Monument Hopping on the Yellow Line

Edited by: Maya Haider (UG 20)

I was born in Delhi and consider myself a Dilliwali through and through. Yeah, Delhi may not be the safest, cleanest, or most friendly place to grow up in, but one thing I love about this city is its history. And much of this history can be seen through the monuments that survive from each of the periods in which Delhi was rebuilt. Every dynasty has left a mark on the landscape of Delhi, be it the Tughlaqabad Fort built by Ghiyasuddin Tughluq, or the iconic Red Fort built by Shah Jahan. There is so much to be seen and I often wonder how much of it can be seen in one day. Just on the yellow line, more than half the stations have one or more monuments near them. I had a day free so I decided I'd give monument hopping a go! The constraints were as follows: I have to cover as many monuments as possible on the Yellow Line of the Delhi Metro from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. Of course, there are better ways you can go about this; I kept in mind the places I wanted to eat at while making this itinerary. Disclaimer: I am a dumb person for attempting to do this in a day. Do not do this in a day as you won't be able to enjoy all of the monuments. Take this as a general guide to monuments on the yellow line, not as an itinerary. 

 

First things first, I made sure to get a good night’s rest and set 20 alarms for the next day so I wouldn't wake up at noon. I packed a refillable bottle of water, a power bank, my charging cable, my phone and my wallet; keep things light, because there will be a LOT of walking. Speaking of walking, wear comfortable sports shoes, and not flip-flops (this is a grave mistake). I took the 7:00 am shuttle from campus and was at Jahangirpuri by8:00am. 

 

First Stop: Safdarjung Tomb, 8:45am

This mausoleum was built by the son of the Mughal Vizier Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur Khan, also known as Safdarjung in 1754. It is built in the style of Humanyun’s Tomb with the characteristic four waterways in the cardinal directions and lush gardens. When you climb to the first floor to see the tomb, you'll see that some of the fencings has fallen. So be careful as the sheer drop will break your legs. Spend your time walking in the gardens, relaxing near the water, or being nosy; I spent my entire time there trying to find an open door on the ground floor that would lead to the inside of the monument, only to find none.

Station: Jor Bagh

Ticket: Rs.25 

 

For breakfast, I went to Andhara Bhavan. The canteen there serves amazing dosa, idli, vada, and filter coffee for just Rs .85. It is 4 km away, but you will not regret it. 

 

Second Stop: Tughlaqabad Fort, 12 pm.

 

I took the metro to Saket and got an auto to the fort which is around 10km away. You’d be better off changing over to the violet line at Kashmiri Gate, getting off at Tughlaqabad station and taking an auto from there. 

When you do get to the fort, I hope you’re not afraid of monkeys because there are a lot of them there. Climb to the top of any of the ruins and you’ll be greeted with a breathtaking view of Delhi and a refreshing breeze. This crumbling fort was built by Ghiyasuddin Tughluq in the 14th Century. Among the structures that can be identified are: a mosque, the gate of the Madrasa, the flag tower, a parapet used for mass hangings, an underground bazaar complex, and multiple artificial aquifers. Keep your focus when walking because a false step could lead to a bad fall, especially if you are wearing flip-flops (again, mistakes were made). Across the road is the tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughluq, his wife, his General, and his dog! Originally connected to the fort by a walkway (and a secret passage), the tomb now lies across a road. There are many other things to see nearby, Adilabad Fort being one of them. You can easily spend 3-4 hours roaming around.

Station: Saket

Ticket: Rs.25

 

Third Stop: Hauz Khas, 3:30pm

So here, I cheated and took an auto to the Violet line, changed to the Magenta line at Kalkaji Mandir and got off at Hauz Khas station. You can make your way to Hauz Khas on the yellow line as you please and then take an auto to Hauz Khas Village. Do as I did and grab something to eat from one of the many eateries there before roaming around. 

You can stroll along the lake, taking in the fort on the other side, or can go explore the various nooks and crannies of the fort. I chose to do the latter. Sit down on one of the many jharokas overlooking the lake and take in the peaceful scene in front of you. Hauz Khas tank was built by Allaudin Khalji as a Royal water tank to supply water to the nearby Siri Fort in the 14thC. Many subsequent rulers have added to the area making the Hauz Khas Complex incredibly rich historically. 

Station: Hauz Khas

Ticket: Rs.25 (for the fort)

 

Fourth Stop: Jantar Mantar/Connaught Place, 5:45pm

I made it in the nick of time to Jantar Mantar before it closed. You can walk around Connaught Place, go to the central park if you have time, but I decided to head straight for Jantar Mantar, 700m away. A brisk walk along the tree-lined Sansad Mark and you reach this monument built in 1724. It was one of five observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. Earlier, you could go inside the various yantras or climb atop them. However, to prevent damage this has been stopped. You can still roam around the gardens and get pictured next to the various yantras. 

 I could only spend 10 minutes here as it closes at 6:00pm, but I recommend spending at least half an hour. 

Station: Rajiv Chowk

Ticket: Rs.25 if you pay by cash/ Rs.20 if you pay by card or app

 

Fifth Stop: India Gate/ Rashtrapati Bhawan/ Rajpath, 6:30

A short walk away from Udyog Bhavan station there is an intersection between Rajpath and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg. From here, you can see on one side Rashtrapati Bhawan, and on the other, India Gate. You can walk towards either landmark of Lutyens Delhi, just make sure to not look suspicious lurking around as security in this area is heavy. The foundation stone of India gate was laid in 1921 as an homage to soldiers killed in the First World War and the second Anglo-Afghan war. Rashtrapati Bhawan, atop Raisina Hill, was opened as Viceroy House in 1931, the same year as India Gate. Lutyens Delhi houses many other important government buildings, including the Parliament. The roads are well made and wide, so come here and walk or cycle around.

Station: Udyog Bhawan

 

Last Stop: Red Fort/ Jama Masjid/Chandni Chawk, 7:30pm

Next, I headed to Chandni Chawk to have kulfi at an iconic shop, Kuremal Mohanlal Kulfiwala. Of course, Chandni Chawk is chock full of places to visit. There is Sultana Razia’s tomb, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Daryaganj and the old Town Hall. Roaming the streets, you see numerous old havelis with beautiful carvings and exposed lahouri bricks. After having the scrumptious Kulfi, I headed to Jama Masjid for the wonderful eateries around it selling kebabs, biryani, daulat ki chat, and so much more. I could write an entire article on the treasures of Chandni Chawk. 

Station: Chandni Chawk/Chauri Bazaar

 

Lastly, I headed over to Jahangirpuri to catch the 10:00 pm shuttle. Of course, I have left out a lot of monuments: the whole Mehrauli Archeological Park, Qutub Minar, Lodhi Garden, and so many more. As I mentioned before, the yellow line itself has so many monuments, it is impossible to cover them in a day. I tried my best to include some monuments I had never been to before and some that are must-visits in Delhi. I also tried to cover monuments from different periods in the history of Delhi. Hopefully, this will serve as a good guide the next time you're bored on campus and decide to venture into Delhi. Again, I would like to stress that I do not recommend covering all these places in a day unless you want sore feet for the next two days (for the last time, mistakes were made).