Are you a Delhiite?
Being a Delhiite I am also in love with Delhi as much as the other people who are residing here since many years, decades or even ages. It has always been wonderful experience writing about the topics you love the most so here I am telling you about the history of the city and the monuments you must visit when in the city I am in love with – Delhi!
The Capital of our Nation has a history dating back to the times of the epic Mahabarata when it was known by the name of Indraprastha. It was the city of the Pandavas some 3000 years back around 1000B.C. and was previously known as Khandava-Prastha. The city has a rich history with each and every monument having a story behind its establishment. Every site in the city speaks of its rich heritage and culture.
Qutab-ud-din Aybak the first ruler of the Turkic Slave Dynasty whose reign saw the establishment of the splendid Qutub Minar and Quwwat-al-Islam formed the Delhi Sultanate in 1206. Delhi at that time had seven cities under it. Sufism flourished during the Sultanate rule in the city. The Turkic dynasties that followed in period lead to the construction of many monuments in the city that are now flocked by thousands of visitors daily.
In 1398, Timur Lenk who invaded India ransacked Delhi and massacred 100,000 captives near the city. Later in the year of 1526, a descendant of Timur Lenk namely Zahiruddin Babur invaded India and snatched Delhi from the rule of the Lodhi Sultan. He won over the Lodhi Sultan in the first battle of Panipat. Subsequently it lead to the foundation of the Mughal Empire in Delhi and Agra for more than 3 centuries. During the period of 1553-1556 the Mughal Emperor Humayun was defeated by Hindu King Hemu Vikramaditya. Delhi and Agra got their new ruler but only till the second battle of Panipat took place which again lead to the rise of the Mughal Empire in Delhi. The Hindu ruler was defeated by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. The seventh city in Delhi by the name of Shahjahanbad was built by the emperor Shahjahan. Shahjahanbad served as the capital of the Mughal dynasty for many years. We better know it as Old Delhi now. With the prominent rise of the Hindu Maratha Empire the Mughal Empire started shrinking. Eventually in 1737 the Marathas gained power over Delhi and forced out the Mughals by defeating them in the first Battle of Delhi. During that time after the Battle of Karnal in 1739 the Turkic ruler Nader Shah belonging to the Afsharid Dynasty invaded the city of Delhi and ransacked it of valuable treasures and took away the beautiful peacock throne. The Marathas were defeated and throne off the throne in 1757. However the Marathas regained the power yet again but the victory was short lived and they lost the throne to Abdali in the third battle of Panipat in 1761. However in 1772 the Mughal King Shah Alam II ruled the city.
In the year 1803 the British East India Company set its footsteps in Delhi by defeating the Marathas. Delhi was made a district province of Punjab in 1857 by the British Government. It was in 1911 that Delhi was made the official capital under the rule of the British. The status of the capital was till then enjoyed by Calcutta. On the 15th of August 1947 Delhi was declared as the capital of independent India.
The monuments to visit of you come here
Delhi houses a number of monuments that have stood strong since centuries and reflect the rich heritage of the city and its culture. Here are the ones you must include in you must visit list if you are in the city!
The Red Fort
Also known as the Lal Quila in Hindi was built by the Mughal King Shahjahan in 1648. It is a structure built of red sandstone with a wall stretching around 2.4 kilometers. The majestic fort is visited by hundreds of tourists daily.
It is also known as the Old fort. The legends say that the Pandavas from the epic of Mahabharata had built their capital at the place where we see the Old fort of Delhi today. Many rulers who ruled the city in the history housed this fort. The courageous Prithiviraj Chauhan too ruled Delhi from this fort.
India gate stands tall with a height of 42meters. It was designed by the architect Lutyens as homage to the soldiers who died during the Second World War. It is a favorite among Delhiites who throng the place to hang around on any other casual day. Be it any day one will always find people of all ages hanging around the place having fun with their family and friends.
The Qutab Minar was built by Qutub-ud-din in 1199 AD. The tower is of 72.5meters height though the entry to the topmost point of the tower which was once open is closed now and the general public is not allowed to climb up to the top. There is an iron pillar in front of the tower that was set up in the 5th century that interestingly has never caught rust. The tower has a mosque at its base.
One of the most beautiful sites to visit it was built in the year 1986 and is a Bahai temple. The lotus shaped temple is beautiful from outside and has a peaceful serenity inside best suited for meditation. Beautiful lawns surround the temple.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan
The house of the serving president of India is a masterpiece that was designed by Edwin Lutyens in the year 1931 covering an area of 4.5acres with sprawling lawns. It has a record 340 rooms for the president and his VIP guests. The magnificent structure has a Durbar Hall where all the important official ceremonies are held. The Mughal garden to the west beautifully adorns the place.
An astral observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur on 1719. He made astral observations for almost seven long years before finalizing and building up the structure. It also serves as a gathering point for various groups in the city.
The largest mosques in the country the Jamma Masjid was built by Shah Jahan in 1658. If you climb up to the top of the minaret of the mosque you can have a bird’s eye view of the city.
Apart from these monuments there is the Humayun's tomb, Rajghat, Birla temple and many more. Most of them have been listed under Heritage sites of the country. So if you are not a Delhiite and planning to visit the city make it a point to stay here for a few days and explore the beauty and heritage of the capital of our Nation.
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