Synonymous with New Delhi and situated in the heart
of the city, India Gate is one of the most popular
monuments in the city. The foundation stone of India
Gate was laid in 1920 and the structure was unveiled in
1933. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, India Gate was
dedicated to all the Indian soldiers of the British Army
who died in World War I. Another memorial, the Amar
Jawan Jyoti was added later and was dedicated to
soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Indo-Pakistan
war of 1971.
The India Gate is flanked by lush green lawns, which are a popular picnic spot, especially during winter afternoons and summer evenings. The wide roads surrounding the India Gate are also frequented by morning and evening walkers. There is also a small pond nearby where one can enjoy boating as well. At nightfall India Gate is beautifully lit up, including the surrounding fountains and makes for a beautiful sight.
Lotus Temple (Baha’i House of Worship)
The Baha’I House of Worship, more popularly known as
the Lotus Temple, owing to its shape and design, is one
of Delhi’s most recognized structures.
The Lotus temple, constructed entirely out of white marble, is known for its modern architecture, which stands out against the concrete jungle around it. The temple consists of twenty seven massive marble petals shaped like an unfolding lotus flower, which rises from nine pools and walkways. The number nine signifies the nine unifying paths of the Baha’i faith. A little niche under each petal contains sayings from the Baha’I scriptures.
The temple does not contain any idols or images, as it is against the Bah’i faith and visitors are welcome to meditate inside the temple silently. The temple is surrounded by beautifully maintained laws and the best time to visit the temple is during sunset.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of
the President of India and is a rambling mansion with
breath taking architecture. Spread over 320 acres, the
vast grounds of the Rashtrapati Bhavan are home not only
the head of state, but also staff quarters, stables,
offices and the beautiful and famed Mughal Gardens.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by British architect, Edwin Lutyens and is a unique amalgamation of Mughal and European architecture. Such is the grandeur of this mansion that very few residences of heads of states from around the world can match up to the extravagance that is the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Situated at the eastern edge of Rajpath, the Rashtrapati Bhavan faces the India Gate, which lies at the Western edge of the same road.
On either side of the Rashtrapati Bhavan lie the North Block and South Block, which house various ministries of the Government of India. The lavish Mughal Gardens lie behind the North Block and South Block, which opens to the public from mid-February to mid-March. Apart from this you can also enjoy a guided tour of a few section of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, such as the Durbar Hall, Lutyens’ Gallery, Long Drawing Room, Ashoka Hall, Children’s Gallery and Gift Museum which have now been opened to the public.
Red Fort (Lal Qila)
The Red Fort-a massive red sandstone fort is
synonymous with Delhi and is proof of the glory of the
flourishing Mughal Empire in Delhi.
Commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1638 when he decided to shift the capital of the Mughal Empire from Agra to Delhi, the Red Fort took a total of ten years to be completed. The main gate to the Red Fort is the Lahore Gate and is also the site for the Prime Ministers speech every year on Independence Day. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Fort is spread over a rambling 254.67 acres and the walls alone are around 2kilometres long.
The Red Fort is octagonal in design and there are beautiful flower decorations and calligraphy on the walls, examples of later Mughal style architecture. At one point the Read Fort was surrounded by a deep moat, used to keep intruders out. The Red Fort contains the Diwan-e-Aam, the Diwan-e-Khas, the Moti Masjid and the Hayat Baksh Bagh among other interesting architectural elements.
Qutub Minar Overview
The Qutub Minar is a towering 73 meter high tower
built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in 1193. The tower was built
to celebrate Muslim dominance in Delhi after the defeat
of Delhi’s last Hindu ruler. This tower is the highest
tower in India, complete with five storeys and
projecting balconies. The first three storeys of the
Qutub Minar are made of red sandstone and the last two
are made of marble and sandstone.
The construction of the Qutub Minar was started by Qitub-ud-Din Aibak, but he only constructed the basement. The construction of the tower was later taken over by his successor Iltutmish who constructed three more stories. The last two storeys were completed Firoz Shah Tuglak. The different architectural styles from the time of Aibak to Tuglak are clearly visible in the Qutub Minar.
Apart from the tower, the Qutub Minar complex comprises of the Quwwat-us-Islam Mosque (the first mosque to be built in India), a 7 metre high iron pillar, the tomb of Iltutmish, Ala’i-Darwaza and the Ala’I Minar.
Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib
Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib is one of the oldest and
most iconic Sikh shrines in Delhi. The Gurudwara was
first established in 1783 by Baghel Singh to mark the
martyrdom of the Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur.
Located in Chandini Chowk, Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib was built at the spot where Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, when the former refused to convert to Islam.
The present building of the Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib was constructed in 1930 and tree under which Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded has also been preserved and so is the well where the guru would bathe.
The Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib is visited by devotes on a regular basis and everyone is welcome here irrespective of their religion, caste or gender.
National Rail Museum Overview
Located in Chankayapuri the National Rail Museum
celebrates the rail heritage of India and was opened to
the public on 1st February 1977. Located over an area of
10 acres, the museum has over 100 life size exhibits of
trains belonging to the Indian Railways.
The National Rail Museum contains working and stationary models of trains, equipment used to signal to trains, historical photographs and reading material related to the railways. Among the trains on exhibition in the museum are the royal Prince of Wales Saloon from 1857 and the Maharaja of Mysore’s Saloon built in 1899 complete with a rosewood bed.
Though the most popular train in the National Rail Museum remains the Fairy Queen constructed in 1855 and believed to be one of the most properly preserved steam locomotives of that time. Apart from enjoying the locomotives on display, one can also enjoy a joy ride on the mono rail and boating as well.