Delhi (Capital of India)
Indraprastha of the Pandavas, during the Mahabharata, is now heart of India where the past and the present blend so smoothly on the threshold of an exciting future. Delhi is situated at an altitude of 230 metres at sea level and spreads over an area of 1483 sq. kms. Surrounded by Haryana from three sides and Uttar Pradesh on the East where the Yamuna flows throughout the eastern part of the city. One is really blessed to be in Delhi, whether as a resident or as a visitor, to explore the historic places or destinations near Delhi. There is triangle formed for the purpose of Indian tourism development, which connects Delhi to Agra and Jaipur. This part of India Tour is famously known as GOLDEN TRIANGLE.
Delhi has many setbacks from its past history, as time changed and headed with new kind of era from time to time, the ruling power also changed. This place was supposed to be a playground for the changing scenario in the field of politics in the country while tourist is fascinated to its remnants. Old Delhi (Shah Jahanabad, 7th city) was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan during 17th century. New Delhi, a British-built capital, is now a national capital fulfilling a destiny that determined history would always be written in this. Today, across the capital, this remnant presents a mute testimony to the rise and fall of scores of kingdoms. One can imagine its suburban expansion after going through the city map. Tourists can explore Delhi in three ways by starting from its centre i.e. the British built capital, New Delhi with government buildings and wide avenues, to the 7 kms north to Connaught Circus is Old Delhi and 10 kms south is Qutab Minar.
Red Fort : The most visitedplace made up of red sand stone, was built by Shah Jahan on the embankment ofriver Yamuna, which was completed in 1648. Here, Diwan-E-Aam, Diwan-E- Khas,its two gates; Lahori Gate and Delhi Gate, Moti Masjid, Mumtaz Mahal etc aresome of the worth visiting places. The Red Fort is the site from which the PrimeMinister of India addresses the nation on Independence Day.
India Gate : India Gate, situated at the eastern end of Raj Path, is a 43 metre high magnifiscent arch, which was designed by Sir Lutyens in memory of 70,000 soldiers died in First World War. Under the India Gate, is Amar Jawan Jyoti (the Martyrs' Memorial) and inverted rifle and helmet and an eternal flame, which honour the departed soldiers of Indo-Pak war of 1971. Hyderabad House and Baroda House are located to the northwest and National Museum to the south.
Jama Masjid : The largest mosque in India and the lastgreat architectural work of Shah Jahan, is a unique building made up of redstone and white marble. It was built between 1644 and 1658. There are threehuge gateways but only the north gate is used for public entrance. The massivecourtyard can accommodate over 20,000 worshippers. On its wall, Shah Jahan hadinscribed not only the passages from Quran or Sayings of Prophet Mohammed butalso the saying extolling the virtues of the builder and the architect. Thecabinet in the north gate of the Jama Masjid contains a collection ofMuhammad's relics - the Koran written on deerskin, a red beard-hair of theprophet, his sandals and his footprints, implanted in a marble block.
Lotus Temple : Lotus Temple, an architectural landmark of Bahai faith built in 1986, is situated inSouth Delhi. This modern monument looks like a lotus flower. Itis about 40 meters tall surrounded by nine ponds and appears as if the templeis floating like a Lotus flower in water. Gracioususe of marble is one of its hallmarks. The temple is open to visitors of allfaiths and religions. It provides immaculate environment and peace formeditation. The Lotus Temple among the most visited monuments in India.The credit for building this beautiful structure goes to the Persian architectFariborz Sahba from Canada.
Chandani Chowk : Theprincipal street of Shah Jahanabad extended from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid, was designed by Jahanara Begum, Shah Jahan's favourite daughter. Most of ShahJahanabad's history played out here. Apart from its serpentine alleys havingmonuments at the stopping, Sis Ganj Gurudwara and Sunehri Masjid (where Nadir Shah's soldiers killed thousands of citizens) are also situated here. One of the mostprominent whole sale and retail markets of India, Chandni Chowk is more than 300years old. It was established in 1650, when Shahjahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi, as an appendage to the Red Fort. Jahanara, the Shahjahan's favorite daughter, is credited with designing this market.
Secretariat : Secretariat i.e. North Block & South Block and Rashtrapati Bhawan, located on the Raisina Hill (Vijay Chowk), are the long classical buildings having domes, which is decorated with lotus motifs and elephants. In the Great Court between the Secretariats are the four Dominion Columns.
Rashtrapati Bhawan : Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the President of India, is a Lutyen's architectural masterpiece and was constructed in 1929, which combines western and eastern styles. The Durbar Hall, situated inside, has coloured marble from all parts of India.
Parliament House (Sansad Bhawan): Parliament House, located northeast of Rashtrapati Bhawan, has library and chambers for the Council of State and Legislative Assembly- the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. It is a 136 pillared circular and 228 metres high building.
Connaught Place and its outer ring Connaught Circus, designed by Robert Tor Russel, comprise two storeyed arcade buildings, which has now become the main commercial centers of the city.
Jantar Mantar : Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory, was built by Sawai Jai Singh II in 1725. It has an amazing collection of large masonry instruments that was once used to measure the movements of the Sun and the Moon and calculate time.
Raj Ghat : a square platform situated near Red Fort, is the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. North of Raj Ghat is Shanti Van, where Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and her sons Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi were cremated.
Humayun Tomb : a fine Mughal architecture showing combination of Indo-Islamic style, was built by Humayun'swife Hamida Bano in 1655. It was the first mature example of Mughal architecturein India. The tomb established a standard for all later Mughal monuments, which followed its design, most notably the Taj Mahal. It was eclipsed later by Taj Mahal and the Jama Masjid.
Kotla Firoz Shah : the citadel of Firozabad, built by Firoz Shah Tughluq in 1351. It is situated at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, where stands the famous Ashoka Pillar.
Old Fort : a double storeyed octagonal fort, built by Afghan Sher Shah Suri after defeating Humayun in 1540. It is located atop the original site of Indraprastha. Nearby, boating is also provided by Delhi Tourism. At the southwestern side of Old Fort is Zoo.
Lodhi Gardens & Tomb : situated 1 km southwest of Old Fort, is a preferred place for joggers, birdwatchers and relaxation. The beautiful gardens are surrounded by many tombs of Lodhi and Sayyid dynasties.
Safdar Jung's Tomb : built by Nawab Shuja-ud Daulah, has high enclosure walls, gardens, fountain and central domed mausoleum.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah : situated at the east of Lodhi Road, is a shrine built in memory of Sheikh Nizamuddin Aulia, a Chishti saint in 1325.
Akshardham : Swaminarayan Akshardham is constructed on the basis of ancient Indian architecture, craftsmanship, spiritual values, "vastu shastra" and grandeur. Akshardham means the abode of divine Almighty. In this sense, it is home of virtues and values of God as defined in immortalHindu scriptures like the Vedas and Upanishads. The gigantic structure of the temple isconstructed with red sandstone and white marble that is 141 feet high, 316 feetwide and 370 feet long with 234 ornate pillars, spread over 100 acres, over20,000 sculptures and statues of deities, eleven 72-foot-high huge domes (mandapams) and decorative arches. A double-storied parikrama of red sandstone encirclesthe monuments like a necklace with over 155 small domes and 1,160 pillars. Thewhole monument rises on the shoulders of 148 huge elephants with 11-feet tall panchdhatu statue of Swaminarayan presiding over the structure.
QUTAB MINAR : 73 metre high five-storeyed glorious tower of victory, was constructed by Qutaub-ud-din-aibak in 1193 and completed by Iltutmish in 1236 which salutes the air passengers who come to Delhi. It was constructed to serve as the minaret attached to the Might of Islam Mosque and considered to be one among the tallest towers in the world.
QUWWAT-UL ISLAM MOSQUE : situated to the northwest of Qutab Minar, is having a 4th century rust-free iron pillar, which is a true specimen of purity in iron(98%).
ALAI MINAR WITH ALAI DARWAZA : 26 metre high minaret situated to the north of Qutab Minar, was built by Ala-ud-din-Khalji for surpassing the tower of Qutaub.
ILTUTMISH'S TOMB : the first surviving tomb of a Muslim ruler in India built in 1235, is a Indo Islamic building of which west wall attached with three mehrabs indicate the direction of Mecca.
TUGHLUQABAD : located 7 kms east from Qutab Minar on left to Mehrauli Road, was built by Ghiyas'ud-din Tughluq seemed to be established foolishly far off from water reservoir. Now, the ruins of this fort are home of Gujjar community, monkeys and peacocks, which shows a curse of Hazrat Saheb upon the Tughluq.