Delhi, where a empire rose and fell before the dawn of history; where citadels of emperors appeared and disappeared; a city of mysterious eternity whose old ruins proclaim a majestic and imperial past and whose present pulsates vibrantly with the ever flowing life of India. The eternal Jamuna bears witness to the glorious and tumultuous 5,000 year old history of Delhi. A history which begins with the creation of Indraprastha by the Pandavas and the transformation of this barren gift of the Kauravas into an idyllic haven.
A history which encompasses all the various kings and emperors who fixed their royal citadels here-- Indraprastha, Lal Kot, Quila Rai Pithora, Siri, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad, Ferozabad, Dinpanah, Delhi Sher Shahi or then Shahjahanabad. but, combined and integrated into one, these 'new cities' have always been called Delhi and howsoever many names it may have acquired, Delhi has always been intrinsically identified with power and imperial sway. There have been at least eight cities around modern Delhi, and the old saying that whoever founds a new city at Delhi will lose it has come true every time -- most recently for the British who founded New Delhi in 1911.
The historic Purana Qila, which has stood witness to Delhi's rejuvenation, periods of anarchy, and the rise & fall of empires, brings alive history of the capital. Amidst the tranquility of the splendidly panoramic environs of Purana Qila, Delhi's historic and legendary past come to life. After Shah Jahan built Red Fort the attention of administration shifted to gorgeous palaces of the fort. Today the fort is open for the public but only limited area can be accessed. More than half of the fort area has been taken over by the Army. But even what is open to visit reminds one of the splendour and lavish life style which our rulers lived. Delhi has seen the death of many empires and resisted bloody attempts to eliminate her. Nadir Shah had ordered his soldiers to plunder and massacre Delhi. It is said that he got so much wealth from Delhi that he was not able to carry in home. Abdali and Taimur Lane were no different they had tried their best to demolish the city of Delhi but it was some kind of a boon which helped it to regain its lost glory each time Delhi was plundered.
Places of Interest
Chandni Chowk - One of the main markets of Delhi, Chandni Chowk was once lined with beautiful fountains. But today the place is very crowded and congested. Chandni Chowk is located opposite the Red Fort. The Area has got the Digamber Jain Temple which houses the Birds hospital. On one end of Chandni Chowk is the Fatehpuri Mosque which was erected by the wives of Shah Jahan. Opposite the old police station or the Kotwali is the Sunheri Masjid from where Nadir Shah ordered his troops to plunder and massacre Delhi.
Old Delhi - The City of Shahjahanabad was the capital of Shah Jahan but little remains of that old city. The Old Delhi or the walled city served as the capital for many emperors. Today, remains of the historical city are the gates like - Kashmiri Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Turkman Gate, Delhi gate. Near Delhi Gate is Feroz Shah Kotla, close to this is kept the Ashokan Pillar which was brought from Meerut by Feroz Shah Tughlaq.
Along the banks of Jamuna are located the places were the leaders and freedom fighters of India were cremated. The Raj Ghat is one of the most visited ghats. A simple square platform of black marble marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated after his assassination in 1948. To North of Raj Ghat is the cremation ground of Jawaharlal Nehru named as Shanti Van. The cremation ground of Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are also in the vicinity. The cremation ground of Lal Bahadur Shastri is nearby.
Rajpath & India Gate - Flanked by ornamental ponds and lawns, Rajpath is host to the Republic Day Parade. The two secretariat buildings and Rashtrapati Bhawan on the Raisina hills are located on the two sides of this immensely broad road. Previously the Boat Club, besides the Rajpath, was host to many demonstrations and Rallies. India Gate is towards the eastern end of Rajpath .
India Gate is a 42m high stone arch of triumph. It bears the name of the 85,000 Indian Army Soldiers who died in the campaigns of World War - I, the North-West Frontiers operations and the 1919 Afghan Fiasco. Below the arch is the memorial to the unknown soldier. India Gate is surrounded by green grass lawns and trees.
The Parliament House - Sansad Bhawan or the Parliament house is the supreme law making body in the country. It is the center of power and politicians decide the fate of the Indian Democracy here. Visitors are not allowed inside the house but when the house is in session, visitors may take permission to go inside and watch the proceedings of the house. The parliament consists of three halls- Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the central hall. For the foreign visitors permits are given only after they obtain an introductory letter from the respective embassy.
Crafts Museum Crafts museums is at Pragati Maidan Grounds. Open from 10am-5pm daily.
Gandhi Darshan & Gandhi National Museum Gandhi Darshan & Gandhi National Museum is across Rajghat and Gandhi smriti is on Tees January Marg
Dara Shikoh Library Dara Shikoh Library is an archaeological museum in Civil Lines and is open from 10am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Dolls Museum - A unique museum of Dolls is located near the ITO crossing on the Bahadur Shah Jafar Marg . These dolls are collected from different parts of India as well as from other countries of the world. These dolls reflect the tradition and culture of the region from where they come. Children Book Trust of India is In the same building. This is an organisation which is committed to provide quality books for the little ones.
National Science Centre - National Science center is located near Pragati Maidan. This center is famous for the models which can be operated by the visitor himself. Children are particularly fascinated by the mysteries of science. Open through out the week except on Mondays.
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