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Meghna Paul Mar 21 2014

Which are the famous heritage sites in Delhi?

Kanika Nevatia Mar 21 2014
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

The Famous heritage sites in Delhi have been wooing the locals and tourists alike since ancient times, but without knowing much about their background it isn’t quite easy to enjoy the visit, so here’s a list of the most famous heritage sites in Delhi with a brief background of the tales that lie behind.

Qutub Minar

The star attraction of the Qutb Complex located in Delhi is, the Qutb Minar (1200-1210). Started by Qutubuddin Aibak but finished by Shams-ud-din Iltutmish after his demise. When in the monument note how the minar becomes narrower as it goes up, thus decreasing the load on the lowest storeys, and adding to the illusion of extra height. The two topmost storeys, which stand out for being made of marble instead of red stone, were added later by Feroze Shah Tughlaq. A historical marvel, Qutub Minar is one of the must visiting monuments in Delhi.

Photo of Qutub Minar (by Cool Sneh13)

Tughlakabad Fort

Tughlakabad Fort (1320) is the most evocative place in Delhi. The vast stonescape hugging a rocky spread, all rubble and no sandstone, is very helpful to the imagination. You know that the king who built this structure needed primarily to build a defensive fort. Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq was ensuring safety against Mongol attacks, always a threat in the 13th-14th centuries. Scramble up on the grassy hillocks of the fort and imagine that you are a sentry looking out for invaders. You’ll be surprised how far you can see. The fort introduced a unique legacy that Ghiyasuddin, erstwhile general from Multan, brought with him to Delhi. Its looming walls seem to slope inwards; actually they become narrower towards the top so as to put less weight on the wall below.

Photo of Tughlakabad Fort (by Anupamg)

Hauz Khas Village

The Hauz Khas Village is another Tughlaq complex and another unmissable absence of Delhi’s definitive red sandstone. What we call Hauz Khas today is a pleasant enclave of pillared verandahs that once served as madrasas and the Tomb of Feroze Shah himself. Typical of Tughlaq times, this complex has strong pillars, very few arches and hardly any decoration. The tiled ornamentation you see inside the tomb, especially on the ceiling, is courtesy Sikandar Lodi, who renovated the tomb in the 16th century. Austere Tughlaq style notwithstanding, the overall effect of Hauz Khas is very pretty, headily accentuated by infinite greenery spectacularly framed by the doorways of the ancient buildings. For a good view of this marvel among the famous heritage sites in Delhi, go down to the Hauz Khas tank.

Photo of Hauz Khas Village (by Bobsodium)

Begumpuri Mosque

Built in Feroze Shah’s time, this unique mosque was located in what was Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s city Jahanpanah. Begumpuri Masjid (1370) one of the famous places to visit in Delhi is an early example of a mosque made on an elevation, such that you have to climb steps to reach it. It also has a huge amount of eccentric looking, tiny dome-lets. Finally, the sloping Tughlaq walls mutate into sloping Qutub Minar-like towers built behind the west wall.

Photo of Begumpuri Masjid (by Varun Shiv Kapoor)

Lodhi Garden

Lodi Gardens today are a joy to see after the austerity and impressiveness of Tughlaq times. They dot the landscape like small, self- contained, elegant gems. Lodi Gardens, landscaped in 1968 by the famous Joseph Allen Stein, is today a jogger’s delight and picnicker’s haven. Entering from the first small gate on Lodi Road, you find yourself looking at the mid-15th century Tomb of Muhammad Shah, the last Sayyid ruler. The tomb is interesting, for it shows the entry of two new fashions. The tomb is now octagonal, surrounded by an 8-sided verandah with pillars. Also, you can easily spot that the dome is now raised on a small platform to give it added height, Tiny chhatris, a non-Islamic local feature, surround the dome. It all gives the impression of a well-shaped head sitting on a long, graceful neck.

Photo of Lodhi Garden (by Lucido22)

Purana Quila

Bihar’s Afghan leader Sher Shah Suri built the two monuments that you get to see at Purana Quila today. Humayun did set this sandstone rolling with a citadel called Dinpanah (1530), but early on he lost sovereignty and fortification to Sher Shah, and had to flee to Persia. Sher Mandal, Humayun’s library, is a quaint two-storeyed, 8-sided building with a chhatri on top, Sher Shah’s Qila Kuhna Mosque (1540-45) is worth noting. For the first time, the arches themselves are framed in a large solid rectangle, which somehow adds to their grandeur. The mihrab is richly coloured, combining red sandstone and black and white marble gracefully making it one among the famous heritage sites in Delhi.

Photo of Purana Quila (by Russ Bowling)

Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb (1565-66) is the first of the famous garden tombs of the Mughals, the first tomb in Delhi to be placed on an imposingly high platform, and a forerunner of the classic onion-shaped dome which got more and more shapely as the Mughal era went by. With the coming of success, as Humayun’s generals won wars for him, a dome entirely made of marble could be afforded. Note that the local feature of chhatris had by now become inextricably a part of design. This satisfying building was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993; the building and its water channels and gardens were restored a few years ago.

Photo of Humayun's Tomb (by breic)

Nizamuddin Dargah

The trend of tombs being built around the hallowed ground in which a saint rested has given the Nizamuddin area the name of a necropolis. But the dargah is a living heritage site. The Nizamuddin Dargah is clothed in marble; you’ll recognise the hand of Shah Jahan in the marble jaalis near the shrine. The red mosque that stands guarding the dargah was built by Allauddin Khilji. Great importance is given to the Tomb of Amir Khusrau, the poet- disciple, which you are supposed to visit before the saint’s. Khusrau’s qawwalis in honour of the master are sung at the dargah every Thursday evening. The experience at one of the most famous heritage sites in Delhi is mesmerizing.

Photo of Nizzamudin Dargah (by Ekabhishek)

Red Fort

The Persian influence on the Mughals has been much celebrated. By Shah Jahan’s time, there was a steady stream of poets, philosophers, planners and physicians from what we now call Iran flowing towards the generosity of the Mughal court. The Red Fort buildings make your senses reel under the cumulative impact of marble, pietra dura work, gilded pillars, delicate carvings on every possible surface, and then the realisation that much of this was once inlaid with gems, the ceilings coated with silver! But amidst this surfeit, you can’t miss the fact these ‘palaces’ look less like palaces and more like open halls with pillars. The red sandstone Diwan-i-Am with its painted marble canopy; Khas Mahal (the king’s quarters) with its incredibly intricate marble jaali; the adjacent Diwan-i-Khas (‘Hall of Private Audience’); the Shah Burj in a secluded corner, built for no other known purpose except the emperor’s luxury of whiling away time.

Photo of Red Fort (by Svnithbharat)

These are the most famous heritage sites in Delhi each worth a visit at least at some point of time. So start making those plans and embark on a trip to the ancient corners of Delhi.
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