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Delhi Tourism Information

A city of great character, of contrasts and convolutions - this is Delhi, the capital city of India. A city with antiquity dating back over 2,000 years, it is also a modern metropolis with fast cars and neon lit shopping malls. So varied are the shades of Delhi's different faces, it is difficult to grasp it in a short span of time. Home to over 10 million people, the sights of Destination Delhi range from the ruins of the seven historical cities built over time, monuments that testify to its position as a central hub of commerce and government, to symbols of an ever-growing prosperity in the southern parts that has engulfed a multitude of old villages. Even a cursory glance at a Delhi destination guide will reveal that here is a city that is simply packed with important sights that include the historical, cultural and the religious. This is the home of the Qutub Minar and India Gate, Chandni Chowk and the Red Fort, the Lotus Temple and Jama Masjid. Delhi is the city of the mythological Pandavs and the mythical Indraprastha, of the medieval Sultanate and of the great Mughal, Shah Jahan.

Akshardham Temple, DelhiThe large number of important sightseeing venues and the expanse of the city together make Delhi actually quite a difficult city to "do" in a short span of time. North Delhi, which is Old Delhi, is the area where the Mughals left behind some of the greatest architectural delights in all of India. In the southern parts of New Delhi are more remnants from bygone eras: forts, mausoleums and other sundry monuments.

But it is central Delhi where much of the action happens; this is Lutyen's Delhi, where the corridors of power are located and only the most successful companies can afford the real estate. Tourists flock to central Delhi with the intuition of homing pigeons. Budget accommodation abounds in Paharganj, from where the New Delhi railway station is just a short walk, a brief auto-rickshaw ride will get one to the atmospheric lanes of Old Delhi, and the pleasures of Connaught Place are right there. Only a small distance from "CP" are Delhi's most important museums.

If your India travel plans restrict your stay in Delhi to a day then Connaught Place is where you want to be: airline offices, tourist information kiosks, footpath Delhi City Guide hawkers, restaurants, pubs, monuments like the Jantar Mantar observatory, shopping streets like Janpath, chaos, clutter, colour - this place packs in all that's best about Delhi in both its older and newer avatars. If you're spending only two days in Delhi, then too you'd want to be located in this area, give one day to the action at Connaught Place and reserve the other for a well-organised guided city tour, most of which originate from Connaught Place. India Holidays

A repository of India's culture and heritage, Delhi is famous for its many museums, art galleries and crafts expositions that are a mirror to the entire country. It is also the center of most important cultural festivals, where performers from the classical arts to modern pop stars, artists, sculptors, dramatists, film-makers, all come to present their works. Charting phenomenal growth over five decades after India's independence in 1947, Delhi has now become a heterogeneous mixture of all religious groups, linguistic communities, social segments and economic brackets. While the city is bustling with activity that holds out a promise for everyone, it can brutally stamp out the vulnerable, leaving no ripples on the surface. Delhi - here you can feel the pulse of India beating to the rhythm of rapidly changing times.

Attracetion In Delhi

India Gate
India Gate, DelhiAt the center of New Delhi stands the 42m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like Archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart war memorial. It commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the First World War and bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. The foundation stone was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and was designed by Edwin Lutyens.

Qutab Minar
Among all the monuments in Delhi, perhaps this is the most famous. 15 kms south of Delhi, stands the soaring tower of victory, the Qutab Minar. The buildings in this complex, date from the onset of Muslim rule in India. The construction of the tower began in the year 1193, immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu Kingdom in Delhi. Qutb-ud-din may have started to build this just as aparticularly large minar associated with the mosque for calling people to prayer, or it may have been built as a victory tower. It is nearly 73 meters high and tapers from a 15-meter-diameter base to just 2.5 meters at the top. The tower has five distinct storeys, and each storey is marked by a projecting balcony. The first three storeys are made or red sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marbleof sandstone.India Holidays

Red Fort / Lal Quila
The Red Fort with red sandstone walls, popularly known as the Lal Quila extends for two kms and varies in height from 18 metres on the river side to 33 metres on the city side. Shah Jahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and it was completed in 1648. He was deposed and imprisoned in Agra Fort by his son Aurangzeb, before he could move his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad in Delhi. Entry to the fort is Rs 0.50; free on Friday.

Lotus Temple
Located in Kalkaji in the south of Delhi, it is lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquility.

Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid, DelhiJama Masjid or the Jami Masjid was built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, between 1644 and 1658 and is the final architectural piece built by him. Situated in the ancient town of Old Delhi, this pride of the Mughals was built by five thousand artisans. The mosque stands on Bho Jhala, which is one of the old Mughal capital cities of Shahjahanbad. Originally called the Masjid-i-Jahanuma, or "mosque commanding view of the world", this magnificent structure is the largest and most exquisite mosque in India and is made up of alternate vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble.

Jantar Mantar
The fabled Connaught Place area created and envisioned by the legendary architect, Lutyens, boasts of an observatory of yore in the form of Jantar Mantar. According to the rays of the Sun falling on it, it helped the people calculate to some extent the time of the day. Jantra(yantra-meaning instrument) and mantra-formula) was built in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, who later built observatories on the same lines in Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura. According to historical records, the Maharaja found the then existing astronomical instruments to record totally accurate observations and so he decided that such bigger structures should be constructed. The instruments at Jantar mantar are fascinating for their novel approach, though as opf today, they cannot be relied upon to give the kind of accuracy that they gave then because of the growth of multistoreyed structures around it which block the avenues of measurement. At one time the lawns in the area were used as a spot for protestors who found it convenient to reach Parliament House from there. But recently a host of them were removed from there and the area restored to its pristine glory.

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
A magnificent and spacious bungalow in Delhi owned by Raja Jai Singh Amber (Jaipur) who commanded great respect and honour in the court of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb now enjoys the status of a holy shrine called Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. The eighth Guru Sri Harkishan had stayed here for a few months as guest of Raja Jai Singh. Since then it has become a place of pilgrimage for both, Hindus and Sikhs. They pay their respect to the memory of Guru Harkrishan, nominated as successor by the seventh Guru, Sri Har Rai. He passed away on October 6, 1661 A.D. When only a little over five year old, he had been tried and tested as a perfect fearless and fully illuminated soul. India Holidays

Birla Mandir
The Laxmi Narayan Mandir (temple) built by B.D. Birla is a modern Hindu temple dedicated to Laxmi (goddess of wealth) and Narayana (the preserver). It was inaugurated by Gandhi with the stipulation that it should be open to all castes (including the untouchables) and all faiths.