MONUMENTAL HERITAGE IN DELHIFamous Monuments : Red Fort, Qutab Minar, India GateSacred Temples : Kalkaji Temple, Birla Mandir, Akshardham TempleFamous Forts : Old Fort, Tughlaqabad FortMostly Visited Museums : Dolls Museum, Rail Museum, National MuseumThe Buildings The Sing The Bygone GlorySo rich is the heritage - both secular and sacred - ranging from grand Mughal forts to the towering temples portraying exquisite architecture.Somewhere it is the ornate Nagara style, somewhere it is the opulent Gothis architecture. But everywhere you can find fun.Red Fort - A Poetry In StoneAfter Mughal Emperor Shahjahan shifted his capital to the royal quarters of Delhi, this colossal fort sprouted from the heart of his new city,Shahjahanabad. Construction of this stately fort began in 1639 and took 9 years and a huge sum of 10 million to create such magic in red sandstone.The Impressive Minaret of QutabNestling in the southern quarters of lush Delhi, the 237.8 ft stately tower is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afgan architecture. This ornate tower isnow an eminent member of the World Heritage Site community, and leans about 60 cm off the vertical, but otherwise has survived the ravages of timeimpressively.The Amazing AkshardhamThe beautiful monument built without steel, consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, a spectacular GajendraPith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 murtis and statues of India’s great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine personalities.The Enchanting National MuseumNestling at the corner of Janpath and Maulana Azad Road, just south of rajpath, the National Museum has in its possession over 2,00,000 works ofexquisite art, both of Indian and foreign origin embracing more than 5,000 years of our rich cultural heritage. Humayuns Tomb, Delhi The Garden Tomb Humayuns 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 centre of the enclosure and rises from a podium faced with series of cells with arched openings. The central octagonal chamber containing the cenotaph is encompassed by octagonal chambers at the diagonals and arched lobbies on the sides, 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 2,000-square-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 wasbuilt by Humayuns senior widow Bega Begam, popularly known as Haji Begam, nine years after hisdeath in 1565 according to some, but fourteen years according to the manuscript of an 18th centurytext. 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 withingardens, 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 westand the other on the south, the latter now remaining closed. A baradari (pavilion) occupies the centreof the eastern wall of the enclosure and a bath-chamber that of the northern wall. A Homage To TheRoyal Dynasty Several rulers of the Mughal dynasty lie buried in the mausoleum, although it is notpossible to identify their graves. Among those lying buried here are Bega Begam, Hamida Banu Begam -Humayuns junior wife, Dara Shikoh - Shah Jahans son, and the later Mughals, Jalandar Shah,Farrukhsiyar, Rafiud-Darajat, Rafiud-Daula and Alamgir II, Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperorof Delhi had taken shelter in this tomb with the three princes during the mutiny and was captured herein 1857 by Lieutenant Hodson.AROUND THE TOMB Barbers Tomb Within the compound of Humayuns tomb to its southeast standsan impressive square tomb with a double-dome. It is not quite known who is buried inside it, although itis usually referred to as Barbers tomb. There are two graves inside it inscribed with verses from theQuran. One of the graves is inside it inscribed with verses from the Quran. One of the graves is inscribedwith the figure 999, which may stand for the Hijra year corresponding to 1590-91. Nila-GumbadOutside the Humayuns tomb enclosure on the southeastern side stands an impressive tomb ofplastered stone covered with a dome of blue tiles. Octagonal externally but square within, its ceiling isprofusely decorated with painted and incised plaster. With its high neck and absence of a double dome,which would be usual for this period, it is a unique construction. Conforming to its general colourfulappearance around its drum are traces of tiles of other colours. Known as Nila-Gumbad (blue dome), itis believed to have been built in 1625 by Abdur-Rahim Khan Khan-i-Khanan and is said to contain theremains of Fahim Khan, one of his faithful attendants. There is some indication, however, that the tombmay have existed even before the construction of Humayuns tomb and may, therefore, contain theremains of some other person. Arab-Sarai The Arab-Sarai consists of a large enclosure adjoining thesouthwestern corner of Humayuns tomb. It is divided into two quadrangles by series of cells providedwith a gateway in the centre.The western enclosure has now been occupied by the Industrial Training Institute. Immediately outsideits lofty eastern entrance approached by a gateway from the east, with traces of paintings on itsunderside, is the second quadrangle,originally bounded by arched cells, which is known as the mandi(market) and was added by Mihr Banu Agha, chief eunuch of Jahangir. The northern gate of the Arab-Sarai lies immediately to the right of the eastern gate of Bu- Halimas garden. India Gate, Delhi
Location : New Delhi Famous As : All India War Memorial 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 thisis rarely done. Surrounding the imposing structure is a large expanse of lush green lawns, which is apopular picnic spot. One can see hoards of people moving about the brightly lit area and on the lawnson summer evenings. Jantar Mantar, Delhi Delhi hotels, Delhi airport hotels, Delhi hotel, hotels in delhi, hotel in delhi A unique structure raised in 1724, now lies in the heart of Delhis 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 Mantar 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 emperorAurangzeb had died and the Mughal Empire was rapidly declining. During this period of turmoil, Muhammad Shah ascendedthe throne of the Mughal Empire. As many enemies surrounded him, he sought the alliance of the Hindu rulers. Of these, themost notable was Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber, who came into limelight since the days of Aurangzeb. When Jai Singhascended the throne of Amber in 1699, he was barely eleven, but sharp and shrewd far beyond his years. The then Mughalemperor Aurangzeb was so impressed with the young ruler that he gave Jai Singh II the title of Sawai, meaning one and aquarter of an average man in worth.As Jai Singh repeatedly proved himself a worthy ally of the Mughals, MuhammadShah, who was seeking a dependable ally, zeroed in on Jai Singh and duly raisedhim to the rank of governor of Agra and later, of Malwa. Legend Behind JantarMantar Jai Singh was passionate about two things-arts and the sciences, chieflyastronomy. Once, at the court of Muhammad Shah, he found the Hindu andMuslim astrologers embroiled in a heated argument over certain planetarypositions. It was imperative that the positions be known accurately to determinean auspicious hour for the emperor to set out on an expedition. Jai Singh offeredto rectify the then available astronomical tables, an offer that was readily acceptedby the Mughal emperor. The result was an onsite Jantar Mantar in Delhi, an astronomical observatorywhere the movements of sun, moon and planets could be observed.
Qutub MinarHistorical Construction Of A Landmark In 1199, Qutub-ud-Din raised the Qutub Minareither as a victory tower or as a minaret to the adjacent mosque. From a base of14.32m it tapers to 2.75m at a height of 72.5m and a valid reason why it took twodecades to complete this monument. Its a red sandstone tower covered with beautifuland 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 Islamicstructures ever raised and Delhis recognised landmark. The sultans successor andson-in-law, Iltutmish, completed it. In 1303, Ala-ud-Din established the second city ofDelhi, called Siri, of which nothing remains but the embattlements. He also had dug avast reservoir, Hauz Khas, to supply water to his city. Contemporary historiansdescribe the Delhi of that time as being the "envy of Baghdad, the rival of Cairo andequal to Constantinople". For the sake of convenience, tourists visiting the QutubComplex could also see the Tomb of Adham Khan and Zafar Mahal in Mehrauli andthe Tomb of Jamali-Kamali behind the Qutub Minar. These however, belong to a laterdate. The Damage & Restoration From the Nagari and Persian inscriptions on theminar, it appears that it was damaged twice by lightning, in 1326 and 1368.The first damage occurred during Muhammed Tughluqs reign (1325-51), and wasrepaired by him apparently in 1332. The second damage was attended by FerozeTughluq (1351-88). Later in 1503, Sikandar Lodi (1489-1517) also carried out somerestoration in the upper storeys. Originally the minar had only four storeys, faced withred and buff sandstone. The uppermost storey, which was damaged in 1368 during Feroze Tughluqs reign, was replaced byhim by two storeys, making free use of marble but leaving the lower portion of the fourth storey built with sandstone in itsoriginal condition. The original three storeys are each laid on a different plan, the lowest with alternate angular and circularflutings, the second with round ones and the third with angular ones only, with the same alignment of flutings, however, beingcarried through them all. Its projecting balconies with stalactite pendentive type of brackets and inscriptional decorative bandson 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. Witha height of 72.5 m and 379 steps, it is the highest stone tower in India and a perfect example of minar known to existanywhere. Red Fort, DelhiOne of the most spectacular pieces of Mughal Architecture is the Lal Quila or the Red Fort. Built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan between 1638 and1648, the Red Fort has walls extending up to 2 kms. in length with the height varying from 18 mts. on the river side to 33 mts. on the city side.The entry to this splendid fort is from the Lahori Gate or the Chatta Chowk. Lal Quila is now a busy market place called the Meena Bazaar. This bazaarhas an excellent collection of antiques, miniature paintings and skillfully crafted fake ivory jewellery. The bazaar also sells some fabulous carpetsbeautifully woven. Just beyond the Chhata Chowk, is the heart of the fort called Naubat Khana, or the Drum House. Musicians used to play for theemperor from the Naubat Khana, and the arrival of princes and royalty was heralded from here.The Fort sports all the obvious trappings befitting a vital centre of Mughal governance: halls of public and private audiences, domed and arched marblepalaces, plush private apartments, a mosque, and elaborately designed gardens. Even today, the Fort remains an impressive testimony to Mughal
grandeur, despite being attacked by the Persian Emperor Nadir Shah in 1739, and by the British soldiers, during the war of independence in 1857. The Fort also houses the Diwan-i-Am or the Hall of Public Audiences, where the Emperor would sit on a marbled paneled alcove, studded with gems, and hear complaints of the common people. The Diwan-i-Khas is the hall of Private Audiences, where the Emperor held private meetings. This hall is made of marble, and its centre- piece used to be the Peacock Throne, which was studded with rubies and gems and was carried away to Iran by Nadir Shah in 1739. Today, although the Diwan-i-Khas is only a pale shadow of its original glory, yet the verse of Amir Khusro " If there is Paradise on the face of earth, it is here, it is here, it is here" reminds us of its former glory. The Rang Mahal or the Palace of Colours as it is known, holds a spectacular Lotus shaped fountain, made out of a single piece of marble, and housed the Emperors wives and mistresses. The palace was decorated with excellent paintings, gold bordered projections, mosaics of mirrors and the ceiling was made with gold and silver whichwonderfully reflected in a central pool in the marble floor. The other attractions enclosed within this monument are the hammams or the Royal Baths, theShahi Burj, which used to be Shahjahans private working area, and the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, built by Aurangzeb for his personal use