Destinations of India
Things To Do
New Delhi, the vibrant capital of India
There is famous saying that goes…One who knows Delhi is a loser and one who doesn't know Delhi is also a loser. Which is very true. Because, a person who has known Delhi finds it very difficult to adjust and accept any other place while a person who has not known Delhi at all is simply missing out all the fun that Delhi has to offer. Actually, Delhi is a small mirror that reflects India. Over the millennia, the capital of the world's largest democracy has wooed rulers who just could not resist its charm. The best way to know about the glorious heritage of Delhi is to know its monuments, to travel through time back into centuries of history filled with the rise and fall of dynasties that ruled the land.
Location: Delhi lies in the northern part of India, it is the capital of India.
The Qutab Minar is located in a small village called Mehrauli in South Delhi. It was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty, who took possession of Delhi in 1206. It is a red sandstone tower, standing tall at a height of 72.5 metres and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the holy Qur'an. Qutub-ud-din Aibak began constructing this victory tower as a sign of Muslim domination of Delhi and as a minaret for the Muslim priest, the muezzin, to call the faithful to prayer.
However, only the first storey was completed by Qutb-ud-din. The other storeys were built by his successor Iltutmish. The two circular storeys in white marble were built by Ferozshah Tughlaq in 1368, replacing the original fourth storey. The projected balconies in the tower are supported by exquisite stalactite designs. The tapering tower has pointed and circular flutings on the first storey and star-shaped on the second and third storeys. The bands of calligraphic inscriptions are amazing in perfection with the exquisite stalactite designs seen on the exterior of this tower.
Humayun's Tomb was built nine years after Humayun's death by his wife Haji Begum. Designed by a Persian architect named Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, and completed in 1565, the edifice was a trendsetter of it's time. It is said that all later Mughal monuments, including the Taj Mahal, followed its design.
Situated in Old Delhi, where the lanes are narrow and always filled with people, Red Fort stands tall and proud-a great witness to history, a mute spectator of the present. The decision for constructing the fort was taken in 1639, when Shahjahan decided to shift his capital to Delhi. Within eight years, Shahjahanabad was completed with the Red Fort-Qila-i-Mubarak (fortunate citadel)-Delhi's seventh fort, ready in all its magnificence to receive the Emperor. Though much has changed now because of large-scale demolitions during the British occupation of the fort, its important structures have survived, though the glory has faded with age but it still looks impressive.
The Purana Quila is a good example of medieval military architecture. Built by Humayun, the Purana Quila is a monument of bold design, which is strong, straightforward and every inch a fortress. It is different from the well-planned, carefully decorated, and palatial forts of the later Mughal rulers. Purana Quila is also different from the later forts of the Mughals, as it does not have a complex of palaces, administrative and recreational buildings, as is generally found in the forts built later on. The main purpose of this, now-dilapidated fort was its utility, with less emphasis on decoration.
Baha'i Temple (Lotus Temple)
The Baha'i Temple, situated in South Delhi, is shaped like a lotus. Built by the Baha'i community, it offers the visitor a serenity that pervades the temple and its artistic design.
Rashtrapati Bhawan is architecturally a very impressive building, with the India Gate opposite it. This stretch called the Rajpath is where the Republic Day parade is held. The imposing plan of this area conceived by Lutyens attracts lots of tourists as well as the residents of Delhi who make it a point to visit the place often.
India Gate is a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war. The green, velvety lawns at India Gate, particularly, are a popular evening and holiday rendezvous for young and old alike, who come packed in cars and enjoy a picnic-dinner in the lawns while children enjoy boating and playing around the place.
How to reach Delhi
By air : Delhi is conveniently connected to all the major cities of the world. Delhi has two airports catering to domestic and international flights, located 4½ km apart in Palam. The international airport (known as Indira Gandhi International Airport) is situated 20 km from the city center. Taxis and coaches are available. The booking offices are mostly situated in and around Connaught Place.
By Rail : Delhi is connected to almost all the cities in the country by super-fast and express trains. The city has three major railway stations at New Delhi, Old Delhi, and Nizamuddin. Luxury trains like the Palace-on-Wheels, Fairy Queen, and Royal Orient Express can be taken from Delhi Cantonment railway station. Rajdhani Express trains connect Delhi from the state capitals. Shatabdi Express trains connect Delhi to the neighboring cities.
By Road : New Delhi is connected to all the major cities of the northern India through road. Buses can be taken from the inter-state bus terminals at Kashmere Gate, Anand Vihar, and Sarai Kale Khan.
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