The Capital of India, Delhi, locally pronounced as Dilli is among the major tourist attractions in India. Delhi is a city that marks the stark comparison between two different worlds-Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi, once the Capital of Islamic India is a convoluted network of narrow lanes lined with crumbling haveli and ominous mosques. In comparison, the imperial city of New Delhi developed by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi continues to be the storehouse of power for many rulers and many empires for about a millennium. The significance of historical places is that it solely describes its ancient history. The main historical monuments are listed below-
1. JAMA MASJID
Its construction began in 1650 and was completed within the span of six years. Being the last work of the Emperor Shah Jahan, it is India’s largest mosque. The spacious courtyard from this place holds thousands of devotees and pilgrims.
2.THE RED FORT
It was built by Shah Jahan during 1639-48. Red Fort has some eye-catching stuff like the Diwani-i-Aam or the Hall of Public Audiences, Diwan-i-Khas or even the Hall of Private Audiences, Khas Mahal Palace, Rang Mahal Palace, Mumtaz Mahal Palace and also the Moti Masjid mosque. Red Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. QUTUB MINAR
Laid by Qutubbudin Aibak, it is undoubtedly one of the best town and landmarks of Delhi to watch. Built in red sandstone, this tower dons some inscriptions of verses of Holy Quran plus some intricate carvings. Besides these, it’s possible to see the tomb of Adham Khan and Zafar Mahal within Qutub Complex and also the tomb of Jamali-Kamali behind it.
4. PARLIAMENT HOUSE
It accommodates two of the Houses, Lok Sabha (House of those) and Rajya Sabha( Council of States). It took six years to accomplish the Delhi Parliament House and it was inaugurated by Lord Irwin, the then Governor-General of India around 1927. It is a circular building, it houses ministerial offices, a number of committee rooms along with a splendid library. The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha meetings are conducted in the domed circular central hall and also the three semi-circular buildings. It’s essential to take prior permission before entering the Parliament House of Delhi. Foreigners can enter too by seeking permission from their Embassies or High Commissions.
5. RASHTRAPATI BHAVAN
Comprising of four floors and 340 rooms, now referred to as the President House of New Delhi, it’s spread over an area of around 200,000 square feet. It took 18 years for the development of this building and on around the 18th year of its completion, India became independent.
6. JANTAR MANTAR
It is the greatest architecture of Indian masterpiece. Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed it in 1712 AD. It’s a marvelous structure consisting of fourteen geometric devices which are often used for measuring time, predicting the behaviour of patterns, forecasting weather changes. All of the products are static and with some specific purpose, pointing to some specific direction.
7. INDIA GATE
It was built in 1931. In 1971, Amar Jawan Jyoti was lit underneath the arch of India Gate to honor the indomitable courage of various unknown soldiers for displaying unconditional valor and bravery. It’s also known as the All India War Memorial and was created and constructed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Many people come here during day time for picnic or boating and during the night for having ice-creams and enjoying the view of the beautiful lights.
8. LODI TOMB
It is located inside the premises of Lodi Garden, South Delhi. This monument was named after Sikander Lodi, the great ruler of India. It effectively displays the magnificent art of Mughal architecture. The tomb is octagonal fit. Aside from Lodi Tomb, the garden also has Tomb of Muhammad Shah, Shish Gumbad, and Bara Gumbad. It is a popular place amongst couples for divulging in romance and for school students’ picnics.
9. HUMAYUN’S TOMB
Humayun’s Tomb was built by his widow, Hamida Banu Begum during 1565-72. Made of red sandstone and a white marble dome, it’s considered as an essential milestone in Mughal Architecture that reached its zenith eighty-five years later during the construction of the Taj Mahal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10. OLD FORT
Old is gold! One of the oldest historic sites in Delhi, it’s believed that the capital city of the Pandavas, Indraprastha stood here about 5000 years back. The present fort was built by Sher Shah Suri during 1538-45. Old Fort has three massive gateways, Bara Darwaza, Humayun Darwaza and also the Talaqi Darwaza. The old fort is popular because of its stupendous environment. There is a lake outside that offers boating. There is also a nice walking track around the lake.
After defeating Prithviraj Chauhan in 1191, Mohammad Ghori left his slave Qutubbudin Aibak as his viceroy. This led to the rise of the Slave Dynasty. Qutubbudin Aibak began building Islamic structures that were later incorporated in the second city of Delhi, Mehrauli. The Mehrauli Archaeological Park and the Qutab Archaeological Area add a tinge of historicity to the city of Mehrauli in itself. Moti Masjid, Zafar Mahal, Jahaaz Mahal and Jamali Kamali Mosque are some of the popular monuments found in Mehrauli.
12. AGRASEN KI BAOLI
Located on the Hailey Road near Connaught Place, one of the ASI-protected historical places in Delhi, it consists of 3 levels and 103 steps. In the absence of the proven historical records, the building is believed to have been built by the legendary Maharaja Agrasen and rebuilt by the Agarwal community during the reign of the Tughlaq Dynasty. Rumors suggest that it is one of the most haunted places in Delhi but in actuality, people love to get themselves clicked near the stairs.
13. KOTLA (FIROZABAD)
After a disastrous reign by Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, his son Firoz Shah set out to bring some stability to the empire. Firoz Shah Kotla is enclosed by high walls and contained palaces, pillared halls, mosques, a pigeon tower and a water tank. Ashoka’s Pillar, Firoz Shah Kotla, Kala Gum Bad and Khuni Darwaza are some of the popular monuments in Kotla.
Ghiassudin Tughlaq won the Sultanate of Delhi from Nasiruddin Mohammad and founded the city of Tughlaqabad in 1320. Tughlaqabad is ranked as the third city among the former seven cities of Delhi Sultanate. Tomb of Ghiasuddin Khan, Nai-ka-Kot, Adilabad and Tughlaqabad Fort are the popular monuments found in Tughlaqabad.
15. HAUZ KHAS (SIRI)
One of the most happening and affluent neighborhoods of the 21st Century Delhi, Hauz Khas derives its name from the Royal Water Tank built during the reign of Alauddin Khilji. It was formerly known as Siri, which was one of the seven cities of Delhi. With the presence of the myriad monuments in the district, and for all the historical enthusiasts and the lovey-dovey couples out there, Hauz Khas is “THE PLACE!” Tomb of Feroz Shah Tughlaq, Kali Gumti, Tefe Wala Gumbad and Bag-i-Alam Gumbad along with lush green well-maintained lawns is some of the popular sights here.
Thus, I would like to conclude by saying that the historical places of Delhi play a massive role to raise the beauty of India. You can check out these amazing historical places, which were built by the Mughals as well as the Britishers.
CONTRIBUTION: ASTHA THAPAR.