one of India's fastest growing cities, has spread far beyond the
"seven cities" created between the 13th and the 17th centuries.
It has sprawled over the west bank of the Yamuna and now straddles
the river. Remnants of the past survive cheek -by-jowl with skyscrapers,
residential colonies and bustling commercial complexes. Delhi has
some of the finest museums in the country. Its boutiques and shopping
arcades offer access to a wealth of traditional and contemporary
crafts from all over the country. It has speciality restaurants
to please the gourmet, open parks and gardens ablaze with flowers,
and in the winter months particularly, a variety of cultural events.
Its many-layered existence is tantalizing and can entice the curious
traveller into a fascinating journey of discovery.
Thehistory of this centre of power dates to the first millennium
BC. In 1955excavations within the Purana Qila revealed that the
area was inhabited morethan 3000 years ago. This was Indraprastha,
a site associated with the epicMahabharata.A clearer picture emerges
at the end of the 10th century. The TomarRajputs built Lal Kot,
the core of the first of Delhi's seven cities. Later,another Rajput
king, Prithviraj Chauhan hero of ballads and legends extended
it to create the Qila Rai Pitbora. In 1206, Qutb ud din Aibak, aslave
of Mohammad of Ghor crowned himself the Sultan of Delhi and occupied
theRajput fort. He commemorated his victory by building the Quwwat
ul Islammosque. It is the earliest extant mosque in India and within
its courtyard stands the 4th-century standard of Lord Vishnu, the
famous, uncorroded Iron Pillar. Nearby, he raised the towering minaret,
the QutbMinar, one of Delhi's landmarks. Other architectural gems
within this complex include the tomb of Illtutmish and the Alai
1311, Allaudin Khilji established Siri, the second city and dug
a vast reservoir at Hauz Khas. Very little remains of Siri, but
Hauz Khas was extensively renovated a few decades later. Now, ethnic
boutiques and cafes dot the Hauz Khas village and the location is
as attractive as the exclusive goods on sale.
The great fort of Tughlaqabad wasraised in 1321 as a protection
against Mongol raids and became Delhi's third city. The fort and
tomb are characteristic of robust Tughlaq architecture. Delhi's
fourth city,Jahanpanah has practically disappeared but its fifth,
Firoz Shah Kotla rises offBahadur Shah Zafar Marg and is well known
for its Ashokan pillar which the Sultan brought fromMathura. Timur
devastated Delhi in 1398 and as a result the 15th century saw little
growth. The tombs of the Lodi kings date to this era and are within
the landscaped Lodi Gardens, one of Delhi's most beautiful gardens.
1526, Babur founded the Mughal empire in India. The impressive PuranaQila,
Delhi's sixth city, is a combined effort of his son Humayun and
the Afghan Sher Shah Suri who temporarily deposed him. The fort
contains a fine mosque and what was possibly a library. Nearby are
the Zoo, the Crafts Museum, where craftsmen work in a simulated
rural setting, andPragati Maidan, the exhibition grounds. The magnificent
tomb of Humayun, which is a precursor to the Taj Mahal is 2 km from
Apiil 1639 the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan laid the foundation of
Shahjahanabad, Delhi's seventh city, and it epitomised the grandeur
of his empire. This walled city has since been continuously inhabited.
It is one of the most densely populated localities in the world
and it retains a unique vitality and charm. The Red Fort, Shah Jahan's
sandstone citadel encompasses grand audience halls where
the legendary Peacock Throne once stood and marble palaces
ornamented with exquisite pietra dura. Opposite the Red Fort is
the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque.
the intrepid traveller there is rnore... Chandni Chowk, the moonlit
square, is adjacent to the mosque, and leads to the heart of the
walled city. This was once a tree-lined bazaar with a canal flowing
through its centre. Today, it is one of the largest trading centres
in northern India - thriving, congested and chaotic. Chandni Chowk
is replete with historical landmarks and each of its bylanes leads
into a world of spices or silver or perfumes or textiles.....
Delhi was built in 1911. It was tobe "conceived with spaciousness
and care so that the new creation would be in every way worthy of
this ancient and beautiful city". Lutyens and Baker planned
a city with wide, tree-lined avenues. The 340-roomed Viceregal Lodge,
now the Rashtrapati Bhawan, was raised on Raisina Hill. Nearby are
India Gate, a World War I memorial. Parliament House, the prestigious
National Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art. On Republic
Day, Rajpath witnesses a display of pageantry.
classy commercial centre of Connaught Place was planned as part
of New Delhi. Alongwith stalls on Janpath, and emporia on Baba Kharak
Singh Marg, it is a shopper's paradise. Rather characteristically,
an 18th century masonry observatory, the Jantar Mantar, lies in
the midst of this commercial area.
there is still more to Delhi Art galleries and theatres and a variety
of museums... memorials to leaders... Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain
and Bahai temples- folk dancers, discotheques, urban villages- even
birdwatching along the ridge. Come discover a country through a
ATTRACTIONS (Rates on request)
Visit to Village Bistro, Hauz Khas for a cultural extravaganza,
followed by dinner at an authentic village complex, comprising shops
Meeting with astrologer, who can forecast what your future could
be. With near-to-accurate predictions, these astrologers can answer
your many questions of anxiety.
Sound and light show at the Red Fort narrating the rich history
of the Red Fort and the ruling dynasties of Delhi until the independence
ACCESSIBILITY: As a major entry point for India many major
international flights go through New Delhi. It is also extensively
connected by air, road and rail with the rest of the country.
SEASON: October to March
TO WEAR: Cottons in summer, wollens in winter.