Delhi : Places to See
Built as a memorial to commemorate the 70,000 India soldiers killed in World
War I, India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1931.
Formely the Viceregal Lodge, the building is the highlight of Lutyen's New Delhi
and was completed in 1929 at a cost of 12,53,000 pound sterling. Located in
an area of 130 hectares, the palace has 340 rooms.
So called because of the red stone with which it is built, the Red Fort is one
of the most magnificent palaces in the world. India's history is also closely
linked with this fort. It was frorth here ht the British deposed the last Mughal
ruler, Bhadur Shah Zafar, marking the end of the three century long Mughal rule.
It was also fromits ramparts that the first prime. Minister of India, pandit
Jawharlal Nehru, announced to the nation that India was free form colonial rule.
The origins of Qutab Minar are shrouded in controversy. Some believe it was
erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in
India. Others say it served as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful
to prayer. No one can, however, dispute that the tower is not only one of the
finest monuments in India, but also in the world.
The fort is said to be constructed on the historic site of indraprastha (900BC)
by Humayun and Sher Shah. Covering a circuit of about a mile, the walls of the
fort have three gates and are surrounded by a mat fed by the river Yamuna.
At first sight, the Jantar Mantar appears like a gallery of modern art. It is,
however, an observatory. Sawai Jia Singh II of Jaipur (1699-1743), a keen astronomer
and a noble in the Mughal court, was dissatisfied by the errors of brass and
metal astronomical instruments.
The mughals brought with them a love for gardens, fountains and water. The first
mature example of Mughal architecture in India, Humayun's Tomb was built by
the emperor's grieving widow, Haji Begum, in 1565 AD.
Work on the Jama Masjid mosque was begun in 1650 by the Mughal Emperor Shah
Jahan to complement his palace at the Red Fort. More than 5,000 workers toiled
for six years to complete the largest mosque in India. Every Friday, the emperor
and his retinue would travel in state from the fort to the mosque to attend
the congressional prayers.
Representing the last phase of the Mughal style of architecture, Safdarjang's
Tomb stands in the centre of an extensive garden.
The mortal remains of mahatma Gandhi were cremated on this spot on the west
bank of the river Yamuna on the evening of January 31, 1948.
Lakshmi Narayan Mandir
Built in 1938, the temple is an ideal introduction to some of the gods of the
India pantheon. The temple contains a large number of idols and visitors can
also watch priests performing ritualistic prayers.
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