The Red Fort, Delhi
Red Fort, with a circumference of over 2.2 kilometers,
was laid out by the banks of the Yamuna river in the 17th
century. The Mughal emperor Shajahan built it with the
ambition of concentrating the Mughal power in one monument.
Monument is perhaps not the right word. A mini-city is
more like it.
Unfortunately for the emperor, before he could move
his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad in Delhi, he
was taken a political prisoner by his son Aurangazeb.
The fort is a delight to one's imagination. Imagine
the Naqqar Khana (Drum room) also called Naubat Khana
(Welcome Room), where once drums loudly heralded the
arrival of the emperor and the Diwan-e-Am (Hall of Public
Audience) resounded with the incantations of the people.
Amazing, isn't it? There's more to see - Mumtaz Mahal,
Rang Mahal (Palace of Colours), Khas Mahal (Emperor's
Palace), Diwan-e Khas (Hall of Private Audience), the
Hammam (bathing area) and Shah Burj. The fort has two
main entrances - Delhi Gate and Lahore Gate. The latter
get its name from the fact that it faces Lahore in Pakistan.
It's entrance leads to Delhi's most crowded bazaar,
Chandni Chowk. A must see!
There is a Light and Sound Show every evening.
Summer timing : Hindi - 7 pm to 8 pm, English -
8 pm to 9 pm
Winter timing : Hindi - 6 pm to 7 pm, English -
7 pm to 8 pm
Entry Fee : Entry tickets to the fort cost Rs 10
per person (for Indian nationals) and Rs 150 per person
(for foreign nationals). Entry to the fort is free on
Purana Quila, Delhi
1538, the Mughal emperor Humayun laid the foundations
of his city named Dinpanah, or the Refuge of the Faithful.
The inner citadel of this city is today called Purana
Qila or the Old Fort. An old fort, it is! One can almost
smell the ancient stories oozing from the corners of
the fort. The site of the fort was also Indraprasta,
the capital of the famed warriors of the Mahabharata,
the Pandavas. Excavations near the eastern wall of the
fort reveal that the site had been occupied since 1000
B.C. Archaeologists found painted grey ware pottery
and other remains, which date back to the Mahabharata.
The Purana Qila has three gates - Humayun Darwaza, Talaqi
Darwaza and Bara Darwaza. The present entrance is the
Bara Darwaza, an imposing red sandstone gate on the
western wall. Inside the Purana Qila is the Sher Mandal,
a two-storied octagonal pavilion in red sandstone, built
by Sher Shah. Humayun used it as a library after he
captured the fort. However, the Mandal is tragic, since
it was here where the emperor is said to have tripped
on its tortuous stairs and tumbled to his death in 1556.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
Tickets: Available at the site and Delhi Tourism office
Qutub Minar, Delhi
highest stone tower in India, the Qutub Minar was built
by Qutbuddin Aibak, the viceroy of Mohammed Ghori in
1192. It was built to celebrate Ghori's victory over
the Rajputs. The tower and the victory are very significant,
because both heralded the birth of a new dynasty - Slave
Dynasty. And it laid the foundations of the Delhi Sultanate.
And the rest, as one would put it after witnessing this
monumental tower, was history.
The Minar is a five-storey building with a height of
72.5 metres. The first storey of the Qutb Minar was
completed in the lifetime of Qutbuddin. His son-in-law
and successor, Iltumush, added the next three storeys.
Within the complex, is the famous Iron Pillar which
has stood for millennia without rusting, Quwwat-ul-Islam,
the first mosque built in India, and the Alai Darwaza,
the gateway to the complex erected by Alauddin Khilji.
The entry to the Minar has been closed, after the tower
became infamous for the several suicides that were committed
Qutb Minar is a successful tribute to architecture,
as it captures one's attention by its sheer mass appeal.
Even on close encounter, the attention lingers, owing
to the delicate and almost ethereal carvings.
Address: Mehrauli, Delhi-Gurgaon Road
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
7.2 metre high pillar, standing within the Qutb Minar
complex, is a proof of India's advanced knowledge of
metallurgy 2000 years ago. For it continues to stand,
even today, rust-free. The pillar was erected sometime
between the 4th and 5th century AD as a Dhavaja-stambha
(flagpole) of a Vishnu temple.
It was erected in memory of King Chandragupta Vikramamditya
who ruled from 375 to 413 AD. The Sanskrit inscriptions
on the pillar record these facts. Unbelievable, considering
today, even the spoons in our kitchens cannot guarantee
this kind of an immortality after centuries of scientific
progress! Another thing one has to do after laying one's
sight on this pillar is, to go and give it a bear hug.
Besides the metallurgic excellence, it is believed that
hugging the pillar will make all of one's wishes come
go, see and hug!
Address: Qutb Minar Complex, Mehrauli, Delhi-Gurgoan
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm
India Gate, Delhi
For More Forts & Monuments Click! 1
solemn monument was built in memory of the 90,000 Indian
soldiers who died in World War I. It was built in 1931,
designed by Lutyens, and was originally called the All
India War Memorial. The names of the soldiers are inscribed
on the walls of the arc of the gate. Later in 1971,
an eternal flame was lit here in memory of the unknown
soldiers who died in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. India
Gate stands at the end of Rajpath, and is a popular
picnic site especially during hot summer evenings. At
night, the Gate is brightly lit and the fountains near
the Gate are lit with coloured lights. The sight is
a question if you have any
" instead of
the present one.
Delhi's consultants are expert travel
industry professionals. Send us your
question and one of our experts will
follow up with you shortly.