Jama Masjid of Delhi
The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India. Jama Masjid was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 at a cost of 1 million rupees, and was inaugurated by an imam from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. The Jama Masjid mosque was completed in 1656 AD with 3 great gates, 4 towers and two 40m high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 persons. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders are marked for worshippers. The architectural plan of Badshahi Masjid, built by Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb at Lahore, Pakistan, is similar to the Jama Masjid.
Red Fort symbolizes the era of Mughal rule in India. The Fort built in 1638, is a magnificent monument that captivates your attention and exhibits the show of architectural splendor of Mughals. The 33m high walls of Red Fort were built with a view to prevent invaders. Sound and light show is conducted here in the evenings. The 1hour long show recreates historical events associated with Red Fort.
Humayun’s Tomb built in 1570. Humayun’s Tomb is a monument built by Queen Haji Begum, widow of Humayun. The monument displays the inspiration of Persian architecture. The world famous Taj Mahal bears resemblance to this monument constructed during early Mughal rule in India. It is open on all days for visits. The best time to view Humayun’s Tomb would be in the late afternoon.
Qutab Minar is tallest tower in India, Qutab Minar is said to be constructed to commemorate the victory and the beginning of Mughal era in India. The 73meter tall tower was built by Qutab-ud-din Aibak after the last Hindu Kingdom was defeated. Some say that it was built to serve as a minaret to call those faithful to prayer. Qutab Minar has 5 storeys and every storey is marked by a projected balcony. While red sandstone was used in the construction of first 3 storeys, marble and sandstone were used to construct the last 2 storey. India’s first ever mosque, Quwwat-ul-Islam is at the foot of Qutab Minar.
Bahai Lotus Temple
Bahai Temple is famously known as Lotus Temple owing to its resemblance to Lotus flower. Lotus symbolizes 4 religions namely Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Jainism. Out of the 7 major Bahai temples constructed around the world, the one in Delhi was constructed last. The structure was completed in the year 1986 and pure white marble was used in the construction. The place is serene and is open for prayers and meditation by people who follow any religion. The 9 pools of water around the petals is a sight to watch at dusk.
India Gate was constructed in 1931 as a war memorial for over 70,000 soldiers killed during 1st World War and Afghan War. The names of the soldiers are inscribed in the walls of India Gate. It was earlier known as All India War Memorial. Situated on Rajpath, India Gate looks stunning in the evening lights. The lawn throughout Rajpath’s stretch is frequented by people as the atmosphere is pleasant.
Delhi has a lot to offer but the above-mentioned places are worth special mention. The first three in the list, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar are declared world heritage sites. Bahai Temple is unique being one among the seven major Bahai temples in the world. You will love Lodi Gardens for the serene atmosphere and lush greens while Swaminarayan Akshardham is not only a visual delight but also a clear example of architectural excellence and splendor of Modern India. India Gate not only relives memory but offers a pleasant atmosphere. Do not miss out on the special tourist places in Delhi during your visit. But if you live in Delhi and are looking for places to enjoy weekend getaways; you need not worry as there are many picnic spots and hill stations near Delhi which are perfect for that.