Delhi Things to Do Tips by uglyscot
Delhi Things to Do: 774 reviews and 1,805 photos
This large complex was my introduction to Mughal architecture, and Indian history. Fortunately we had an excellent guide who didn't fill us with dry facts, but brought the site alive. The site has several distinct parts, but I'll deal first with the one which gives the site its name.
Qubt -ud-din Aibak built the stone tower in about 1193-99. The tower has five distinct storeys, each with a projecting balcony. The diameter at the base is 15 metres, and the top 2.5 metres. The tower is 72 metres high. It was probably a minaret.
Entry is 250 rupees, cameras free but video camera 25 rupee
The Tomb of Humayun was built by Bega Begum the last surviving wife of Humayun, the second emperor of the Moghul empire, in 1565. The typical Moghul garden is divided into 4 large squares, which are divided again into smaller squares by pathways. The mausoleum is in the centre and rises from a podium faced with a series of cells with arched openings. the central octagonal chamber contains the cenotaph. There are octagonal chambers at the diagonals, and arched lobbies at the sides. the openings are closed with perforated screens.
The roof is 425 metres high with a double dome, the first, of marble with pillared kiosks around it. It is built of red sandstone.
Several unidentified rulers are buried nearby , as well as Bega Begum, Hamida Bani Begum [a junior wife], Shah Jehan's son , later Moghuls and Bahadur Shah Ii, the last Moghul emperor of India .
To the south east is an impressive square tomb called the Barber's Tomb.
This was my first visit to a typical Moghul building where symmetery is the keyword. The steps are steep howvever. It was also the last chance I had to really see anything close up in Delhi.
Address: Mathura Road
Main Gate of Red Fort
The fort was laid out in a rough octagonal shape along the river Yumana. The wall has a circumference of 2.4 km. The two main entrances are the Delhi Gate and the Lahore Gate, facing Chandri Chowk market.
It is open daily, except Mondays, from sunrise to sunset. Entrance is 100 rupees and cameras are free. Videos are 25 rupees.
It was built when Shah Jahan moved the Moghul capital from Agra to Delhi, and was completed in 1648. A lot of damage was done after the Mutiny at the end of the Moghul Empire.
Our guide told us there was nothing worth going inside to see........but others beg to differ.
Address: Old Delhi
Kashmiri rug, wall hanging
We were dragged to see the Kashmiri cooperative by our guide. He said it was his duty to show us the handicrafts as part of the tourist policy.
However, there were few things to see except carpets, clothes and pashminas. The things on sale were very good quality however and their service was excellent, offering free shipping to home country etc. But it was hard sell all the way. We had to just glance at an item and it was being pushed down our throats. In the end we had to give in, and after a hard fight bargaining got a nice rug at a reasonable price. Tabs were sewn on it so it could be hung on a wall. Then it was wrapped in sacking and sewn up. We decided to take it with us rather than have it shipped.
The Pakistani outfits were expensive, though my maid had asked me to get her one. And the pashminas cost several thousand rupees, but were really nice, sigh!
At least thereafter we declined strongly any attempt to coerce us into a shop.
Laxmi Narayan Temple
I had noticed the different styles of temples and asked our guide. He took us to the Laxmi Narayan Temple [Birla Mandir] dedicated to Laxmi Narayan. the main shrine has images of Lord Vishnu and his consort Laxmi. There were also shrines to Ghanesh and Shiva.
The temple itself is being re-decorated and seems very large. You have to remove your shoes before going in, and leave cameras in a locker.
I found it very difficult to understand the relationship between the gods, and the guide was of little help.
Much was made clearer when I heard the audioguide at the museum in Mumbai.
And the Jain temple in Mumbai was a completely different experience [see Mumbai tips].
Worshippers were coming and going, throwing or placing garlands, coconuts and spices in front of their favoured god.
Other temples I noticed were a Sikh temple visible from the terrace of the Humayun Tomb, and Digambar Jain Lal Mandir , opposite the Red Fort.
All three were very different.
India Gate is at the foot of Raisina Hill where the Presidential Palace is situated. A wide road leads from it to the gate. Some people say it resembles the Arch de Triomphe and the Champs Elysee. Some people have vivid imaginations! However, this war memorial makes a good first stop on your tour. The names of 90,000 Indian soldiers lost in WWI are engraved on the monument. Beneath burns the Amar Jawan Jyoti eternal flame.
Nearby are lawns where the local population can, and do, enjoy themselves.
It was designed by lutyens and built in 1931. It is 42 meters high.
Address: New Delhi
Directions: at the foot of the road leading from the Presidential residence
colonnade of oldest mosque
Qubt Minar complex was originally a trading station in the middle of nowhere.
There was built a caravanserai to accommodate the visiting traders. The oldest mosque in India was built here. Remains of the mosque can be seen here.
A second stone tower was started but collapsed in the early stages of construction.
the iron pillar
The 7.20 meter high iron pillar dating to the Gupta Period [4th century] is an example of the renowned Indian metal work. It stands in the courtyard of the mosque of Qutb Minar. There is Sanskrit inscription in 4th century script. On the top is a standard of the god Vishnu.
The base is knobby and has small pieces of iron tying it to the foundation. 93 cm are buried.
van Daniken tried to use this as proof of alien influence since the pillar shows hardly any evidence of rust after all these centuries.
Address: Qutb Minar complex
Isa Khan tomb
Isa Khan was a nobleman at the court of Sher Shan Sur [1539-45]. This tomb is within the complex of Hunayun's Tomb. It is south of Bu Halima's garden and lies in an octagonal garden enclosure.. Its entrance is from the north. In the centre lies the mausoleum. The central octagonal chamber is surrounded by a verandah, each with 3 arches. The mausoleum rises from a low podium surrounded by a small low wall. The central dome rises from a 32 sided drum.
Address: Hunayun Complex, Mathura Rd, Delhi
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