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20 Beautiful Hidden Gems in Delhi Worth Exploring

Delhi, the capital city of India, is a bustling metropolis full of historical monuments, markets, food and culture. However, unknown to many, Delhi also houses several hidden gems - beautiful, lesser-known places away from the hustle and bustle of the city. These hidden spots make for great offbeat exploration for those willing to venture beyond the touristy parts of the city.

In this blog post, I will highlight 20 of the most amazing hidden places in Delhi that you must visit. Read on to uncover these secrets and plan your next trip to Delhi!

Why Should You Explore Hidden Gems in Delhi?

Before jumping into the list, you may wonder - why should you explore the lesser-known places in Delhi? Here are some key reasons:

  • Get away from crowded hotspots and experience the city like a local

  • Discover the unknown history and heritage of the city

  • Find beautiful nature spots for recreation

  • Enjoy no-rush sightseeing and quiet contemplation

  • Click Instagram-worthy photographs that your friends haven't already seen

  • Feel a sense of adventure as you explore places not on popular guides

So ditch the regular tourist trail, and include some of these hidden gems in your Delhi itinerary!

Delhi's Hidden Places: The List

1. Ugrasen ki Baoli: The Magnificent Ancient Stepwell

Hidden in the bylanes of Hailey Road near Connaught Place, this picturesque stepwell dating back to the 14th century is one of Delhi's best-kept secrets. The Ugrasen ki Baoli protected under the Archaeological Survey of India features 108 steps made of red stone that lead down to the serene baoli (stepwell). Walk down to admire the symmetrical architecture and get that perfect Instagram shot!

Hidden Gems in Delhi

2. Sanjay Van: Lush Green Forest in the City

Right in the heart of busy South Delhi is Sanjay Van, an urban forest spread over 780 acres, known as the 'lungs of Delhi'. Take a morning walk, picnic with family or simply find solace in nature at this beautiful, lesser-explored green space maintained by the Delhi Development Authority and Delhi Wildlife Department.

3. Jahaz Mahal: The 'Ship-Shaped' Caravan Sarai

Built during the Tughlaq dynasty in the 14th century near Mehrauli, Jahaz Mahal is an intriguing monument shaped like a ship. While just the outer walls and some ruined wings remain today, this hidden gem allows you to have a peek into Delhi's rich medieval history and is worth a detour.

Jahaz Mahal

Unravel Delhi's Diverse History

4. Tughlaqabad Fort: Remains of the Third City of Delhi

The magnificent Tughlaqabad Fort built in 1321 by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, whose empire spanned modern-day Delhi, UP and Bihar, lies abandoned today. The mammoth stone fortification walls snake across the Aravalli hills in Tughlaqabad area, giving you glimpses into the third city of Delhi. Don't miss it!

5. Jamali Kamali Mosque: Sufi Shrine from the Lodi Era

Tucked away in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park lies the Jamali Kamali complex - an exquisite mosque and tomb dedicated to the Sufi saint Shaikh Jamali Kamboh who lived here during the Lodi dynasty. With turquoise interiors, ornate plasterwork, serene lawns and no crowds, this hidden gem makes you feel like you've stepped back in time!

6. Hijron ka Khanqah: Historic Monument and Islamic Seminary

Located near the famous Qutub Minar in Mehrauli, Hijron ka Khanqah built in the Lodi era has an intriguing past - it functioned as an Islamic seminary as well as a refuge for eunuchs during the 14th-16th centuries. Take a peek into this hidden part of Delhi's history on your next visit to Qutub Minar!

Capture Instagram-Worthy Shots

7. Mirza Ghalib ki Haveli: Pre-Mughal Era Mansion

Those fascinated by history would love Mirza Ghalib ki Haveli - an elegant, century-old mansion tucked in Gali Qasim Jan in Old Delhi where renowned Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib spent the last years of his life. Visit this almost-ruin with vibrant wall paintings for that atmospheric shot!

8. Satpula Bridge: Picturesque Seven-Arch Bridge of Yore

In the lesser visited Northern Ridge forest are the serene remains of the gorgeous arched Satpula Bridge. Built during the 14th century of quartzite stone, only four arches remain, but you must visit this hidden gem to admire its brilliant Mughal architecture and capture some dreamy shots.

9. Majnu ka Tila: Mini-Tibet in Delhi

Majnu ka Tila by the banks of the Yamuna in North Delhi houses a vibrant Tibetan refugee colony brimming with monasteries, food stalls and curio shops. The interconnected houses splash vibrant shades of yellow, red and blue making it an excellent Instagram haunt!

For a Dose of Art & Culture

10. Delhi War Cemetery: Tranquil Park Honouring WWII Heroes

Tucked away in a busy Delhi Cantonment, just a km from Dhaula Kuan metro station is this hidden verdant cemetery honouring WWII martyrs. Take a quiet stroll and pay your respects to the war heroes at this somber park lovingly maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Delhi War Cemetery

11. Hauz Khas Village: Quirky Art Hubs and Cafe Culture

What appears a sleepy government housing area from the outside transforms into a chic art district as you step into the narrow lanes of Hauz Khas Village. Spend an evening exploring quaint galleries showcasing modern Indian art, vintage shops and alfresco cafes amid the ruins of 14th century Tughlaq ruins.

12. Jahaz Mahal: The 'Ship-Shaped' Caravan Sarai

Built during the Tughlaq dynasty in the 14th century near Mehrauli, Jahaz Mahal is an intriguing monument shaped like a ship. While just the outer walls and some ruined wings remain today, this hidden gem allows you to have a peek into Delhi's rich medieval history and is worth a detour.

Immerse in Serenity

13. Delhi Ridge: Escape the City Rush

Running like a green belt across Delhi are the lesser visited Delhi Ridge forests that make for great hiking. Spend time amid chirping birds getting a whiff of Delhi's colonial past - old British military installations like flagstaff towers still dot parts of the 16 km Northern Ridge.

14. Damdama Lake: Secluded Jungle Lake in Gurgaon

Just half hour's drive from Delhi near Gurgaon, Damdama Lake makes an offbeat getaway from city's din. Rent a cottage or camp on the banks of this lush green lake ringed by the Aravallis, try water sports, cycle or simply lay back and count the stars for a night amid stunning nature.

15. Bhardwaj Lake: Scenic Picnic Spot in West Delhi

Locals looking for a quick nature break flock to this lesser-known Bhardwaj Lake inside Asola Wildlife Sanctuary in Chhatarpur. Though a bit marshy, it still makes for great scenic picnic spot if you're on this side of Delhi. Look for kingfishers or grey hornbills as you unwind!

Hidden Treasures of Mughal Delhi

16. Arab Ki Sarai: Quaint Mughal Inn Enveloped by Concrete

Right next to Delhi's bustling Humanyunpur Metro Station is something you wouldn't expect to find - Arab Ki Sarai. These famed ruins of a sara (inn) used by traders during Humayun's rule lie forgotten, but do visit to admire the medieval Indo-Islamic architecture strangely dwarfed by 20th century apartments.

17. Chor Minar: Ghastly 'Tower of Thieves'

Along the edge of the busy Hauz Khas area lies Chor Minar built by Alauddin Khalji - said to be a ghastly tower displaying severed heads of thieves! While the heads are gone, do visit this perfectly preserved 700 year old sandstone tower with 225 holes resembling honeycomb amid a quiet park for an offbeat glimpse of medieval India!

18. Salimgarh Fort: By the Red Fort Moat

Escape the crowds of Red Fort and visit the adjoining lesser-explored Salimgarh Fort built in the Mughal era right by the Red Fort moat. While you can't enter, the imposing grey walls let you admire the Mughal military architecture in peace. The former site of the notorious Salimgarh prison is worth peeking into.

Thrill Your Inner Adventurer

19. Bhool Bhulaiyaa: The Maze-Like City Palace

The excellent condition due to its restoration in the last decade makes the Bhool Bhulaiyaa in Old Delhi's Dharampura area a favorite for movie shoots. Built as a private palace in the 19th century, it features a dozen narrow staircases winding through its four floors in a maze-like pattern thrilling to explore. Don't miss it!

20. Ajit Vilas: The Most Beautifully Creepy 'Haunted House'

Any seeker of adventure must visit Ajit Vilas near Kashmere Gate - considered the most haunted place in Delhi! The boarded up early 20th century haveli with a tragic past lies dilapidated yet mesmerizing. While entry inside is prohibited, simply staring at the facade with its crumbling walls full of kite nests is quite a thrill!

Things To Remember

Delhi has no shortage of places to visit. Beyond seeing India Gate or the Red Fort, spend time exploring hidden gems like ancient stepwells, enchanting ruins, quirky museums and charming localities. Wandering these places lets you immerse in Delhi's living history and vibrant culture while avoiding crowds.

Seek out secrets spots tucked around Mehrauli, Nizamuddin, Hauz Khas or Old Delhi, but don't feel afraid to venture further off-the-beaten-path - that's where magic awaits!


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