Delhi, the capital city of India, is one of the fastest growing city in the country. Delhi is one of the oldest city in India and is located on the west banks of River Yamuna. Delhi is believed to be inhabited since 6th century though human habitation is believed to have existed since the second millennium BCE. Delhi has now emerged as a very popular tourist destination in India. For many it is one of the largest metropolitan city in India and for others it is a perfect blend of various Indian cultures. In Delhi you’ll find people from all across India. Reasons for increase in tourism are many but the most important of all are its monuments and buildings that have historical importance.
The city has two distinct parts, Old Delhi & New Delhi. Old Delhi is centered on the Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jehan between 1636 & 1658. The charisma of old Delhi lies in narrow bustling streets. Some of these crowded streets are famous for generation old shops and restaurants. For example, Chandni chowk’s Parathe wali gali has Paratha shop that are continuously selling parathas from five generations. They sell about 25 varieties of it. Delhi is a blend of many ethnic groups and cultures, thus you can peek into the true diversities of India.
Delhi is one city in India which has seen birth and death of various Kings, rise and fall of various dynasties. And with every rise Delhi was beautified by fascinating architecture that have withstood the ravages of time.
Today tourism in Delhi revolves mostly around these majestic monuments and heritage sites. During the Mughal rule, a number of majestic monuments were constructed by Mughal kings to display the pomp and splendor of the Mughal Empire. There were also other Indian rulers who patronized artisans. Today these monuments have become places of attractions in Delhi.
Heritage sites in Delhi
Located on the south of Delhi is this place which is adorned with a massive center piece. This center piece is Qutub Minar. The Premise contains various other monuments and ruins that speak about the history. The main attraction of the premise is Qutub Minar that measures 72.5 meters in height. The diameter of the base of the pillar measures 14. 32 meters. As we go up, at the height of 72.5 meters the diameter is reduced to 2.75 meters. Inside the premise you’ll find the Alai Darwaza Gate (1311), the Alai Minar (an incomplete mound of the intended Minar or tower), the Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque (the earliest existing mosque in India), the tomb of Iltumish, and an Iron Pillar. It was inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage List under category iv for its unique representation of the Islamic architectural and artistic excellence.
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, Biga Begum also known as Haji Begum, in 1565 AD, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument in 1993 for its cultural importance. It was the first tomb built with several innovations, set at the center of luxurious gardens with water channels, was the precursor monument to the Taj Mahal (built a century later). The architectural credit goes to Mirza Ghiyath, who was a very renowned architect during Mughal rule. He style has been acclaimed as “necropolis of the Mughal dynasty” for its double domed elevation provided with Chhatris.
Red Fort popularly known as Lal (Red) Quila (Fort) is a palace fort build in 17th century by Mughal ruler named Shahjahan. Shahjahan was the fifth Mughal emperor and build this massive palace fort as the capital of his state named Shahjahanabad. The fort is build in a mix of Persian, Indian and Timuri architecture style. The Fort is believed to be precursor of several monuments which were built later in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and other places. The outer wall of the fort covers an area of 656 meters x 328 meters. The height of the wall is 23 meters. The palace within the fort complex, located behind the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), comprises a series of richly engraved marble palace pavilions, interconnected by water channels called the ‘Nehr-i-Behishit’ meaning the “Stream of Paradise”, the Diwane-i-khas (Private audience hall), several other essential private structures, and also the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque built by Emperor Aurangzeb).