Delhi: A treasure trove of ancient history and culture

  • The monuments to lost empires showcase its ancient culture, while the sleek and efficient new metro is evidence of a rapidly modernizing city.
  • This pulsating metropolis has a larger population than Australia, but pollution remains a key challenge.

Delhi is India's capital city and one of the oldest in the world.

Located in the north, it's home to all three branches of the government: executive, legislative and judiciary.

The monuments to lost empires showcase its ancient culture, while the sleek and efficient new metro is evidence of a rapidly modernizing city.

This pulsating metropolis has a larger population than Australia, but pollution remains a key challenge.

The frenetic pace in Delhi begins even before the sun comes up. If you wake up early enough, head to Asia's largest fruit and vegetable market: Azadpur Mandi is a sight to behold.

At nearly two million square feet, the market is a crucial link for supplying food to the city. Over 100 different types of fruit and vegetables can be found in the market, where more than 13,000 tons of produce pass through every day.

People are not the only ones attracted to the market. Monkeys of all ages traverse the lines and cables that interweave over the bustling marketplace below, waiting to pounce on any unattended food.

Visitors walk near the India Gate in New Delhi, India. India Gate was built in the memory of more than 90,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the Afghan Wars and World War I. 
Saqib Majeed | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images
Visitors walk near the India Gate in New Delhi, India. India Gate was built in the memory of more than 90,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the Afghan Wars and World War I. 

If you don't like bustling markets, try exploring Delhi's treasure trove of ancient history and culture.

Among the city's iconic monuments is India Gate. Completed in 1931, this imposing memorial is dedicated to 70,000 soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War.

Carved onto the 138-foot tall stone arch are the names of several thousand Indian men who lost their lives in the conflict between 1914 and 1919.

The area around India Gate is also a popular spot for the city's locals to meet up with friends and have an ice cream from the stalls that surround the monument.

Leaving New Delhi and heading north, you'll arrive in Old Delhi.

Located here is one of the cities most famous bazaars, Chandni Chowk. Crammed down narrow alleyways and along the main thoroughfare are small shops selling everything from street food to electrical goods to jewelry. But be warned: This famous trading hub can get very crowded.

At the eastern end of the market's main street is the iconic Red Fort. Built by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648, the palace fort is an area of 124 acres and enclosed within one and half miles of towering red sandstone walls. The aesthetic and architectural style had a strong influence on later buildings throughout northern India.

To really understand how India became the country it is today, Delhi is a must visit. There's so much of the country's heritage on display here.

Yet it also showcases some of the best features of a modern city with sprawling greenery and renowned cuisine, which will ensure the city remains one of the country's undisputed highlights.