Wednesday, December 21, 2016

History of Delhi and Tourist Attractions

I came to stay in Delhi about 34 years back (sounds like I am ancient!) with my parents.  My dad working at that time with the Defences was posted here. We kept moving from one place to the other in Delhi in search of a better place to stay, study and work in that order and I have to now say that we’ve covered almost all the corners.

We landed in South Delhi's R K Puram area and from there moved to the West side of Delhi and covered Janak Puri and Vikas Puri areas.   Finally we moved into our own house in NOIDA,which is a little outside east of Delhi but now considered as part of Delhi NCR (National Capital Region).  About 20 years back I got married and I came back to where I started - the South Delhi  So, it's been a full circle!

Work also took me to different places within Delhi – from Rajendra Place to the centre of Delhi - Connaught Place, and then Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, NOIDA, Nehru Place, Kalkaji, Gurgaon and South Delhi.  So, if i tell you that I've seen the whole of Delhi, it would be a tall tale.

Delhi is big and there are so many places to see in and around Delhi that it is overwhelming.  If a person comes to Delhi with the pure intention of sight-seeing, then it could take them anywhere between 3 to 4 days or even a week to cover all the monuments and parks and the important sightseeing places.  

Delhi has been a place of action and centre of political and cultural hub for many centuries and history is embedded in each and every part and structure.  The heritage, the culture and the traditional architecture are living proofs that showcase a very interesting and exciting past.It is believed that Indraprastha mentioned in the Mahabharata was Delhi. This place was ruled by the Rajputs under the Tomars and Chauhans when the Afghans attacked them and captured Delhi.   From then on, it fell into multiple hands – Lodhi’s, Tughlaks and Mughals.   Finally when Mughal empire was established across India Shah Jahan established Old Delhi as the capital from where he ruled.The monuments, tombs and forts scattered around Delhi are tourist attractions.  These showcase distinct designs and architectural lineage to the heritages.   Still standing tall and preserved from each of these era, these buildings give out an eerie feeling when we step into them of having traversed unknowingly into that period.

The tourist attractions are Red Fort in Old Delhi (was part of Shahjahanabad), Jama Masjid (the Royal court of Mughals), Qutub Minar at Mehrauli (from the Slave Dynasty), Lodhi Gardens which houses tombs of Lodhi dynasty rulers, Humayun’s tomb, Zafar Mahal and other tombs around Mehrauli from the Mughal Era, Raj Ghat, India Gate from British era, Lotus Temple and Akshardham Temple are fairly new additions after Independence.

So when one goes visiting these tourist attractions, one needs to have a little bit of the background.  It is intriguing to find out that there is so much history behind all these places. 

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