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Delhi

Delhi-India Gate

Delhi, the capital of India, is situated in northern India and stands on the west bank of Yamuna River bounded by Uttar Pardesh and on the north, west and south by Haryana. Delhi is spread over an area of 1483 sq. kilometers, 216 meters above sea level and has a population of around 14 million. The city has its historical importance for the fact that it has been the home to Mugal Empire. Delhi, as described by the famous poet Mirza Galib, is "The world is body and Delhi its soul". Apart from its historical importance, Delhi also happens to be the political hub of India, where every political activity in the country traces its roots to Delhi.

The history speaks the importance and contribution of Delhi towards developing India as a country which has left its mark on the global map today. Delhi has the most effervescent history among other prominent cities in India. Study from the Archaeological Survey of India states that Delhi was the capital of seven empires in Indian history and has over 60, 0000 recognized monuments built over several millennia.

Apart from being the political capital of India, Delhi is an important administrative unit of government of India. Major ministries of Indian government are situated in Delhi. The parliament of India - the emblem of Indian democracy - is situated in Delhi. All the major government offices and departments find their place in Delhi. In other words, it is the power house of Indian democracy which rules the nation.

History of Delhi
Having a peak into the history of Delhi would give you an insight to the rich heritage ofIndian culture and tradition. It also lets you know the lives and work style of various rulers who ruled Delhi in yester years. As the history books suggest, Delhi has been built and re-built more than 5 times at different sites in and around Delhi but the correct reference is found in the Mahabharatha as the city of Pandavas, also called Indraprastha,some 3000 years ago. The city has a historic importance of its own with every crumbling walls of the city has a story to tell. Delhi has witnessed a rise and fall of major power during 12th century. Until the influx of outsiders, Delhi was home to the Hindu rulers somewhere during the 12th century. Muslim rule in India was established in 12th century after Mohammed Gauri defeated Prithviraj Chauhan.

Indraprastha:

Indraprastha was formed in Delhi in 1000 B.C during Mahabharatha which is assumed to have been around the annex of Purana Quila. According to Mahabharatha, Pandavas named this region as Indraprastha which was known as Khandava-Prastha

Delhi Sultanate:

Delhi was acquired by Qutab-Ud-Din Aibak in 1193 which was followed by mighty Mughals from the year 1526 to 1857. Later on Khilji followers built their new capital at Siri, the second city of Delhi. Tughlakabad was the third city of Delhi built inside the great fortress with 13 outer gates. It was built during the reign of Ghiyas-Ud-Din from 1321-25.

The fourth city of Delhi was called Jahanpanah, which was built by Muhammed Bin Tughlak. Later on the capital was shifted to Daulatabad in Deccan which resulted in the loss of soldiers because it was a difficult march of 1120 kilometers. Finally Tughlaq forfeited his decision and Delhi got back the status of capital.

The fifth city was called Ferozabad whose remains can still be found in the city. It was built by Feroz Shah Tughlak in the year 1351 on the banks of river Yamuna. It was later destroyed by Shah Jahan to build Shahjahanabad. The remains of the sixth city can be found in the form of tomb and monuments within the Lodi gardens. Old Delhi happens to be the sixth city.

Univerities
Delhi University
NSIT Delhi
Delhi College of Engineering
Maulana Azad Medical College
University College of Medical Sciences
Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology
Vardhman Mahavir Medical College
Dr BR Sur Homeopathic Medical College
Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management
IGNOU
Bibi Halima College of Nursing and Medical Technology
College of Nursing & Medical Technology Srinagar
Annex College of Management Studies | Indian Institute of Science & Management
IIIT Delhi
Jamia Hamdard
Jamia Hamdard university in New Delhi is well known for its courses in Unani medicine.
Jamia Hamdard Faculty of Nursing
Rufaida College of Nursing
Jamia Millia Islamia
Faculty of Engineering and Technology Jamia Millia Islamia
Faculty of Law Jamia Millia Islamia
Jawaharlal Nehru University
National Institute of Immunology
Naval College of Engineering Lonavla
Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan
Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth
TERI University

Tourism/Historical places

Red Fort
The magnificent Red Fort or Lal Qila was built by the emperor Shah Jahan ad is a part of the walled city of Shahjahanabad. Within its fortifications are exquisite palaces, a finely proportioned mosque the Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-i -Am or hall of public audience and the finely ornamented Diwan-Khas or hall pouf private audience, where the Mughal emperors held court seated o the bejeweled golden Peacock Throe.

Jama Masjid

The great mosque of Old Delhi is both 1 largest in India and the final architecture extravagance of Shah Jahan. Commences 1644, the mosque was not completed 1658. It has three great gateways, four an towers and two minarets standing 40 met high and constructed of alternating verity strips of red sandstone and white marble. 


Broad flights of steps lead up to the imposing gateways. The eastern gateway was originally only opened for the emperor, and now only open on Fridays and Musleem festival days. The general public can enter either the north or south gate  Shoes should be removed and those people considered unsuitably dressed (bare legs for either men or women) can hire robes at the Northgate. The courtyard of the mosque has a capacity of 25,000 people. For it's possible climb the southern minaret, and the views all directions arc superb-Old Delhi, the Red Fort and the polluting factories beyond it across the river, and New Delhi to the south. You can also see one of the features that the architect Lutyens incorporated into his design of New Delhi - the Jama Masjid, Connaught Place and Sansad Bhavan (Par-liament House) are in a direct line. There's also a fine view of the Red port from the east side of the mosque.

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 later cities.


Rajghat

North-east of Feroz Shah Kotla, on the banks of the Yamuna, a simple square platform of black marble marks of the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his assassination in 1948. A commemorative ceremony takes place each Friday, the day he was killed. The Raj Ghat area is now a beautiful park complete with labeled trees planted by a mixed bag of notables including Queen Eliabeth II, Gough Whitlam Dwight Eisenhower and Ho Chi Minn !


India Gate
This 42 meter high stone arch of triumph stands at the eastern end of the Rajpath. It bears the name of 90, 000 Indian Army soldiers who died in the campaigns of WWI the North-West Frontier operations of the same time and the 1919 Fagan fiasco.

Jantar Mantar
Only a short stroll down Sansad Marg from Connaught Place, this strange collection of salmon-coloured structures is one of Maharaja Jai Singh It's observatories. The ruler from Jaipur constructed this observatory in 1725 and it is dominated by a huge sundial known as the Prince of Dials. Other instruments plot the course of heavenly bodies and predict eclipes.

Rastrapati Bhavan
The official residence of the President of India stands at the opposite end of the Rajpath from India Gate. Completed in 1929, the place-like building is a blend of Mughal and Western architectural styles, the most obvious India feature being the huge copper dome. To the west of the building is a Mughal garden which occupies 130 hectares, and this is open to the public in February. Prior to Independence this was the viceroy's residence. At the time of Mountbatten. India's last viceroy, the number of servants needed to maintain the 340 rooms and its extensive gardens was enormous. There were 418 gardeners alone, 50 of them boys whose sole job was to chase away birds!

Sansad Bhavan

Although another large and imposing building, Sansad Bhavan, the Indian parliament building, stands almost hidden and virtually unnoticed at the end of Sansad Marg. or Parliament St, just north of Rajpath. The building is a circular colonnaded structure 171 metres in diameter. Its relative physical insignificance in the grand shame of New Delhi shows how the focus of power has shifted from the viceroy's residence, which was given pride of place during the time of the British Raj when New Delhi was concaved.
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Permits to visit the parliament and sit in the public gallery are available from the reception office on Raisina Rd, but you'll need a letter of introduction form your embassy.


Lotus Temple
Lying to the east of Siri is this building shaped like a lotus flower. Built between 1980 and 1986, it is set amongst pools and gardens, and adherents of any faith are free to vist the temple and pray or meditate silently according to their own religion. It looks particularly spectacular at dusk when it is floodlit. The temple is open to visitors from April to September. daily except Monday from 9 am to 7 pm. and October to March from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Purana Qula
Just South-east of India Gate and north of Humayun's Tomb and the Nizamuddin railway station is the old fort. Purana Qula. This is the suppossed site of Indraprasth, the original city of Delhi. The Afghan ruler, Sher Shah, who briefly interrrupted the Mughal Empire by defeating Humanyun, completed the fort during his regn from 1538-45, before Humayun regained control of India. The fort has massive walls and three large gateways.Entering from the sough gage you'll see the small octagonal red sandstone tower, the Sher Mandal, later used by Humayun, as a library. It was while descending the stairs of this tower one day in 1556 that he slipped fell and received injuries from which he later died

Humayun's Tomb
Built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, senior wife ofHumayn, the second Mughal emperor, this is an early example of Mughal architecture. The elements in its design- a squat building, lighted by high arched entrances, topped by a bulbous dome and surrounded by formal gardens where to be refined over the years to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal in Agra. This earlier tomb is thus of great interest for its relation to the later Taj. Humayun's wife is also buried in the red-and-white sandstone. black and yellow marble tomb.Other tombs in the garden include that of Humayun's barber and the Tomb of Isa Khan, a good example of Lidi architecture.

Quatab Minar
The buildings in this complex, 15 km south of Delhi, date from the onset of Muslim rule in India and are fine examples of early Afghan architecture. The Qutab Minar itself is a soaring tower of victory which was started in 1193, immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi. It is nearly 73 metres high and tapers from a 15-metre diameter base to just 2.5 metres at the stop. The tower has five distances stories, each market by a projecting balcony. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone. the fourth and fifth of marble and sandstone.  Although Qutab-ud-din began construction of the tower, he only got to the first story. 

Today, this impressively ornate tower has a slight tilt, but otherwise has worn the centuries remarkably well. The tower is closed to visitors. and has been for some years after a stampede during a school trip led to a number of deaths.

National Museum
Located on Janpath just sough of Rajpath, the National Museum has a good collection of Indian bronzes terracotta and wood sculptress dating back to the Mauryan period , exhibits from the Vijayanagar period in sough India, miniature and mural paintings, and costumes of the various tribal peoples. The museum is definitely worth visiting and is open Tuesday to Sunday form 10 am to 5 pm. There are film shows most days of the week.

right next door is the Archaeological Survey of India office. Publications available here cover all the main sites in India. Many of these are not available at the particular sites themselves.

Nehru Museum
Located on Teen Murti Rd near Chanakyapuri-the residence of the first Indian prime minister, Teen Murti Bhavan has been converted into a museum. Photographs and newspaper clippings on display give a fascinating insight into the history of the independence movement.

During the tourist season there is a sound & light show about his life and the independence movement. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission in free

International Dolls Museum
This museum in Nehru House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg displays 600 dolls from 85 countries. Over a third of them are from India and one exhibit comp rises 500 dolls in the costumes worn all over the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5.30 pm

Rail Transport Museum
This museum at Chanakyapuri will be of great interest to anyone who becomes fascinated by India's exotic collection of railway engines. The exhibit includes in 1855 steam engine, still in working order, and a large number of oddities such as the skull of an elephant that charged a mail train in 1894, and lost. See the boxed Graining section in the Getting Around chapter for more details.

The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 5 pm and there's a small admission fee.

International Dolls Museum
This museum is Nehru House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg displays 600 dolls from 85 countries. Over a third of them are from India and one exhibit comprises 500 dolls in the costumes worn all over the country. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5.30 pm.

Crafts Museum
Located in the Aditi Pailion at the Pragati Maiden Exhibition Grounds, Mathura Rd, this museum contains a collection of traditional Indian crafts in textiles, metal, wood and ceramics. The museum is part of a Village life' complex where you can visit rural India without ever leaving Delhi Opening hours are daily from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Admission is free.

Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum
The former residence of Indira Gandhi at 1 Safdarjang Rd has also been converted into a museum. On show are some of her personal effects, including the sari (complete with blood stains) she was wearing at the time of her assassination Striking a somewhat macabre note is the crystal plaque in the garden, flanked constantly by tow soldiers, which protects a few brown spots of Mrs. Gandhi's blood on the spot where she actually fell after being shot by two of her Sikh bodyguards in December 1984.

Place of worship
Lakshminarayain Temple
Situated due west of Connaught Palace, this garish modern temple was erected by the industrialist BD Birla in 1938. It's dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and good fortune, and is commonly known as Birla Mandir.

Lotus Temple
Beautifully designed, the Bhai's House of Worship (also known as the Lotus Temple) is built in the shape of a lotus. Its petals constructed in concrete and faced with white marble have an extraordinary lightness. Nine pools of water around the structure add to the illusion of a lotus floating in water. The temple is open to visitors from April to September. daily except Monday from 9 am to 7 pm. and October to March from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Jama Masjid
Located just opposite the fort is the imposing Jama Masjid with its black and white striped onion domes and minarets, one of the largest and the most elegant mosques in India. The courtyard of the mosque has a capacity of 25,000 people. For it's possible climb the southern minaret, and the views all directions arc superb-Old Delhi, the Red Fort and the polluting factories beyond it across the river, and New Delhi to the south. You can also see one of the features that the architect Lutyens incorporated into his design of New Delhi - the Jama Masjid, Connaught Place and Sansad Bhavan (Parliament House) are in a direct line. There's also a fine view of the Red port from the east side of the mosque.

Facilities
There are open-roofed mobile vans available at affordable charges within the zoo and is the best option for tourists to avoid the exertion and heat of Delhi's summer season. This place is also a good picnic spot as there are a number of parks in the complex. There are ample numbers of water points and drinking water facility, still its better to carry your own water bottle. A cafeteria is also available outside the zoo.

TIMINGS : Summer 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Winter 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday closed

VARITIES OF FOOD IN DELHI
Chinese Food :  Chinese food is available in every five star hotel in India while mostrestaurants in Delhi do serve Chinese food. Chinese food is very popular among the people of Delhi, which goes to show the reason why we have large number of Chinese cuisines in the city, not to mention the road side fast food with delicious Chinese food.

Continental Food
Continental cuisines can be had at five star hotels like La Rochelle (The Oberoi), the Orient Express (Taj Palace) and Rick's (Taj Man Singh). Continental food is also available at various multi-cuisine restaurants within the city

Desi Junk Food

you can have the taste of various desi food available at every nook and corner of the city. Among the very popular and widely available are chat, gol guppe, paranthe, bhelpuri, chaat papri, etc. These stuffs can be found at places like:

  • Bengali Market near Connaught Place in the center of Delhi.
  • Haldiram's stores located at every parts of the city offer chat, sweets and other spicy items.
  • Ashok's near Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi is famous for Chaat.

Indian Cuisines
The most popular and one of the delightful offerings of Indian cuisines can be found at Delhi Haat, where you can have the taste of real India. Delhi Haat has food stalls from almost every state in India, which offer cheap and quality food. The place has special importance in the sense that quality food is coupled with swanky market depicting arts and crafts culture of India. For food lovers, eateries such as those at Pranthe wali gali, or chaat at Bengali Market and sunder Nagar, bhelpuri at Greater Kailash and sweetmeats from Annapoorna and Ghantewala can be a part of the gastronomical tour of Delhi.

Thai Food

If you are a lover of Thai food, then you must visit:

  • EGO Thai at Friends Colony Market
  • Culinaire at GK2
  • Chilli Seasons at Lodhi Colony market
  • Ban Thai at the Oberoi hotel

Italian

Italian food is very popular all over India and especially in Delhi where people love to have Italian food. Most of the restaurants and Hotels in Delhi serve Italian food with some specific Italian restaurant serving quality food. Among the most common Italian restaurants, we have:

  • Little Italy, Defence Colony Market
  • The West View at Maurya Sheraton, Olive near the Qutub Minar , Diva at Greater Kailash Pt.2, San Gimignano at Imperial Hotel and La Piazza at Hyatt Regency offer some of the best authentic Italian food in the South-Asian continent.
  • The Big Chill, Khan Market and East of Kailash, is popular with a young crowd for great smoothies, ice creams, cheesecakes and Italian food.
Flavours of Italy, near the Moolchand Flyover

NWFP & Tandoori Food

Some of the popular Tandoori destinations in Delhi are:

  • Moti Mahal Deluxe and Havemore at Pandara Park.
  • Bukhara at Maurya Sheraton. This restaurant is featured in the book, "1001 Places to Visit", which is the best in terms of taste, ambience and quality.
Others notables include Chor Bizzare and Punjabi by Nature

Best Time to visit Delhi
If you are looking to visit Delhi, the best time is during October-November or February-March. During October-November, the atmosphere is little bit cool with sunny weather in mid day. February-March is the time when the nights are cool and the days filled with bright sunshine. This is the time when you can enjoy the best in Delhi.

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