|State : Delhi|
Built to be the capital, Delhi had seen the rise and fall of many Kingdoms and Empires. Every dynasty that ruled Delhi left behind some kind of a seal or monument for the world to admire and remember.
History: Delhi, situated between the Aravalli hills and the River Yamuna, had the attention of almost every conqueror in this part of the world. The oldest reference to Delhi is made in the Mahabharata that states that Pandavas founded a city called Indraprasta beside the River Yamuna in 1450 BC.
|Since then conquerors from the north treated Delhi as the gateway to the Indian sub-continent, with repeated invasion and creation of empires and kingdoms, Delhi was built and demolished time again. Thus in the course of history seven medieval cities were formed
King Anangpal of Tomar built the first city of Delhi in 1069 AD. Prithviraj Chuhan, the famous Rajput hero, and Qutub-ud-din Aibak the first sultan of Delhi improved on it. Qutub Minar from the time of Qutub-ud-din is still a dominant structure in Delhi
|In 1555 Humayun regained power and Mughals ruled Delhi once again. During Akbar's reign Agra was the capital of Mughals. In 1638 Shahjahan shifted the capital to Delhi and built the seventh city of Delhi, Shahajahanabad by 1648. Many monuments of Shahjahanabad remain in old Delhi.
The decline of Mughal Empire began during the reign of Aurengazeb. In the 19th century British East India Company rose into power.
The capital of India, Delhi blends a historic past and a vibrant present. The Imperial city planned for the British by Lutyens is set in parks and shaded avenues. Legend has it that Delhi, then called Indraprastha, was originally founded around 1200 B.C. by the Pandavas, the august heroes of the epic Mahabharata. Present day Delhi is built around the ruins of seven ancient cities.
|Qutab Minar Complex:|
|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 adjoining mosque and was used by 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.
Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmish, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey. The development of architectural styles from Aibak to Tughlak are quite evident in the minar. The relief work and even the materials used for construction differ.
|The fort is said to be constructed on the historic site of Indraprastha (900 BC) 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 moat fed by the river Yamuna. The wall was built the fort are attributed to Sher Shah. The notable buildings that have survived in the fort are the Sher Mandal and the Quila- i- Kuhna Mosque.|
|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. Constructed with red sandstone and ornamented with marble bands, this mausoleum marks the beginning of a new tradition of ornate style which culminated in the Taj Mahal of Agra.|
|Jantar Mantar: |
|At first sight, the Jantar Mantar appears like a gallery of modern art. It is, however, an observatory. Sawai Jai 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. Under patronage from the emperor, he set on himself the task of correcting the existing astronomical tables and updating the almanac with more reliable instruments.|
|Red 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 from here that the British deposed the last Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, marking the end of the three century long Mughal rule. It was also from its ramparts that the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, announced to the nation that India was free from colonial rule.|
|Jama 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|
|India Gate: |
|Built as a memorial to commemorate the 70,000 Indian soldiers killed in World War I, India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1931.
Located on Rajpath, the road which leads to the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhawan, the gate is 160 feet high with an arch of 138 feet.
Built from sandstone, the arch also houses the Eternal Flame, a gesture in memory of the Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
|India Gate: |
|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.
At one time, 2,000 people were required to look after the building and serve the Viceroy's household.