Places to Visit in Delhi


Places to Visit


Lotus Temple
The grand "Lotus Temple" is termed by many as the Taj of modern India. Its distinctive lotus shaped marvel in marble is surrounded by a landscaped garden and is a symbol of peace. It is a very recent architectural marvel of the Bahai faith. It was completed in 1986.

It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It reaches a height of more than 40m. One can see 27 giant white petals of marble in a lotus shape, springing from nine pools and walkways indicative of the nine unifying spiritual paths of the Bahai's faith. The Bahai's lay great emphasis on prayer and meditation. They believe that these are important instruments for the progress of the human soul, both in this world and the next. The Bahai's pray to one God, the Creator of the Universe. The act of praying is described as 'Conversation with God' and meditation is perceived as the 'Key for opening the doors of mysteries'. In that state, man withdraws himself from all outside objects and immerses himself in the ocean of spiritual life.

In the Bahai's Holy Writings there are prayers for all occasions and can be offered individually or collectively. A great importance is given to prayers as is revealed in all the scriptures. The Bahai's Writings specify that the mere act of praying is not sufficient, instead the inspiration drawn from one's prayers must be translated into action and that promotes the well being of humanity.
 
The Red Fort
The Red Fort, with a circumference of over 2.2 kilometers, was laid out by the banks of the Yamuna river in the 17th century. The Mughal emperor Shajahan built it with the ambition of concentrating the Mughal power in one monument. Monument is perhaps not the right word. A mini-city is more like it.

Unfortunately for the emperor, before he could move his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad in Delhi, he was taken a political prisoner by his son Aurangzeb. The fort is a delight to one's imagination. Imagine the Naqqar Khana (Drum room) also called Naubat Khana (Welcome Room), where once drums loudly heralded the arrival of the emperor and the Diwan-e-Am (Hall of Public Audience) resounded with the incantations of the people. Amazing, isn't it? There's more to see - Mumtaz Mahal, Rang Mahal (Palace of Colours), Khas Mahal (Emperor's Palace), Diwan-e Khas (Hall of Private Audience), the Hamm am (bathing area) and Shah Burj. The fort has two main entrances - Delhi Gate and Lahore Gate. The latter get its name from the fact that it faces Lahore in Pakistan. It's entrance leads to Delhi's most crowded bazaar, Chandni Chowk. A must see!
 
Purana Quila
In 1538, the Mughal emperor Humayun laid the foundations of his city named Dinpanah, or the Refuge of the Faithful. The inner citadel of this city is today called Purana Qila or the Old Humayun Tomb Tour Delhi !!!Fort. An old fort, it is! One can almost smell the ancient stories oozing from the corners of the fort. The site of the fort was also Indraprasta, the capital of the famed warriors of the Mahabharata, the Pandavas. Excavations near the eastern wall of the fort reveal that the site had been occupied since 1000 B.C.
 Archaeologists found painted grey ware pottery and other remains, which date back to the Mahabharata. The Purana Qila has three gates - Humayun Darwaza, Talaqi Darwaza and Bara Darwaza. The present entrance is the Bara Darwaza, animposing red sandstone gate on the western wall. Inside the Purana Qila is the Sher Mandal, a two-storied octagonal pavilion in red sandstone, built by Sher Shah. Humayun used it as a library after he captured the fort. However,the Mandal is tragic, since it was here where the emperor is said to have tripped on its tortuous stairs and tumbled to his death in 1556.
 
Qutub Minar
The highest stone tower in India, the Qutub Minar was built by Qutbuddin Aibak,the viceroy of Mohammed Ghori in 1192. It was built to celebrate Ghori's victory over the Rajputs. The tower and the victory are very significant,because both her alded the birth of a new dynasty - Slave Dynasty. And it laid the foundations of the Delhi Sultanate. And the rest, as one would put it after witnessing this monumental tower, was history. The Minar is a five-storey building with a height of 72.5 metres. The first storey of the Qutb Minar was completed in the life time of Qutbudd in. Hisson-in-law and successor, Iltumush, added the next three storeys.

Within the complex, is the famous Iron Pillar which has stood for millennia without rusting, Quwwat-ul-Islam, the first mosque built in India, and the Alai Darwaza, the gateway to the complex erected by Alauddin Khilji. The entry to the Minar has been closed, after the tower became infamous for the several suicides that were committed here.

Qutb Minar is a successful tribute to architecture, as it captures one'sattention by its sheer mass appeal. Even on close encounter, the attentionlingers, owing to the delicate and almost ethereal carvings.
 
Iron Pillar
The 7.2 metre high pillar, standing with in the Qutb Minar complex, is a proof of India's advanced knowledge of metallurgy 2000 years ago. For it continues tostand, even today, rust-free. The pillar was erected sometime between the 4th and 5th century AD as a Dhavaja-stambha (flagpole) of a Vishnu temple.

It was erected in memory of King Chandragupta Vikramamditya who ruled from 375 to 413 AD. The Sanskrit inscriptions on the pillar record these facts.Unbelievable, considering today, even the spoons in our kitchens cannot guarantee this kind of an immortality after centuries of scientific progress! Another thing one has to do after laying one's sight on this pillar is, to go and give it a bear hug. Besides the metallurgic excellence,it is believed that hugging the pillar will make all of one's wishes cometrue. So… go, see and hug!
 
India Gate
This solemn monument was built in memory of the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in World War I. It was built in 1931, designed by Lutyens, and was originally called the All India War Memorial. The names of the soldiers areinscribed on the walls of the arc of the gate. Later in 1971, an eternal flame was lit here in memory of the unknown soldiers who died in the 1971Indo-Pakistan war. India Gate stands at the end of Rajpath, and is a popular picnic site especially during hot summer evenings. At night, the Gate is brightly lit and the fountains near the Gate are lit with coloured lights.The sight is delightful.
 
Rashtrapati Bhavan
 The house that houses the President of India and the house that boasts of having welcomed the most powerful men in history.The Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens and built in 1931, tobe the central point of the British power in Delhi. Originally called the Viceroy's House, the Rashtrapati Bhavan covers an area of 4.5 acres of land. It has 340 rooms, 37 salons, 74 lobbies and loggias, 18 staircases and 37fountains.

The most magnificent room in the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the Durbar Hall, which lies directly beneath the main dome. All important Indian State and Official ceremonies are held here. To the west, is the famous and beautifully landscaped Mughal Gardens, designed after the terraced gardens the Mughals built in Kashmir. The garden is famous as the 'Butterfly Garden'for the numerous butterflies that visit the varied flowers. The garden is open to the public in February.
 
Teen Murti Bhavan
TheTeen Murti Bhavan housed the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. It was designed by Robert Tor Russel, the architect of Connaught Place, and the Eastern and Western Courts on Janpath. The Bhavan was originally the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in India. However, after independence the house was taken over as the residence of Jawaharlal Nehru. And on his death, the house was converted into a national memorial comprising a library and a museum. The library is one of the finest ones for information on modern Indian history. The house gets its name after the Teen Murti (three statues) Memorial, which stands on its extensive grounds. The memorial was built in memory of the Indian soldiers who perished in World War I. The Bhavan is closed to public on Mondays and on all public holidays.
 
Rajghat
4 km away from Janpath to the N-East of Feroz Shah near Delhi Gate at Ring Rd on the bank Raj Ghat Delhi !!!of Jamuna situated Rajghat. Jawaharlal Nehru Rd also ends opp. Rajghat. On 31st Jan. 1948, Mahatma Gandhi's last rites was performed here. The memorial stone of Gandhi is square in shape made of black stone. His last ward- 'HeyRam' is inscribed on it. Ordinary people, VIPs, foreign tourists all come here at Rajghat to pay their homage to him. On every Friday (the day of his death) a prayer is being held. Except Monday, a regular feature ofprojecting Gandhi philosophy in picture, sculpture and photos from 10-00 to17-00 is being performed at Rajghat. Besides, there is Gandhi Memorial Museum projecting his life and the philosophy of Sarvodaya Movement in film from 9-30 to 17-30 except Thursday and on Sunday at 16-00 in Hindi and 17-00 in English. Another Gandhi memorial is Gandhi Balidansthal or assassinated spot at Tis January Marg of the city. On 30 Jan. 1948 on his way to prayerat Biral Bhawan , he was assassinated by bullets. Hence, this memorial.

Copyright © IFC

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