I belong to Delhi, typical delhiite in certain respects; never lose any opportunity to visit capital and love everything about Delhi like food, shopping, sight-seeing and it’s vibrancy. Indeed, the issue of safety and law and order situation is on top of my mind when I am planning to visit with my family – husband and daughter who are true blue Bombayiites. Constant media coverage on law and order situation in Delhi, they are quite sceptical whether it will be a fun trip. Daughter is very excited about shopping in Sarojini Nagar, Janpath, Connaught Place, Dilli haat, Hauz Khas village and what not besides visiting Mummy’s school and college.
To make their trip paisa vasool, I looked for options and chanced upon http://www.delhisighseeing.com site which provides guided tours for tourists in air-conditioned coaches. After scanning the site carefully along with reviews, I zeroed in on the site. And made a call to their 24X7 call centre and the person who took the call was very courteous and explained the tour details. I booked the tickets online and checked on their itinery which looked quite impressive, covering almost all tourist spots.
I would like to share with how this sightseeing tour shapes up:
I list here few interesting sight-seeing spots in Delhi which covers New Delhi as well as Old Delhi.
• Jantar Mantar
Jantar Mantar consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, from 1724 onwards, and is one of five built by him. The primary purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables and to predict the time and movements of the sun, moon and planets. Anna Hazare made it famous and it is only spot permitted by government to protest any government policy at New Delhi.
• Lakshmi Narayan Birla Temple
This is a relatively modern temple build in 1938 by the industrialist B.D. Birla. The temple was the favourite place of worship of Mahatma Gandhi.
• Embassy Area
New Delhi, the capital city of India, houses foreign embassies of practically all the major nations in the world. There are also a number of consulates and high commissions here.
• Indira Gandhi Memorial (closed on Monday)
Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum was the residence of the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. After her assassination, the bungalow was converted into a museum.
• Vijay Chowk
From this place the prestigious 26th January (Republic Day of India) parade arrives at Rajpath.
• President House
Rashtrapati Bhawan was formerly known as ‘Viceroy’s House’ and was occupied by the Governor-General of India, until independence. Also known as President’s House, the building holds a prominent position in New Delhi. It has 340 decorated rooms and a floor area of 200,000 square feet. Designed by the British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, this classical building uses colors and details peculiar to Indian architecture. It was completed by 1929 and was officially inaugurated in 1931.
• Parliament House
The Parliament House of India is located in the north-western side of the Vijay Chowk in the vicinity of the secretariat buildings. The parliament house marks governance of the world’s largest democracy. The Parliament House of India has a central hall topped with a domed structure and three semi circular chambers. These chambers were initially assigned to house the council of state, legislative assembly and the chamber of princes.
• India Gate
Situated on Rajpath, in the center of Delhi, this 42-meter high arch, was designed by Edwin Lutyens, in memory of the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the First World War Their names can be seen inscribed on the arch. The Amar Jawan Jyoti, an eternal flame, burns in memory of the unknown soldier, beneath the shelter of the arch, which is surrounded by green lawns, fountains and water bodies – an evergreen picnic zone in the heart of central Delhi.
• National Gallery of Modern Art
It is located in Delhi is situated inside the Jaipur House, near India Gate. The National Gallery of Modern Art today has undeniably the most significant collection of modern and contemporary art in the country.
• Delhi Cottage Industry
One of the famous markets for foreigners and local Delhites for trendy clothes in budget.
• Ferozshah Kotla Fort
Feroz Shah Kotla is built by Emperor Feroz Shah Tughlaq In 1360. It is situated off the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg of Delhi, near the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium.
• Qutab Minar
Built during the reign of Sultan Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1199 A.D., this 72.5 m high pillar is a symbol of the Delhi Sultanate. Near it can be seen the ruins of Kila Ri Pithora, the fort of Prithviraj Chauhan, and an amazing iron pillar from Gupta times which has not yet rusted.
• Lotus Temple (closed on Monday)
Lotus Temple is one of the most incredible architectures of the Bahai faith. It is situated at Kalkaji, a place close to New Delhi. The temple has been constructed to resemble a lotus flower. The huge lotus flower has been made out of marble, dolomite, cement, and sand. The temple does not impose restrictions on any visitor and has been thrown open to people of all religions.
- Raj Ghat
The memorial of the Father of Nation, Raj Ghat is located amidst a lush garden. The last utterance of Gandhi “Hey Ram’’ is inscribed on his cenotaph in golden letters. There are two Gandhi museums in the premises namely Gandhi Memorial Museum and Gandhi Smriti Museum.
• Gandhi Museum (Closed on Monday)
Situated opposite to Raj Ghat is the Gandhi Museum. Dedicated to the Father of the Nation, the museum contains some of his personal belongings. There are five pavilions one can go through that comprise of sculpture, photographs and paintings of Gandhiji and the history of the Satyagraha movement as well as the philosophy of ‘ahinsa’ (non-violence).
• Vijay Ghat
Vijay Ghat, Delhi is the memorial of India’s second Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. He was a great freedom fighter who was associated with the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru he was elected as India’s second prime Minister.
• Shanti Van
Shanti Van, Delhi is the memorial of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who died in the year in 1964. the spot is set around lush green lawns and trees to honor the great leader. A great leader who made his presence in the world felt during the Cold War period when advocated the principle of Non Alignment to reduce the ideological tension engulfing the entire world.
• Shakti Sthal
Shakti Sthal, Delhi is the memorial of the former Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. She was the first and the only lady to be elected the Prime Minister of India and held her office for three terms. Shakti Sthal is located on the banks of the river Yamuna on the Ring Road and between the Old and New Delhi. The memorial is named Shakti Sthal,
• Hauz Khas
The Hauz Khas (meaning royal tank) complex was developed during the 13th century. The complex houses a water tank or reservoir, an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village. Today Hauz Khas is a shopper’s paradise with several designer outlets, restaurants and art galleries.
• Malls of Saket
The hub of malls in South Delhi, Saket boasts of some of the finest mall complexes in Delhi. With four major malls in place and two more under construction, Saket provides a unique shopping and leisure environment.
meaning “the place of strength and courage,” is quite typical of her character
• Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid of Delhi is the largest mosque in India. The Jama Masjid is located in the old city. It stands in front of the Red Fort across the road. It projects beautifully into the Old-Delhi skyline. It was built between 1644 and 1658.
• Red Fort (closed on Monday)
This grand fort built during the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s reign, this majestic building made of red sandstone is the location from where the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation every Independence Day. The Diwan-e-khas, and Diwan-e-am, the weaponry museum and the sound and light show are all worth seeing at the Red Fort.
If Delhi is on your itinery this summer, wait for my post when I return from Delhi. In the meantime don’t forget to visit: www.delhisightseeing.com.
By Bienu Verma Vaghela