Where: Netaji Subhash Marg, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
The famous Red Fort is the historical fortification of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan which still stands as the major tourist hub in the capital city of Delhi. Built in the year 1939 as the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty, it was the result of the capital shift of Mughal rule from Agra to Delhi. The name of this grand piece of architecture is derived from its color which owes to its invincible red sandstone walls. Besides being the accommodation space for the Mughal rulers, the Red Fort used to be the ceremonial and political center of the Mughal state. Today, the fort is the home to a number of museums that exhibit a huge assortment of precious artifacts on display. The exterior as well as the interior architecture speak for its creativity, uniqueness and ultimate brilliance of Mughal architecture. With an immense contribution towards tourism, historical evidence, and heritage associated with the monument, the Red Fort was declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Every year, the national flag is unfurled here at the fort on the Independence Day and the Republic Day. Counted on the top list of places to visit in Delhi, the Red Fort (Lal Qila) is a treat to the eyes as well as an extravagance for history buffs.
Where: Mehrauli, New Delhi, Delhi 110030
Another of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the capital city, Qutub Minar is a minaret that forms the part of the Qutb complex located in the Mehrauli area of Old Delhi. The Qutub Minar is a huge and grand affair in the form of a minaret that stands at 239.5 ft height, with 47 ft base diameter that gradually narrows down to 9 ft at the top of the peak. Based on the design of the Minaret of Jam in western Afghanistan, the Qutub Minar has a spiral staircase of 379 steps that lead to a tapering tower of five storeys. The construction of the minaret was contributed by several rulers from time to time. It was started by Qutb ud Din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate, who started construction of the minaret?s first storey around 1192. The further three storeys were added in 1220 by Aibak?s successor and son-in-law Shamsuddin Iltutmish. Firoz Shah Tughlaq added one more and replaced the topmost storey done by Iltutmish. The entrance of the tower was added by Sher Shah Suri during his reign. The minaret is surrounded by several historically significant monuments of the Qutb complex including Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque and the Iron Pillar of Delhi.
Where: Rajpath, India Gate, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
The India Gate, also known as the All India War Memorial, is located along the Rajpath in New Delhi. A spectacular sight to behold, India Gate is often compared to the Arch de Troimphe in France, the Gateway of India in Mumbai and the Arch of Constantine in Rome mainly for its imposing mighty structure. The construction was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and is today one of the largest war memorials in the country. This 42-meter tall historical structure is dedicated mainly to all those who were martyred during the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The count of those who lost their lives was 82,000, and each and every one of them is commemorated here in the form of this construction. There are 13,300 names of the servicemen inscribed on its surface as a memorial, along with the Amar Jawan Jyoti built at its premises. It is a kindled structure right underneath the archway built with a black marble plinth in the form of a reversed rifle, capped by a war helmet, bounded by four eternal flames which symbolize the eternal and immortal soldiers of India. Since its foundation laid in 1921, and unveiled in 1931, India Gate has been a favorite tourist spot owing to its rich historical background and astonishing architecture.
Where: Connaught Place, Sansad Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Jantar Mantar is one of the most interesting places to visit in Delhi. Built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1724, Jantar Mantar is a vast observatory that was erected to get better with the studies of time and space. It forms a part of the collection of similar five observatories located in Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura. There are 13 architectural astronomy instruments which can be used to compile the astronomical tables and to predict the movement and timings of the celestial bodies. Such was the highly advanced and intelligent engineering marvel of the construction that the placement of these instruments allowed the observer to note the position of heavenly bodies with their naked eye alone. The masonry built astronomical instruments of the observatory have stood the test of time and still function perfectly since the day it was put up. It was the keen interest of the Maharaja in astronomical observations that this observatory was erected as per the instructions and guidance of Muhammad Shah. The apparatus is as per the mechanism of Eqypt?s Ptolemaic astronomy and follows horizon-zenith local system, the equatorial system and the ecliptic system to track the positions of heavenly bodies.
Purana Qila or the Old Fort
Where: Mathura Rd, Near Delhi Zoo, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
The Purana Qila or the Old Fort is a magnificent masterpiece of the ancient glory and sparkling architecture of the bygone days of Mughal era. One of the oldest forts in Delhi, the fort stands composedly in the serene vicinity of Indraprastha lying on the banks of the River Yamuna. The fort is spread across a total area of 1.5 sq km and it has been the witness to thousands of years tagged with tons of mythologies and legends of the medieval era attached to it. One of the most interesting legends suggests that Indraprastha ? one of the most historically rich cities of ancient India ? was built here by the Pandavas. The mention of the fort as the famous assembly hall is found prominently in the epic Mahabharata. The fortress is constructed in traditional Mughal style of architecture and ornamented with rich embellishments attracting history buffs and archaeology enthusiasts. The location of the fort and the tranquility of the place with the perfect serene panorama, the Fort sends out romantic vibes attracting people who want to find some moments of solitude. The gigantic construction has three entrances and the lush green enclosure offers the picture perfect spot for picnic or a weekend gateway.
Where: Mathura Road Opposite Dargah, Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Delhi 110013
As the name suggests, Humayun?s Tomb in Delhi is the final resting place of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The monument is located in the Nizamuddin East area of Delhi which is also the first tomb in the Indian subcontinent which was built with gardens. The Humayun?s Tomb is a spectacular piece of architectural marvel built in the typical Mughal architecture with Persian influences. Constructed in the year 1569-70, the tomb was commissioned for construction by Humayun?s chief consort empress Bega Begum and was conceptualized by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyath. It is among the very few monuments which used red sandstone lavishly and on such a massive scale at that era. The construction was enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, mainly because of its magnificent design and illustrious history. The monument is often counted for the architectural genius it is, which is a treat to the eyes. The tomb sits magnificently in the middle of a huge, ornate Mughal Garden which looks more beautiful in the winters with full bloom of flowers. The mausoleum also houses the remains of many other Mughals, including his wives, son and Emperor Shah Jahan among the numerous subsequent Mughals.
Where: Rashtrapati Bhawan, President's Estate, New Delhi, Delhi 110004
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the President of India, located on the western end of the Rajpath in New Delhi. Originally built to serve as the Viceroy?s House, the building has 340 rooms in the main section that is spread over a total area of 5 acres. The entire complex is an estate of 330 acres making it one of the largest residences of any head of the state in the world. The gigantic piece of architecture was conceptualized by renowned architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker who completed the project in 1929. Standing as the most magnificent architectural construction of modern India, the building is the house of President Ram Nath Kovind who assumed office in July 2017. There are three circuits in the premises of the Rashtrapati Bhavan which can be accessed by an authorized visitor at specific times slots throughout the day. The Main Building and Central Lawn is the one where you can inspect the architecture firsthand. The second circuit is the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum complex which encompasses a number of buildings within its own perimeter. The amazingly beautiful Mughal Gardens comprise the third circuit which is a paradisde of elegant and lush flora.
Agrasen ki Baoli
Where: Hailey Road, Near Diwanchand Imaging Centre, K G Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Situated on the Hailey Road in New Delhi, Agrasen ki Baoli is a historical attraction and a major tourist attraction. It is an ancient water reservoir which rises from the depths of the earth to climb atop 103 stone steps in a mosaic of different assortment of stones and rocks. The business towers and residential apartments of central Delhi couldn?t snatch away the serene and tranquil ambience which the old bricks of this monument have to offer. A perfect subject of photography, Agrasen ki Baoli takes you back to the ancient times. Stepping down the stairs, you would find how cool it tends to get with each step. The entire structure is 15 m wide and 60 m long which is impressive, keeping in mind that it was built around the period of the Mahabharata, as per mythology and legends. The reservoir still holds and stores water on some occasions and has been a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 of the Archaeological Survey of India.
Where: Behind Red Fort, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
Rajghat holds an immense importance in the history of Indian independence as it is the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated after he was assassinated in the year 1948. Situated around 4km from Janpath in Delhi, Rajghat is a simple black marble structure built to commemorate Gandhi which is raised above the ground level and quotes the last words said by Mahatma Gandhi "Hey Ram". The structure is beautifully constructed amidst picturesque lush green garden. The location of Rajghat is quite close to the Yamuna River and was originally known as a historic ghat. The 'Raj Ghat Gate' of the walled city opened to Raj Ghat at the river. Visited by hundreds, locals as well as foreigners along with VIPs and delegates come down to Rajghat to pay homage to the Indian activist for his role as a leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Not only as a memorial, Rajghat is also a celebration of the illustrious life Gandhi had spent. His philosophy and life lessons are projected through pictures, old photographs and sculptures. At Gandhi memorial Museum at Rajghat, his life and philosophy of Sarvodaya Movement are also shown through a film. A prayer is held every Friday, the day he died at Rajghat.
Where: Tughlaqabad Fort, Tughlakabad, New Delhi, Delhi 110044
Among the most beautiful specimens of pure Islamic architecture is the Tughlaqabad Fort standing close to the main city of New Delhi. It has the touch of Sultanate vigor of fortifications which was quite common during the era. After Alauddin Khilji's death, his successor proved incompetent to rule over the entire Sultanate and very soon was replaced by Khusro Khan. Ghazi Malik (Khilji?s feudatory) overthrew Khusro Khan with the help of the forces of Multan and Sindh to become the new emperor of Delhi Sultanate. He was better known as Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq who is famous for establishing the Tughlaq dynasty. This fort was built during that era in 1321-1325 as a stronghold for defensive purposes against the ever-invading Mongols rather than an architectural establishment. Offering excellent scopes to history buffs and photography freaks, the entire complex presents a rugged landscape to enclose the grandeur fortress. It is a first-hand experience as one of the most exuberant and controversial dynasties of the country. Along with the great fortifications, palaces and citadel, the great gateways, the fort area also have the mausoleum of the founder and first ruler of the fort - Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq and his wife and son.
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