Delhi, locally called as Dilli , also by the official name National Capital Territory of INDIA is famous for its culture, tradition and effervescent history.
Located on the banks of the River Yamuna, Delhi with a spectacular architecture of monuments and an amalgamation of different cultures has been continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BC. Delhi has always had a mysterious eternity that has witnessed empires rise to glory and fall to ashes. The culture of Delhi reflects the rich heritage of the past coupled with the influence of modern lifestyle. Delhi has always been a cosmopolitan city where one would find people from all parts of India. Overall, Delhi is a very multi-linguist and multi-cultured society which has now opened itself to embracing every new custom and tradition. New Delhiis famous for its planned landscape and spacious streets with shades of greenery. Major commercial establishments are situated in New Delhi’s business hubs likeConnaught Place, Nehru Place, Bikaji Kama, South Extension and ITO.
New Delhi is also the place where the new big international businesses are concentrated and extended spacious residential areas are located as contrasted with the swarming life in Old Delhi.
The southern parts of Delhi i.e. South and South West Delhi, are the most up-coming and prosperous areas in Delhi. The Qutub Minar and Siri Fort besides many a ancient monuments and Gumbads are there in South Delhi. The Humayun’s tomb which is adjacent to the South Delhi . The wife of Humayun built the tomb for her husband and it is and it served as inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra that was built later. It can easily take up to four days when you want to see all the sights of Delhi.
With more and more tourists coming to Delhi, the government has a special ministry to look into the well being of visitors. Tours and travel agencies in the city provide tourism services ranging from accommodation to guide and sight-seeing. Delhi tourism department has set up help desk services for foreign tourists who can find all necessary information about the city.
General Information of Delhi :
» Capital – New Delhi. Area: 491 sq km.
» Population – 9370475.
» Language – Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, English is equally in the use.
» Touring season – Oct, Nov, Feb and March. However, winter is severe and long from Nov to early March.
The summer season begins from April and ends in the month of June. During the summers the average maximum temperature is 40°C and minimum temperature is 25ºC. The monsoon arrives the city in early July and continues till the end of September. The winter extends from late November to February. The temperature in winters varies between 21°C to 5°C. January is the coldest month when the temerature drops to a minimum of 0 °C.
How to get there ?
» Air – Delhi has an extensive network of international and domestic flights. All the major airlines in the world fly through Delhi and it is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. Domestic air links cover Delhi from all the major cities in the country.
» Train – The Indian Railway with their modern and organized network connects Delhi to major and minor destination in India. There are three important railway stations in Delhi to all major and minor destinations in India, namely New Delhi Rly. Station, Old Delhi Rly. Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Rly. Station. Trains run from all the parts of the country to Delhi. For nearby places like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gwalior, Bhopal, Lucknow and Kanpur, the Shatabdi Express is recommended.
» Bus – Delhi is well connected by road to all major destinations in North India. The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) is located at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan and Anand Vihar. Delhi Transport Corporation and Road Transport Corporations of the neighboring States provide frequent bus services through Air Conditioned, Deluxe and Ordinary Coaches
Best Season :
The best season to visit Delhi is between October to March. Summers in Delhi are very hot humid. It is not recommended to visit it during May, June or July.
Places to See in Delhi
Built as a memorial to commemorate the 70,000 India soldiers killed in World War I, India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1931. Built from sandstone, the arch also houses the Eternal Flame, a gesture in memory of the Indian soldiers who laid their lives in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
Formely the Viceregal Lodge, the building is the highlight of Lutyen’s New Delhi and was completed in 1929 at a cost of 12,53,000 pound sterling. Located in an area of 130 hectares, the palace has 340 rooms.
The Red Fort is one of the most magnificent palaces in the world. India’s history is also closely linked with this fort.
The origins of Qutab Minar are shrouded in controversy. Some believe it was erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. Others say it served as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer. No one can, however, dispute that the tower is not only one of the finest monuments in India, but also in the world.
Purana Quila/ Old Fort
The fort is said to be constructed on the historic site of Indraprastha (900BC) by Humayun and Sher Shah. Covering a circuit of about a mile, the walls of the fort have three gates and are surrounded by a mat fed by the river Yamuna.
It is an observatory constructed by Sawai Jia Singh II of Jaipur (1699-1743), a keen astronomer and a noble in the Mughal court, was dissatisfied by the errors of brass and metal astronomical instruments.
An beautiful Mughal architecture in India, Humayun’s Tomb was built by the emperor’s grieving widow, Haji Begum, in 1565 AD.
Work on the Jama Masjid mosque was begun in 1650 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan . More than 5,000 workers toiled for six years to complete the largest mosque in India. Every Friday, the emperor and his retinue would travel in state from the fort to the mosque to attend the congressional prayers.
Representing the last phase of the Mughal style of architecture, Safdarjang’s Tomb stands in the centre of an extensive garden.
The mortal remains of mahatma Gandhi were cremated on this spot on the west bank of the river Yamuna on the evening of January 31, 1948.
Lakshmi Narayan Mandir
Built in 1938, the temple contains a large number of idols and visitors can also watch priests performing ritualistic prayers.
Near by Excursion
Taj Mahal , Agra
Taj Mahal, one of the most fabulous monuments in the world, history and time. Thronged by visitors year round, Taj Mahal is 200 km from Delhi. It was built by the fifth Mughal emperor Shahjahan, in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. The monument is a perfect piece of architecture. It took 22 years, 41 million rupees, 50 kilos of gold and around 20,000 workers to complete this marvel of marble.
Situated by the river Yamuna, Taj Mahal sits on a high red sandstone terrace, topped by marble terrace. It is flanked by four minarets. The jewel in-laid cenotaph of the empress lies within the dome. The entire mausoleum is decorated with inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy with semi precious stones like jasper and agate.
One can take a train, either the Shatabdi or Taj Express.
Location: Tajganj, Agra
Timings: 6:00 am to 7:30 pm
Entrance fee: Rs 20/-. Rs 750/- (at sunset or sunrise).
The monument is closed on Fridays.
Situated on the west bank of the Yamuna river and two km from Taj Mahal, the Agra fort was started by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565. The impressive red sandstone fort extends for about 2.5 km and is surrounded by a deep moat which was once filled with water of Yamuna. Though Akbar built it mainly as a military centre, it was under Shahjahan’s rule that the fort became more of a mini city.
Of the many gates, the only one open to public is the Amar Singh gate, which leads into the fort. Immediately on the right is the Jahangiri Mahal. The other impressive monuments within the fort are the Diwan-i-Khas, where the emperor met the dignitaries, the Diwan-i-Aam, Nagina Masjid (built by Shahjahan for his harem) and the Moti Masjid. Towards the northeast of the fort is the Musamman Burj, where Shahjahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb.
Mathura (146 km southeast of Delhi)
Mathura is the birthplace of the world’s popular deity, Lord Krishna. With a history that traces itself to the beginnings of world trade, Mathura is one of the most ancient cities of India. It is situated on the banks of the Yamuna, in Uttar Pradesh, and is one of the most important pilgrimage centers in India.
Mathura is famous for the Krishnajanmabhumi Mandir, Vishram Ghat and Sati Burj. It is believed that Lord Krishna rested at Vishram Ghat after killing the tyrant Kamsa. Evenings at the Vishram Ghat are generally a very beautiful sight with hundreds of diyas floating on the river. The Ghats offer very picturesque sights with long flight of stairs leading to the river’s edge. You can find many pilgrims bathing in the river and from a distance you can see the temple spires silhouetted against the sky.
Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1571 in honour of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti. It was the Mughal capital for 14 years after which it was abandoned, probably due to the lack of water. The capital is amazingly beautiful with its palaces and it reflects the architectural style Akbar patronised.
Even to this day, the entrance to the fort is through the road that Akbar built. The road leads to the Buland Darwaza, a huge 54 metres gateway. It later inspired other lofty gates. Today young daredevils jump from its ruins into the deep tank to earn money from the tourists. Other inspiring monuments in Fatehpur Sikri are the Hiran Minar, that Akbar built in memory of his favourite elephant, Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, Birbal’s House and the Diwan-i-Khas.