Fort also known as Lal Qila, located in Delhi, India is a UNESCO World
Heritage Site. It was
palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's new capital, Shahjahanabad, the
seventh Muslim city in the Delhi site. He moved his capital from Agra
in a move designed to bring prestige to his reign and to provide ample
opportunity to apply his ambitious building schemes and interests. The
Red Fort stands at the eastern edge of Shahjahanabad, and gets its name
from the massive wall of red sandstone that defines its four sides. The
wall is 1.5 miles (2.5 km) long, and varies in height from 60ft (16m)
on the river side to 110 ft (33 m) towards the city. Measurements have
shown that the plan was generated using a square grid of 82 m.
It first occurred to
the omniscient mind that he should select on the banks of the aforesaid
river some pleasant site, distinguished by its genial climate, where he
might found a splendid fort and delightful edifices, agreeably to the
promptings of his generous heart, through which streams of water should
be made to flow, and the terraces of which should overlook the river.'
Muhammad Tahir, Inayat Khan Shahjahan-nama, 1657-58.
thoughts, according to the royal librarian, prompted the Mughal Emperor
Shah Jahan to found a fresh city at Delhi in the mid-seventeenth
century. He called it Shahjahanabad, meaning City of Shah Jahan. At its
centre stood the Red Fort, a vast walled complex of beautiful palaces
and meeting halls from which the Emperor ruled with unmatched public
pomp and ceremony. Today, the surviving Fort buildings stand silently
amid the still bustling city, now called Old Delhi.
To the dead of the
Indian armies who fell
in France and
Flanders Mesopotamia and Persia East Africa Gallipoli and elsewhere in
the near and the far-east and in sacred memory also of those whose
names are recorded and who fell in India or the north-west frontier and
during the Third Afgan War.
The shrine itself is a black marble cenotaph with a rifle placed on its
barrel, crested by a soldier's helmet. Each face of the cenotaph has
inscribed in gold the words "Amar Jawan" (Immortal Warrior). This
cenotaph is itself placed on an edifice which has on its four corners
four flames that are perpetually kept alive.
The 42 metre tall India Gate is situated such that many important roads
spread out from it. Traffic passing around India Gate used to be
continuous till the roads were closed to the public due to terrorist
threats. The lawns around Rajpath are thronged by people during the
night, when the India Gate is lit up.
world famous towering Qutub Minar, started in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din
Aibak (1192-98), breathes down the neck of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque.
There is a slight difference of opinion as to its purpose: it probably
was a tower of victory, but then again it could have been built to be a
minar (tower), attached to the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, for the muezzin
(priest) to climb up top for a prayer.
The Mughal Emperor Costructed The Fort. When the second Mughal emperor
Humayun decided to make a city of his
own he decided on the site of the ancient city of Indraprastha. Humayun
was quite a scholar with a fine grasp on such matters and so it is
certain that the site was chosen deliberately. When his Sher Shah Suri
overthrew him, he destroyed most of Dinpanah (refuge of the faithful)
as the city of Humayun was called to make way for his own Dilli Sher
Shahi or Shergarh. Incidentally, Humayun was probably the only emperor
in history who built a city in Delhi and did not give it his own name –
this was typical of Humayun's rather sophisticated and dreamy
character. The Layout of The Massive Colossal - In plan the Old fort,
now simply called Purana
Qila by Delhites, is
irregularly orbital. The walls of the immense Qila tower down on the
road that takes one to Pragati Maidan from the height of 18m, and run
on for about 2km. It has three main gates – the Humayun darwaza, Talaqi
darwaza and Bara darwaza (which one uses to enter the fort today). The
double-storeyed gates are quite huge and are built with red sandstone.
of all the gates entry was forbidden from Talaqi (forbidden) darwaza,
the northern gate. It is not clear why this was so.
Other Attractions of The Fort - Sher Shah Suri and his successor could
not complete the city, and when
Humayun defeated Sher Shah's son to take back his city, he did not deal
with Dilli Sher shahi as the latter had done with Dinpanah. In fact the
Mughal emperor very handsomely completed the city and even used several
of the buildings like the Sher Mandal, a rather pretty two-storeyed
octagonal building. Humayun used this as his library and, then tripped
to his death from its steps.
is a very recent architectural marvel of the Bahai faith, located in
Kalkaji, South Delhi. Shaped like a Lotus flower, this
temple is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all
faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and
tranquility. Bahai's Temple is a marvel of modern architecture, which
is visible from several spots in south Delhi. The lotus flower
signifies purity and peace, a representation of the Manifestation of
God, to the people of India. This ancient symbol has been given a
modern and contemporary form in the structure of the Bahai House of
Worship drawing into its sanctum sanctorum people from all races,
religious backgrounds and culture from around the globe. It represents
the Bahai faith, - an independent world religion; divine in origin, all
embracing in scope, broad in its outlook, scientific in its method,
humanitarian in its principles, and dynamic in the influence.
Fariborz Sahba, Canadian architect of Iranian origin, spent 10 years in
designing and project management, and with the help of a team of about
800 engineers, technicians, artisans and workers brought to realization
one of the most complicated constructions in the world. The structure
of the House is composed of three ranks of nine petals; each springing
from a podium elevating the building above the surrounding plain. The
first two ranks curve inward, embracing the inner dome; the third layer
curves outward to form canopies over the nine entrances. The petals,
constructed of reinforced white concrete cast in place, are clad in
white marble panels, performed to surface profiles and patterns related
to the geometry. Nine arches that provide the main support for the
superstructure ring the central hall. Nine reflecting pools surround
the building on the outside, their form suggesting the green leaves of
the lotus flower. Translating the geometry of the design, in which
there are virtually no straight lines, into the actual structure
presented particular challenges in designing and erecting the framework.
Not only was it difficult to align, so as to produce accurately the
complex double-curved surfaces and their intersections, but also the
closeness of the petals severely restricted workspace. Nevertheless the
task was carried out entirely by the local laborers. Thanks to each one
who contributed in its construction. To avoid construction joints,
petals were concreted in a continuous operation for approximately 48
hours. Concrete was carried up the staging by women bearing 50-pound
loads in baskets balanced on their heads. All the steel reinforcing for
the shells of the lotus petals was galvanized to avoid rust stains on
the white concrete in the prevailing humid conditions, guaranteeing the
life of the delicate shell structure of 6 to 18 cm thick shells of the
petals. India is well endowed with human resources.
Maharajah Jai Singh
incidentally, constructed five
astronomical observatories in west and central India between 1727 and
1734. The observatories, or "Jantar Mantars" comprise of multiple
buildings, each with a particular function for astronomical
measurement. Jantar Mantar in Delhi-with a collection of structures
inside it, was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1725. This observatory
in New Delhi is located to the east of Hanuman Mandir in Sansad Marg.
The Mughal emperor, Muhammad Shah gave the famous astronomer Maharaja
the responsibility to revise the calendar and correct astronomical
tables used by the then priests. So even before the construction began,
astral observations were made daily for years.
The observatory of Jantar Mantar in Delhi is a camouflage of modern
art. ‘Samrat Yantra' or the sun dial is the most imposing instrument in
the observatory. The sun dial is a huge structure in yellow with a 27m
long arm placed at an angle of 27 degrees. The sun dial calculates the
time of a day accurately. There are two pillars that record the longest
and shortest day in the year. This instrument is known as the ‘Mishra
Yantra' the other instruments are used to trace astronomical phenomena
from other planets and stars. The observatory is a fascinating sight
with huge instruments of masonry.
style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(204, 102, 0);">Safdarjung Tomb
Tomb is a garden tomb in a marble mausoleum in Delhi, India. It was
built in 1754 in the style of late Mughal architecture. The top story
of the edifice houses the Archaeological Survey of India. The garden,
in the style evolved by the Mughal Empire that is now known as the
Mughal gardens style known as a charbagh, is entered through an ornate
gate. Its facade is decorated with elaborate plaster carvings.
The tomb was built for Safdarjung, the powerful prime minister of
Muhammad Shah who was the weak Mughal emperor from 1719 to 1748. The
central tomb has a huge dome. There are four water canals leading to
four buildings. One has an ornately decorated gateway while the other
three are pavilions, with living quarters built into the walls.
Octagonal towers are in the corners. The canals are four oblong tanks,
one on each side of the tomb.
is one of the landmarks in 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).
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 waterfalls.
The National Museum
The Railway Museum