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Bahai Temple: This is probably the only structure in the city which acts as a sanctuary for worshippers of all religions and as a tourist attraction for the foreign as well as the Indian traveller. The Bahai Temple was constrcuted in the shape of a white lotus in 1997, surrounded by nine pools of clear water and manicured, green lawns. The idea is to create an illusion of a white lotus floating in water. Its petals have been made out of marble and, in contrast, local red sandstone has been used for walkways and staircases. Information by Wcities



India Gate: India Gate is usually the first stop in a traveler's itinerary. It is a majestic structure, which stands high at the end of Rajpath amidst plush, green manicured lawns and water fountains carved in sandstone. Designed and built by Lutyens, it was originally called the All India War Memorial in memory of the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in World War I, the North-West Frontier operations, and the 1919 Afghan Fiasco. The names of the soldiers are inscribed on its walls and an eternal flame, the 'Amar Jawan Jyoti', has been kept lit since 1971 to honour the martyrs. The area is especially breathtaking in the evenings when India Gate and the sparawling lawns are dramaticly lit with floodlights. On one side of the India Gate is the canopy made in sandstone and on the other is the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Presidential House. It is regarded as the most beautiful area in the capital and is not only a favoutire picnic spot for Delhiites in the summer but is also a popular recreation hub in the winters.
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Qutub Minar: The origins of this tower are shrouded in controversy. Some believe it was erected as a symbol 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. But nobody disputes the fact that it is one of the finest monuments in India. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, initiated the construction of the Qutub Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone. They are heavily indented with different styles of fluting: round and angular on the bottom floor, round on the second, and angular on the third. The fourth and fifth floors are made of marble and sandstone. The Qutuab Minar is a part of an extensive complex with many other historical monuments dating back to 4 AD. Information by Wcities



Humayun's Tomb: The tomb was built as a memorial for emperor Humayun by his grieving wife, Haji Begum, in mid-16th century. This red sandstone structure is considered to be the predecessor of the Taj Mahal and one of the best examples of Mughal architecture. The splendour of this grand monument becomes overpowering on entering through the lofty double-storeyed gateway. It is set in the centre of a large square garden enclosed by high walls on three sides, while the river was the fourth boundary. Other tombs in the premises include that of Humanyun Babar's and Isa Khan's. There is an excellant view of the city from the top of these towers. The entry in the complex is free on Fridays. Information by Wcities


Raj Ghat: To the southeast of Red Fort, between the Ring Road and the Yamuna river, lies Raj Ghat. The historic name refers to the ghat (stepped embankment) at the edge of the river, but today it stands for the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was assassinated on this same spot on January 31, 1948. A simple open black marble platform inscribed with the Mahatma's last words, 'Hey Ram' (Oh God) is set in a garden with fountains and a variety of exotic trees. Prayer meetings are held every Friday at 5p.
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Jama Masjid: This mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India and is one of the final extravagance of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The construction of the mosque took 14 years and ended in 1658. It has three gateways, four angle towers and two minarets, which are 40 metres high. It was constructed in vertical strips of sanstone and white marble. The courtyard alone can hold 25, 000 people and the veiw from any pivoting point gives a great view of Old Delhi. Its steps leads down to crowded bazaars. Women are not allowed to go up the minaret without a male escort. Information by Wcities



Red Fort: The emperor Shah Jahan's elegant citadel, constructed from red sandstone, was built in 1648 at the eastern extreme of the walled city along the banks of the Yamuna river. It extends two kilometres and varies in height from 18 metres on the river side to 33 metres on the city side. Before 1857, the fort was a minicity and was home to 3000 people. Today, over 10, 000 visitors stream through its mammoth gates. Only a quarter of its area is accessible to public, the rest is the territory of the Indian army. The daily sound and light show in the evenings is very popular with the visitors.
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Chandni Chowk is the busy road that links the Red Fort with the Fatehpuri Masjid. It was built by Jahanara, Emperor Shah Jahan's daugheter. It once had a three-lined canal flowing down its centre but now is surrounded by a colourful bazaar. Chandni Chowk has retained its old magic and is a bustling jumble of shops, labyrinthine alleys with craftmen's workshops, hotels, mosques and temples. Some food stalls in the area are 100 years old. It is a favourite hangout for cuisine buffs.
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This page was last updated on Sunday March 26, 2006