Delhi – The land of history, culture, tradition, and a picture-perfect amalgamation of old and new! It has undergone many changes over many decades and centuries, and it has been inhabited since at least 6th Century BC. It has been mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata and the earliest relics are from the Maurya Period. It has been ruled by the Turks, Afghans, Mughals and British among others.
All these varied dynasties have had a huge impact in shaping the architecture, culture and cuisines of the city. From forts and tombs to colonial structures, Delhi has it all! Especially Old Delhi is an absolute favorite among visitors. It is like a lesson in history, seeped in diverse flavors and colours. This is one of the biggest reasons people from all over the world come to visit this beautiful city which is the capital of India. It is also a part of the very popular Golden Triangle Route that covers Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
While there are many ways to explore the city, like driving around and walking, people have also recently started to ride through the by lanes of Old Delhi on a bicycle. Delhi by cycle is a relaxed and fun activity where you get the opportunity to experience it all first-hand, going at your own pace, learning more about the various landmarks you pass by.
One of the most popular routes for exploring Delhi by cycle is the Shah Jahan Tour in Old Delhi. It is full of rich history and transports you back in time. It is the best recipe for a totally exalting glimpse into the times gone by! You cover Shahjahanabad, which is a 1500 acre of area, and at the time of its construction was beyond doubt one of the most flourished cities in the entire world.
As you ride past these centuries old alleys, you see the marriage of old and new, like you haven’t seen before. Age-old structures acting as a backdrop for tea stalls and small restaurants selling a wide variety of cuisines, with people all around going about their daily business make for a striking sight to behold.
We start the tour at 6:30 AM and you are picked up from Delite Cinema to begin your Delhi by cycle Shah Jahan Tour. Post that we cover other historical landmarks starting with the Turkman Gate, which was built in 1658 AD and is known for Shah Turkman Bayabani’s grave. After this we ride to Chawri Bazar, which was once known for its courtesans and dancing girls. Established in 1840, this place is a wholesale market for copper, brass and paper products, and also happens to be Old Delhi’s first wholesale market.
Moving on, we ride to the 17th century mosque, Fatehpuri Masjid. It was built in 1650 by one of Shah Jahan’s wives, Fatehpuri Begum. After another tryst with history we move to the popular and bustling Spice Market, also known as Khari Baoli. This place has remained more or less unchanged for centuries and is a treat to your senses. Next on the list for our Delhi by cycle Shah Jahan tour are Madras Colony and Civil Lines where we take a small tea break.
Post this we ride to Old Delhi Railway Station and further to Chandni Chowk. One of the busiest, oldest and most colorful markets of India, Chandni Chowk is a riot of colours. It was built in the 17th century by Shah Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara. Our next destination is the iconic Red Fort which was constructed in 1648 by Shah Jahan. It was the royal residence of the Mughals for almost 200 years until 1857. We can stop here and admire the walls made of red sandstone and the splendid architecture before continuing our Delhi by cycle ride to Jama Masjid. Built by more than 5000 workers, Jama Masjid was readied in 1656 in Shah Jahan’s reign. It can accommodate close to 25000 people at a time. After visiting all these historically and culturally rich landmarks we arrive at Old Delhi’s one of the most popular eateries, Karim’s, to have breakfast and then disperse.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Region: Shahjehanabad, Old Delhi
Landmarks Covered: Delite Cinema, Turkman Gate, Chawri Bazar, Fatehpuri Masjid, Spice Market, Madras Colony, Civil Lines, Old Delhi Railway Station, Chandni Chowk, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Karim’s Restaurant
Activity: Cycling, Sightseeing
Pick-up Time: 6:45 AM from Delite Cinema