Delhi, the capital of India, is a city of marvellous contrast. Its past and present mesh seamlessly to make it an exciting palace to visit. The sprawling modern metropolis of Delhi enfolds within its limits the remains of seven earlier cities. Today the imposing forts and tombs of these earlier times co-exist comfortable with the elegant edifices of the British Raj and modern high rise buildings. Cool tree-lined avenues with their whitewashed bungalows are as much a part of the city's charms as the ordered chaos of the arrow lanes and busy bazaars of the walled city of Shahjahanabad .A major gateway into India, Delhi is the logical start to an exploration of northern India. It is also a part of the Golden Triangle, an exciting circuit of the three magnificent Cities of Delhi-Agra -Jaipur. places.
Humayun's Tomb, the red and white structure, was raised by his widow, Haji Begum, as a tribute in his memory in the 16th century. This building which is supported by a lofty, double-storeyed gateway costs 1.5 million rupees. It is set in the centre of a huge square garden which is enclosed by high walls on three sides. The garden is divided into four parts by wide causeways and water channels, with each square further divided into even smaller squares by pathways, a characteristic of the Mughal era.
It is straight down the road from Rashtrapati Bhavan is India Gate. Designed by Lutyens, the 42 mt high structure is a war memorial in honour of the soldiers who died during the second world war. The imposing structure from where the massive lush green lawns stretches, has an eternal flame (amar jawan jyoti) to honour the memory of the unknown soldiers.The India Gate is a popular picnic spot also.
QUTUB MINAR COMPLEX
It is 13 km to the south of Connaught Circus at Lal kot of 8th century Tomor Rajputs, the 72.5 m high Victory Pillar stands as a victory stand of a Muslim King Kutub-ud-din-Aibak in India. At Qila Roy Pithora, on the dilapidated fort of the last Hindu king Prithviraj, this victory stand was made like throne in Gani. In 1199 Kutub-ud-Din started its construction and it was completed in 1236 by Iltutmish, the son-in-law of Kutub. However, there is a 2nd opinion. Some say, the construction came to an end around 1357-68 during the reign of Feroz Shah Tughlak.
However, the Kutub which was built in Afghan style underwent repairing and remaking for more than occasions. Revolving steps of flights are 367 in number in slightly leaned Kutub. It has some special features- at its root the radius is being 14.40 m which gradually reduced at its top to 2.44 m. In Kupee language it has been inscribed on Kutub that- The Tower was erected to cast the shadow of God over both East and West. Aayaat from Quran is also inscribed. At the foot of the Minar a Mosque was built in 1197. The 5 storeyed Qutub Minar is a remarkable instance of sculpture in India. The 1st floor made of sand stone by Kutub, the 2nd & 3rd floors made of sand stone by Iltutmish and the 4th and 5th in both sand stone and marble by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1368.
It was built in 1725 by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is a huge sun-dial known as the Prince of Dials. It was also used to observe the movements of stars and planets. The instruments at Jantar Mantar are fascinating for their novel approach. However, it has now become impossible to predict the time accurately because of the towering buildings that surround it. Recently the area has been restored to it's pristine glory.
PLACES OF WORSHIP IN DELHI INFORMATION
Birla Mandir, Delhi The Laxmi Narayan Mandir (temple) built by B.D. Birla is a modern Hindu temple dedicated to Laxmi (goddess of wealth) and Narayana (the preserver). It was inaugurated by Gandhi with the stipulation that it should be open to all castes (including the untouchables) and all faiths, so it is more welcoming to foreigners than the average temple.
After visiting so many ancient Hindu temples, it was fun to see a modern functioning one. The whole temple was quite garish, and noisy with chants over the loud speaker system, but it was also strangely peaceful. In the garden there was a tree wound with colored strings, and two women were praying at the foot.
Lotus Temple - Delhi 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 kilometre distance, at night. The House of Worship is surrounded by nine large pools of water that not only enhance the beauty of the building, but also play a significant role in the natural cooling system of the prayer hall. An adjunct of the main building is its ancillary building which houses offices, a conference hall, a library and an audio-visual room.
The common characteristic of Bahá'i Houses of Worship is that they are all nine-sided. Nine is the highest digit and symbolises comprehensiveness, oneness and unity. Within the prayer hall only the Holy Scriptures of the Bahá'í Faith and earlier Religions are read or recited, according to arranged programmes. At other times, all are welcome to meditate and pray in silence. No lectures are permitted, nor any rituals performed in the prayer hall.
It is 4 km away from Janpath to the N-East of Feroz Shah near Delhi Gate at Ring Rd on the bank of Jamuna situated Rajghat. Jawaharlal Nehru Rd also ends opp. Rajghat. On 31st Jan. 1948, Mahatma Gandhi's last rites was performed here. The memorial stone of Gandhi is square in shape made of black stone. His last ward- 'Hey Ram' is inscribed on it.
The ordinary people, VIPs, foreign tourists all come here at Rajghat to pay their homage to him. On every Friday (the day of his death) a prayer is being held. Except Monday, a regular feature of projecting Gandhi philosophy in picture, sculpture and photos from 10-00 to 17-00 is being performed at Rajghat. Besides, there is Gandhi Memorial Museum projecting his life and the philosophy of Sarvodaya Movement in film from 9-30 to 17-30 except Thursday and on Sunday at 16-00 in Hindi and 17-00 in English. Another Gandhi memorial is Gandhi Balidansthal or assassinated spot at Tis January Marg of the city. On 30 Jan. 1948 on his way to prayer at Biral Bhawan , he was assassinated by bullets. Hence, this memorial.