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Location: North India. Famous As: The Capital of India & its Administrative Center English, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi. Delhi is no fairytale city but a city where dreams come to reality. Its strategic location was one of the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. Delhi is truly a symbol of the old and the new; a blend of ancient well preserved monuments and temples along with jam-packed burger joints and up market shopping malls. The city is lushed with a plethora of temples, forts, mosques as well as parks, gardens and beautiful colonial mansions. Delhi may seem daunting to a first time visitor but as a national capital and the gateway to the North, it is a must visit city on any travelers itinerary. Impressive museums and interesting nightlife, Delhi has a lot to offer for everyone.
The Origin: The earliest reference to a settlement at Delhi is found in the epic Mahabharata, which mentions a city called Indraprastha, built about 1400 BC under the direction of 'Yudhistra', a 'Pandava' king, on a huge mound somewhere between the sites where the historic Old Fort and Humayun's Tomb were later to be located. Although nothing remains of Indraprastha, according to legend it was a thriving city. The first reference to the place-name Delhi seems to have been made in the 1st century BC, when Raja Dhilu built a city near the site of the future Qutub Minar and named it after him. A Conglomerate of Seven Cities: One of the most fascinating aspects of Delhi is the visibility of its historic past. Some of the large portions of the city could be well earmarked as archeological parks because the rulers of successive dynasties between the 13th and the 17th centuries established seven cities in different parts of Delhi. A chronological review of these cities fortunately also serves as suitable itinerary for tourists and highlights the important monuments amongst the 1300's. Delhi's History goes much further back in time than the 13th century. Anagpal Tomar who is said to have built LAL KOT, which is the first known regular defence work in Delhi, created the core of the first of the seven cities. The Chauhan Rajput's later captured Delhi from the Tomars. Prithviraj III, also known as Rai Pithora, extended Lal Kot, adding massive ramparts and gates and made Quila Rai Pithora the first city of Delhi. Today only, the ramparts are visible near the Qutub Minar, though the city is known to have had several Hindu and Jain temples. Soon afterwards, in two successive battles of Tarain 1191, the Rajputs first managed to hold off an invading force from Afghanistan, led by Muhammad Ghuri but surrendered a few months later. Unlike other invaders of Central Asia who swept into the northern plains, Muhammad Ghuri came to stay and not only plunder. After Ghuri's assassination in 1206, his provinces, forts and monuments were kept intact in the hands of his Turkish general, Qutub-ud-din-Aibak. Qutub-ud-din was the founder of the Slave or Mamulak dynasty also known as Delhi Sultanate and became the first Muslim ruler of Delhi. He also raised the construction of Qutub Minar. His successor, Iltutmish, was arguably the greatest of the early Delhi Sultans. The Slave Dynasty (1211-1227) was followed by the Khalji dynasty (1296-1316) and during the rule of Ala-ud-din Khalji, the second city of Delhi was built - "SIRI". Today Sir is situated where the Siri Fort and the modern day Asiad Village Complex are located. The third city of Delhi TUGHLUQABAD was founded by the Tughluq dynasty soon after in 1320 AD but very little remains of this can be seen in present day Delhi. The fourth city of Delhi - JAHANPANAH was
built between Lal Kot and Siri in 1327 AD. The next Sultan Firoz Shah built the fifth city of Delhi FIROZABAD in 1354 AD. The Central Asian Turk-Timur, who was later succeeded by the Sayyid dynasty, followed the Tughlaq’s. The Lodi dynasty soon followed and the only interesting architectural features added by them were the tombs, the best of which may be seen at the Lodi Gardens. The famous battle of Panipat fought in 1526 AD marked the beginning of Mughal rule in India, a period in history that was very significant. Babur and Humayun were the early Mughal rulers followed by a 15-year break in Mughal rule when Sher Shah Suri an Afghan king ruled over Delhi. He built the fort DIN-PANAH - the 6th city on the banks of the Yamuna, which in present day Delhi is known as the Purana Qila. When Emperor Akbar took over, the capital was shifted to Agra. However in 1628 AD, Delhi was once again made the capital of the Mughal Empire under Emperor Shah Jahan. In Shah Jahan's rule, Delhi witnessed the construction of some of the finest pieces of Mughal architecture. There was the new walled capital of SHAHJAHANBAD - the 7th city of Delhi, which is now Old Delhi with the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid. The Colonial Era: For the next many decades, Delhi witnessed tumultuous times, different rulers and dynasties and finally in 1803 AD, the British who had already established their presence in India, took over power in Delhi. Delhi was the focal point for the first war of independence in 1857. Though the revolt did not reach its desired conclusion, Delhi became a thorn in the eyes of the British. As the British’s shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi, all the activities during the freedom struggle were directed towards Delhi. Thus, Delhi also bears the marks of the freedom struggle. The ultimate goal of the Azad Hind Fauz during the freedom struggle was to capture Delhi and established Swaraj. The slogan 'Dilli Chalo' is still used by leaders and political parties when they organize any rally or demonstration. It was the hosting of the tricolor at Red Fort in Delhi, which marked a chapter in the history of India. In 1950, Delhi was made the capital of Independent India and in 1992 it was declared a state.
Architecture in Delhi
Delhi comprises of some of the most exquisite examples of architectural splendors. The conquest of Muslims made an effective and distinct impact on the indigenous manifestations of life and culture, which also gave rise among other expressions of art, a new style in architecture. This new style incorporated certain new modes and principles of construction, beautifully reflecting the religious and social needs of the adherents of Islam. The systematically planned architecture of the British brought with them a colonial trend of having gardens and lawns within the premises, creating a natural ambience around a building.
POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN DELHI
MONUMENTS & FORTS
Architecture: Mughal Architecture Designed By: Misak Mirza Ghiyas Built By: Humayun's Wife Haji Begum The Garden Tomb: Humayun's tomb lies on the Mathura road near its crossing with the Lodi Road. High rubble-built walls enclose here a square garden divided initially into four large squares separated by causeways and channels, each square divided again into smaller squares by pathways ('Chaharbagh') as in a typical Mughal garden. The lofty mausoleum is located in the center of the enclosure and rises from a podium faced with series of cells with arched openings. Octagonal chambers at the diagonals and arched lobbies on the sides encompass the central octagonal chamber containing the cenotaph; their openings closed with perforated screens. Three emphatic arches dominate each side, the central one being the highest. This plan is repeated on the second storey, and a 42.5m high double dome of marble surmounts the roof with
pillared kiosks ('chhatris') placed around it. The structure is built with red sandstone, but white and black marble has been used to relieve the monotony, the latter largely in the borders. Haveli Of Hakeem Ashanullah Khan: The haveli of Hakeem Ashanullah Khan, personal physician of the emperor Bahdur Shah Zafar, was a fortress for those who were able to hide themselves here in the 'ghadar'- the Sepoy Mutiny time. The mansion almost covers 2,000square-yards and appears to be a mohalla itself. It was because of the orders of the Hakeem that Ghalib was given the scholarship to write the history of the Mughal dynasty. Immediately after the Mutiny, British confiscated the house of the Hakeem. It was soon returned too, but not before it was stripped of the old chandeliers and lamps True Mughal Architecture: The tomb was built by Humayun's senior widow Bega Begam, popularly known as Haji Begam, nine years after his death in 1565 according to some, but fourteen years according to the manuscript of an 18th century text. It is the first substantial example of the Mughal architecture, with high arches and double dome, which occurs here for the first time in India. Although some tombs had already been sited within gardens, it is also the first mature example of the idea of garden-tomb, which culminated in the Taj-Mahal at Agra. The enclosure is entered through two lofty double-storeyed gateways, one on the west and the other on the south, the latter now remaining closed. A 'baradari' (pavilion) occupies the centre of the eastern wall of the enclosure and a bath-chamber that of the northern wall. Homage to the Royal Dynasty: Several rulers of the Mughal dynasty lie buried in the mausoleum, although it is not possible to identify their graves. Among those lying buried here are Bega Begam, Hamida Banu Begam - Humayun's junior wife, Dara Shikoh - Shah Jahan's son, and the later Mughals, Jalandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar, Rafi'u'd-Darajat, Rafi'u'd-Daula and 'Alamgir II, Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperor of Delhi had taken shelter in this tomb with the three princes during the mutiny and was captured here in 1857 by Lieutenant Hodson.
Famous As: All India War Memorials Designed By: Edwin Lutyens In 1921 Height: 42m At the center of New Delhi stands the 42m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like Archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart war memorial. It commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the First World War and bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. The foundation stone was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later, after India got its independence. It is in the form of a flame that burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971. The entire arch stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge molding, beneath, which are inscribed Imperial sons. Above on both sides is inscribed INDIA, flanked by MCM and to the right, XIX. The shallow domed bowl at the top was intended to be filled with burning oil on anniversaries but this is rarely done. Surrounding the imposing structure is a large expanse of lush green lawns, which is a popular picnic spot. One can see hoards of people moving about the brightly lit area and on the lawns on summer evenings.
Location: Near Connaught Place, New Delhi Built In: 1724 Built By: Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur Famous As: Astronomical Observatory A unique structure raised in 1724, now lies in the heart of Delhi's commercial centre near Connaught place. This is the Jantar Mantar, one of several astronomical observatories raised by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur.
The various abstract structures within the Jantar Mantar are, in fact, instruments that were used for keeping track of celestial bodies. Yet, Jantar Mantar is not only a timekeeper of celestial bodies, it also tells a lot about the technological achievements under the Rajput kings and their attempt to resolve the mysteries regarding astronomy. The Jantar Mantra of Delhi is only one of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh II, the other four being located at Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura. All of these were built as far back as AD 1724-1730 during the period generally known as the dark age of Indian history, when the last great Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had died and the Mughal Empire was rapidly declining. During this period of turmoil, Muhammad Shah ascended the throne of the Mughal Empire. As many enemies surrounded him, he sought the alliance of the Hindu rulers. Of these, the most notable was Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber, who came into limelight since the days of Aurangzeb. When Jai Singh ascended the throne of Amber in 1699, he was barely eleven, but sharp and shrewd far beyond his years. The then Mughal emperor Aurangzeb was so impressed with the young ruler that he gave Jai Singh II the title of 'Sawai', meaning one and a quarter of an average man in worth. As Jai Singh repeatedly proved himself a worthy ally of the Mughals, Muhammad Shah, who was seeking a dependable ally, zeroed in on Jai Singh and duly raised him to the rank of governor of Agra and later, of Malwa. Legend Behind Jantar Mantar: Jai Singh was passionate about two things-arts and the sciences, chiefly astronomy. Once, at the court of Muhammad Shah, he found the Hindu and Muslim astrologers embroiled in a heated argument over certain planetary positions. It was imperative that the positions be known accurately to determine an auspicious hour for the emperor to set out on an expedition. Jai Singh offered to rectify the then available astronomical tables, an offer that was readily accepted by the Mughal emperor. The result was an onsite Jantar Mantar in Delhi, an astronomical observatory where the movements of sun, moon and planets could be observed. Jai Singh's idea was to create a rebirth of practical astronomy among the Indian masses and practicing astronomers. However, the lofty ideals of the Jantar Mantar remained unfulfilled as the country at that time was in chaos and the full potential of this observatory was never realized. In the beginning, Jai Singh tried to use brass instruments in this observatory, but soon gave them up because of several inherent flaws. They were too small; for one thing, their axes were unstable so the center often got displaced. He then decided to follow the style adopted by the renowned Arab astronomer, Prince Ulugh Beg, builder of the famous 15th century observatory at Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The massive masonry instruments at Samarkand suited Jai Singh's architectural tastes and promised to be more accurate because of sheer size. In 1730, Jai Singh sent a mission to the king of Lisbon. On its return to Jaipur, the mission brought back a telescope and the court astronomer by the name of Xavier de Silva.
PURANA QILA (OLD FORT)
Historical Names: Dinpanah & Shergarh Built By: Humayun Built Between: 1538-1545 The Purana-Qila (Purana-Qal's) occupies the ancient mound, which conceals perhaps the ruins of the city of Indraprastha of Mahabharata story. Sher Shah Suri demolished the city of Dinpanah built by Humayun and on the same site raised this citadel. It is irregularly oblong on plan, with bastions on the corners and in the Western Wall. Its ramparts cover a perimeter of nearly 2-km.and has three main gates on the north, south and west, the last one functioning as the entrance now. The gates are double storeyed, built with red sandstone and surmounted by chhatris. On the inside, against the enclosure wall run cells in two-bay depth. Among the three main gates, the northern one is called the 'Talaqi-Darwaza' or the forbidden gate. Why and when the entrance through it was forbidden is not known. Above the oriel windows on its front are carved marble leogryphs engaged in combat with a man. The exterior of the gate was originally decorated with colored tiles, and the rooms with incised plasterwork. Legend Of Old Fort: It is believed that Sher Shah left the Purana-Qila unfinished, and Humayun completed it. Among the scribblings in ink that existed in a recess of the gate, there was a mention of Humayun, and it is possible, therefore, that if the gate was not constructed by
Humayun, it was at least repaired by him. In the southern gate, which is called the HumayunDarwaza, there existed a similar inscription in ink mentioning Sher Shah and the date 950 A.H. (1543-44). Purana-Qila originally lay on the bank of the Yamuna. The general depression on the northern and western sides of the fortress suggests that a wide moat connected with the river existed on these sides, which were approached through a causeway connecting the fortress with the main land. Excavated Site: In 1955, in some trial trenches sunk in the southeastern portion of the PuranaQila, pieces of the Painted Grey Ware turned up, apart from relics and remains of later period. Since this characteristic ware had been noticed earlier at several sites associated with the story of the Mahabharata and had been dated to around 1,000 BC, it's occurrence here seems to support the tradition of Purana-Qila being the site of Indraprastha, capital of the Pandavas, heroes of the epic Mahabharata. Discovering Ancient Remnants: Excavations were resumed here in 1969 along the flanks of the passage leading to the Water Gate in the eastern wall and continued till 1973. A settlement of the Painted Grey Ware people has not been located, but a continuous stratification from the Mauryan to early Mughal period has certainly emerged. Pieces of the Painted Grey Ware occur, however, sporadically but among later deposits. Evidence of the Mauryan Period (c.300 BC) is provided by the existence of the Northern Black Polished Ware, a fine hard earthen pottery with a glossy surface, punch-marked coins, human and animal terracotta figurines and inscribed terracotta seals. Soak-wells lined with terracotta rings and burnt bricks have also been found, although most of the dwellings were made of mud bricks or wattle and daub sometimes reinforced with wooden posts. The Northern Black Polished Ware continued during the Sunga Period (c.200 - 100 BC) along with plain red pottery. The houses were largely built of local rubble or of mud bricks over rubble foundations. Tamped earth or mud bricks made up the floors. Small terracotta plaques modeling semi-divine beings (‘yaksas and yaksis’) represent the characteristic art of this period, reflecting the religious beliefs of people. Uninscribed cast coins of the Mathura kings and terracotta sealing also occur in these levels. Stamped decoration marks the red earthenware of the next Saka-Kushan Period (c.100 BC - AD 300). Firm evidence of the chronology of this period is provided by the copper currency of the Yaudheyas and Kushans. The increasing use of burnt brick appears now to lend an urban look to the settlement. Surprisingly, in the levels of the succeeding Gupta Period (c.400-600) the houses that have been encountered are built of brickbats. A gold-plated coin with the figure of an archer on the obverse and the legend Sri-Vikrama on the reverse leaves no doubt that it belongs to one of the Gupta rulers. Inscribed sealing and beautifully modeled human figurines are other characteristic objects of this period. A coarse red earthenware, terracotta figurines and pieces of fine but damaged stone sculpture indicate the occupation of the site during the Post-Gupta Period (c.700-800). Towards the end of the Rajput Period (c.900-1200) a massive rubble wall was raised to enclose perhaps part of the town, although the houses continued to be built with rubble, brickbats and mud bricks. There was little change in pottery. Coins of ' bull and horseman ' type, including those of Samanta Deva, have also been recovered from these levels. During the succeeding Sultanate rule (1206-1526), rubble and brickbats were used for ordinary houses. But it witnessed the introduction of glazed ware, both of Central Asian affinities and local manufacture. Coins of Balban (1266-1286) and Muhammad Bin Tughluq (1325-1351) have turned up in these levels. Typical and fascinating objects of the early Mughal Period (1526-1556), representing the rule of Babur, Surs and Humayun, came from a refuse dump of discarded broken household objects. These included jars of eggshell-thin grey ware, glazed ware dishes and painted Chinese porcelain, a piece of which bears the Chinese inscription made in the great Ming Dynasty of the Cheng Hua era' (1465-87). On another piece is inscribed a fairy tale in Chinese verse. Other interesting objects comprised glass wine bottles, a gold earring inlaid with emerald and pearls and a coin of 'Adil Shah Sur (1552-53).
Among the few buildings still extant within the Purana-Qila is the 'Qal'a-i-Kuhna-Masjid' (mosque of the Old Fort), built by Sher Shah in 1541. Its prayer-hall measures 51.20m by 14.90m, and is fronted by five openings with horseshoe-shaped arches. Narrow fluted pilasters flank the central arch, higher than the others and framed within a projection. The recessed surface of the arch, through which there is an opening, is beautifully decorated with inlay of marble and other stones and contains a small oriel window at its apex. The two arches on either side are similarly treated but with less of ornamentation. In the arches at the ends plain grey stone is used instead of the red stone. The minhrabs inside the hall are richly decorated with concentric arches, which enhance the scope for ornamentation. The rear-corners rise with double-storeyed towers and oriel windows. From both the ends in the hall staircases lead to a narrow passage on the second storey running right round the rectangular hall. The central Bay of the hall is surmounted by a beautiful dome, with traces of chhatris on either side. In the courtyard originally existed a shallow tank provided with a fountain. This mosque occupies an important position in the development of the mosque, exemplifying the transition from the Lodi to Mughal styles. The façade of five arches, oriel windows and cornertowers at the rear are features, which have developed from the earlier mosques such as the Bara-Gumbad-Masjid, Moth-ki-Masjid and Jamali-Kamali-Masjid. Sher-Mandal: To the south of the Qal'a-i-Kuhna-Masjid is a double-storeyed octagonal tower of red sandstone relived by marble. An octagonal pavilion or chhatri surmounts it. On each of its sides is a recessed arch in the centre. On the second storey the central chamber is cruciform, with recesses on its four sides. The dados of its interior are decorated with glazed tiles, while the upper portion contains incised and painted plasterwork. The purpose of the building is not very certain. Sher Shah as a pleasure resort, but is believed to have been used as a library by Humayun may have built it, from the steps of which he fell down and ultimately met his end. A Sound And Light Show At Purana Qila: This is the story of the city of cities… DELHI; of the site where a great empire rose and fell before the dawn of history; where citadels of emperors appeared and disappeared; a city of mysterious eternity whose old ruins proclaim a majestic and imperial past and whose present pulsates vibrantly with the even flowing life force of India. The eternal Yamuna bears witness to the glorious and tumultuous 5,000-year-old history of Delhi. A history, which begins with the creation of Indraprastha by the Pandavas and the transformation of this barren gift of the Kauravas into an idyllic haven. A history which encompasses the various kings and emperors who fixed their royal citadels here Indraprastha, Lal Kot, Qila Rai Pithora, Siri, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad, Ferozabad, Dinapanah, Delhi Sher Shahi or then Shahjahanabad. But, combined and integrated into one, these 'new cities' have always been called Delhi and howsoever many names it may have acquired, Delhi has always been intrinsically identified with power and imperial sway. The historic Purana Qila, which has stood witness to Delhi's rejuvenation, periods of anarchy, and the rise and fall of empires, is the venue for the spectacular sound and light show which brings alive the history of the capital. Amidst the tranquility of the splendidly panoramic environs of Purana Qila, select episodes from the annals of Delhi's historic and legendary past are brought to life. The viewer is transported centuries back in time to witness Draupadi being reduced to a Dasi (maid servant) of Hastinapur, the gallant Prithviraj Chauhan galloping away with the beauteous Samyogita, Sher Shah Suri being blown to bits by a misfired cannon, the clash of a sword wielded by the legendary Razia Sultan, Humayun tragically tumbling down the steps of his library and Bahadur Shah Zafar surrendering to the British. These and many more such episodes out of Delhi's 5,000-year-old saga can be relived during this evocative 62-minute Son et Lumiere. Advanced technology has made it possible to add special effects, which combine with the unique ambience to make this show a hauntingly unforgettable experience.
The Lake and Zoo: Close to the Old Fort is a lake, which has paddle-boating facility. This lake is surrounded by a garden with rows of trees and flower plants. Inside the fort too there is well grafted and maintained lawns, which add to the greenery in the fort. Delhi's Zoological Park is adjacent to the Purana Qila. Bhairon Mandir: Among other buildings outside the Purana Qila are two Hindu temples, which are dedicated to Bhaironji, an incarnation of Shiva, and the destroyer of the Hindu trinity of Gods. There is a story around that the temple or at least its core dates back to the time of Indraprastha. Conclusion can be derived that the basis of the temple might be of that era, even though the building itself is not much old. The most amazing factor of this temple is that the reigning deity of this temple is not offered milk as is usual in Shiva temples, instead its given alcohol. There is, however, a regular temple here too called the "Dhudhiya Bhairon", where one can offer milk. Khairu's -Manazil-Masjid: In front of the Purana-Qila on the other side of the Mathura road stands the Khairu'1-Manazil-Masjid ('the most auspicious of houses'), a rubble-built structure with five arched openings in its prayer-hall, double-storeyed cloisters and an imposing gateway of red sandstone on the east. The central Bay of the prayer-hall is provided with a dome, the other bays being roofed with vaults. Originally the façade of the prayer-chamber was profusely decorated with enameled tiles and the double-storeyed corridors were used as a madrasa. Over the central arch of the prayer-chamber is an inscription, from which we learn that Maham Anga built it, with the assistance of Shihab-ud-Din Ahmad Khan during the reign of Akbar. The mosque was built in 1561. Maham Anga was one of the wet-nurses of Akbar and held considerable influence over him. Her son, Adham Khan was a nobleman and a general in Akbar's army, whose tomb is described elsewhere. Shihab-ud-Din Ahmad Khan was a relation and friend of Maham Anga and a powerful courtier, who held the position of the governor of Delhi at one time. Sher Shah Gate Or Lal Darwaza: By the side of Khairu'1-Manazil-Masjid to its north lies one of the gates believed to be an entrance to the extensive city of Delhi built by Sher Shah sprawling in front of his citadel of Purana-Qila. The gate is largely built with red sandstone with some use of local grey quartzite in its upper storey, and is, therefore, also known as Lal-Darwaza. Later the arcades from this gate into the city appear to have been provided with series of apartments fronted by a verandah, which were possibly used as shops. Another gate on the periphery of Sher Shah's extensive city is said to be the 'Kabuli' or Khuni-Darwaza.
Location: 15-km South Of New Delhi Houses: Quwwatu'l-Islam Mosque, The Iron Pillar, Alai Minar & Alai Darwaza Architecture: Afghan Architecture Built By: Qutub-Ud-Din-Aibak Historical Construction of A Landmark: In 1199, Qutub-ud-Din raised the Qutub Minar either as a victory tower or as a minaret to the adjacent mosque. From a base of 14.32m it tapers to 2.75m at a height of 72.5m and a valid reason why it took two decades to complete this monument. Its a red sandstone tower covered with beautiful and striking carvings and is inscribed with verses from the holy Quran. Qutub Minar is still the highest stone tower in India as well as one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised and Delhi's recognized landmark. The sultan's successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish, completed it. In 1303, Ala-ud-Din established the second city of Delhi, called Siri, of which nothing remains but the embattlements. He also had dug a vast reservoir, Hauz Khas, to supply water to his city. Contemporary historians describe the Delhi of that time as being the "envy of Baghdad, the rival of Cairo and equal to Constantinople". For the sake of convenience, tourists visiting the Qutub Complex could also see the Tomb of Adham Khan and Zafar Mahal in Mehrauli and the Tomb of Jamali-Kamali behind the Qutub Minar. These however, belong to a later date. The Damage & Restoration: From the Nagari and Persian inscriptions on the Minar, it appears that twice lightning, in 1326 and 1368 damaged it. The first damage occurred during Muhammad Tughluq's reign (1325-51), and was repaired by him apparently in 1332. Feroze Tughluq (1351-
88) attended the second damage. Later in 1503, Sikandar Lodi (1489-1517) also carried out some restoration in the upper storeys. Originally the Minar had only four storeys, faced with red and buff sandstone. The uppermost storey, which was damaged in 1368 during Feroze Tughluq's reign, was replaced by him by two storeys, making free use of marble but leaving the lower portion of the fourth storey built with sandstone in its original condition. The original three storeys are each laid on a different plan, the lowest with alternate angular and circular flutings, the second with round ones and the third with angular ones only, with the same alignment of flutings, however, being carried through them all. Its projecting balconies with stalactite pendentive type of brackets and inspirational decorative bands on different storeys heighten its decorative effect. It has a diameter of 14.32 m at the base and about 2.75 m on the top. With a height of 72.5 m and 379 steps, it is the highest stone tower in India and a perfect example of Minar known to exist anywhere. The Legend of the Qutub: There exists a tradition that Prithviraj, the last Chauhan king of Delhi, for enabling his daughter to behold the sacred, built the Qutub-Minar River Yamuna, from its top as part of her daily worship. A Landmark In Islamic Architecture: The Miner’s entire architecture, however, bespeaks an Islamic origin, with two of its prototypes in brick still existing at Ghazni, although Hindu craftsmen were certainly employed for its construction, as is evident also from certain 'Devanagari' inscriptions on its surface. Sometimes sculptured stones from temples have been found utilized in it. Originally, it was surmounted by a cupola, which fell down during an earthquake and was replaced early in the 19th century with a new cupola in the late Mughal style, by one Major Smith. It looked, however, so incongruous that it was brought down in 1848, and may now be seen on the lawns to the south east of the Minar. Quwwatu'l-Islam Masjid: Just adjacent to the tower is the mosque of Quwwatu'l-Islam Masjid, which can become a bewildering, experience for those who are not familiar with its history. It was supposed to have been built using the materials and masonry of the remains of Hindu Temples and architecture. On one hand there is the beautiful, exceptional Islamic handwriting and brocaded designs. Then there are pillars with clearly pre-Islamic Hindu motifs. The reason is that the pillars were taken from the 27 temples of Qila Rai Pithora, the city of the Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan. This in fact has been recorded by Qutub-ud-Din in his inscriptions, which call it the Jami Masjid (Friday Mosque) in his inscriptions. The mosque was started in 1192 by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty and was finished four years later. The Iron Pillar: In the courtyard of the Quwwatu'l-Islam mosque stands the famous iron pillar, which bears a Sanskrit inscription in Gupta script, paleographical assignable to the 4th century, a date which is also confirmed by the peculiar style of its 'Alameda-capital. The inscription records that the pillar was set up as a standard or dhvaja of god Vishnu on the hill known as 'Vishnupada', in the memory of a mighty king, named 'Chandra', who is now regarded as identical with Chandragupta II (375-413) of the imperial Gupta dynasty. A deep hole on the top of the pillar indicates that an additional member, perhaps an image of 'Garuda', was fitted into it to answer to its description as a standard of Vishnu. The pillar has been brought here evidently from somewhere, else, as no other relics of the 4th century are found at the site. There is a strong bardic tradition that it was brought here wherefrom, nobody knows - by Anangpal, the Tomar king who is credited with the founding of Delhi. A Notable Relic: The base of the pillar is knobby, with small pieces of iron tying it to its foundations, and a lead sheet covers the portion concealed below the present floor-level. The total length of this slightly tapering shaft is 7.20m, of which 93cm is buried below the ground. The metal of the pillar has been found to be almost pure malleable iron. Its portion below the ground shows some signs of rusting, but at a very slow rate. The manufacture of such a massive iron pillar, which has not deteriorated much during sixteen hundred years of its existence, is a standing testimony to the metallurgical skill of ancient Indians. A traditional belief says that any one who can encircle the entire column will have their wish granted. However, it is fenced off from tourists so as to avoid any damage.
Alai Minar: The ambitious rubble Alai Minar was started by Alauddin Khalji but the sultan lived to see it only to the height of 24.5m and no body was ready to complete his over-ambitious project. It was built to match the enlarged Quwwatu'l-Islam Masjid. Today it is used more like an illustration, by parents, that when you get over ambitious, the plans remain unfinished. Alai Darwaza: The southern gateway of the Quwwatu'l-Islam mosque, as extended by Ala-ud-Din Khalji, is known as the Ala-I-Darwaza and among its several inscriptions executed to form an ornamental surface, three mention the date of its erection as 710 A.H. (1311). Alai Darwaza is the first building employing wholly the Islamic principles of accurate construction and geometric ornamentation and also betrays certain 'Saljuqian' characteristics, which had influenced the Khalji architecture. Important among these characteristics are wide and bulging dome with a central knob, pointed horse-shoe-shaped arches and squints and lotus-bud fringes of the arches. The celebrated gateway, built of red sandstone, is 17.2m squares with arched openings on all sides, and is surmounted by a wide but shallow dome on an octagonal base achieved through squints with concentric series of arches. The northern arch is semicircular, while others have a pointed horseshoe shape, with radiating voussoirs laid on the principle of true arch. The underside of the arches is fringed with lotus-bud embellishment, not merely in the openings, but also in the perforated side-windows. Its excellent proportions, profuse geometrical carvings on the interior, inspirational bands of white marble in 'Naskh' characters and other decorative details in red stone make it a very pleasing structure. It has been rightly described as "one of the most treasured gems of Islamic architecture". The Tomb Of Iltutmish: The tomb of Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish, son-in-law and successor of Qutub-ud-Din Aibak, lies to the northwest of the Quwwatu'l Islam mosque. Iltutmish himself built it in about 1235, only five years after the construction of Sultan Ghari's tomb. Yet, it is quite different from the latter and illustrates that phase in the development of Indo-Islamic architecture, when the builder had ceased to depend for material on the demolition of temples, although the arches and semi-domes below the squints were still laid in the indigenous corbelled fashion. A Unique Tomb Structure: Its tomb-chamber with a cenotaph in its center, internally nearly 9msq and faced with red sandstone, was certainly intended to be covered with a dome, as is clear from the squints, which appear for the first time in this building. It is believed that the original dome had fallen and was replaced by Feroze Shah Tughluq, but even this did not survive. The interior on the west is occupied by three 'minhrabs' or prayer niches the central one higher and ornamented with marble, to serve as a place for prayers, while arched entrances pierce the other sides. The tomb is plain on the outside, but is profusely carved on the entrances and in the interior with inscriptions in 'Kufi' and 'Naskh' characters with geometrical and arabesque patterns in saracenic tradition, although several motifs among its carvings are reminiscent of Hindu decoration. To this class belong wheel, bell-and-chain, tassel, lotus and diamond. In view of its lavish ornamentation, Fergusson described it as " one of the richest examples of Hindu art applied to Muhammadan purposes". Ala-Ud-Din's Tomb And College: To the southwest of the Quwwatu'l-Islam mosque lie some rooms and halls in ruins making an L-shaped block. They are believed to represent Ala-ud-Din's tomb and college or madrasa, which was started by him to impart instructions in Islamic theology and scriptures. The central room in the southern wing was perhaps his tomb. The conception of a combined college and tomb appears here in India for the first time and is perhaps inspired by 'Suljuqian' traditions. Tomb of Imam Zamin: The gateway through which the visitor enters the Qutub area is, infect, the entrance to a sarai of the late Mughal period. To the south-east of the 'Alai-I-Darwaza and approached through its eastern gateway is the small attractive tomb of Imam Muhammad Ali, better known as Imam Zamin, who was a native of Turkestan and came to India during the reign of Sikandar Lodi. Surmounted by a dome of sandstone covered with plaster and rising from an octagonal drum, its sides are covered with perforated screens, characteristic of Lodi period.
Apparently Imam Zamin discharged some important duties in connection with the Quwwatu'lIslam mosque. He built his tomb according to an inscription in 944 A.H. (1537-38) and died a year later. Tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan: About 150m southeast of the Qutub Minar is the octagonal tomb of Muhammad Quli Khan, brother of Adham Khan, a general and foster brother of Akbar. Built in the early 17th century, this tomb was used as his residence during the rains by Sir Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, Resident at the Mughal Court. In fact, he also erected certain other structures for his use in a pseudo-Mughal style, which may still be seen in ruins in the neighborhood. Two of his stepped pyramidal towers, known as 'Garhgaj', lie at the rear of the rest house and the canteen. Jogmaya Temple: Within the original Lal-Kot and approached from the Qutub-Mehrauli road is the Jogmaya temple, built over a century ago during the reign of Akbar II (1806-37), at the site reputed to be that of an ancient temple of the yogis, meaning female semi-devine beings, from which Delhi derived the alternate name of Yoginipura. To its north, outside the original Lal-Kot is a tank in ruins, called Anang-Tal, which is said to have been built by Anagpal.
Also known As: Lal Qila Built By: Shah Jahan Completed In: 1648 Ramparts And Gateways: After transferring his capital to Delhi from Agra in 1638 Shah Jahan commenced the construction of Shahjahanabad, and a little later, on the 16th April 1639, he also laid the foundation of his citadel, Lal-Qila (Lal-Qal'a) or Red Fort, known also by other names in contemporary accounts. It was completed after nine years on the 16th April 1648. The entire fort is said to have cost about one crore of rupees, half of it on the palaces. The Red Fort, so called because of the red colour of the stone largely used in it, is octagonal on plan, with two longer sides on the east and west. On the north a bridge with Salimgarh connects the fort. It measures about 900m by 550m, with its rampart walls covering a perimeter of 2.41-km and rising to a height of 33.5m on the town side and 18m along the river. Outside the ramparts runs a moat, originally connected with the river. The places lie along the eastern side of the fort, while two imposing three-storeyed main gateways flanked by semi-octagonal towers and consisting of several apartments are located in the center of the western and southern sides and are known as the Lahori and Delhi Gates respectively. On the outside, the Delhi Gate is flanked by the statues of two elephants renewed in 1903 by Lord Curzon in place of the ones, which had been demolished long ago by Aurangzeb. The main entrance to the fort lies through the Lahori Gate and the palaces are reached through a roofed passage, flanked by arcaded apartments called "Chhatta-Chowk" and now used as shops. The residences of the courtiers and the retinue originally occupied the other portions. ‘Barbicans’ by Aurangzeb provided both the gates later. There exist three other entrances on other sides, now largely closed. The master builders of the Red fort were Hamid and Ahmad, while other officers, who were amply rewarded by the emperor by appointing them to high positions, supervised the construction. The British army and bear scars of vandalistic acts inflicted on them once occupied most of the buildings in the fort. Quite a number of the structures were in bad state and were removed after the Mutiny. Naubat-Or Naqqar-Khana: The Naubat or 'Naqqar-Khana' (drum house) stands at the entrance of the palace area, and was used for playing music five times a day at propitious hours. It was also called "Hathipol", as visitors dismounted from their elephants (hathi) here. Faced with red stone, it is a large three-storeyed building, rectangular on plan. Carved designs on its red stonewalls appear to have been originally painted with gold, while the interior was painted in other colours. Several layers of these paintings can be traced even now in the entrance chamber. The later Mughal kings Jahandar Shah (1712-13) and Farrukhsiyar (1713-19) are said to have been murdered in the Naubat-Khana. The War Memorial Museum is now housed in its upper storey.
The emperor received the general public here and heard their complaints. A marble dais, inlaid with precious stones, stands below the throne and was used by the Prime Minister for receiving the complaints and petitions. At the back of the canopy the wall is faced with beautiful panels inlaid with multicolored stones, representing flowers and birds. These panels are said to have been executed by Austin de Bordeaux, Florentine jeweler. In the central panel on the top is shown the Greek god Orphans with his lute. The panels were much damaged and at one time removed to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but were restored in 1903 at the instance of Lord Curzon. Mumtaz Mahal: There existed originally six main palaces along the riverfront, with the 'Nahr-iBihisht' (stream of paradise) flowing through them. One of these to the north of the MumtazMahal, called 'Chhoti Baithak', has disappeared. The emperor received the general public here and heard their complaints. A marble dais, inlaid with precious stones, stands below the throne and was used by the Prime Minister for receiving the complaints and petitions. At the back of the canopy the wall is faced with beautiful panels inlaid with multicolored stones, representing flowers and birds. These panels are said to have been executed by Austin de Bordeaux, Florentine jeweler. In the central panel on the top is shown the Greek god Orphans with his lute. The panels were much damaged and at one time removed to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but were restored in 1903 at the instance of Lord Curzon. Diwan-I-’ Am The Diwan-I-’ Am (hall of public audience) is the next building reached by the visitor. Originally, it had a courtyard on its front. The hall proper, three bays in depth, originally ornamented with gilded stuccowork and hung with heavy curtains, is raised on arches springing from pillars and has an impressive facade of nine openings of engrained arches. At its back stands a marble canopy or baldachin, covered by its 'Bengal' roof, under which stood the emperor's throne. Hammam: On the north of the Diwan-I-Khas lies the bathroom set or Hammam, consisting of three apartments separated by corridors. The floors and dados of these apartments are built with marble, inlaid with floral patterns of multicolored stones. The two rooms on either side of the present entrance were used. The royal children for their bath believe it. The eastern apartment, with three fountain basins, one of which is reputed to have emitted rose water, was used mainly as the dressing room. There is a basin in the middle of the central room. The western apartment was used for hot or vapors bath, the heating arrangement being fixed in its Western Wall. Moti-Masjid: To the west of the Hammam lies the small mosque, called the Moti-Masjid (pearl mosque), built by Aurangzeb for his personal use. The prayer-hall of the mosque is inlaid with outlines of 'musallas' (small carpets for prayers) in black marble, and it stands at a higher level than the courtyard. Three bulbous domes surmount the hall, originally copper-plated, which appear to be too constricted at the neck. The eastern door is provided with copper-plated leaves. The ladies of the seraglio also used the mosque. Hayat-Bakhsh Garden And The Pavilions: The area north of the Moti-Masjid is occupied by a garden, called the Hayat-Bakhsh-Bagh (life-bestowing garden), divided into squares on the pattern of Mughal gardens with causeways and channels between them. It finds mention in the contemporary accounts, although it’s present layout in new. At the northeastern corner of the garden is a tower, called "Shah-Burj", now domeless, which suffered much during the Mutiny. A similar tower known as Asad-Burj stands on the southeastern corner of the fort. The water for feeding the Nahr-i-Bihisht was apparently lifted up to the ShahBurj from the river and then carried by channels to the various palaces. The present pavilion adjoining the tower on the south was perhaps built during Aurangzeb's reign. In the center of the north wall is a marble cascade sloping into a 'scalloped' basin. Two other marble pavilions in the center of the northern and southern sides of the garden are known as 'Sawan' and 'Bhadon', two principal months of the rainy season, either because they represent those months or were used during those months, but which one is Sawan and Bhadon is not exactly certain. The northern one is provided with a tank with niches for candles in its sides, so that the water cascading over them would create a picturesque effect.
On the elevated strip of land along the eastern wall stood two small marble pavilions, built by Bahadur Shah II, the northern one known as Moti-Mahal and the southern one as Hira-Mahal. The former was removed after the Mutiny; the latter still stands. In the center of the garden is a large tank with a red stone pavilion in its middle, originally connected by a causeway with the garden. It is known as Zafar-Mahal, after the Nom de Plume of Bahadur Shah II, by whom it was built, in about 1842. An Extravaganza Of Song And Light: A "son et lumiere" is presented at the fort every evening, which recreates the magic of events related to the Indian history, particularly those connected with the Red Fort. The show starts after sunset and lasts for an hour. Timing In Hindi, 7pm February-April & September-October, 7.30pm May-August, 6pm NovemberJanuary. In English, 8.30pm February-April & September-October, 9pm May-August, 7.30pm NovemberJanuary.
Location: Near Mehrauli, Delhi Built By: Tughluqabad, Third City of Delhi Architectural Style: 1321-25 Built By: Ghiyath-ud-din Tughluq. The massive strong walls of Tughluqabad, the third city of Delhi, are located east of the Qutab Minar. The citadel frowns down ominously like some Gothic palace all over the Qutub-Badarpur road and seems to prefer its splendid isolation. Making Of Tughluqabad: Ghiyath-ud-din Tughluq built the walled city and the fort with its 13 gateways. Its construction involved a legendary quarrel with the saint Nizam-ud-din. When the Tughluq ruler took the workers whom Nizam-ud-din wanted for work on his shrine the saint cursed the king with the warning that only the Gujjars (shepherds) would inhabit his city. The dispute between the king and the saint did not end with curse and counter-curse. When the king prepared to take vengeance on the saint, Nizam-ud-din calmly told his followers, in a saying that is still current in India today, ' Delhi is a long way off'. Indeed it was for the king was murdered on his way to Delhi in 1325. Earlier, Ghiyath-ud-din had been a general in Ala-ud-din Khalji's army. Once while on the road with Ala-ud-din, Ghiyath-ud-din, on spotting this area, mentioned to the sultan what an ideal setting it seemed to provide for a new city. Upon this the king indulgently replied, that when Ghiyath-ud-din will become the king he should built one. After the death of Ala-ud-din various events conspired to put the general on the throne at last. Then he fulfilled his long-cherished dream, of building Tughluqabad. TUGHLUQABAD FORT: Tughluqabad Fort was situated on high rocky ground an ideal location to withstand enemy attacks. The fort walls were constructed of massive blocks and outside the south wall of the city is an artificial lake with king's tomb in its center. A long causeway connects the tomb to the fort, both of which have walls that slope inwards. The fort is half-hexagonal in shape. The outer walls are built around the outline of the surrounding land adding a formidable strength to the natural barriers. Tughluqabad was built in just four years and got abandoned in 1327. Muhammad-bin-Tughluq, was probably one of those modern freethinking men who did not want to be known by his father's laurels? That's why he chose to make a city of his own called Jahanpanah. With Ghiyath-ud-din Tughluq's death, the city's short-lived glory came to an abrupt end. The fortress of Tughluqabad stands on a rocky hill, 8-km away from the Qutab Minar Complex, on the Qutub-Badarpur Road. Built By Ghiyath-ud-Din Tughluq, it constitutes the third city of Delhi. Roughly octagonal on plan with a perimeter of 6.5-km, its 10 to 15m high rubble built walls are provided with bastions and gates at intervals. On its south did erecting bunds between hills to the east create a vast reservoir? A causeway connected it with Ghiyath-ud-Din's tomb, standing amidst waters, while a wide embankment near its south eastern-corner gave access to the fortress of Adilabad, built a little later opposite on another hill. Tughlaqabad was divided mainly into three portions. To the east of the present entrance from the Qutub-Badarpur road, a rectangular area with high walls and bastions served as the citadel. A
wider area immediately to the west, similarly bounded by rubble walls and bastions, housed the palaces. Beyond this to the north lay the city, now marked by ruins of houses? Streets in the city, some of which can be traced even now, ran in a grid-pattern from gates on one side to those on the opposite side. Inside the citadel-enclosure is a tower known as Bijai-Mandal and remains of several halls, including a long underground passage. Near the embankment connecting it with Adilabad are sluice gates, through which water was controlled for irrigating the fields now.
LAKSHMI NARAYAN MANDIR
Location: West Of Connaught Place, Mandir Marg, and Central Delhi Also known As: Birla Mandir Built In: 1933-1939 Presiding Deity: Lord Vishnu This enchanting temple is located west of Connaught Place and was build by Raja Baldev Das in 1938. The temple is dedicated to the goddess of prosperity and good fortune & is commonly known as the Birla Mandir. It is modern in concept and construction and attracts several devotees and international tourists. The presiding deity here is Lakshmi Narayan, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. The walls of the temple are decorated with various Hindu symbols and quotes from the Gita and the Upanishads. Historical Significance: This temple was built over a six-year period (1933 - 1939) and was inaurgated by Mahatma Gandhi on the condition that people of all castes especially untouchables would be allowed in. It was built in the 20th century by the Birla family of industrialists known for its many other temples in India. Architectural Splendor: Built in Orissan style, the highest tower in the temple reaches a height of 165ft, while the ancillary towers reach 116ft. The Geeta Bhavan, a hall adorned with beautiful paintings depicting scenes from Indian mythology. There is also a temple dedicated to Buddha in this complex with fresco paintings describing his life and work. The entire complex, especially the walls and the upper gallery are full of paintings carried out by artists from Jaipur in Rajasthan. The rear of the temple has been developed as an artificial mountainous landscape with fountains and waterfalls. The festival of Janmashtami is celebrated here with much goodwill and cheer. The exterior is faced with the white marble and red sandstone typical of Delhi's Mughal architecture. The interior court is overlooked by two-storey verandahs on three sides; there are gardens and fountains at the rear. For many foreign tourists, this is the place in India where they are confronted with the incongruous sight of multiple 'swastikas'. The original is meaning of the sign, an ancient Aryan symbol of the striving for perfection, as explained on one wall.
BANGLA SAHIB GURDWARA
Location: Near Gol Dak Khana, New Delhi Founded In: The 8th Sikh Guru, Sri Harkrishan Sahib Ji Historically Significance: Sikh Pilgrimage India Guide Built in the memory of the 8th Sikh Guru Sri Harkishen Sahib, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is one of the important historical Gurdwara in Delhi. The Gurdwara is located next to Gol Dak Khana; on the north of Gurdwara is Baba Kharag Singh Marg while on south is the Ashoka road, near Connaught Place. About The Gurdwara: The large main hall is un-elaborate except for the open central shrine, where a sculpted bronze cupola hangs over a smaller golden dome under which silk sheets are spread out and covered with flowers. This shrine is the scene of constant devotional music, whose ethereal tones are relayed throughout the entire complex. The Gurdwara complex hosts one higher secondary school, which is having all the arrangement for studies, Baba Baghel Singh Museum, a library and a hospital. Gurdwara has also got a trough
that stores the holy water known as 'Amrit' or nectar, which when consumed is believed to cure the diseases of the sick. Gurdwara also has a sarovar or a holy pond, where people take holy dip and pray to the Guru. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee celebrates the birth of Guru Sri Harkrishan Sahib with great reverence. Death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji is also celebrated over here. On the East Side of the main Gurdwara in the complex is the 'Langar' (community kitchen) Hall, where free food is served to all devotees with no distinction of caste, creed or status. As in all Sikh places of worship, visitors of all religions irrespective of their cast, colour or creed is welcome. Visitors can deposit shoes, collect brochures, and enlist the services of a free guide at the information center near the main entrance. To go into the main complex, one need's to cover one's head and wear conservative clothes that cover legs and shoulders. Legend Of Bangla Sahib: Aurangzeb called When Guru Sahib to Delhi on the behest of his brother Ram Rai; he was entertained royally and hosted by Mirza Raja Jai Singh who made arrangements of the Guru's stay at Delhi in his own palace. Diwan Dargah Mull, Bhai Gurditta Ji, Bhai Mati Das Ji and the mother of the Guru Ji had accompanied him. Raja Jai Singh dedicated this palace in the memory of the Guru Sahib, which is today famous as Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. About Bangla Sahib it is also said that sixth Guru Sri Hargobind Sahib after getting released the 52 kings from the Gwalior fort had stayed here on his arrival in Delhi.
Location: Hari Krishna Hill, East Of Kailash, South Delhi Built In: 1998 Dedicated To: Lord Krishna Built By: Hare-Rama-Krishna Cult Followers A Complex Of Elegant Temple Architecture: Built in 1998, the temple complex of Isckon stands at Hari Krishna Hill, Sant Nagar Main Road, East of Kailash. The magnificent temple has 'Shikharas' at a height of 90-feet above the ground level. The hall of the temple is centrally airconditioned with a capacity to accommodate about 1,500 people. There are beautiful paintings of Russian artists on the different past times of Radha Krishna, Sita, Ram, Laxman, Hanuman and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Special programs like kirtan, aarti, pravachan and prasadam are held every Sunday between noons to 3.00pm. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and was built by the Hare-Rama Hare-Krishna cult followers. This complex is elegantly built and is one of the largest temple complexes in India. Currently the main attraction of the temple is the Robot who enacts and preaches the Gita. Timing: The temple remains open in the morning from 4.30am to 12.00pm and then in the evening from 4.00pm to 9.00pm.
Location: Old Delhi Built By: Shah Jahan Built Between: 1644-1656 Capacity: 25,000 People India Guide Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India and the final architectural extravagance of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It's also known as 'Masjid-I-Jahan Numa', 'Jahan' means 'World' and Numa means 'Visible'. It is situated some quarter of a mile from the Red Fort. It was designed as Emperor Shahjahan's principal mosque. The sprawling esplanade, which separates it from the arterial road, is a fascinating leisure ground. A Religious Masterpiece: The construction work continued for six years, ending in 1644. The structure was placed on a high platform so that its magnificent facade would be visible from all the adjoining areas. It's an austere, yet, a beautiful building. Just like other buildings of Shahjahanabad, this one was also built with red sandstone. White marble has also been used extensively, specially in the three domes and has been inlaid with stripes of black. The pulpit is one of its best features, being carved out of a single block of marble. Built by a workforce of 5,000 people, the mosque's three gateways, four towers and two minarets are testimony to the fine architecture of that period. The slender minarets grace the facade, one on
each side, rising to a height of 130-feet. The eastern gate was reserved for the Emperor when he used to arrive here every Friday and on Id. A stadium like courtyard greets the visitors as they enter this mosque in the Old Delhi area. Wide staircases and arched gateways are the hallmark of this popular mosque. There is a small shrine within that houses the relic of the Prophet as well as the Holy Koran. Its courtyard has a capacity to hold nearly 25,000 worshippers and is also open to the general public. The Mosque was based on the plan and design of Ostad Khalil, the then great Sculptor. Emperor Shahjahan built Jama Masjid at the cost of Rs 10 crore and it can be called as the replica of Moti Masjid in Agra. The premises of the South Minar are 1076-sq-ft wide where 25,000 devotees at a time may sit together for namaz. The Masjid also comprise of a great treasure that has been kept in the northeast corner of the white shrine- a hair of the beard of Hazrat Mahmmad, his used chappal, a chapter of Koran taken from its original holy book, the canopy of his tombstone and the foot print of Muhammad on the stone. Main Imam: The main imam of this Jama Masjid is the direct descendent of the original and first Imam appointed by Emperor Shahjahan and till now there is no break in its despondency. People of other religions are not allowed in between 12-30-2-00pm. One is allowed to enter the mosque bare-footed, head covered and wearing lungi, - these are the norms visitors have to follow and are available on payment. For taking photographs one has to buy tickets first.
Location: Atop Kalkaji Hill, 12-km Southeast of Connaught Place, New Delhi Also Known As: Baha'i Temple Completed In: 1986 Timing daily: April to September; October to March From 9.30am to 5.30pm. Baha`i Temple is known as one of the most beautiful architectural temples in India. Popularly called Lotus Temple as it is built in the shape of a Lotus flower and reaches a height of more than 40m. It was completed in 1986 and one can enjoy its exquisite beauty even from a kilometer distance, at night. An Architectural Grandeur: This grand temple is termed by many as the Taj of modern India. It belongs to the Baha`i sect and is now a significant landmark of Delhi. The structure is made of pure white marble in the shape of a half-opened lotus and is surrounded by delicately manicured lawns. This architectural wonder is made of a combination of marble, cement, sand and dolomite. 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 Baha'i faith. People of any faith can enter this temple to offer their prayers. The Uniqueness Of Baha`i Faith: The Baha'i House of Worship is dedicated to the oneness of all religions and mankind. Its doors are open to people of all faiths, races and cultural backgrounds. Subsidiary buildings that afford relief to the suffering, sustenance to the poor, shelter to the traveler solace to the deprived and education to the ignorant will abound around the House of Worship. There are no clergymen in the Baha'i Faith and its service consists of prayers and readings of selections from Baha'i scriptures. The Baha`i religion is an independent one and not a sect of any other religion's manifestation. The Baha`is lay great emphasis on prayer and meditation. These, they believe are important instruments for the progress of the human soul, both in this world and the next. The Baha'i`is 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 Baha`i Holy Writings, there are prayers for all occasions and can be offered individually or collectively. A great importance is given to prayers as it is revealed in all the Scriptures. But the Baha`i Writings specify that the mere act of praying is not sufficient. The inspiration drawn from one's prayers must be translated into action that promotes the well being of humanity.
The temple represents the Baha`i faith, which is broad in its outlook, scientific in the influence it exerts on the hearts and minds of men. It signifies the purity and the universality of the lord and equality of all religions. Visited by over four million people, annually, this gleaming lotus-like marble structure is located on Bahapur Hills and it is the seventh and most recent Baha'i houses of worship in the world. The temple is a must visit for every tourist who comes to Delhi.
CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART
Location: South End of Bhai Vir Singh Marg, New Delhi Built In: 1927-28Tuesday, September 30, 2008 Also known As: Viceroy's Church Designed By: Henry Medd Further north, at the south end of Bhai Vir Singh Marg, is one of Medd's more ambitious projects, the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart. This Church displays a strong Italianate influence, with a facade of white pillars supporting a canopy set against a dark brick background, and circular arcaded turrets rising above the roof to each side of the entrance porch. The lofty interior has a towering curved roof, polished stone floors and broad arches set into smooth walls, presenting a very grand look.
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