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

On the banks of the river Yamuna are the National Shrines. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Indian prime minister, was cremated just to the north at Shanti Vana (Forest of Peace) in 1964. His daughter, Indira Gandhi, who was killed in 1984, and grandsons Sanjay (1980) and Rajiv (1991) were also cremated in this vicinity.  

The great mosque of Old Delhi is both the largest in India and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan. Commenced in 1644, the mosque was not completed until 1658. It has three great gateways, four angle towers and two minarets standing 40 metres high and constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble.  

  Board flights of steps lead up to the imposing gateways. The eastern gateways was originally only opened for the emperor, and is now only open on Fridays and Muslim festival days. The general public can enter by either the north or south gate. Shoes should be removed and those people considered unsuitably dressed (bare legs for either men and women) can hire robes at the northern gate.  
The courtyard of the mosque has a capacity of 25,000 people. It’s possible to climb the southern minaret, and the views in all directions are superb – Old Delhi, the Red Fort  and New Delhi- Jama Masjid, Connaught Place and Sansad Bhavan (Parliament House) are in a direct line. There’s also a fine view of the Red Fort from the east side of the mosque.  

The red sandstone walls of Lal Quila, the Red Fort, extended for two km in height from 18 metres on the riverside to 33 metres on the city side. Shah Jahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and it was completed in 1648. He never completely moved his capital from Agra to his new city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi because he was deposed and imprisoned in Agra Fort by his son Aurangzeb.  
The Red Fort dates from the very peak of Mughal power. When the emperor rode out on elephant-back into the streets of Old Delhi it was a display of pomp and power at its most magnificent. The Mughal reign from Delhi was a short one, however Aurangzeb was the first and last great Mughal emperor to rule from here.  
Today, the fort is typically Indian with would-be guides leaping forth their services as soon as you enter. It’s still a calm haven of peace if you’ve just left the frantic streets of Old Delhi, however. The city noise and confusion are light years away from the fort gardens and pavilions. The Yamuna River used to flow right by the eastern edge of the fort, and filled the 10-metre-deep moat. These days the rivers is over one km to the east and the moat remains empty.  

The main gate to the fort takes its name from the fact that it faces towards Lahore, now in Pakistan. If one spot could be said to be the emotional and symbolic heart of the modern Indian nation, the Lahore Gate of the Red Fort is probably it.
The arcade leads to the Naubat Khana, or Drum House, where musicians used to play for the emperor, and the arrival of princes and royalty was heralded from here. There’s a dusty Indian War Memorial museum upstairs. The open courtyards beyond the Drum House formerly had galleries along either side, but these were removed by the British army when the fort was used as its headquarters. Other reminders of the British presence are the monumentally ugly, three- storeys barrack blocks that lie to the north of this courtyard.  

The main street of Old Delhi is the colourful shopping bazaar known as Chandni Chowk.  
At the eastern (Red Fort) end of Chandni Chowk, there is a Digambara Jain Gurdwara (temple), with a small marble courtyard surrounded by a colonnade. Traditionally, Jain monks of he Digambara, or Sky Clad, sect wore no garments. There’s an interesting bird hospital here, rub by the Jains.  

The buildings in this complex, 15km south of Delhi, date from the onset of Muslim rule in India and are fine example 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 top.  
The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked 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 storeys. His successors completed it and, in 1368,Feroz Shah Tughlaq rebuilt the top storeys and added a cupola. An earthquake brought the cupola down in 1803 and an Englishmen replaced it with another in 1829. However, that dome was deemed inappropriate and was removed some years later.  
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.

Lying to the east of Siri is this building shaped like a lotus flower. Completed in 1986, it is set among pools and gardens, and adherents of any faith are free to visit the temple and pray or meditate silently according to their own religion. It looks spectacular at dusk, particularly form the air, when it is floodlit, but is rather disappointing close up. The temple lies just inside the Outer Ring Road, 12 km south-east of the city center.

Purana Quila  
Just south-east of India Gate and north of Humayun’s tomb and Nizamuddin train station is the Purana Quila (Old Fort). This is the supposed site of Indraprastha, the original city of Delhi. The Afghan ruler, Sher Shah, who briefly interrupted the Mughal sovereignty by defeating Humayun, completed the fort during his reign from 1538 to 1545, before Humayun regained control fo India. The fort has massive walls and three large gateways.  
Entering form the south gate you’ll see the small octagonal red sandstone tower, the Sher Mandal, later used by Humayun as a library. It was while descending the staris of this tower one day in 1556 that he slipped, fell and received injuries from which he later died. Just beyond it is the Qila-I-Kuhran Mosque, or Mosque of Sher Shah, which, unlike the fort itself, is in a reasonable condition.  
There’ s a small archaeological museum just inside the main gate, and there are good views of New Delhi form atop the gate.  

Beside the small Safadarjang airport, this tomb was built in 1753-54 by the Nawab of Avadh for his father, Safdarjang, and is one for the last examples of Mughal architecture before the final remnants of the great empire collapsed. The tomb stands on a high terrace surrounded by and extensive walled garden. It makes a pleasant retreat form the urban bustle.  

Built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, senior wife of Humayun, 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 of 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 Lodhi architecture.  
An excellent view can be obtained over the surrounding country from the terraces of the tomb.  

INDIA GATE (War Memorial Arch)   
This 42- metres- high stone arch of triumph stands at the eastern end of the Rajpath. It bears the name of 85,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in the campaigns of W W I, the North-West Frontier operations of the same time and the 1919 Afghan fiasco.  
The structural has an eternal fame (Amar Jawan Jyoti) to honour the memory of the Indian Army.  

Only a short stroll down Sansad Marg from Connaught Place, this strange collection of salmon-coloured structures is one of Maharaja Jai Singh II’s observatories. The ruler form 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 eclipses.  

Situated due west of Connaught Place, this garish modern temple was erected by the industrialist B D Birla in 1938. It’s dedicated to Lord Krishna and his consort Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and is commonly known as Birla Mandir.

PRESIDENT’S HOUSE (Rashtrapati 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 Indian feature being the huge copper dome. To 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.

PARLIAMENT HOUSE (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 Street, just north of Rajpath. The building is a circular colonnaded structure 171 metres in diameter. It’s relative physical insignificance in the grand scheme of New Delhi shows the viceroy’s residence, which was given pride of place during the time of the British Raj when New Delhi was conceived.  
Permits to visit the parliament and sit in the public gallery are available from the reception office on Raisina Road, but you’ll need a letter of introduction from your embassy.    

The north and south Secretariat buildings lie either side of Rajpath on Raisina Hill. These imposing buildings, topped with chhatris (small domes), now house the ministries of Finance and External Affairs respectively.  

Located at the northern end of New Delhi, Connaught Place is the business and tourist centre. It’s a vast traffic circles with architecturally uniform series of colonnaded buildings around the edge – mainly devoted to shops, banks, restaurants, airline offices and the like. It’s spacious but busy, and you’re continually approached by people willing to provide you with everything imaginable, from an airline ticket for Timbuktu to having your fortune read.  

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