Putanga – Life on the Road

Stories from my journeys around the world…

Sightseeing in Delhi

Posted by Monica Johansen on February 8, 2010

Since I am staying in Delhi over the weekend I decided to do some sightseeing and get out of the hotel. Yesterday I hired a guide for the day, and he took me to some famous tourist spots in both Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi is mostly inhabited by Muslims and they have built a fabulous mosque, called Jama Masjid, in the old town. It is the largest and best known mosque in India, and it was built by Emperor Shah Jahan who also built the famous Taj Mahal in Agra. In front of the mosque is a huge courtyard which apparently can hold up to 25000 people, and the three gates to enter the courtyard is built in red sandstone. The mosque is truly an amazing sight, which I highly recommend for anyone visiting Delhi.

Jama Masjid mosque

Our next stop was the India Gate in New Delhi, which must not be confused with the famous Gateway of India in Mumbai. The India Gate is the national monument of India, and it is a war memorial for Indian soldiers who died in World War I and the Afghan Wars. It is located in one end of the Rajpath, also known as King’s Way, and in the other end of the road is the Rashtrapati Bhavan, or the President Palace. The palace was designed by the British architect Edwin Lutyens and built in 1931, to be the central point of the British power in Delhi. However, the mansion was occupied by the Indians after the freedom in 1947.

We also did a brief stop at a beautiful Hindu temple called Laxminarayan. Unfortunately it was not allowed to take photos inside the temple, and it was a real shame because it was truly stunning and I wish I had some pictures to show my friends. Anyway, after the Hindu temple we drove to the Bahá’í House of Worship which is commonly referred to as the Lotus Temple due to its shape. It is designed as a lotus flower, and the roof of the building actually has resemblance to the Sydney Opera House.

Laxminarayan Hindu temple

Our last stop was the Quitab Minar Tower, which is 72.5 meters tall, has 379 steps to the top and is apparently the world’s tallest brick minaret. The tower is fascinating in itself, but I was also amazed by the beautiful Hindu & Jain temple ruins surrounding it, which in many ways resemble the ruins of Angkor Wat and the other temples outside Siem Reap in Cambodia. At the time I was there it was getting late in the afternoon, so the sun was lower on the sky and the light had a warm orange tone which is great for photography.

Today I haven’t done much. There is a huge mall close to the hotel, which I had a look at this morning, and I was hoping to find a nice Ganesh (which is my favorite Hundu God) figure to bring home to Singapore, but I didn’t really find anything of interest. Ganesh (or Ganesha) is a very popular God in India, because he represents wisdom, attainment and prosperity, and I would love to have one in my collection of Asian artifacts.

By the way, here are some photos: http://monicaaj71.vndv.com/20100206/index.html

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2 Responses to “Sightseeing in Delhi”

  1. Hope you’re having a lot of fun, nice photos 🙂

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