Old Delhi was founded by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1639. It was originally known as Shajahanabad and was filled with beautiful mansions, mosques and gardens. Even now, you can see some important places like Jama masjid, Red Fort, Fatehpuri Masjid, Chandni Chowk markets, Digambar Jain temple, Begam Smaru’s palace and many other interesting spots in Old Delhi.
• Jama Masjid:
Jama Masjid is located on a mound in the center of Old Delhi. It is the largest mosque in India. It was built between the period of 1644 and 1658, by Shah Jahan. It was built in red sandstone and marble. More than 5000 artisans contributed their effort to build this mosque. Jama Masjid has four towers, three gateways and two minarets. The tower of this mosque features five unique stories; each one has its own projecting balcony.
• Red Fort:
Red Fort is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Old Delhi. It was also constructed by Shah Jahan. It was started in 1639 and completed after nine years in 1648. It was built with red sandstone. The fort once housed numerous palaces and other structures. Though they were all destroyed, you can still see some of the remains that stand as fine examples for the technical excellence of craftsmen liven in Mughal period. The main entrance to the fort boasts of towers that are semi octagonal in shape.
• Fatehpuri Masjid:
Fatehpuri Masjid is located at the western end of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. It was built by Fatehpuri Begum, one of the wives of Shah Jahan in the year 1650. It is a red sandstone structure that is edged by towering minarets. It has seven arches and the central one is the highest.
• Chandni Chowk:
Chandni Chowk is the most famous street in Old Delhi. It was built in 17th century, when the city of Shajahanabad was established. The eldest daughter of Shah Jahan Jahanara Begum laid this street with beautiful gardens.
• Digambar Jain temple:
Digambar Jain temple is located opposite to the Red Fort. It was built in the year 1526. It is popularly known as Lal mandir, as it is built with red sandstone (lal means red in Hindi). It is dedicated to Lord Mahavira. You can reach the temple by taking the stairway. Inside the temple complex, a book store displaying rare books of Jain literature can be found.
• Begam Samru’s palace:
Begum Smaru’s palace in Old Delhi was owned by a Kashmiri Muslim Woman Begum Samru. It features massive columns and rooms. It has a historical importance too. The last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah was captivated in this palace.
• Zinat-ul Masjid:
This mosque was built by Zinat-ul-Nissa Begum, the daughter of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. It is a replica of the magnificent Jama Masjid. The alternative strips of white and black marble on the domes offer an attractive look to this mosque.
• Salimgarh Fort:
This fort is located one kilometer away from Red Fort in Old Delhi. It was built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. Shah Jahan connected this fort with the Red Fort and it became a state prison during the reign of Aurangazeb, the son of Shah Jahan.