Monday, 9 January 2012

Delhi/New Delhi, India




New Delhi or Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and has a total population of nearing three hundred thousand residents. New Delhi is one of the world’s top global cities. The World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University rated New Delhi as an "alpha- world city". The National Geographic's Traveler Magazine describes it as "one of the Ultimate Cities of a Lifetime to visit and explore." In a report jointly prepared by Institute for Competitiveness and Confederation of Indian Industry, the city is listed as the best to live in India. According to Mercer, New Delhi is the most expensive city in India for expatriates in terms of cost of living. New Delhi is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and is home to numerous national institutions, museums and landmarks.


The history of Delhi is as interesting and as grand as the city itself. It was not since its inception that Delhi got the status of a capital city. However, because of its strategic location, it always counted amongst the major and important cities. It is believed that the city was first formed around 1450 BC, at the site of the Old Fort, as the royal fortress of Indraprastha, the capital of Pandavas. Thereafter was formed, the city of Lal Kot or Quila Rai Pithora in the year 1060 AD, by Rajput Tomaras. Sited at the Qutub Minar-Mehrauli complex, it was further expanded by Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan. 

The history of Delhi takes us further to the city of Siri built in 1304 AD, by Alauddin Khilji near Hauz Khas and Gulmohar Park. In 1320s, Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq built the city of Tughlaqabad near Qutab Minar complex. The rulers of Tughlaq dynasty kept on building their empire in Delhi by further founding Jahanpanah and Ferozabad, in the 14th century. After Tughlaqs, came Humayun who constructed Dilli Sher Shahi (Shergarh), around the Old Fort area, in 1530s. The history of Delhi continued with the city of Shahjahanabad that was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 17th century, still known as the Old Delhi. 

The city was also the focal point for the first war of independence in 1857. New Delhi history and origin dates back to the 1920s, after it was decided to shift the seat of power from Calcutta to Delhi in Delhi Durbar of 1911. The entire area of Connaught Place and Rajpath came into existence then only. Each and every era of Delhi has left reminders of their existence. From the 3 gates of Quila Rai Pithora to the ruins of Tughlaqabad to the Old fort of Shahjahanabad, we are reminded of the history of Delhi through the various remains and monuments that stand proudly on its soil.

Tourist Attractions in Delhi

There are a number of tourist attractions in Delhi that will keep you busy and amused throughout your stay in the city. Infact, there are so many places to see in Delhi, India that it is almost impossible to cover them all in a single trip. Old Delhi offers some magnificent attractions like Red Fort, the historical Chandni Chowk and so on. Not to be left behind is New Delhi sightseeing that boasts of many government buildings, embassies, along with a number of historical places. Some of the famous tourist attractions of Delhi are mentioned below:

The Red Fort, usually transcribed as Lal Qil'ah or Lal Qila is a 17th century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the walled city.

Humayun's Tomb, the mausoleum of Mughal emperor Humayun, is situated on the Mathura Road, near it's crossing with Lodi Road. The first significant model of Mughal architecture in India, the tomb was built by Humayun's wife Haji Begum in the year 1565.

India Gate is a war memorial of martyred soldiers, situated in the middle of New Delhi. Standing tall at a height of 42 m, Delhi India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe", seems like a gateway at the heart of a crossroad. His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught laid the foundation stone of India Gate in the year 1921.

Jantar Mantar, with Yantra meaning instruments and Mantra meaning formulae, was built in the year 1724. Situated near Connaught Place, New Delhi Jantar Mantar counts amongst the numerous astronomical observatories erected by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. The other observatories consist of the ones built in Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura.

Lodi Tomb is situated amidst the famous Lodi Garden, adjoining the Indian International Centre in South Delhi. It is one of the many mausoleums in the city that have been built inside a garden. Lodi Tomb entombs Sikandar Lodi. The other mausoleums situated inside the Lodi Gardens, along with the Lodhi tomb, include the Tomb of Muhammad Shah, Shish Gumbad and Bara Gumbad.

Lal Gumbad, also known as Rakabwala Gumbad, entombs Shaikh Kabir-Ud-Din Auliya, a disciple of Shaikh Raushan Chiragh-I-Delhi. Situated in the Malviya Nagar area of South Delhi, it is believed to have been constructed in the mid-fourteenth century. The mortal remains of Shaikh Kabir-Ud-Din Auliya were buried here in 1397. 

Established in the year 1959, Delhi National Zoological Park lies near the famous Old Fort. One of the best zoos in the entire Asian continent, its uniqueness is that it tries to provide an almost natural habitat to the animals and birds houses here. It proves to be an ideal picnic spots, especially in winters, and is spread over an area of 214 acres.

Parliament House accommodates the two Houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States). Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker, the architects of New Delhi, designed this building. His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught, laid the foundation stone of Parliament House in the year 1921.

The famous Qutab Minar of Delhi is a tower that claims the distinction of being the highest stone tower in the country. Said to be a tower of victory, it soars to a height of 73 m. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, after defeating Delhi's last Hindu kingdom, started the construction of this tower in the year 1193. Although Qutab-ud-din Aibak started the construction of the tower, he could not complete the monument during his lifetime.

It was decided in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi. Thus was born the city of Delhi, designed by the great architect Edwin Lutyens, along with Herbert Baker. It took approximately 20 years and 15 million pounds to build New Delhi.

Rajghat is the last resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. The cremation of Mahatma Gandhi took place at the Delhi Raj Ghat only, on 31st January 1950. The memorial stone of Mahatma Gandhi placed there is a simple square platform made of black stone, with the words "Hey Ram" inscribed near it.

Safdarjung's Tomb entombs Muqim Abul Mansur Khan, also known as Safdarjung. He was the viceroy of Awadh under the Mughal Emperor, Mohammed Shah and later became his prime minister. Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah, Safdarjung's son, constructed Delhi Safdarjung's Tomb, the last garden tomb in the city, in the year 1753-54.

Purana Qila, is the inner citadel of the city of Dina-panah, founded by the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun in 1533 and completed.............

In a state of total ruin, the Tughlaqabad fort was once a symbolic of the might of the Tughlaq dynasty. The Tughlaqabad fort was built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty...........

Siri Fort, in the city of New Delhi, was built during the rule of Ala-ud-Din Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate to defend the city from the onslaught of the Mongols.........

Adilabad, a fort of modest size, built on the hills to the south of Tughlaqabad was provided with protective massive ramparts on its boundary around...............

Salimgarh Fort was built in 1546 AD, in Delhi, in a former island of the Yamuna River, by Salim Shah Suri, son of Sher Shah Suri..........

Excursions...........
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New Delhi Excursions

Delhi nearby places consists of some of the finest cities that the tourists will enjoy visiting. A trip to Delhi must include a visit to these cities, of which, if one boasts of splendid architectural beauty, the other has religious significance. For Ex, the city of Agra houses one of the wonders of the world "Taj Mahal", while Jaipur boasts of three magnificent forts, palaces, etc. At the same time, Mathura and Vrindavan are famous for some of the most revered temples of Lord Krishna. In the following lines, we tell you more about the popular tourist destinations around New Delhi



Taj Mahal



The city of Agra is situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh, at a distance of approximately 204 km to the south of Delhi. One of the most famous tourist destinations in India, it is sited on the western banks of River Yamuna. The city of Agra in India dates back to the rule of Mughals and was founded by Badal Singh in the year 1475. Infact, it even served as their capital in 16th and early 17th centuries. It was during the reign of the Mughal Empire that the city was the most developed and acquired the magnificent monuments, it now boasts of. 

Jaipur


The city of Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is situated at a distance of approximately 260 km from Delhi. Literally meaning the city of victory, it is one of the three cities of the famous golden triangle of India. Jaipur, India is also known as the "Pink City" and was founded by Sawai jai Singh to overcome the problem of increasing population and scarcity of water in his original capital. He hired the services of a Bengali architect, Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, who built it as per the Hindu treatise, Shilp Shastra.


Goverdhan Temple
The city of Mathura is mainly famous as the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Situated on the western banks of river Yamuna, it lies at a distance of approximately 145 km southeast of Delhi and 58 km to the northwest of Agra. It is also known as the Brij Bhoomi and counts amongst the most revered pilgrimages in the country. Mathura, in India, was one of the Sapta Mahapuris (seven mega cities) that was ruled by the rulers of both the Solar as well as the Lunar dynasty, by turns. During that time only, it became the center of the three cultures, India, Indo-Scythian and Hellenstic. 

The holy city of Varanasi is situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh, at a distance of approximately 130 km from Delhi and 15 km from Mathura. Just like Mathura, Vrindavan, in India, is also one of the holy places in India, dedicated to Lord Krishna. Infact, it is said he spent his youth here and never leaves Vrindavan (vrindavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati). The city, where Krishna performed his famous romantic and sportive roles, seems to be caught in a kind of time wrap............
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Salimgarh Fort, New Delhi



Salimgarh Fort was built in 1546 AD, in Delhi, in a former island of the Yamuna River, by Salim Shah Suri, son of Sher Shah Suri. There was a pause in Mughal rule when in 1540 AD Sher Shah Suri defeated the Mughal Emperor Humayun (and ousted him from Delhi) and established the Sur dynasty rule in Delhi. Sur dynasty rule lasted till 1555 AD when Humayun regained his kingdom by defeating Sikander Suri, the last ruler of the dynasty. During the Mughal period, in later years, while building the Red Fort and Shahjahanbad, several Mughal rulers including Emperor Shahjahan who is credited with completing Shahjahanabad in 1639 AD had camped at this fort. It is said that Humayun had camped at this fort for three days before launching his successful attack for recapturing Delhi. 

Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor, converted the fort into a prison, which practice was perpetuated by the British who took control of the fort in 1857. The Fort is part of the Red Fort Complex. 

During the British rule, the Sepoy Mutiny (also called the First War of Independence (the Upraising) was put down in 1857 and the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II was taken prisoner at Humayun tomb. This fort was then the scene of lot of war activity. During the Upraising, Emperor Bahadur Shah II‘s complicity with the mutinous soldiers was obvious. He operated from this Fort. During August and early September 1857 he held meetings at the fort on war strategy. He also watched, from the ramparts of the fort, artillery fire aimed at the British Army. He even played a psychological game with his army officers who had come in a delegation seeking salary, when he told them that he would forego some of his crown jewels for the purpose and that he would give up his life for the cause; the officers refused his offer trusting that the Emperor was stating all this in right earnest. Following this, even proclamations were issued declaring that the Emperor would lead the attack against the British and urging all his people, irrespective of caste or creed, to join him in fighting the war. But, in the middle of September 1857, British soldiers were closing in on the Fort. At this stage, his trusted assistant Bhakt Khan urged the Emperor to leave the fort and accompany him to a safer place and look for a day when he could “renew war in the open country”. But the Emperor refused, permitted his army to vacate the fort but he himself moved to the Humayun tomb. The fourth infantry of the British army entered the Salimgarh Fort where they encountered a single sentry only. Similar experience was encountered by the Punjab Fourth infantry regiment when, earlier, they had entered the Palace from the Lahore gate of the Red Fort. 

After the Uprising was put down, the fort was, for a time, used by the British as an army camp but was subsequently, from 1945, used as a penitentiary to incarcerate the Indian Freedom Fighters of the Indian National Army (INA)............
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Siri Fort, New Delhi



Siri Fort, in the city of New Delhi, was built during the rule of Ala-ud-Din Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate to defend the city from the onslaught of the Mongols. It was the second of the seven cities of medieval Delhi built around 1303 (stated to be the first entirely constructed by Muslims), which at present is seen only in ruins with a few remnants. 

The fort was once considered the pride of the city for its palace of a thousand pillars called the Hazar Sutan. The palace was built outside the fort limits, and had marble floors and other stone decoration. Its Darwaza (door) is supposed to have been beautifully decorated. In eastern part of the ruins there are remnants of flame shaped battlements, loop holes for arrows, and bastions, which were considered unique new additions of that period.

In the nearby Shahpur Jat village, some dilapidated structures of the period are seen. Tohfewala Gumbad Masjid is one such structure whose ruins show the form of domed central apartment and sloping wall characteristic of Khaljis architecture. 

Apart from building the Siri Fort, the citadel around it and the water supply system with a reservoir at Hauz Khas for providing water supply to Siri, his new city, Ala-ud-din also expanded the building activity around the religious city of the first city complex of Qutb complex by making additions to the Quwwatul-Islam Mosque, which doubled its original size, additions to the Qutub Minar itself (Nagari inscriptions on the tower attribute to this tower as "Vijaya sthamba" or victory tower of Ala-ud-din) and a grandiose plan of constructing a new Minar (tower) bigger than Qutub Minar. This plan was left half completed, as may be seen from the ruins at the site, due to the death of Allauddin in 1316............
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Adilabad Fort, New Delhi


Adilabad Fort Reins

Adilabad, a fort of modest size, built on the hills to the south of Tughlaqabad was provided with protective massive ramparts on its boundary around the city of Jahanpanah. The fort was much smaller than its predecessor fort, Tughlaqabad fort, but of similar design. Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in its evaluation of the status of the fort for conservation has recorded that two gates, one with barbicans between two bastions on the south-east and another on the south-west. Inside, it, separated by a bailey, is a citadel consisting of walls, bastions and gates within which lay the palaces. 

The fort was also known as ‘Muhammadabad’, but inferred as a later day development. The two gates on the southeast and southwest of Adilabad fort had chambers at the lower level while the east and west gates had grain bins and courtyards at the upper floors. The fortifications built, linking with the other two city walls, was 12 m (39.4 ft) in thickness and extended to a length of 8 km (5.0 mi). Another smaller fortress, called the Nai-ka-kot was also built at a distance of about 700 m (2,296.6 ft) from Adilabad, with citadel and army camps, which are now seen only in ruins. 

Tughlaq’s primary attention to infrastructure, particularly of water supply to the city, was also well thought out. A structure (weir or tank) with seven sluices was built on a stream that flowed through the city. This structure called the Satpula is still existing near Khirki village on the boundary walls of Jahanpanah. Similar structures had also been built at Tughlaqabad and Delhi in Hauz Khas Complex, thus covering the water supply needs of entire population of Jahanpanah............
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Tughlaqabad Fort, New Delhi



In a state of total ruin, the Tughlaqabad fort was once a symbolic of the might of the Tughlaq dynasty. The Tughlaqabad fort was built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty. The fort is spread over an extensive area and a piece of architectural marvel. Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq built the Tughlaqabad fort as part of Tughlaqabad, the third city of Delhi. This was the period of political unrest and there was continuous danger of Mongol attack from the North western borders of the Empire. To save the Empire and his subjects from the marauding Mongols, Ghiyas-ud-din built the Tughlaqabad fort. 

Even though the fort is in a state of ruins, it bears testimony to past glory and might of the Delhi Sultanate. The massive ramparts, battlements and the mammoth stonework of Tughlaqabad fort speak highly of the architectural skills and advancement of the craftsmen. The Tughlaqabad fort served twin purpose of a defensive structure as well as the imperial capital of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. There are a number of monuments within the precincts of this massive fort. 

The Tughlaqabad fort was completed in a short period of four years (1321-25). The fort's massive ramparts and bastions (as high as 15-30 m, built of enormous blocks of stone and walls 10 m thick in places) speak volumes about the might of the Sultanate. Within fort's high walls, double-storied bastions and massive towers were housed magnificent palaces, grand mosques and audience halls. The city lay on the eastern outskirts of the massive fort. On the southern side of the fort is the tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, which was built by the ruler himself. The tomb is enclosed in a courtyard with fortified walls and a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture............
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Old Fort/Purana Qila, New Delhi


Also known as Pandavon ka Qila

Purana Qila, is the inner citadel of the city of Dina-panah, founded by the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun in 1533 and completed five years later. Purana Qila and its environs flourished as the sixth city of Delhi.

Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun in 1540, and renamed the fort as Shergarh, and also added several more structures in the complex, during his reign that lasted for the next five years until his death in 1545. Purana Qila, situated on the banks of Yamuna, was constructed by the Mughal emperor Humayun. It is where Humayun's capital Din Panah was located. Later it was renovated and named Shergarh by first Afghan emperor of India, Sher Shah Suri. Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, often referred to as the last Hindu emperor of India, had his coronation in this fort after defeating Akbar's forces in Delhi on 7 October 1556. Fort was supposed to be unlucky for rulers, who operated from here. Humanyun, Sher Shah Suri and Hindu king "Hem Chandra Vikramaditya" also called (Hemu) had short tenures of their rule. Akbar did not rule from here and Shahjahan built a new fort in Delhi known as 'Lal Qila' or Red Fort............
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Safdarjung's Tomb, New Delhi


Safdarjung ka Maqbara

Safdarjung's Tomb entombs Muqim Abul Mansur Khan, also known as Safdarjung. He was the viceroy of Awadh under the Mughal Emperor, Mohammed Shah and later became his prime minister. Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah, Safdarjung's son, constructed Delhi Safdarjung's Tomb, the last garden tomb in the city, in the year 1753-54. The tomb consists of a number of charming pavilions namely Jangli Mahal, (Palace in the woods), Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) and Badshah Pasand (King's favorite). 

There is also a madrassa (Muslim School) inside the premises of the Tomb Of Safdarjang, Delhi. The red sandstone and buff stone monument comprises of the tomb, the courtyard and a mosque. There is a library over the main gateway, maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). One of the last remnants of Mughal architecture, Safdarjung's Tomb is to some an extent like the Humayun's Tomb. It stretches over an area of 300-sq-metre and is set in the middle of a widespread garden. 

The Mughal 'Chaharbagh' style garden has an enclosure raising to two levels, which is entered through an enormous entrance. The central chamber of the tomb stands surrounded by eight rooms all around. The corner apartments of the Delhi Safdarjung Tomb are octagonal, while the rest are rectangular in shape. There is also a dome of the tomb that rises from a sixteen-sided base. The two graves inside the Tomb of Safdarjang, Delhi belong to Safdarjung and most probably his wife............
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Rajghat, New Delhi


Here lies the Father of the Nation

Rajghat is the last resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. The cremation of Mahatma Gandhi took place at the Delhi Raj Ghat only, on 31st January 1948. The memorial stone of Mahatma Gandhi placed there is a simple square platform made of black stone, with the words "Hey Ram" inscribed near it. As homage to the Mahatma, an eternal flame, in a copper urn, keeps on burning there. Enclosing the memorial is a low wall, simple with no ornamentation. Every Friday, a remembrance ceremony takes place at the Delhi Raj Ghat National Memorial. 

Along with that, on the birthday (2nd October) as well as death anniversary (30th January) of Mahatma Gandhi, prayers are held here. 30th January, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated is remembered as Martyr's Day. The Mahatma Gandhi Samadhi, in New Delhi, is situated amidst a garden with fountains and numerous striking trees. Situated near Raj Ghat, are two museums dedicated to Gandhi that house a number of possessions as well as photographs of Mahatma Gandhi. There is also a beautiful Zinat-ul Masjid (Most Beautiful of Mosques) overlooking the Rajghat............
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President's Estate/Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi


One of the entries to President's Estate

It was decided in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi. Thus was born the city of Delhi, designed by the great architect Edwin Lutyens, along with Herbert Baker. It took approximately 20 years and 15 million pounds to build New Delhi. Built as the Viceral Lodge, Delhi Rashtrapati Bhawan comprises of four floors and 340 rooms. Now known as the President House of New Delhi, it is spread over an area of approximately 200,000-sq-feet. It took 18 years to construct this building and on the on the 18th year of its completion, India became independent. 

The Jaipur Column, a gift from the Maharaja of Jaipur, stands at a height of 145 m in the middle of the main court in front of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Another one of the impressive features of the Rashtrapati Bhawan comprises of the outstandingly beautiful Mughal Gardens. Then, at the base of the building, is a spacious square, known as the Vijay Chowk. The massive neo-Buddhist copper dome of the President House of New Delhi is splendid and can be seen even from a distance of a kilometer. Underneath this fabulous dome is the circular Durbar Hall, housing the Viceroy's throne, measuring almost 22.8 m in diameter. Before the National Museum was completed, it served as a museum for a number of years. All the official ceremonies such as the swearing in of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Members of Parliament, etc., take place in this hall only. Also, the Arjuna Awards for Excellence are awarded by the President from here itself. On the ground floor of the Rashtrapati Bhavan are a number of state apartments. Then, there is the State Drawing Room, State Ballroom, State Dining Room and a number of other such rooms inside the building. The Rashtrapati Bhawan consists of 54 bedrooms, along with additional accommodation for guests............
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Qutab Minar, New Delhi



The famous Qutab Minar of Delhi is a tower that claims the distinction of being the highest stone tower in the country. Said to be a tower of victory, it soars to a height of 73 m. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, after defeating Delhi's last Hindu kingdom, started the construction of this tower in the year 1193. Although Qutab-ud-din Aibak started the construction of the tower, he could not complete the monument during his lifetime. Later on, additions were made by his successors. Three stories were constructed by Iltutmush, while the fifth and the last two was the work of Firoz Shah Tughlak. 



Delhi Qutub Minar is made up of five stories, with the first three being made of red sandstone and the fourth and fifth ones being made up of both marble as well as sandstone. Each of the stories has a projecting balcony with their diameter ranging from 15 m at the base to 2.5 m at the top. There is a little disagreement over the origins of Qutab Minar. One legend has it that it was built as a tower of victory to commemorate the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. Another legend goes that it was built to serve as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer. 



Delhi Qutub Minar is adorned with bands of inscriptions, along with four projecting balconies supported by elaborately decorated brackets. There is also the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque of India, which stands at the base of the Qutab Minar. Inside the courtyard of the mosque stands a 7 m high iron pillar. It is believed that if you are able to encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it, your wish will be granted. Over the eastern gate, it is inscribed that the material to build it was acquired from demolishing twenty-seven Hindu temples............
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Sansad Bhawan/Parliament House, New Delhi



Parliament House accommodates the two Houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States). Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker, the architects of New Delhi, designed this building. His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught, laid the foundation stone of Parliament House in the year 1921. It took six years to complete the Delhi Parliament House and its was inaugurated in the year 1927 by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Irwin. A circular building, it also houses ministerial offices, a number of committee rooms and a brilliant library. 

The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha meetings are held in the domed circular central hall and the three semi-circular buildings. Sansad Bhavan of New is adorned with an open verandah with 144 columns and a 28 m central dome. Made up of blocks of sandstone, it has a diameter of approximately 174 m. Enclosing the Parliament House Estate is an attractive red sandstone wall or iron grill with iron gates. It is necessary to take prior permission before visiting the Parliament House of Delhi. Indians need to get permission by applying at the Parliament Secretariat and foreigners through their Embassies or High Commissions............
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Delhi Zoo/National Zoological Park, New Delhi



Established in the year 1959, Delhi National Zoological Park lies near the famous Old Fort. One of the best zoos in the entire Asian continent, its uniqueness is that it tries to provide an almost natural habitat to the animals and birds houses here. It proves to be an ideal picnic spots, especially in winters, and is spread over an area of 214 acres. National Zoological Gardens of New Delhi houses more than 2,000 species of animals and birds. 

Belonging to different places like Africa, America, Australia, etc, these animals and birds find a home at this zoo. The entrance to the Delhi Zoo consists of the Mughal Kos Minar. The winding pathway, laid with the red Badarpur gravel, swerves off into two directions after approximately one km. Along with the wildlife on both the sides, the right side of the zoo also consists of a library, a storehouse of information on animals, birds, plants, rare zoological species, etc in India. 

Wildlife at Delhi Zoo 

The right walkway brings you to the cages of the animals such as Chimpanzee, Hippopotamus, Spider monkey, African Wild Buffalo, Gir Lion and Zebras etc. While, the left one leads you to the enclosures of the water animals. You cal also see a number of migratory birds like Peafowl, Hyenas, Macaque, Jaguar, etc in the swamps made for the water birds. At the heart of the zoo, lies the underground Reptile Home complex for the nocturnal animals like King Cobra, Pythons and a number of other species. 

Fauna at Delhi Zoo 

There are approximately 200 varieties of trees in the National Zoological Park of Delhi, properly displayed with their respective descriptions. Some of them are hanging deep yellow Alamtas or the Phulahi hedges, drought resistant Lahura trees, Delhi Bistendu, etc. 

The best way to view New Delhi National Zoological Gardens is on an open-roofed mobile van, available at affordable charges within the zoo. There is also a cafeteria outside the zoo............
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Lal Gumbad, New Delhi



Lal Gumbad, also known as Rakabwala Gumbad, entombs Shaikh Kabir-Ud-Din Auliya, a disciple of Shaikh Raushan Chiragh-I-Delhi. Situated in the Malviya Nagar area of South Delhi, it is believed to have been constructed in the mid-fourteenth century. The mortal remains of Shaikh Kabir-Ud-Din Auliya were buried here in 1397. Lal Gumbad is entered from the eastern side, through a marble bands-adorned pointed arch. The main tomb has been built in the shape of a square and has tattered walls, which are adorned with a facade of red sandstone. 

Rakabwala Gumbad of New Delhi also has a plastered conical dome crowning its top. Lal Gumbad got the name of Rakabwala because of the golden finial it was once ornamented with, but which was later stolen by thieves. Infact, it is also believed that iron rings that are still seen on its western wall were set up by the thieves, for the purpose of scaling up the walls of the tomb. One of the most magnificent monuments belonging to the pre-Mughal era of Delhi, the Lal Gumbad resembles the tomb of Ghiyath-ud-Din Tughluq............
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Lodi Tomb, New Delhi



Lodi Tomb is situated amidst the famous Lodi Garden, adjoining the Indian International Centre in South Delhi. It is one of the many mausoleums in the city that have been built inside a garden. Lodi Tomb entombs Sikandar Lodi. The other mausoleums situated inside the Lodi Gardens, along with the Lodhi tomb, include the Tomb of Muhammad Shah, Shish Gumbad and Bara Gumbad. It is said that all these tombs are the snippets of another city, which was supposed to be built at this place. 

The tomb of Sikandar Lodi is an octagonal tomb that is known for its beautiful Mughal architecture. It said to have signified the resumption of the Sayyid type architectural style, with the typical octagonal plan, deep veranda and tall arches. The tomb has been adorned with a double dome top are stands proudly at the center of an enclosed area, which is entered from a south-facing huge gateway. The first garden tomb to be constructed in the capital city of India, Lodi Tomb dates back to the early 16th century............
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Jantar Mantar, New Delhi



Jantar Mantar, with Yantra meaning instruments and Mantra meaning formulae, was built in the year 1724. Situated near Connaught Place, New Delhi Jantar Mantar counts amongst the numerous astronomical observatories erected by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. The other observatories consist of the ones built in Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura. It basically comprises of the instruments that were used for keeping track of celestial bodies. Jai Singh, after finding the existing astronomical instruments too small to take correct measurements, built these larger and more accurate instruments. 



The instruments at Jantar Mantar of Delhi display promising brilliance. However, there is a little problem, that, these instruments can no longer make accurate observations because of the numerous tall buildings that have been built around the observatory. Delhi Jantar Mantar is also a reminder of the technological achievements that took place under the rule of the Rajput kings. There is an interesting legend associated with the construction of the Jantar Mantar. It is said that Jai Singh, ardent adherer of astronomy, oversaw an argument between Hindu and Muslim over certain planetary positions. 

Since it was utmost necessary to solve the argument and know the positions precisely, he offered to rectify the available astronomical tables. The offer was accepted by the Mughal emperor and that led to the construction of Jantar Mantar in Delhi. At first, brass instruments were used in the observatory. However, they were found to have a number of intrinsic flaws. So after much deliberation, Jai Singh adopted the style of Prince Ulugh Beg, builder of the 15th century observatory at Samarkand, Uzbekistan............
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India Gate, New Delhi



India Gate is a war memorial of martyred soldiers, situated in the middle of New Delhi. Standing tall at a height of 42 m, India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe", seems like a gateway at the heart of a crossroad. His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught laid the foundation stone of India Gate in the year 1921. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, the monument was dedicated to the country after 10 years, by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. It stands as a tribute to the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I, when they fought for the British Army.



More than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers who got killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919 have their names written on the Indian Gate of New Delhi. After India became independent, another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added to the existing structure. This arched memorial has an eternal flame that burns day and night as a mark of respect to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the India-Pakistan War that took place in December 1971.

Resting on a low foundation of red Bharatpur stone, the arch rises in stages to a huge molding. On both the sides of the arch the word INDIA is inscribed, along with the date, MCMXIV (1914) on the left and MCMXIX (1919) on the right. The best time to see India Gate is during nightfall, when it is magnificently floodlit. Splendid lawns, with a number of fountains, encircle the monument. These fountains present a breathtaking view at night when they make a lovely display with colored lights............
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Humayun's Tomb, New Delhi



Humayun's Tomb, the mausoleum of Mughal emperor Humayun, is situated on the Mathura Road, near it's crossing with Lodi Road. The first significant model of Mughal architecture in India, the tomb was built by Humayun's wife Haji Begum in the year 1565. High arches and a double dome adorn the tomb that is entered through two towering double-storied gateways, on the south and on the west. The center of the eastern wall of the enclosure houses a baradari (pavilion), while that of the northern wall houses a bath-chamber.

One of the most remarkable features of the Delhi Humayun's Tomb is a square garden inside its complex. The garden stands divided into four large squares, separated by causeways and channels. These four squares are then further divided into smaller squares by typical pathways ('Chaharbagh') of a Mughal Garden. In the center of the entire complex stands the mausoleum. The cenotaph is kept in the central octagonal chamber with arched lobbies on the sides having perforated screens at the openings. 

The Garden Tomb Of Humayun in Delhi is constructed mainly of red sandstone, with white and black marble adorning its borders. The second story of the tomb, with 42.5m high double dome and pillared kiosks (chhatris), is built in the same way as the first. Further beautifying the Humayun's Tomb are the carvings, the inlaid work on the marble of the walls and the trelliswork in red sandstone. Built as per the hasht bihisht (Eight Paradise) architectural design, it is a sort of pioneering landmark of the Indo-Islamic architecture.

The vaults below the podium in the mausoleum house the graves of a number of Mughal dynasty rulers. These include the graves of Haji Begam, Hamida Banu Begam, Dara Shikoh - Shah Jahan's son, and the later Mughals, Jalandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar, Rafi'u'd-Darajat, Rafi'u'd-Daula, 'Alamgir II, Shah Jahan's son and Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperor of Delhi. Infact, Delhi Humayun Tomb served as the refuge of Bahadur Shah II, who was later captured here by Lieutenant Hodson during the Revolt of 1857. The sheer number of graves here led to the tomb being called as "The Dormitory of the House of Timur"............
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