India Gate- Delhi:
India Gate is situated on the Raj Path of New Delhi. India Gate was built by Edwin Lutyens to pay homage to the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I and the Afgan War. Closely looking at the walls of India Gate would let you know the names of 90,000 soldiers who died during the World War I, the Afgan War and the North-West Frontier operations. The structure was finally completed in the year 1931. India Gate was originally called the All India War Memorial.
Amar Jawan Jyoti was built much later to commemorate the soldiers who died in the war against Pakistan in the year 1971 and ever since there is a burning “Amar Jawan Jyoti”, called as the flame of immortal warriors.
India Gate is a 42 meter tall structure with beautiful gardens and fountains around. There is a round circle of road around India Gate with many diversions to important roads.
The night view of India Gate looks very majestic with children and families enjoying the evening. There is a lawn throughout the stretch of the Rajpath and people love coming here again and again. A summer evening is the best time to enjoy the surroundings of India Gate. During winters, lawns around India Gate and Rajpath are hot favorites for a picnic spot.
Surroundings in and around India Gate is filled with enjoyment, laughter, and voices of children rejoicing in the lawns. The Fruit Chaats (mixture of fruits), Ice-creams, Bhelpuri (spicy snack), potato chips and cold drinks can be had at any point through the long walk along the Janpath and near India Gate.
Red Fort- Delhi:
The best of all the structures in Delhi, Red Fort or Lal Qila is an imposing and huge red sandstone structure built on the shores of River Yamuna and was built by. Shah Jahan when he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi. Completed in 1648, its two main entrances are Delhi Gate and Lahori Gate. The latter opens up in the famous Chandni Chowk market. The fort houses an archeology museum, Diwan-e-Am or Hall of Public Audience, Diwan-e-Khas or Hall of Private Audience along with several structures with specific purposes. The ‘Sound and Light Show’ held here every evening in both Hindi and English languages is a must-see and narrates the history of Delhi with most beautiful performances.
Lotus Temple- Delhi:
Fariburz Sahba, an Iranian-born Canadian architect, designed the temple of the Bahai faith, Lotus temple. Erected in the shape of the flower after which it is named in 1986, it symbolizes purity. Its nine petals represent the highest digit and unity as indicated in the Bahai faith. There are nine pools too to cool the stark, elegant interiors of the structure. Its delicate and sleek architecture is built in two layers and resembles origami work. The Hall of Worship conforms to that of all Bahai temples and a pin-drop silence is maintained there at all times. The only religious icons there are the Holy Scriptures and wooden pews.
Qutub Minar- Delhi:
The tallest structure of its time, Qutub Minar was 72.5 m in height with a mosque at the base. It was started in 1199 by a Qutab-ud-din Aibak and finished by his heir IItutmish. The 5th century Iron Pillar of Mehrauli standing in its premises is a wonder for it has not rusted till yet and is a proof of the advanced metallurgy of the times. It is said that if one can hug the pillar backwards, his or hers any wish is granted, however, tourists are not allowed to do so. People are also not allowed to climb up the Qutub Minar for there have been many cases of suicide attempts from here. The structure is surrounded by several ancient ruins that are shrouded in the mystery of myths and legends.
Humayun’s senior widow Bega Begum, popularly known as Haji Begum, built the magnificent Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, in 1565. It is one of the most beautiful Mughal monuments, with features like high arches and a full double dome. Located on Mathura Road, near its crossing with Lodi Road, Humayun’s Tomb is built on a large stone platform, surrounded by green lawns and has a crescent on the top of the dome, instead of the usual lotus. It is said that the Begum spent one and a half million rupees on the tomb, which was constructed between nine and fourteen years after the death of the Emperor Humayun in 1556. You can see a beautiful view of Humayun’s Tomb from the Humayun Darwaza, a gateway in the Purana Qila or Old Fort in Delhi. Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, the architect of Humayun’s Tomb, designed it in a Persian ‘charbagh’ or square four-garden style enclosed by high walls on three sides, and the River Yamuna on the other. The style was introduced in India by Babur, the first Mughal emperor
Safdarjung’s tomb was built by Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah, the son of Safdarjung. Safdarjung was the governor of Awadh and later became the Prime Minister of Muhammad Shah, the Mughal emperor. Built in 1753-1754, the Safdarjung tomb lies at the Lodi road, New Delhi. Safdarjung’s tomb is set in the middle of a garden, which spreads over an area of 300 sq m. The garden of Safdarjung’s tomb is laid down on the pattern of the Mughal Charbagh style. The Safdarjung tomb was erected roughly on the pattern of Humayun’s tomb.
Safdarjung’s tomb represents the last phase of the Mughal style of architecture. The tomb of Safdarjung was built in red sandstone and buff stone. There are two graves here, one of Safdarjung and the other apparently his wife’s. The square central chamber of the mausoleum is surrounded by eight rooms all around. All the apartments, except the corner ones are rectangular in shape, the corner ones being octagonal. The dome of the tomb rises from a sixteen-sided base. On either side of the Safdarjung tomb are beautiful pavilions, known as “Moti Mahal” or the pearl palace, “Jangli Mahal” or the sylvan palace and “Badshah Pasand” or the emperor’s favorite.
Lodi Tomb is one of the popular monuments of Delhi, situated inside the premises of the picturesque Lodi Garden. The tomb is situated in the southern portion of New Delhi, adjacent the Indian International Center. The tomb is the last resting place of one of the great rulers of India, Sikandar Lodi. However, it is not the only tomb built inside the Lodi Garden. Apart from Lodhi Tomb, the garden also houses the tomb of Muhammad Shah, Shish Gumbad and Bara Gumbad.
It is believed that all of these tombs are the snippets of a city, which was supposed to have been built here. Lodi Tomb is octagonal in shape and is built as per the exquisite Mughal architectural style. Infact, the tomb is said to have served as revival of the Sayyid architectural style, which boasted of octagonal plan, deep veranda and tall arches. The tomb of Sikandar Lodhi is adorned with a double dome on top and is entered from a huge gateway, which faces south.
Jantar Mantar in Connaugth Place, New Delhi was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II, the ruler & founder of Jaipur, in India. This ancient monument (built in 1724) is one of the five astronomical observatories build by Maharaja Jai Singh II as he was given by Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah the task of revising the calendar and astronomical tables. Besides Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the other four being located at Jaipur, Varanasi, Ujjain and Mathura. The main objective of making Jantar Mantar observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets.
This great masterpiece of Indian architecture is located at Parliament Street, Connaught Place. Jantar Mantar in Connaught Place is maintained by the Jaipur government because it was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1710 A.D.
After Delhi became the capital of India in 1911, Sir Edwin Lutyens was assigned as the main city architect. He was the very heart of the planning process, and together with his colleague Herbert Baker, he started the work on a new Viceroy’s House (as Rashtrapati Bhavan was called in the beginning). For some time, two architects worked in harmony, but they have split, and Baker continued to work on two Secretariats in front of the Viceroy’s House.
Rashtrapati Bhavan is a beautiful amalgamation of Eastern and Western architectural style. The main entrance, which is on the east side of the building, has a series of broad staircases that lead to a gallery flanked with twelve tall pillars. The acanthus of each pillar has Indian bells on it, as bells are important part of Indian culture and its religions. Lutyens said that the sound of bells marks the end of an Empire, and these bells are made of stone, suggesting that they will stay silent and that British rule will never end in India. Ironically, it took only 19 years after the building was finished for India to become independent country.
The front side does not have windows, only the wings. The windows are also decorated with the Eastern ornaments – jalis – that are in fact latticed screens made of perforated stone. These ornaments are very popular in Islamic and Indian architecture.
One of the most outstanding features of this building is a big, copper dome constructed in Buddhist style. Under the dome is Durbar Hall, where Viceroy’s throne was placed. Floor in is made of marble that was gathered from all parts of India. The hall has been used for important ceremonies. Staircases that are flanking the throne hall lead to private apartments.
Rashtrapati Bhavan has a separate wing that was occupied by Viceroy and another wing for guests. After India gained independence, the first president did not want to live in Viceroy’s wing, because it is too big, so he stayed at guest wing. His successors did the same. The building has a large number of courtyards and open inner areas.
Parliament House, New Delhi is known as the house of the largest democracy in the world. It is located on the north western side of Vijay Chowk, adjacent to the Secretariat Buildings at the end of the Parliament Street popularly known as Sansad Marg.
Parliament House, New Delhi is the product of the two architectural brains – Herbert Baker and Lutyens. It is a huge circular building on columns 5 meters apart. The Columned building has three semicircular chambers for the legislatures and a central library. It is covered by a giant dome 27.4 m high. It covers a huge area of 2.02 hectraes of land. The structure with a diameter of 173m has columned verandah enclosed all along the circumference. The sandstone boundary walls have geometrical columns resembling the Mughal jails. Parliament House, New Delhi is the home of the two houses of the Indian Parliament – the Lok Sabha or the House of the people, the Rajya Sabha or the Upper House and a Central Library.
General public can enter the Sansad Bhawan or the Parliament House of Delhi and view sessions in the public gallery by getting permits from the reception office of Raisina Road of New Delhi. No buses are permitted to run near the Sansad Marg but if you need to come to this place you can hire a taxi or an auto rickshaw. Entrance in the Parliament House in Delhi strains a letter of introduction which is a form of official permission.
Raj Ghat is the cenotaph built in honor of Mahatma Gandhi. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna. This grave black marble podium marks the spot of Mahatma’s cremation on the 31 January 1948. An abiding flame at one end, which burns ceaselessly, flanks the platform. A stone alleyway with lawns on either sides leads to the enclosed space that has the memorial with the epitaph Hey Ram, thought to be the last words articulated by Gandhiji.
Jama Masjid of Delhi is the largest mosque in India. The Jama Masjid stands across the road in front of the Red Fort. Built between 1644 and 1658, Jama Masjid is one of the last architectural works of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The spacious courtyard of the Jama Masjid holds thousands of faithful. Jama Masjid is located on a mound in the heart of the old city and projects beautifully into the Old-Delhi skyline. Jama Masjid Mosque was built in red sandstone and marble by more than 5000 artisans. Originally called the Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, or “mosque commanding view of the world”, the Jama Masjid stands at the center of the erstwhile capital city of the Mughals, Shahjahanbad.
The Jama Masjid was completed under the supervision of Saadullah Khan, the Prime Minister of Shah Jahan. A sum of Rs 10 lakhs was spent on the construction of the Jama Masjid. The Jama Masjid is built on a red sandstone porch, about 30 feet (10 m) from the level of the ground and is about 1400 square yards (1200 m²) in extent. The Jama Masjid has three gateways, four towers and two minarets. The gateways in the north and south are led by a fleet of steps. The main entrance is on the eastern side facing the red fort. It was probably used by the emperors. The tower of the Jama Masjid is made up of five distinctive storeys. Each one of the storeys has a projecting balcony. The adjoining edifices are beautifully done with calligraphy.