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Delhi Travel Guide

Delhi, a city that defies a one-line description is actually India in miniature. Over thousand years, it has wooed rulers, fascinated plunderers, and tried historians with details. Today, even as Delhi preserves an enviable heritage, it is city always on the move. Delhi remains the centre of power, starting with royal power to colonial power and finally the seat of bureaucratic power. Today its emerging as an significant centre for corporate power too. However, the most absorbing aspect of this city is its cosmopolitan nature.

Tourist Attraction in Delhi
INDIA GATE - India Gate, a memorial honouring the Indian soldiers martyred during Afghan war. Its green, velvety lawns are a popular popular for young and old alike. Ice-cream carts, popcorn and peanut vendors, panwallahs,balloon wallahs, carts selling cold water and cold drinks, men and women selling sweet-scented jasmine gajras (garlands) for women, do brisk business at the peripheries of these lawns.

RASHTRAPATI BHAWAN - Modern Delhi, or New Delhi as it is referred as, centres around the Rashtrapati Bhawan. This impressive building standing at a height, flows down to India Gate. The stretch, called the Rajpath is the venue for the annual Republic Day parade. The impressive plan of the area, conceived by Lutyens, has'nt lost its charm over years. Rashtrapati Bhawan, once the regal residence of British viceroys, is built on the Raisina hills. This 340-roomed monument has an commanding character overlooking Rajpath and India Gate. It is the official residence of the president of India now. For lovers of flowers and beauty, meticulously tended Mughal Gardens of the Rastrapati Bhavan, is a bonanza topped of roses in perfect bloom.

LAXMINARAYAN TEMPLE - Also called the Birla temple, the Laxminarayan Temple was built in 1938 by the Birla family. It has a large garden and fountains as its background. The temple attracts thousands of followers on Janmashtami day, the birthday of Lord Krishna. Mahatma Gandhi, the,Father of the Nation, was assassinated by Nathu Ram Godse in this temple complex in 1948.

HUMAYUN'S TOMB (DELHI) - Humayun's Tomb was built by his wife Haji Begum nine years after his death. Designed by Mirak Mirza Ghujas, a Persian architect and completed in 1565, the structure was a trendsetter of the time. All later Mughal monuments, including the Taj Mahal, are believed to have followed its design and layout.

QUTAB MINAR - The Qutab Minar, located at Mehrauli a small village In South Delhi, was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty. He came to power in delhi in 1206. A fluted red sandstone tower, tapering up to a height of 72.5 m has intricate carvings and verses from the holy Quran all over. Qutub-ud-din Aibak constructed this victory tower to symbolize Muslim domination of Delhi. It was a minaret for the priest, the muezzin, to call the Azaan. However, only the first storey was completed during his life. The other stories were built by, Iltutmish, his successor. The Ferozshah Tughlaq built two circular storeys in white marble in 1368, to replace the original fourth storey. The balconies in the tower are held by exquisite stalactite designs. The tapering tower is circular and flutings on the first storey and star-shaped on the second and third stories. The calligraphic inscriptions are seen in a perfect blend with the superb stalactite designs on the exterior of the tower. The Qutab Minar, first structure of Muslim rule in India, marks the beginning of the new Indo-Islamic architectural style.

RED FORT - A visit to Old Delhi leaves one with emotional response far beyond discription. Undoubtedly, Old Delhi gives a glimpse of the multi-layered identity that so appropriately characterizes India. The narrow lanes filled with people, are throbbing with life. Amidst this sea of people, one comes face to face with the walls of the Red Fort. The decision for constructing the fort was taken in 1639along with the decision to shift the capital to Delhi by Shahjahan. By 1647, Shahjahanabad was complete with Red Fort-Qila-i-Mubarak (fortunate citadel)-Delhi's seventh fort. Though much of the fort underwent change because of extensive demolitions during the British occupation of the fort,the important parts have survived, the glory is still impressive. Passing through the splendid Gothic arch, the Chatta Chowk the octagonal market place, and the Naubat Khana-a double-storeyed building, we see Diwan-i-Aam. Here is the spectacularly crafted baldachino-the marble canopy ornamented with the most superb pietra dura work. Diwan-i-Aam used to be decorated with golden curtains, gold and silver railings and gorgeous carpets below dazzling chandeliers. Royalty stood in mute awe of the Emperor's court. Behind it are the Zenana quarters wich include the Mumtaz Mahal and Rang Mahal, with a marble lotus fountain in the centre made out of a single slab. In its sculptured grandeur are matched only by the trellis wall below the scales of justice in the Khwab Gah. Diwan-i-Khas, pavilion of white marble-has lost most of its splendour. Here, under the original silver ceiling, was world famous Peacock Throne inlaid with the costliest gems of the Mughal Empire. On the ceiling slab has a couplet inscribed, if there is heaven on the face of earth, it is here, it is here, it is here'. Nadir Shah, Ghulam Qadir, Ahmad Shah Abdali, the Marathas, and the British plundered the Mughal riches and destroyed many buildings of immense beauty. Still the Shah Burjan octagonal tower and the two marble pavilions, Sawan and Bhadon (the Indian months of rain), have withstood forces of destruction. Mahtab Bagh and Hayat Baksh, the gardens have vanished. A later-day pavilion in red sandstone, built by Bahadur Shah II, stands in the middle of a dried up pool. Moti Masjid, the mosque built by Aurangzeb, is a masterpiece despite the original copper casing having been removed long back. Still it is the only fort with well-preserved royal structures to offer a glimpse of the glory of the Mughal Empire. The Red Fort, the last fort built in Delhi, has witnessed the vicissitudes of fate, the Mughals, the British, and finally the first light of Indian Independence.

RAJ GHAT (DELHI) - On the bank of the river Yamuna, lies Raj Ghat-the last resting place of Mahatma Gandhi. An essential point of call among visiting dignitaries also houses two museums dedicated to Gandhi.

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