorated with wide bands of sandstone and incandescent white marble. The Jama Masjid is widely considered to be India’s largest mosque and is seen as a beacon of calm amid the mayhem of Old Delhi.