Delhi is an old, rather ancient city of historical importance. Its history dates back to thousands year old civilization and found its mention in Mahabharata era too. A number of foreign rulers fought for supremacy over Delhi, grabbed it, held it, made it seat of their reigns, before felling into the hands of Britishers. The Britishers which had commercial interests in India, exploited its resources, but contributed some level of infrastructure and architecture into the life of the city. A few places– 10 top places where we can go for outing, sight seeing and for serious exploration of knowledge in Delhi have been enumerated here. These 10 good places are also delhi’s main attraction. You can even plan outing here with your family.
Top 10 Places of Interests in Delhi
These are listed here with short description. These are Red Fort, India Gate, Qutub Minar, Lodi tomb, Humayun Tomb and Garden, Jantar Mantar, Old Fort, Rashtrpati Bhawan, Lotus Temple and Parliament House. For detailed information including their history and architecture, you can click the link on the respective titles.
1. Red Fort
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an icon of Mughal rule in India, Red Fort was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Made of red sandstone, Red Fort served as the place from where Mughal rules the country. It took 10 years to complete the mammoth fort, whose boundary spreads over 2.5 kilometer. The fort was made according to the various needs of functioning of the then rulers.
It is said that an old fort, named as Salimgarh fort was already situated there. Shah Jahan grabbed the fort, and made it a part of the grand Red Fort. The asymmetrical size of the Fort suggests the real story behind the deviation of symmetry in the Fort.
The Red Fort is spread into an area of about 250 acres, encircled by 2.41 kilometres boundary walls of 18 metres on the river side to 33 metres on the city side. The fort is octagonal, with the north-south axis longer than the east-west axis. The use of white marble, floral decorations and double domes in the fort’s buildings show the likings of later Mughal architecture.
Light & Sound Show
Light and Sound Show at Red Fort Delhi is an one hour shown to showcase the history of the monument. There are two shows– One in Hindi and other in English.
The show has been scheduled in the evening. Times changes according to the seasons. Entry Fee for Sound and Light Show: Rs.50/-
Timings & Entry Ticket
9:30AM to 4:30PM daily (except Monday)
Entry Fee: Rs.10/-(For Indian Citizens) and Rs.150/- (For foreigners)
The entry ticket is priced at Rs. 60 for adults and Rs. 20 for children on weekdays and Rs. 80 for adults and Rs. 30 for children on weekends and public holidays.
2. India Gate
Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, India Gate is an icon of a war memorial. Located on the Rajpath, India Gate it is a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the undivided Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War, in France, and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. 13,300 servicemen’s names, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate. The India Gate, even though a war memorial, evokes the architectural style of the triumphal arch and is often compared to the Arch in Paris, and the Gateway of India in Mumbai.
The India gate, which is magnificiently illuminated every evening, usually from 19:00 to 21:30, is a tourist itinerary. Vehicles ere allowed to move through India Gate, till it was closed to traffic. The Republic Day Parade starts from Rashtrapati Bhavan and passes around the India Gate.
he 42-metre tall India Gate, stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge moulding. The shallow domed bowl at the top was intended to be filled with burning oil on anniversaries but this is rarely done. The India Gate hexagon complex, with a diameter of about 625 metres, covers approximately 306,000 square meters in area.
How to reach and Entry Ticket
Since India Gate is located at a strategically middle place of central Delhi, local buses and taxis are available from all major points within the city to reach the tourists to India Gate.
There are no entry ticket there.
3. Qutub Minar
The honour of world’s tallest minaret, made of bricks is named with the Qutub Minar at Delhi. A 240 feet tall tower with a diameter of 40 feet at base and nine feet at the peak, Qutub Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world. Constructed by Qutb al-Din Aibak, founder of the Delhi Sultanate, who started its construction in 1220, Aibak’s successor and son-in-law Iltutmish added three storeys to the tower. It is said that due to lightning, the top storey got destroyed completely. So, Firoz Shah Tughlaq carried out restoration work replacing the damaged storey with two new storeys every year, made of red sandstone and white marble.
Qutub Minar is surrounded by historically important monuments, which are connected with the tower and are part of the Qutub complex. These are– the Iron Pillar of Delhi, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza, the Tomb of Iltutmish, Alai Minar, Ala-ud-din’s Madrasa and Tomb, and the Tomb of Imam Zamin. Other minor monuments include Major Smith’s Cupola and Sanderson’s Sundial.
Timings and Ticket
It is open from sunrise to sunset, in every season.
For Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) – Rs. 30 per head.
Others: Indian Rs. 250/- per head
Children up to 15 years are allowed free entry to the monument.
4. Lodhi Tomb and Garden
Tomb of Sikandar Lodi is the mausoleum of the second ruler of the Lodi Dynasty, Sikandar Lodi who ruled from 1489–1517. It is situated inside the Lodhi Gardens in Delhi. Built in 1517–1518 by his son Ibrahim Lodi, the monument is situated near the Bara Gumbad of the area of village Khairpur. It is said that the Tomb of Sikandar Lodi was inspired in parts by the tomb of Muhammad Shah in architecture and designing.
The tomb is enclosed within a fortified complex (entered from a south facing gateway) with the main entrance having two umbrella shaped domes which was designed to preserve the symmetry and relative proportions of the body of the building. Both pavilions on the square platform in the front have remains of blue tiles. The tomb is situated in the middle of a large garden and tall boundary walls. Tomb chamber is surrounded by a wide veranda with carved pillars with each side pierced by three arches and the angles occupied by sloping buttresses.
Lodi Garden and The Tomb of Sikandar Lodi are synonyms, because the tomb is located in the Lodi Garden. In fact, it is a part of the Lodhi Gardens in Delhi. The village, where the monument stands was earlier called Khairpur. The garden is bounded by Amrita Shergill Marg in the West, North-West and North, Max MuellerMarg on the East and Lodhi Road on the South Side. Safdarjang Tomb is situated on South-West corner of the Lodhi Garden. It is a favourite point for early morning walkers from the neghbouring Delhi colonies.
5. Humayun Tomb
Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The tomb was constructed by his son, the great emperor Akbar in 1569-70. Located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi, it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It was said to be the first structure which made use of red sandstone at a grand scale. Besides the main tomb enclosure of Humayun, several smaller monuments comes in the pathway leading up to it, from the main entrance in the West. Inspired by Persian architecture, the tomb reaches a height of 47 metres and is 91 metres wide, which was the first Indian building to use the Persian double dome on a high neck drum.
An important phase in the restoration of the complex, started around 1993, when the monument was declared a World Heritage Site. This brought new interest to its restoration, and a detailed research and excavation process began under the aegis of the Aga Khan Trust and the ASI, culminating in 2003, when much of the complex, and gardens were finally restored, with its historic fountains running once again after several centuries of disuse. The restoration has been a continuous process ever since, with subsequent phases addressing various aspects and monuments of the complex.
Jantar Mantar, located in the heart of the city of New Delhi consists of a number of astronomy instruments. The place of New Delhi is one of the five such sites built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, from the year 1723 onwards. It is said that he was given by Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah the task of revising the calendar and astronomical tables. The purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets. This branch of science in contemporary world is known as astronomy.
One of the remarkable aspects of Jai Singh’s observatories is that every observatory is different in size, area, designing and style. While the instruments he designed are essentially the same in principle, the versions at different sites vary in size, materials, and construction.
The instruments at Jantar Mantar are fascinating for their ingenuity, but accurate observations can no longer be made from here because of the tall buildings around.
Timings of Jantar Mantar Observatory
The Delhi Jantar Mantar is open to public from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
7. Old Fort
Old Fort of Delhi is one the oldest forts located in the State of Delhi. Historians believe that the map of modified fort was the handiwork of emperor Sher Shah Suri. Sher Shah raised the citadel of Purana Qila with an extensive city-area sprawling around it. It is believed that the Purana Qila was still incomplete at Sher Shah’s death in 1545, and was perhaps completed by his son Islam Shah, although it is not certain. The site of the Old Fort was perhaps that of Indraprastha, the then capital of the Pandavas.
The walls of the Fort are at a height of 18 metres. It has three arched gateways: the Big Gate, facing west, which is still in use today; the south gate, also popularly known as the ‘Humayun Gate’ (probably so known because it was constructed by Humayun, or perhaps because Humayun’s Tomb is visible from there); and lastly, the ‘Talaqi Gate’, often known as the “forbidden gate”.
Timings and Ticket
Located near Delhi Zoo, on Mathura Road, Delhi, the Old Fort is usually opens from sunrise to sunset. Entry to Indian resident is for Rs. 20, while foreigners are charged Rs.200. Although photography is free, but if you are interested in video shooting, you will need to shell out Rs 25 extra.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home of the President of India, located at the Western end of Rajpath in New Delhi. The 340-room main building has the president’s official residence, halls, guest rooms and offices. it has 130-hectare (320 acre) President Estate that additionally includes huge presidential gardens large open spaces, residences staff, stables, other offices and utilities within its perimeter walls. The main palace building was formerly known as Viceroy’s House. In terms of area, it was the largest residence of a head of state in the world.
The layout plan of the building is designed around a huge square with courtyards and open inner areas within. Ttwo wings were created–one was meant for the Viceroy and residents and another for guests. The residence wing is a separate four-storey house in itself, with its own court areas within. This wing was so large that the last Indian governor-general, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, opted to live the smaller guest wing, a tradition that has since been followed by subsequent presidents. The original residence wing is now used primarily for state receptions and as a guest wing for visiting heads of state.
Rashtrapati Bhavan has many halls which are used for state functions and other purposes. Two of them, Durbar Hall and Ashoka Hall, are the most prominent.
Formerly called the House of Parliament, a circular shaped building, the design of Parliament house is based on Ashoka Chakr. It was constructed on the drawing of the British architect Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. Its construction began in 1921. The opening ceremony of the Parliament House, then called the Central Legislative Assembly, was performed on 18 January 1927 by Lord Irwin, who was serving as Viceroy of India at that time. The third session of Central Legislative Assembly was held in this house on 19 January 1927.
With the ancient features of Indian art are mingled modern scientific achievements in acoustics, air-conditioning, simultaneous Interpretation etc. The centre and focus of the building is the big circular edifice of the Central Hall. On the three axes, radiating from this centre are placed the three Chambers for Lok Sabha (House of the People), Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the erstwhile Library Hall (formerly the Princes Chamber) and between them garden courts are situated. Surrounding these three Chambers is a four storeyed circular structure providing accommodation for Ministers, Chairmen, Parliamentary Committees, Party Offices, important offices of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats and also the Offices of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
Three Committee Rooms on the first floor are used for meetings of Parliamentary Committees. Three other rooms on the floor are used by media who visit to the Press Galleries of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Six lifts operating in the building, one on either side of the entrances to the Chambers. The Central Hall is air cooled and the Chambers are air-conditioned. The outer wall of the corridor on the ground floor of the building is decorated with a series of panels depicting the history of India from the ancient times and India’s cultural contacts with her neighbours.
10. Lotus Temple
Located in New Delhi, India, Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship. Constructed in 1986, the Lotus Temple is known for its flower shape. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in various newspaper and magazine articles. Like all Bahá’í Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion or any other qualification. The building is composed of 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides, with nine doors opening onto a central hall with height of slightly over 40 metres and a capacity of 2,500 people.
Situated in Okhla, Bahapur in it was built by an Iranian architect named Fariborz Sahba. He was approached in 1976 to design it and later oversaw its construction. The structural design was undertaken by a UK firm and the construction was done by an Indian company.
the Lotus Temple of Delhi was inaugurated in the year1986. It attracts millions of visitors every year, making it one of the most visited buildings in the world.
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