The Ashok
THE ASHOK
NEW DELHI
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  About Delhi
 
introduction
 
Sightseeing
 

Tughlakabad constitutes the third city of Delhi. The ruined fortress in 8 km east of the Qutub Minar. The tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlak, founder of the dynasty who built the city, is across the road from the main entrance to the fort. Supposedly under a curse from the Sufi saint Azam-ud-din, Tughlakabad became a ghost city 15 years after its birth. The fort of Adilabad, south of Tughlakabad, was built by Ghiyas-ud-din’s son and successor, Muhammad bin Tughlak. Jahanpanah, the fourth city, was built by Muhammad bin Tughlak by enclosing the then inhabited area between Qila Rai Pithora and Siri, the first two cities of Delhi. Ferozeshah Kotla is the site of the city of Ferozabad built in the 14th century by Emperor Ferozeshah Tughlak. The famed 14-metre-high polished sandstone The Ashoka Pillar carrying Emperor The Ashoka’s message of peace which stands here today is around 2,300 years old. Ferozabad, the fifth city, was demolished by Shahjahan (17th century) to built Shahjahanabad. Lodi Tombs : Evidence of the sixth city, said to have been built by the Sayyed and Lodi dynasties, exits today only in the tombs and mosques in Lodi Gardens. Purana Qila Or Old Fort is a walled city complex of the 16th century, built on the legendary site of Indraprastha, the Aryan capital of 1000 B.C. by emperors Humayun and Sher Shah. Within it is a mosque with a twopstoreyed octagonal tower from which Humayun accidentally fell down and died. Nizamuddin is a village founded over 600 years ago which developed around the shrine of the Sufi Saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. A monument of note is the grave of the famous Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib, as also the Ghalib Academy nearby. MUGHAL PERIOD (1529-1857) : Humayun’s Tomb was built by Humayun’s widowed Queen Haji Begum in the 16th century. Architecturally the forerunner of the Taj Mahal, it stands in Nizamuddin which has Mughal architecture at its graceful best. Shahjahanabad : The most splendid of Delhi’s old cities, built by Emperor Shah Jahan, is now a part of old Delhi. It was surrounded by a wall 8.8 km in circumference with 14 massive gates, five of these still stand Delhi Gate, Kashmere Gate, Turkman Gate, Ajmeri Gate and Lahori Gate. Chandni Chowk, its nerve centre, is still a very busy commercial centre, and in its ancient, narrow lanes is kept alive the traditional workmanship which makes Delhi famous. Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India, and stands across the road from the Red Fort. Built in 1656, it is an eloquent reminder of the Mughal religious fervour. Its spacious courtyard can hold thousands of the faithful. Red Fort : Delhi’s most magnificent monument, the Red Fort was built by Emperor Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, in 1648. Some of the buildings it encloses are Diwan-i-am or the hall meant for public audiences; Diwan-i-Khas, where private audience were granted; Rang Mahal, the water-cooled apartment of the royal ladies; the Pearl Mosque, a lovely, ornate dream in white marble. Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory with masonry instruments, built in 1724 by Jai Singh, the mathematician and astronomer king. The Samrat Yantra or supreme instrument, the largest structure shaped like a right-angled triangle, is actually a huge sun-dial; the other five instruments are intended to show the movements of the sun, moon etc. MODERN PERIOD Parliament House : This circular colonnaded building houses the two Houses of the Parliament- the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Its domed Central Hall is 90 feet in diameter. Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the President of India. Formerly the residence of the Viceroy of India, it has a magnificent view of the Rajpath and symmetrical North and South Block Government Offices. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and occupied in 1929, it is set in 330 acres of land. Imperial in design, it has spacious state rooms and an elegant Mughal Garden open to the public once a year, around February and March. India Gate is a majestic arch, 42 metres high, built as a memorial to the Indian soldiers killed in World War I, Beneath it burns an eternal flame. From the base of the arch one can get a good view of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Cremation sites of national leaders : On the banks of the River Yamuna are the national shrines Raj Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi), Shanti Vana (Jawaharlal Nehru), Vijay Ghat (Lal Bahadur Shastri), Shakti Sthal (Indira Gandhi) and Vir Bhumi (Rajiv Gandhi). Memorials to national heroes : The Gandhi Museum, near Raj Ghat, houses many belongings of Gandhiji and photographs depicting his life story. Teen Murti House is a similar memorial to Jawaharlal Nehru. The Indira Gandhi Memorial is at 1, Safdarjung Road where she was assassinated. The Baha’I Temple – The Lotus Temple : Situated atop the Kalkaji hill, this distinctive lotus-shaped marvel in marble, surrounded by a landscaped garden, has been dubbed the ‘Taj Mahal of the 21st century’. Lakshmi Narayan Temple, popularly known as Birla Mandir, is a large Hindu temple built in 1938. People of all faiths can enter and worship but one must walk barefoot into the courtyard and further on. Sports Stadia built for the IX Asiad held in 1982. The best known are the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with a seating capacity of 75,000; the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium (capacity 25,000), the Yamuna Velodroma (capacity 2,250), the Talkatora Indoor Stadium and the Gughlakabad Shooting Range. Connaught Place is an important shopping centre of New Delhi, built in a horse-shoe pattern, consisting of inner, middle and outer circles. It came up in 1931 with the official transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. Ladakh Buddhist Vihar, (popularly known as monastery) along the Yamuna river front near ISBT, comprises Mughal-style gardens, fountains, a central prayer hall and a library for Buddhist Studies.

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