- How to Get There
- Red Fort
- Jama Masjid
- Qutub Minar
- Lotus Temple
- India Gate
- Humayun’s Tomb
- Akshardham Temple
- Jantar Mantar
- Laxmi Narayan Temple
- Gandhi Smriti
- Raj Ghat
- Safdarjung’s Tomb
- Lodi Garden
- Delhi Haat
Delhi : Monument of Indian History
Delhi : Monument of Indian History
Welcome to Delhi, the city of magic, mystery, mayhem, history and culture that stretches back centuries. Yes, it is the capital of incredible India as well.Delhi is like the Rome of the East where relics of ancient empires stand proudly amongst modern edifices. It is the city where medieval bazaars and the ruins of Mughal forts pop up when least expected. The history of Delhi has largely been the history of India. The annals of Delhi have been created by the string of armies who sought to conquer the fertile Indo-Gangetic plain. These armies have left behind their imprints on the city along with their cultures before they too were replaced by the next. Now, Delhi is a chaotic blend of ancient cultures that fascinates you with its mesmerizing charm.
Chosen as the seat of power by many great empires, the royal city has been the evolution center of cultural, religious, social and political influences. The rich architecture of Delhi is now all that remains of the glory of those dynasties. A trip to Delhi is like diving into the history of India with its magnificent monuments, historical buildings, fascinating gardens and interesting museums. Through the labyrinth of its myriad streets, you will come across famous food stalls filled with lip-smacking snacks and lively medieval markets selling all sorts of trinkets. Look to the skies and you will be impressed with the imposing monuments of a bygone era and modern skyscrapers.
How to Get There
By Air :
Delhi is well connected with domestic and international flights, to all the major cities within and outside India. Almost all the major airlines have their flights operating from Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi. Domestic Airport connects Delhi to the major cities in India.
By Rail :
Delhi is the headquarter of Northern Railway and is regarded as one of the major railway junction in the rail map of India. The three important railway stations of Delhi are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. Delhi
Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) provides metro services that connect several parts of the Delhi to the neighboring destinations like Gurgaon, Noida, and Faridabad.
By Road :
Delhi is well connected, by a network of roads and national highways, with all the major cities in India. The three major bus stands in Delhi are Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan Bus Terminus and Anand Vihar Bus Terminus. Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), the state-owned bus service providers operates the world’s largest fleet of eco-friendly CNG buses.
Distance from other cities;
Agra: 218 km, Jaipur: 270 km, Haridwar: 210 km, Nainital: 315 km, Dehradun: 240 km,Shimla: 370 km, Amritsar: 460 km, Corbett National Park: 240 km, Mathura: 162 km
Located in the heart of the old city, the massive red sandstone walls of the Red Fort stand imposingly. This magnificent fort serves as a reminder of the incredible power and glory wielded by the Mughal emperors. Unfortunately, the structure has lost a lot of its former pride through the cruel demolitions carried out under the British occupation. Nonetheless, the fort can still transport you to the splendor of Delhi in the bygone era of the Mughals.The Red Fort represents the zenith of Mughal architecture. Commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan, the fort was built at the peak of the Mughal power. The monuments of sandstone and marble inside conjure images of incredible treasures and precision stones that once adorned their walls. Now considered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the architecture of the fort is the perfect example of the Mughal style. Here, Hindu, Persian and Timurid styles have been fused together into a fascinating blend.
The fort still houses some of the most amazing structures ever to have been built. It includes the Delhi gate, the Nashr-i-Behisht, the Diwan-i-khas, Moti Masjid, Hayat Bakhsh Bagh and numerous water channels, fountains and pavilions. A walk through these structures is like reliving the history of the Mughals.
The largest mosque in India, the Jama Masjid is an incredible example of Mughal architecture. This famous fort has three immense gates coupled with four towers. Two tall minarets and a rich dome complete the structure. Red sandstone has been used freely alongside white marble to create a splendid mosque that invokes within you spirituality of the purest kind. The floor of the masjid imitates the typical Muslim prayer mat and has been crafted with black and white marble. From the minarets you can get a panoramic glimpse that stretches across Delhi. You can even feast your eyes on the Red Fort.
The Qutub Minar, the second tallest minar in India, stands with pride surveying the landscape. Composed entirely of marble and red sandstone, the Qutub Minar is surrounded by other fascinating historical ruins. This magnificent minar stands as a testament to the glory of its creator, Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler and the founder of the Slave dynasty in Delhi. The original structure was then repaired and extended by his successors. Numerous mosques and garden is located near the minar, all of which are just as amazing. The Iron Pillar is another structure here. It had puzzled and stupefied science for centuries as the exposed iron of the pillar showed no signs of corrosion in spite of its ancient age. In fact this pillar is much older than the Qutub Minar.
The lotus shape of the Bahai Temple has bestowed it the more popular name, the Lotus Temple. As you walk towards it, the unopened white lotus seemingly ready to bloom against the verdant background is a charming sight indeed. This incredible temple is a house of worship of the Bahai religion. However, peoples of all religions are welcome inside to be lost in the silence and tranquility of the place. The serenity of the place is heightened by the incredible acoustics of the area. The 27 petals of the lotus are crafted immaculately from marble and stand glittering against the sky inviting you inside from afar.
Eerily similar to the Arc-de-Triomphe in France, the India gate is a war memorial commemorating the valiant soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation. Its massive walls are etched with the names of the nearly 70000 Indian soldiers who fought and died in the World War I. Another shorter memorial, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was added later. This somber cenotaph was added later to honor those who gave their lives defending the nation in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. The lush green surroundings provide a perfect background to pay homage to these brave people. It reminds you of these great men and women who risk their lives for the safety and glory of their country.
Humayun’s Tomb was first structure to have been built by the Mughals in India. It is also the first garden tomb to have been built in the Indian subcontinent. Either way, the architecture of the mausoleum is fantastic. From a distance it seems that the tomb is floating on waves of lush green grass. As you approach, the sprawling architecture of the mausoleum is going to sweep you off your feet. The architectural style shows a beautiful mixture of the Rajasthani and Islamic styles. The amazing gardens nearby contain some scenic waterways. A relaxed walk through the meditative gardens will be interrupted by the songs of the parakeets that have made it their home.
The breathtaking grandeur of the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple is an epic show of the 10000 years of Indian culture. The temple showcases the very essence of the ancient architecture of India along with its traditions and spiritualty. The beauty of India’s heritage is captured in the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple.
The Swaminarayan Akshardham rises splendidly over the eastern sector of Delhi. The salmon color of the sandstone and the milky white marble create a fascinating structure that seems almost magical. Its architecture has been inspired from various sources including, Guajarati, Orissan, Rajasthani and Mughal buildings. Inside, a boat ride will take you on a psychedelic trip through the annals of Indian mythology. More than 20000 carved sculptures of saints, deities and mythical beings fill the temple.
The Jantar Mantar is probably the most eccentric historical complex you will encounter in Delhi. At first, you may even think of these monuments as an abstract painting brought to life by sculptors. However, the weirdly geometric buildings are highly scientific in their design and usage. These buildings were once observatories used for studying the heavens. Each building is stunningly precise in its dimensions and location. The Jantar Mantar complex is a mark of achievement by the scientists of ancient India who could create such accurate buildings without the need of advanced instruments. These buildings were used for calculations which were incredibly precise in nature.
Laxmi Narayan Temple
The Orissan architecture style of the Laxmi Narayan temple is like an oasis of spirituality in the midst of the huge garden that surrounds it. Inaugurated in 1938 by none other than Mahatma Gandhi, the temple welcomes everyone into its comforting arms. The temple is dedicated to Lady Laxmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth and Lord Narayan, her consort and more commonly known as Vishnu. There are smaller temples within the complex dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and the Buddha. The surrounding landscape is filled with charming fountains.
The Gandhi Smriti is a heartrending memorial to one of the greatest men who ever walked the earth. The memorial marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi died after being shot on 30th January 1948 by a Hindu fanatic. Mahatma Gandhi was campaigning against communal violence at the time when this unfortunate turn of events occurred. Concrete steps lead somberly to the spot which is marked with a small humble pavilion befitting the humility of the great man.The house adjacent to the spot was where the Mahatma had spent his last few months. The rooms have been left unchanged and preserved as the way Gandhi had left them. Of course, photographs and paintings have been added which showcase the life of the Mahatma. The lodging room of Mahatma Gandhi shows his frugal needs as it contains nothing more than his walking stick, his spectacles, his pair of chappals and a spinning wheel.
The somber Raj Ghat lies on the banks of the River Yamuna as a silent guardian of the last resting place of the great Mahatma Gandhi. It was at Raj Ghat that the Mahatma was cremated after his assassination. A platform crafted from black marble marks the spot of cremation. The simplicity of the platform is apt for the great leader whose humility brought together an entire nation. The last words of the great man, ‘He Ram’ are inscribed here which can be translated as, ‘O God’.
The beauty of Safdarjung’s Tomb may not be as grand as the Humayun’s Tomb but it is still charming nonetheless. The architecture of the latter mausoleum inspired the Safdarjung’s Tomb which is the last garden tomb to follow that particular style. Numerous pavilions surround the tomb with their evocative names. Beauty oozes from the intricate details carved on the walls of what is the last great piece of Mughal architecture.
The enchanting Lodi Garden offers you historical and natural attractions. Within the lush landscape of the garden lie the tombs of Sikander Lodi and Mohammed Shah. These tombs are fascinating because of their architecture. The Bara Gumbad is another ancient building which serves as the gateway to a domed masjid. The Sheesh Gumbad contains the tombs of a family whose name has been lost in the ages. Birds and butterflies have carved a home in the Lodi Garden where you can take a refreshing walk to escape the rush of Delhi.
The Delhi or Dilli Haat is reminiscent of the traditional marketplaces found in the rural areas all over India. The delicious smells from the innumerable food stalls will make you drool. These stalls offer lip-smacking foods originating from all across India and they are guaranteed to make you lick your fingers afterwards. The marketplace sells an incredible variety of trinkets, crafts and garments which are all examples of the incredible cultural heritage of India. These items are brought from all over India for the Haat.The Delhi Haat is a treasure house. This incredible marketplace offers you handicrafts, cuisine and even cultural activities for your enjoyment. You can taste the spicy momos of Sikkim or the Kebabs of Jammu & Kashmir. Wood carvings from Odisha can be purchased from a stall right next to one that sells Rajasthani footwear made from camel hide. Handicrafts of various states are displayed here and you can take them home at ridiculous prices.