One of the most fascinating aspects of Delhi is the "visibility" of its historic past. Were it not for the demands of urbanization, large portions of the city could well be earmarked as archaeological parks. This is because the rulers of successive dynasties between the 13th and the 17th centuries established seven cities in different parts of Delhi. A chronological review of these cities fortunately also serves as a suitable itinerary for tourists and highlights the important monuments amongst the 1300 officially listed.
Qutub Minar, DelhiQutub Minar
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.
Red Fort, DelhiRed Fort
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.
Purana Quila, DelhiPurana Quila
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.
Jantar Mantar, DelhiJantar Mantar
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.
Humayun Tomb, DelhiHumayun's Tomb
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.
Jama Masjid, DelhiJama Masjid
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.
Safdarjung Tomb, DelhiSafdarjung's Tomb
Representing the last phase of the Mughal style of architecture, Safdarjang's Tomb stands in the centre of an extensive garden.
Sikandra Fort, AgraIndia Gate
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.
Rashtrapati Bhawan, DelhiRashtrapati Bhawan
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.
Raj Ghat, DelhiRajghat
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, DelhiLakshmi 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.