Monuments of Delhi

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1. Humayun’s Tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor, Humayun in New Delhi. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s first wife, Bega Begum. It was built in 1565 A.D., nine years after the death of emperor Humayun. Humayun’s Tomb stands within a complex of 27.04 hectares that includes other contemporary, 16th century Mughal garden-tombs such as Nila Gumbad, Isa Khan and the Arab Serai. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chahar bagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome. The architecture includes geometrical sandstone and marble pietra dura inlay patterns over the entrance iwan or the high arc and small minarets that surround the white marble central dome. The tomb stands in an extremely significant archaeological setting and is centered at the Shrine of the 14th century Sufi Saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. 

2. Sunder Nursery is a 16th-century heritage park cum nursery complex adjacent to the Humayun’s Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Delhi. Sunder Nursery was originally known as Azim Bagh and built by the Mughals in the 16th century, it lies on the Mughal-era Grand Trunk Road and is spread over 90 acres. Today, Sunder Nursery contains fifteen heritage monuments of which 6 are UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), protected Sunderwala Burj, Sunderwala Mahal and Lakkar Wala Burj. The nursery was used as a place for propagating trees and other plants to be used in the new capital city and also for testing species brought from other parts of India and from overseas, to pick those which successfully thrive in Delhi’s harsh climate.

3. Lodhi Garden is a city park situated in New Delhi, spread over 90 acres. It contains architectural works of the 15th century by the Lodhi Dynasty – who ruled parts of northern India and modern-day Pakistan, from 1451 to 1526. There is a Bara Gumbad and Sheesh Gumbad in the centre of the Lodhi Garden which speak of the architectural glory of that era. The former comprises of a large rubber construct dome, a three domed mosque and a residence surrounding a central courtyard which contains the remains of a water tank. Along with being an architectural site, Lodhi Gardens has also become a hub of morning and evening exercise routine for people living nearby. The soothing greenery of this place is a sight for sore eyes, and you can enjoy a quaint picnic here as well. The ambience and sunset here combined with the view of intricate historic edifices are worth cherishing.

4. Qutub Minar is a 73 m high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu ruler. At the foot of the Minar is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India.The main mosque inside the complex comprises of an inner and outer courtyard, decorated with shafts and surrounded by pillars. Most of the shafts are from the 27 Hindu temples, which were plundered to construct the mosque . Also, a 7m high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is believed that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.. Qutub Minar is a classic example of Indo-Islamic architecture. With the difference in the architectural styles and the materials used in construction, it is apparent that the minar was constructed over the years by different rulers. Iltutmush in 1230 and Alla-ud-din Khilji in 1315 made additions to the Qutub Minar. The first three storeys are made of red stone, forth one from marble and the last storey of sandstone.

5. Safdarjung’s Tomb is a marble and sandstone mausoleum in Delhi, built in 1754. The monument has an ambience of spaciousness and an imposing presence with its domed and arched red-brown and white coloured structures. Safdarjung tomb was planned and built like an enclosed garden tomb in line with the style of the Humayun Tomb. The tomb has four key features which are: The Char Bagh plan with the mausoleum at the centre, a ninefold floor plan, a five-part façade and a large podium with a hidden stairway.The layout is in the form of four squares with wide footpaths and water tanks, which have been further subdivided into smaller squares. The garden is in the Mughal charbagh garden style. The main entry gate to the tomb is a two-storied gate with very elaborate ornamentation over plastered surfaces and is in ornate purple colour. The large square garden surrounds the tomb is surrounded by a wall that is approximately 280 metres (920 ft) long on each side. 

6. Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship that was dedicated in 1986. Notable for its flowerlike shape, Lotus Temple has become a prominent attraction in the city. Like all the Bahá’í Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all regardless of religion. Lotus temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai’s temples to be built around the world. Completed in1986, Lotus Temple is set among the lush green landscaped gardens. The temple is composed of 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides, with nine doors opening onto a central hall. . Each Bahá’í House of Worship is a centre for social, scientific, educational and humanitarian services, living up to its title of “Dawning Place of Remembrance of God.” The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and has been featured in many newspaper and magazine articles over the years.

7. Agrasen Ki Baoli is a 60-metre long and 15-metre wide historical step well in Delhi. Although, there are no known historical records about who built Agrasen ki Baoli, it is believed that it was originally built by the legendary king Agrasen. Agrasen ki Baoli is unique in its structure due to different shapes from the traditional round shape of reservoirs that existed in Delhi during that time. Built over a series of 103 steps, Agrasen ki Baoli gradually descends into the ground. The steps are built over three levels, each of which serves as a landing where people can rest and relax. These levels are in turn akin to arched stone carvings that lie in beautiful symmetry to each other. The style of its architecture indicates that it maybe was rebuilt during the Tughlaq period. Agrasen ki Baoli is famous for urban legends of hauntings and incidents. Many people consider it to be haunted and it has been believed to the centre of many paranormal activities. 


8. Lal Quila (Red Fort) is a historic fort in the city of Delhi. It was built by Shahjahan and was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until 1856. Red Fort was planned according to Islamic prototypes, each pavilion contains architectural elements typical of Mughal buildings that reflect a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. The Red Fort’s innovative architectural style, including its garden design, influenced later buildings and gardens in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kashmir, Braj and Rohilkhand. The marble, floral decorations and double domes in the fort’s buildings exemplify the Mughal architecture. The fort’s artwork is a mixture of Persian, European and Indian art, resulting in a unique Shahjahani style rich in form, expression and colour. Red Fort was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 as part of the Red Fort Complex.

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