Gurgaon is an important financial and industrial city near New Delhi. It is known for its booming infrastructure, its rapid urbanization, and economic prosperity. As a rapidly growing city, Gurgaon is an example of a blend between the old and the new. The city has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment, culture, and world-class cuisine. We explore the ten best things to do and see in Gurgaon.
Designated as a botanical reserve, this park sprawls over two acres with its grounds arranged in trails for walking and biking, offering a few recreational activities. At first sight, the park looks like it would be a good spot for jogging or an evening stroll, yet the real treasure of this area lies in its large bird population that includes more than a dozen unique species. Indian Robins, Black Redstarts, Lesser Whitethroats and Common Tailorbirds can be spotted in the forest populated areas. The park is a dream come true for bird-watching enthusiasts.
Few venues can match the colorful and vibrant character of Kingdom of Dreams, India’s first live entertainment complex. Built in 2010, the complex spreads over 6 acres and consists of two theaters: Nautanki Mahal – an 836 seats auditorium with an hydraulic stage that resembles a royal palace – and Showshaa Theatre – a 350 seats amphitheater with a matrix sound system. Kingdom of Dreams is famous for featuring rich theater shows which attract people with their expressive repertories, ranging from Bollywood musicals to folk performances based on Indian mythology. Apart from the two theater halls, there is a culture and food boulevard, known as Gully Centre, that offers regional delicacies from 14 states of India.
Many magnificent forts, from which the feudal kingdoms were ruled, can still be seen today. The Farrukh Nagar Fort is located 20 kilometers away from Gurgaon, providing a good day trip in the surroundings of the city. The fort, built in the 18th century by a Mughal commander, has survived the ravages of time and still reflects the glorious past of the Mughal emperors. In the fort, the traditional style of Mughal paintings with marble trimmings blends with the austere majesty of Islamic architecture. This fort is worth visiting, especially during sunrise and sunset when the rays of light penetrate the octagonal architecture giving the whole place a magical aura.
Sheesh Mahal, located in Farrukh Nagar, is the most fascinating historical building in the area. Built in rose-red sandstone, Sheesh Mahal is a romantic palace that has immortalized the Mughal era. The spacious rooms, sprawling courtyards and upper chambers are embellished with dazzling mirror work and elaborate murals that depict scenes from courtly life. They are laden with floral and geometric designs. The exquisite ornamentation which reflects the skills of Mughal artists gives the entire structure a traditional charm. This is a perfect place to experience the beauty of Islamic architecture.
Ali Ghosh Khan Baoli, located on the premises of the Sheesh Mahal, is a historical monument listed by Archeological Survey of India as a monument of national importance. This dramatic three-storeyed octagonal staircase is a dry well (baoli) that was used by the royal ladies of the Sheesh Mahal to take their bath. In earlier times, this dry well supplied fresh water to the palace. The legend has it that the dry wells were inhabited by fairies and their water had magical and healing properties. Today, the baoli is visited for its exceptional architecture which takes visitors back to Mughal India.
The Aliwardi Mosque, situated two kilometers north of Gurgaon, is a popular destination among devotees and tourists alike. Built 200 years ago, the mosque is believed to have been commissioned by the founder of Aliwardi Village, Nawab Aliwardi Khan. A tomb adjacent to the mosque is supposed to be his. This magnificent mosque built with red sandstone has an alluring vitality and elegant style typical of Islamic architecture. The cusped arches give the mosque a delicate touch.
Heritage Transport Museum houses the most comprehensive collection of transportation heritage in the country. It includes exhibitions of two-wheelers, aviation devices, pre-mechanized transports, and Indian transport toys. The most impressive part of the museum is the automobile gallery that features the evolution of the Indian car industry. There are over 70 vintage and classic cars on display. The museum offers an insight into India’s past for transport enthusiast and curious visitors alike.
Five millennia of Indian history can be explored at the Museum of Folk and Tribal Art. The museum houses a vast collection of Indian folk, tribal and neglected arts. It was established by K.C. Aryan, a renowned art historian, writer and artist who was the first person in India to undertake the project of preserving tribal art. The museum features an exquisite collection of masks, paintings, terracotta, wood-carvings, bronzes and tribal artifacts. Enjoy your time in this labyrinth of neglected treasures.
The contact between Indian traditions and global culture gave rise to Epicentre, the largest cultural center in Gurgaon. In this center, new trends in lifestyle, regional cuisines and world-class performances blend together in an exhilarating mixture of global entertainment. Music, dance, recitals, concerts, workshops and delicious food all coexist in this large entertainment complex.
iSkate is unique because it is the fist natural ice-skating rink in India. Located on the sixth floor of the Ambience Mall in Gurgaon, the rink provides a cool alternative to the hot weather of India. The attractive setting, groovy music, and good food served in the iSkate café are bound to provide an unforgettable experience. iSkate combines entertainment with physical activity, providing alternative entertainment in Gurgaon.