Delhi — A Reservoir of History
The history of Delhi takes you through an intriguing labyrinth. With architecture dating back to 300 BC and styles varying from Mauryan to Mughal to Victorian, the city holds relics that hold the beholder spellbound. The famous Qutab Minar, The Iron Pillar, and the Red Fort are sites that have stood the test of time and seen many rulers come and go. Now, they are witnessing the growth and development of Delhi in yet another century.
There are some sights that beckon you and some tours into historical places that take you into a different world. The Jama Masjid tour in Delhi or a Haveli Tour of Delhi take you back in a time and a world that is read about only in history books.
Some of the famous sights of Delhi that deserve more than a passing look are:
• Purana Quila (Old Fort): An outstanding example of Mughal Architecture. It is believed to have been built by the Pandavas and renovated by Humayun. Some modifications were also made by Sher Shah Suri.
• National Rail Museum: The museum dedicated to glorifying the railway heritage in India, which amongst other railway relics also houses the Fairy Queen, which was built in 1855 and is certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest operational steam locomotive. In addition, a toy train takes the visitors around the site.
• National Museum: While it is a fairly contemporary building from outside, inside it takes you on a journey that starts with articles from pre-historic times and ends with works of art from the modern era. It is one of the largest museums in India.
• India Gate: The building project took almost ten years and was officially unveiled in 1931. It is a place that reminds us of the gallantry of those Indian soldiers who died fighting in the First World War. Over 13,000 names of servicemen, soldiers and officers including some British names inscribed on the memorial. The Amar Jawan Jyoti was installed after the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
• Qutub Minar: This minaret in South Delhi is the first monument built by a Muslim ruler heralded the start of a new journey in architecture for India. This 72.5-meter high structure is covered in intricate carving. The structure was commissioned and started by Qutub-ud-Din, however, he only completed the first two storeys, the rest were finished by his successors.
• Lal Quila (Red Fort): The fort was commissioned by Shahjahan when he shifted the capital from Agra to Delhi. The main attractions of the fort today are the three major halls, the Diwan — i — Aam, the Diwan — i — Khaas and the Khas Mahal. Red Fort is also conveniently located to take a tour of the Chandni Chowk, the main market which still reminds people of the old city of Shahjahanabad. A Jama Masjid trip can also be easily completed when visiting the Red Fort.
Many other places show a glimpse of the glorious past of this city and of the country. Many temples, which are architectural marvels, and lush gardens that provide a calm and serene environment are also famous.