Delhi is the largest metropolis of India and eighth largest of the World. It started as Indrapatta (aka Indraprastha), a small settlement by Pandavas within the Khandva Forest near river Yamuna around 800 BC. 100+ rulers from 15 dynasties tried to change the face and fate of Delhi and established 9 cities adjacent to each other. Monuments-Of-Delhi is not just about few dozen old buildings, it is about several ancient mosques, baolis, havelis, walls, gateways, forts, gardens and roads, decorating Delhi, the capital of India. These monuments depict the rich heritage and the glorious history of India.
1) RED FORT (LAL QILA)
Red Fort is a massive 17th century structure popularly known as the Lal Qila. It is one of the most spectacular pieces of Mughal Architecture. It stands on the bank of river Yamuna. The whole structure is made of Red stone. The fort was built by Shahjahan – the Mughal King who also built the famous Taj Mahal – in 1648. Shahjahan called it the Uru-Mu’alla. Shahjahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi and Red Fort was the new capital.
2) LOTUS TEMPLE
Lotus Temple is one of the remarkable architectures of Bahai faith. It is located at Kalkaji in New Delhi. The temple looks like a lotus flower and is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. The temple has no restrictions for visitors and is open to people from all religions. The place provides immaculate environment for meditation, peace and wisdom. The Bahai temple has received recognition from all over the world for its splendid architecture and design.
3) QUTAB MINAR
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. Qutub Minar is recognized as the tallest minaret in India and is a UNESCO heritage site. This minaret is located in Delhi towering high in the air to 72.5 meter.
4) HUMAYUN TOMB
Humayun’s Tomb is a magnificent garden tomb considered to be an important milestone in the history of Mughal architecture.. It is believed, by Humayun’s senior widow, Haji Begam, or by her son Akbar, the tomb is the first to mark the grave of a Mughal emperor. Its plan, based on the description of Islamic paradise gardens, is known to have inspired the Taj Mahal and many later Mughal tombs.
5) INDIA GATE
India Gate situated in the heart of New Delhi The 42 m high structure was built by Edwin Lutyens to pay homage to the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I and the Afgan War. India Gate is a National monument of India. Closely looking at the walls of India Gate would let you know the names more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers who were killed in the wars. The structure was finally completed in the year 1931. India Gate was originally called the All India War Memorial.
6) JAMA MASJID
Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India originally called Masjid-i-Jahanuma or ‘The Mosque commanding a view of the World’. Located in Old Delhi, the mosque has the capacity to accommodate 25000 devotees. Jama Masjid was completed in 1656 AD and it was again the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan behind this architectural masterpiece. Close to some 5000 craftsmen were involved in the construction of the mosque. The Masjid is the last architectural work of Shah Jahan. Jama Masjid is also known as Friday Mosque as ‘Jama’ means Friday, which is the holy day of the Muslims.
7) AGRASEN’S BAOLI
Agrasen’s Baoli is an ancient stepped well said to have been built by Raja Agrasen, the forefather of the Aggarwal community. Situated amidst the modern high rise buildings, the entrance of the baoli has almost vanished. This 14th century structure is believed to be among the ‘finest’ baolis in Delhi because of its innovative designs. Built with rubble and dressed stone, it measures 60 meters long.
8) JANTAR MANTAR
Jantar Mantar was built in 1724 by Raja Jai Singh II of Jaipur in Delhi. It is an astronomical observatory with masonry instruments. Jantar Mantar in Delhi is a remarkable and curious creation of Raja Jai Singh II, the mathematician and astronomer king. Jantar Mantar has instruments that can graph the path of the astronomical universe. The various abstract structures within the Jantar Mantar are, in fact, instruments that were used for keeping track of celestial bodies.
9) Purana Qila
The Purana Qila or the old fort was constructed by Humayun and Sher. It is not only the oldest fort among all forts in Delhi, but the oldest known structure of any type in Delhi. The unique features of Indo-Islamic architecture like molding, bracketed openings, marble inlay, carving etc are very prominent in the structure. The mosque has an inscription which says ‘As long as there are people on this earth, may this edifice be frequented, and people be happy in it.’
10) SAFDARJUNG TOMB
Safdarjung’s tomb is one of the popular historical monuments visited by tourists from all over the world. It is a beautiful garden tomb not known to many, including Delhiites. It is located at a walking distance from the Lodi Garden. Built by Nawab ‘Shuja-Ud-Daulah’ as a tribute to his father Mirza Abul Mansur Khan entitled Safdarjung, construction work began in 1753 and was completed in 1754. It is built almost on the same pattern of Humayun’s Tomb and represents the time when the Mughal style of architecture was almost at its downfall.