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What to see in Delhi

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Heritage Monuments

Parliament house
Parliament House is a circular colonnaded building. It houses ministerial offices and numerous committee rooms. Conceived in the imperial style, the three semi circular buildings are used for the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha meetings.

Red Fort
Among Delhi's most famous landmarks is the Redfort or Lal Qila a 17th century fort complex constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Every year on Aug 15th India's Independence dat, Prime Minister hoists the national flag from the Red fort.

Humayun's Tomb
Built in 1565 AD, nine years after the death of Humayun, this magnificent garden tomb is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India. The wife of Humayun built the tomb in memory of her loving husband, and designed by the persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. The site is near the Nizamuddin dargah and his wife and other members were also laid to rest here.

India gate
At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42m high Indian Gate. During nightfall, India gate is dramatically  floodlit while the fountains nearby ass to its charm. Sorrounding thr structure are lush green lawns, which are popular as picnic spots.

Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar was constructed in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur. Jai Singh had found the existing astronomical instruments too small to take correct measurements and so he built these larger and more accurate instruments. The instruments at Jantar Mantar are fascinating for their ingenuity. He then went on to build similar observatories in Ujjain, Jaipur, Benaras and Mathura. The one in Mathura no longer exists though. He matched the readings to find if the sundial was giving an accurate reading.

What do I see here....
Some of the instruments are the Samrat yantra the huge sun dial which measures the sun time believed to be accurate to seconds. The Ram yantra is to calculate the altitude and azimuth of sun. The Misra yantra tells the time in Greenwich, Switzerland, Japan and Pacific in comparison with the time in Delhi. There are two pillars which shows us the shortest and longest days of the year. Jai Prakash was founded by the king himself and its shows the position of the sun in various times of the year.

Raj Ghat
Not far fron the banks of the river Yamuna, Raj Ghat has a simple memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, marking the spot where he was assasinated by Nathuram Godse in 1948. A commemorative ceremony is held here every Friday, the day he was assasinated. Two museums dedicated to the Mahatma are close by. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru, was also cremated to the north of the memorial at Shanti Van(Forest of Peace). The area is now a beautiful park labelled with trees. The Zinat-ul Masjid(Most Beautiful of Mosques) towers over the Raj Ghat.

Red Fort
Built by the Mughals in 1638, the Red Fort has been constructed in red sandstone. The massive walls of the Red Fort, also known as Lal Qila rise 33 metres and were designed to keep the invaders out. Surrounded by the clamour of Old Delhi, the Red Fort forms the focal point patriotic emotions during the Indpendence and the Republic day. The main gate of this massive structure is known as the Lahore Gate. The vaulted arcade of Chatta Chowk, a covered Bazaar given to selling tourist junk, leads into the huge fort compound. Inside the fort is a veritable treasur trove of magnificent buildings including the Drum House, the Diwan-i-Aam (House of public audiences), Diwan-i-Khas (House of private audiences), the Pearl Mosque, Royal Baths and the Palace of Colour. The Department of Tourism organizes the sound and light show in the evenings which makes the fort come alive with emotions.

Purana Qila
Built on the site of Delhi's most ancient avatars, Indraprastha the walls of Purana qila was built by Humayun and the foundation was laid for the new capital. The work was carried forward by Sher Shah Suri. Some believe it as Pandavon ka qila, which means the fort of Pandavas, though there is no evidence to support this theory. The name old fort or Purana qila came when Shah Jahan built the red fort and that came to be known as the new fort and this the old fort.

Qutab Minar
Built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in 1193, it is a 73 metre high tower of victory, built after the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five storeys, each tapering over the one below. Each storey has a separate balcony. The view from the topmost storey is wonderful, but due to a nasty accident, the entrance to the tower has been banned. The first three storeys of Qutab Minar are made of  red sandstone and the fourth and fifth storeys have been constructed in marble and sandstone. Qutab Minar is a soaring 73m high tower of victory, whose construction commenced under the rule of Autub-ud-din Aibak in 1193 A.D. It is a landmark of the city and one of the must visit places.

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque
Situated at the foot of Qutub Minar, the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was the first mosque to be built in India. A 7m high iron pillar, known as the Ashoka Pillar,  stands in the curtyard of the mosque and it is said that whoever can encircle the pillar, standing with his back to it, would be very lucky. This pillar has been made of a special kind of iron and it has not been eaten by rust.

Tughlaqabad fort
Another monument of significance and a landmark of Delhi, though now largely in ruins, is the Tughlaqabad fort built by Ghiyas ud din Tughlaq, the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty in 1321 A.D Although not given much significance, the fort is worth watching, The entry is through the Qutab- Badarpur road, and across the road is his tomb with stands gleamingly white domed.

Tomb of Razia Sultan
Location - Pahari Bhojla, near Chitli Qabar, Old Delhi.
Razia Sultan's tomb chamber is in Old delhi. Perhaps the most less visited place. There is no dome or any crowd here. Little has she got the acceptance of being first woman ruler of Delhi Sultanate as well as that of South Asia.

Lets know a little about Razia - She succeeded her father Shams-ud-din Iltutmish in the year 1236, she preferred a man's tunic and headdress behavior of women in the Muslim society of those times. She was a shrewd politician, who fell in love with a slave, and had to ultimately marry her childhood friend Malik Altunia who raised a rebellion against her. By then her brother Muizuddin Bahram Shah usurped the throne, to which Razia and her huband fought but they were caught and killed.

Believed to be Razia's tomb as claimed by the archeological survey of India, it lies jumbled in the narrow lanes of Old Delhi. Sorrounded by brick apartments, the two crumbling stone moulds (the second one believed to be Razia's sister) are at their relics.  Buried in the busy bylanes of Old Delhi, one can ask to the help of the locals to navigate through the turns and curves leading to the tomb. A walk through the chai stalls, hair cutting saloons, and biriyani joints takes you to an iron gated enterance which is  Pahari Bhojla and once you climb it it is Bulbuli Khana. Where in a little forward the slab of the archeological survey is visible. Once a thick forest, the tomb is still mysteriously doubtful as there is also a claim that her tomb is in Tonk. The place is empty and peacefuland try knocking at the neighbouring houses to have a look from the top. Some of the Muslim residents of the neighborhood have turned a part of the tomb into a mosque, where prayers are conducted five times each day.

Baolis of Delhi
Agrasen ki Baoli close to the heart of Connaught place in Central Delhi is a beautiful but not so frequented hangout. This 14th century baoli an ancient stepwell is like a blast from the past. Flanked on both sides by niches, chambers and passageways, the 104 stone steps, descending into the well's dried bottom have three levels.
Located in Hailey Road, near KG Marg
Time to visit is 9 am to 5 pm.

As one enters there is a mosque on one side and the only inhabitants are the hundreds of pigeons. Centuries ago this was a reservoir as well as a summer refuge for heart stricken citizens, living in pre lodhi times. As the water level plunged the people would seek a cooler retreat in the baoli's lower reaches. Till 2002 there was water but the popularity of this baoli spanning 60 metres in length and 15 metres in width has evaporated with its water. Despite being a 10 minute walk from Cannaught Place's N block its ticket less entrance hardly sees any visitors except the irre backpacker or the odd school tour.

The Baoli's solitude is remarkable but its a pity that this beautiful relicthat has travelled for in its time schedule and is holding its own against gleaming skyscrapers and yet its magnificence lies acknowledges.

Other Baoli's in Delhi

There are more than 30 baoli's in Delhi. The oldest of all is Anangtal near Mehrauli, built during the 10th century. Gandhak ki Baoli near Qutab Minar is another another old Baoli. Other well preserved baoli's are Rajon Ki Baoliin Mehrauli and Hauz Khas Baoli near Deer Park. The baoli in Nizamussin Basti built more than 700 years ago was finally spruced up early this year. It is the only one to have an active underground spring.

Chor minar
It is located in the Hauz Khas enclave,  the thieves during the reign of Alauddin Khilji were sent here to be hanged. Could be the thief could be beheaded with his head adorning the spear and displayed in one of the 225 holes in the minar.

Khooni Darwaza
Or the 'Bloody gate', its just an arch which is seen outside Firoz Shah Kotla. It was built by Sher Shah Suri who reigned for hardly 5 years. He was one among the finest rulers who brought about lots of reforms during his short reign. The gate has a bloody history being witness to the slaughter of the sons of Abadul Rahim Khan by Jahangir, Dara was murdered and his head kept on display here by his brother Aurangzeb, Bahadur Shah Zafar's sons were also murdered here by the Bristish in 1857, the partition of India also has left back some memories to add to its red history.