14 83 sq .kms.
Altitude: 239 m above sea level.
Language: Hindi, English Urdu, Punjabi
Rainfall : 111 cms. annually (approx)
Clothes : Summer-Cotton, Winter- Woollens
STD Code: 011
Population: 11 million
People per sq.km : 7000
Best Time to Go : October to March
Delhi, the capital of India, is a city of marvellous contrast.
Its past and present mesh seamlessly to make it an exciting
palace to visit. The sprawling modern metropolis of Delhi
enfolds within its limits the remains of seven earlier cities.
Today the imposing forts and tombs of these earlier times
co-exist comfortable with the elegant edifices of the British
Raj and modern high rise buildings. Cool tree-lined avenues
with their whitewashed bungalows are as much a part of the
city's charms as the ordered chaos of the arrow lanes and busy
bazaars of the walled city of Shahjahanabad.
A major gateway into India, Delhi is the logical start to an
exploration of northern India. It is also a part of the Golden
Triangle, an exciting circuit of the three magnificent Cities
of Delhi-Agra -Jaipur. places
History of Delhi
Delhi has not always been the capital of India but it has
played an important role in Indian history. The settlement of
Indraprastha, which featured in the epic Mahabharata over 3000
years ago, was located approximately on the site of present
-day Delhi. Over 200 years ago, Pataliputra (near modernday
Patna) was the capital of Emperor Ashoka, kingdom More
recently the Mughal emperors made Agra the capital through the
16th and 17 centuries. Under the British, Calcutta was the
capital until the construction of New Delhi in 1911. Of
course, it is only comparatively recently the India as we know
it has been unified as one country. Even at the height of
their power the Mughals did not control the sough of India,
for example. But Delhi has always been an important city or a
capital of the northern region of the subcontinent.
The have been at least eight cities around modern Delhi. The
first four were to the sough around the area where the Qutab
Minar stands. The earliest known Delhi was called Indraprastha
and was centered newer present-day Purana Qila. At the
beginning of the 12th century the last Hindu kingdom of Delhi
was ruled by the Tomara and chauthan dynasties and was also
near the Qutab Minar and Suran Kund, now in Haryana.
The city was followed by Siri, constructed by Ala-ud-din near
present-day Haunz Khas in the 12th century. The third Delhi
was Tughlaqabad, now entirely in ruins,. which stood 10 km
sough-east of the Qutub Minar. The fourth Delhi dates from the
14th century and was also a creation of the Tughlaqs. Known as
Jahanpanah, it also stood near the Qutab Minar.
The fifth Delhi, Ferozabad, was sited at Feroz Shah Kotla in
present-day New Delhi Its ruins contain al Ashoka pillar,
moved here from elsewhere, and traces of a mosque in which
Tamer lance prayed during his attack on India.
Delhi has seen many invaders through the ages. Tamer lane
plundered in the 14th century; the Afghan Babur occupied it in
the 14th century; the Afghan Babur occupied it in the 16th
century, and in 1739 the Persian emperor, Nadir Shah, sacked
the city and carted the Kohinoor Diamond and the famous
peacock Throne off to Iran. The British captured Delhi in 1803
but during the Indian Mutiny of 1857 it was a centre of
resistance against the British.
Humayun's Tomb, the red and white structure, was
raised by his widow, Haji Begum, as a tribute in his memory in
the 16th century. This building which is supported by a lofty,
double-storeyed gateway costs 1.5 million rupees.
It is set in the centre of a huge square garden which is
enclosed by high walls on three sides. The garden is divided
into four parts by wide causeways and water channels, with
each square further divided into even smaller squares by
pathways, a characteristic of the Mughal era.
Built in 1725 by Maharaja Jai Singh II of
Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is a huge sun-dial known as the Prince
of Dials. It was also used to observe the movements of stars
and planets. The instruments at Jantar Mantar are fascinating
for their novel approach. However, it has now become
impossible to predict the time accurately because of the
towering buildings that surround it. Recently the area has
been restored to it's pristine glory.
Straight down the road from Rashtrapati Bhavan is India Gate.
Designed by Lutyens, the 42 mt high structure is a war
memorial in honour of the soldiers who died during the second
world war. The imposing structure from where the massive lush
green lawns streches, has an eternal flame (amar jawan jyoti)
to honour the memory of the unknown soldiers.
Said to be the remains of another city that was sought to be
built in Delhi, the tombs are in the midst of the famed Lodhi
Gardens and is believed to have been built by rulers of two
dynasties, the Sayyaids and the Lodis.
Qutub Minar Complex
13 km to the south of Connaught Circus at Lalkote of 8th
century Tomor Rajputs, the 72.5 m high Victory Pillar stands
as a victory stand of a Muslim King Kutub-ud-din-Aibak in
India. At Kila Roy Pithora, on the dilapidated fort of the
last Hindu king Prithwiraj, this victory stand was made like
throne in Gajni. In 1199 Kutub-ud-Din started its construction
and it was completed in 1236 by Iltutmish, the son-in-law of
Kutub. However, there is a 2nd opinion. Some say, the
construction came to an end around 1357-68 during the reign of
Feroz Sah Tughlak.
However, the Kutub which was built in Afghan style underwent
repairing and remaking for more than occasions. Revolving
steps of flights are 367 in number in slightly leaned Kutub.
It has some spl features- at its root the radius is being
14.40 m which gradually reduced at its top to 2.44 m. In Kupee
language it has been inscribed on Kutub that- The Tower was
erected to cast the shadow of God over both East and West.
Aayaat from Quran is also inscribed. At the foot of the Minar
a Mosque was built in 1197.
The 5 storeyed Qutub Minar is a remarkable instance of
sculpture in India. The 1st floor made of sand stone by Kutub,
the 2nd & 3rd floors made of sand stone by Iltutmis and the
4th and 5th in both sand stone and marble by Feroz Shah
Tughlok in 1368.
However, the earthquake of 1803 destroyed it , in 1829 British
Major Robert Smith re-built the tomb. Later the tomb was
brought down from the Minar and reset it in the garden beside.
In 1981, some students died of stampade while on their way up
the steps of flights. Since then, ascending 5th floor is
forbidden and not more than a group of 4 at a time is
permitted to ascent only upto 1st floor of Kutub. Recently,
Kutub is enshrined with huge lighting
It is 5 km to the S-West from Connaught Place at Arvind Marg
on the way to Kutub. Between 1753-74, Nawab Suja-ud-Dulla
erected Safdarjung on the graveyard of Nawab of Ayodhya Mirza
Mukim Abul Mansur Khan, like the tomb of Humayun. In the
middle of Mughal Garden Charbagh, it is the last tomb or
graveyard of 40 ft high. On the 4 sides, there are 4 stone
made Azan Minar. In the courtyard, there is rose garden.
Beside it, mini airport, Safdarjung of Delhi Flying Club is
located. In 1980, Sanjay Gandhi died in an air crash in this
airport. Adjacent to the south, there is the battle field,
where Mahammad Shah Tughlak was defeated by Taimur in 12 Dec,
The Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq lies 8km east of the Qutab
complex. The fort is partially in ruins, but still worth a
visit. A well preserved tomb which lies south of the fort is a
fine example of Tughlaq architecture.
Feroz shah Kotla
Erected by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1354, the ruins of Ferozabad,
the fifth city of Delhi can be found at Feroz Shah Kotla, Just
off Bahadur Shah Zafur Marg between the old and new Delhi's.
In the frortress-places is a 13-metre-high sadstone Ashoka
pillar inscribed with Ashoa's edicts The remains of an old
mosque and a fine well can also be seen in the area, but most
of the ruins of Ferozabad were used for the construction of
Palaces of Worship in Delhi Information....
Birla Mandir, DelhiThe 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, so it is more welcoming to foreigners than the average
After visiting so many ancient Hindu temples, it was fun to
see a modern functioning one. The whole temple was quite
garish, and noisy with chants over the loud speaker system,
but it was also strangely peaceful. In the garden there was a
tree wound with colored strings, and two women were praying at
This temple was built over a six year period (1933 - 1939) and
was opened by Mahatma Gandhi.
The highest tower in the temple reaches a height of 165 feet
while the ancillary towers reach 116 feet. The Geeta Bhavan, a
hall is adorned with beautiful paintings depicting scenes from
Indian mythology. There is also a temple dedicated to Buddha
in this complex with fresco paintings describing his life and
work. The entire complex, especially the walls and the upper
gallery are full of paintings carried out by artists from
Jaipur in Rajasthan. The rear of the temple has been developed
as an artificial mountainous landscape with fountains and
This is one of the landmarks in the nation's capital New
Delhi. It was built in the 20th century by the Birla family of
industrialists known for its many other temples in India. It
is modern in concept and construction. It attracts several
devotees and international tourists. The presiding deity here
is Lakshmi Narain (Vishnu).
Other Shrines in the temple
Durga and Shiva are the other major deities housed in this
temple. Mention must be made of the Buddha temple in this
complex. Access and Accommodation: Accomodation is available
in the temple guest house for out of town travellers
especially for international scholars pursuing knowledge in
Sanskrit or in the Hindu religion.
Lotus Temple - DelihBaha'i Temple, is known as one
of the most beautiful architectural temples in India.
Popularly called Lotus Temple as it is built in the shape of a
Lotus flower and reaches a height of more than 40m. It was
completed in 1986 and one can enjoy its exquisite beauty even
from a kilometre distance, at night. The House of Worship is
surrounded by nine large pools of water that not only enhance
the beauty of the building, but also play a significant role
in the natural cooling system of the prayer hall. An adjunct
of the main building is its ancillary building which houses
offices, a conference hall, a library and an audio-visual
The common characteristic of Bahá’i Houses of Worship is that
they are all nine-sided. Nine is the highest digit and
symbolises comprehensiveness, oneness and unity. Within the
prayer hall only the Holy Scriptures of the Bahá'í Faith and
earlier Religions are read or recited, according to arranged
programmes. At other times, all are welcome to meditate and
pray in silence. No lectures are permitted, nor any rituals
performed in the prayer hall.
4 km away from Janpath to the N-East of Feroz Shah near Delhi
Gate at Ring Rd on the bank of Jamuna situated Rajghat.
Jawaharlal Nehru Rd also ends opp. Rajghat. On 31st Jan. 1948,
Mahatma Gandhi's last rites was performed here. The memorial
stone of Gandhi is square in shape made of black stone. His
last ward- 'Hey Ram' is inscribed on it.
Ordinary people, VIPs, foreign tourists all come here at
Rajghat to pay their homage to him. On every Friday (the day
of his death) a prayer is being held. Except Monday, a regular
feature of projecting Gandhi philosophy in picture, sculpture
and photos from 10-00 to 17-00 is being performed at Rajghat.
Besides, there is Gandhi Memorial Museum projecting his life
and the philosophy of Sarvodaya Movement in film from 9-30 to
17-30 except Thursday and on Sunday at 16-00 in Hindi and
17-00 in English.
Another Gandhi memorial is Gandhi Balidansthal or assassinated
spot at Tis January Marg of the city. On 30 Jan. 1948 on his
way to prayer at Biral Bhawan , he was assassinated by
bullets. Hence, this memorial.