Delhi

New Delhi
Rajpath
The National Museum
King George V's canopy
Vijay Chowk
The National Gallery of Modern Art
India Gate
Rashtrapati Bhavan
Sansad Bhavan
Cathedral Church of the Redemption
Jantar Mantar, Sansad Marg
Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
Hanuman Mandir
Ugrasen ki Baoli, off Hailey Road
Laxmi Narayan Mandir
Janpath
Connaught Place
Safdarjung's Tomb
Lodi Gardens
Nizamuddin Dargah
Humayun's Tomb
Purana Qila
Pragati Maidan
Matka Pir, Mathura Road
Kalkaji Temple
Bahai Temple
Moth ki Masjid
Hauz Khas
Siri Fort
Chiragh Delhi
Khirkee Village
Qutb Minar Complex
Adham Khan's Tomb
Dargah Qutb Sahib
Tughlaqabad
Kashmiri Gate
St James Church
Old Delhi GPO/ British Magazine
Northern Railways Office
The Old Residency
Nicholson Cemetery
Civil Lines
Qudsia Bagh
Coronation Memorial
The Ridge
Delhi University
Delhi Cantonment
Ajmeri Gate
Turkman Gate
Raj Ghat
Feroze Shah Kotla
Delhi Haat

DelhiRoad Map of Delhi

Delhi, India's capital and a major gateway to the country, is a bustling metropolis which successfully combines in its fold the ancient and the modern. Cobbled lanes meandering to shadowed havelis, winding drives leading to colonial mansions, cramped shops tucked away in dark corners, glass-fronted emporiums opening onto shaded corridors __ and above all, a vibrancy in the air as people from all over the country employ their native enterprise in heralding the 21st century.Built on the ruins of seven (some claim 15) cities whose fortunes rose and fell with time, India's capital in its eighth avataar is just as clearly the seat of government as Washington is. First impressions yield snapshots of imposing, even monumental, buildings; serried rows of bungalows; huge, tree-lined avenues; and a succession of official white Ambassadors that have not quite been displaced by the influx of newer, shinier cars. Delhi is fiercely hot in summer, surprisingly cold in winter (especially for those accustomed to central heating in their home countries) and moody in between.

New Delhi  

The British intended New Delhi to be the architectural jewel in the imperial crown when they made the decision to shift the capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. Byron described New Delhi, particularly the Rajpath-Raisina Hill area, as "the shout of the imperial suggestion - a slap in the face of the average man with his second-hand ideals". Between 1911 and 1931, Sir Edwin Lutyens, supported by Herbert Baker and a cohort of architects, worked to build a monument to British India's organisational skills that was destined to house the British for only the next 16 years. Lutyens' contempt for Indian architecture, which he regarded as an oxymoron, dictated his architectural style, replete with columns and domes, and employing much pink sandstone from Rajasthan.

Rajpath  


RajpathPlanned as an imperial Champs-Elysee, Rajpath's vastness and breadth dwarfed its inspiration and turned into an interesting, unique hybrid. Lined with ornamental canals and lawns that are now increasingly pressed into use for political and other meetings, Rajpath, formerly known as King's Way, is an impressive 4 km long avenue. It sweeps from the Indira Gandhi National Sports Stadium at one end to Rashtrapati Bhavan at the other. Rajpath plays host to the annual Republic Day Parade; on less ceremonial days, the lawns are usually crowded in the evenings with families out on a stroll. Along its length are dotted various buildings and monuments of interest. The National Museum and National Gallery of Modern Art are both located in this area. 

The National Museum  

A day spent in the National Museum -- with Jawaharlal Nehru's Discovery of India in hand, perhaps -- is as good an introduction to the history of India as you are going to get in eight hours. There's a whole range of stuff here from the Neolithic stuff that came out of India's first urban civilisations at Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Lothal among other sites. (This period is roughly described as the Indus Valley Civilisation.) The collection of Pahari minatures in breath-taking; so is the collection of Naga masks, Gupat terra cotta scultptures, Chola bronzes, and Buddhist images. Not to be missed. (Tel: 3019272)

The National Gallery of Modern Art 


The National Gallery of Modern ArtAll too often Indian art ends with the Chola bronze and the Mughal miniature. The National Gallery is a good place to rediscover the 20th century Indian's contribution to art. The works of Abanindranath Tagore (father of the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore), Jamini Roy and Nandalal Bose are well represented. So are other greats of this century. For a romanticised, Orientalist view of India, check out the works of the English artist Thomas Daniell and his nephew William Daniell.
(Tel: 3382220).

  

King George V's canopy  


King George V's canopyAt the far end of Rajpath away from Rasthrapati Bhavan is the sandstone canopy that once protected a statue of King George V. Installed in 1936, the statue was transferred in the 1960s to Coronation Park. The empty canopy has incited some controversy, most recently when nationalists suggested that a statue of Mahatma Gandhi should take up residence in that spot. Others have suggested breaking down or modifying the canopy rather than allowing to stand as a symbol of Imperialist rule, while their opponents argue for letting it remain untouched on grounds of architectural sanctity and historical correctness.

India Gate

 
India Gate
Approximately one-third of the way up Rajpath is the 42 m high, 30 foot wide India Gate. Originally called the All India War Memorial, it was built in honour of the soldiers (British and Indian) who died in World War I and in the Third Afghan War. The eternal flame inside, the Amar Jawan Jyoti ('The Flame of the Immortal Soldier'), was added after the 1971 Indo-Pak war and burns in memory of the unknown soldiers who died in that conflict. The three chiefs of staff pay homage here every Republic Day and on Army Day, to the strains of the Last Post.

Vijay Chowk  

The large square where Rajpath broadens as it meets Raisina Hill is called Vijay Chowk, and this is where the Beating The Retreat ceremony is held every year on January 29, with massed bands gathering in the gloaming to honour an unforgettable tradition. It is capped by Rashtrapati Bhavan, rising up on the crest of Raisina Hill.
To the left and the right on the Hill are the impressive and practically identical Secretariat buildings-North and South Blocks-designed by Herbert Baker. The Imperial touch is evident, as Dalrymple records, in the inscription that Lutyens ordered to be set above the gateway of the Secretariats: "Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty. It is a blessing which must be earned before it can be enjoyed."
This is where several of the more important ministries are housed, including the Prime Minister's Office, the Home and Finance Ministries and the Ministry of External Affairs. Monkeys appear to have made themselves at home within the corridors of power as well, and apocryphal stories abound of files rendered missing by simian agency, or of peons feeding sick monkeys cups of tea. They do not, however, interfere with the running of official business. Central Hall, in North Block, is open to the public.

Rashtrapati Bhavan  


Though Rashtrapati Bhavan disappears suddenly from sight as you walk up Raisina Hill, thanks to an architectural mishap that Lutyens always referred to as his "Bakerloo" and that Baker's acolytes denied he was responsible for, the erstwhile Viceregal Lodge is still an impressive sight. Though the official residence of the President of India is not open to the public, visiting permits are issued on occasion by the Deputy Military Secretary to the President.
The Iron Gates in front were copies by Lutyens from a pair he saw and liked in Chiswick. Lutyens designed a large court in front-the Durbar Hall, which was intended to be the Throne Room and which still plays host to the two gold and crimson thrones that were designed for the Viceroy and the Vicereine. The Hall hosts most important state and ceremonial occasions, and its central position, right under the copper and sandstone dome, highlights its importance. At the back are the terraced Mughal Gardens, built on three levels, with the third level planted with flowers that were intended specifically to attract butterflies. The Mughal Gardens are open to the public every February; an announcement of the exact dates is usually made in the local newspapers.
The rest of the four-and-a-half-acre sprawl is occupied by other gardens, courtyards, official residences and buildings, and banqueting halls. Collectively, the buildings and gardens that make up Rashtrapati Bhavan occupy more space than Versailles.

Sansad Bhavan  


Sansad Bhavan
With a fleeting resemblance to a giant sandstone birthday cake, Sansad Bhavan is where the two upper and lower houses of Parliament are lodged. It was not part of the original scheme of things, added after the 1919 Montague-Chelmsford reforms to house the Legislative history. Designed by Baker, the three chambers inside are surrounded by a verandah dotted with 144 symmetrical columns. The halls that house the Lok Sabha (the Lower House) and the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House) have witnessed much history, including the drafting of India's constitution, and are now witness to the rambunctious proceedings of the current crop of Cathedral Church of the Redemption, Church Roadpoliticians who grace the Lok Sabha.

Cathedral Church of the Redemption, Church Road  


Visitors to Venice are not mistaken: this church, consecrated in 1931, derives both name and inspiration from Palladio's Church of Il Redentore. Intended to be the centre of Anglican worship for the British officials of the day, it is today the diocese of the Bishop of the Church of Northern India. The memorial tablets and plaques within the church include one to the architect, Henry Medd.
(Tel: 3015390, 3015360).

  

Jantar Mantar, Sansad Marg  


The observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1724 has a wonderful story attached to it. Muhammad Shah 'Rangila', the emperor at the time, was also a keen astronomer who was dissatisfied with the inaccuracies existing instruments of measurement. He commissioned Sawai Jai Singh II to build five observatories-in Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi, aside from Delhi-with instruments that were so large and so completely fixed in position that the readings from them would be error-free.
A competent guide will show you the Ram Yantra, which reads the altitude of the sun, the complicated and multi-functional Jai Prakash Yantra (Jai Singh II's invention) and the giant-sized sundial called the Samrat Yantra. The observatory is rarely used these days; though the instruments are in working order, the high-rises that surround the structure stand in the way of accurate observations and readings. Office workers can be spotted relaxing on their lunch breaks in the grounds; and it is a popular spot for protestors of various persuasions. The observatory in Jaipur is in far better order, but the Jantar Mantar is still well worth a visit.

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, GBS RoadGurdwara Bangla Sahib, GBS Road  


One of the most important sites of worship for Delhi's thriving Sikh community, this is an imposing structure in white with gilt-topped domes. The Sikhs are renowned for their charity; the langars (free servings of food) held here during festivals and on days sacred to the Sikhs are legendary. It is built on the spot where the eight Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Harkrishan Dev, stayed when he visited Delhi in 1664. The nearby tank is said to have been blessed by him, and is treated with reverence even today.

Hanuman Mandir, State Emporium Road

Hanuman Mandir, State Emporium Road  

Just opposite the state emporiums is a temple devoted to one of Hindu mythology's best-loved figures-Hanuman, the monkey-king who befriended Rama, went to Sita's rescue when he was kidnapped by Ravana, and set Lanka on fire with his tail according to myth. Outside the temple, the pavements are crowded with sellers who hawk a variety of goods from perfectly legal offerings of flowers for the devout to offer inside and perfectly illegal offerings of ganja, or marijuana, which is officially banned in India.

Ugrasen ki Baoli, off Hailey Road  

Just before the embassy of Malta, turn left on Hailey road into a little, unmarked lane. The remains on an old stone wall can be spied; the baoli, or stepwell, lies behind. Legend has it that Raja Ugrasen built it in the 14th century to provide water and shelter for travellers, but the construction appears to be from the 15th century.


  
Laxmi Narayan Mandir, Mandir Marg  


Laxmi Narayan Mandir, Mandir Marg
Due west from Connaught Place is the somewhat eye-watering opulence of the Laxmi Narayan Mandir, built by industrial B D Birla in 1938. It has historical importance, being the first temple in modern India that does not observe caste restrictions, and for that reason, Mahatma Gandhi attended the first puja within its precincts. The main shrine honours Vishnu and his consort, Lakshmi; the walls of the temple are adorned with scenes from India's two great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Adjacent to it is one of Delhi's older temples, the New Delhi Kali Bari, where Durga is worshipped in one of her most terrifying aspects, as Kali, the goddess of destruction. Kali Bari is worth visiting especially during the Dussehra/ Durga Puja festival in October-November.

Janpath  

JanpathLiterally the Common or People's Way, as opposed to King's Way, Janpath plays host to Eastern Court, which houses the Central Telegraph Office, and a huge array of shops. Particularly famous is the line of Tibetan shops, and the alleys where women sell brightly coloured mirrorwork cushions, tablecloths and items of clothing. This is one of the main approaches to Connaught Place.


Connaught PlaceConnaught Place  


Named after the Duke of Connaught, Connaught Place was designed in a deliberate attempt to resuscitate memories of Bath. It's essentially a series of white concentric structures that culminate in a central garden. Once one of the largest shopping and tourist complexes in Delhi, CP has lost much of its lustre. But it still attracts many tourists, and hosts several airlines offices, the Cottage Industries Emporium and the state emporia in addition to other places of business. Though Connaught Place has officially been Rajiv Chowk and Connaught Circus Indira Chowk since 1995, in memory of the mother-son Prime Ministerial duo, locals still refer to it as CP.

 

Safdarjung's Tomb, Race Course Road  

Safdarjung's Tomb, Race Course Road Safdarjung, the Nawab of Oudh towards the end of the 17th century, made his bid for the Delhi throne after the death of Muhammad Shah Rangila. He succeeded, but for a short while, and was driven out during the Maratha Wars. His tomb, one of the most baroque monuments in Delhi, was built by his son and is one of the last great monuments to come out of the Mughal period. The central feature is the huge onion-shaped dome and the profusion of plasterwork that adorns the interior. It is advisable to visit Safdarjung's overblown, but unforgettable, tomb before you visit the Taj Mahal.

Lodi Gardens   

Lodi Gardens Lodi road, just after Safdarjung's tomb, takes you within the heart of one of Delhi's most exclusive residential areas. Lodi Gardens is to the left. Originally the site of the village of Khairpur, the inhabitants were relocated by Lady Willingdon, who decreed that lawns should be laid out around the tombs of the 15th century Lodi dynasty, in 1936. The oldest of the tombs is the one of Muhammad Shah-not Rangila, but that of the third ruler of the Sayyid dynasty. The cluster of chhatris surrounding the main dome is a feature repeated in the structure of Humayun's tomb elsewhere in Delhi and the Taj Mahal.
The most imposing of the tombs are to the south of the tomb of Sikandar Lodi-the Bara Gumbad and Sheesh Gumbad ("big dome" and "mirrored dome" respectively). The Athpula, or eight-piered, bridge near the South end road entrance is supposed to have been constructed in the 17th century. It's one of the most attractive and one of the safest parks in Delhi and is frequented by joggers, walkers and random enthusiasts.

Nizamuddin Dargah, Mathura Road

  Sheikh Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, who gave his name to the dargah, the complex and the residential area here, was one of the best known of the Sufi saints. Though he died in 1325, the disciples who flocked to him during his lifetime dubbed him a "zinda pir" or living spirit. The dargah is alive and vibrant to this day; a narrow alley leads to the saint's grave. Every Thursday, devotees gather at the marble pavilion near the grave after 6 pm to sing devotional songs and qawwalis.
Women are not permitted to go beyond the outer verandah, but may watch the proceedings from behind a lattice screen. The graves of Jahanara Begum and the poet Amir Khusrau are also located here, as is the legendary baoli (stepwell) constructed by the saint. The basti located here ensures that the monument is never desolate, and that the hubbub of daily life continues among the prayers. In April, for three days that shift according to the lunar calendar, the birth and death anniversary of Nizamuddin Auliya is celebrated, attracting pilgrims from all over India.

Humayun's Tomb, off Mathura RoadHumayun's Tomb, off Mathura Road  

The second of the great Mughal emperors, father to Akbar, is said to have knelt on the library steps as he heard the muezzin's call, slipped and broken his neck. His tomb, built in 1565, is one of the finest of the Mughal structures, set in the centre of a square and typically Mughal garden enclosed by high walls on three sides. The tomb itself is surmounted by a white marble double dome and featuring intricate and detailed trelliswork. The gardens surrounding it are still reasonably maintained, though the Yamuna that formed their fourth boundary no longer flows this side. The graves include those of Humayun's wives and that of Dara Shikoh, one of Shah Jahan's sons: but in the place of honour is the unadorned white marble sarcophagus that marks the spot where Humayun's body is buried in the basement underneath.

Purana Qila, off Mathura RoadPurana Qila, off Mathura Road

An oasis of sudden and surprising calm amid the din of traffic on the Mathura road and the bustle of crowds at nearby Pragati Maidan, the Purana Qila is one of Delhi's most impressive and oldest ruins. The Old Fort is believed to have been under near-continous occupation since 1000 BC. In that time, it has witnessed the construction, abandonment and destruction of several of Delhi's avataars -- some say that the Purana Qila will outlast modern Delhi as well. Indraprastha, the mythical capital of the Pandavas in the Mahabharatha, was said to have stood here; this is where Humayun planned the building of Dinpanah, only to be ousted by Sher Shah Suri; Sher Shah, in turn, added new structures, strengthened the citadel and called it Shergarh.
Like Humayun's tomb, the Purana Qila originally stood alongside the Yamuna, but the river has changed course ever since. Its three gates -- the Humayun Darwaza, Talaqi Darwaza and Bara Darwaza -- still form the main entrances to the fort today. Buildings of interest include the Sher Mandal, used by Humayun as a library where he tripped on the staircase and fell to his death and the Qila Kuhna Masjid, built by Sher Shah, which fills in the gaps between Lodi architecture and Mughal architecture.

 

  Matka Pir, Mathura Road

Matka Pir, Mathura Road One of the quaintest and best-loved shrines in Delhi is dedicated to a holy man who answered the prayers of a man and his wife. Matka Pir was a Sufi saint who is reputed to have listened to the woes of a couple who wanted a son, but could not offer anything, being poor, besides a pot of dal and jaggery. He accepted the offering and placed the pot in the courtyard. A year later, the couple returned-they had their son, and in gratitude, brought another pot, starting a tradition. The colourful shrine is located on a ridge above Mathura road, and is recognisable from the rows of earthenware pots or matkas that lead all the way up the steps into the dargah.


  
Pragati Maidan, Mathura Road  


The nerve centre for India's exhibitions covers a stupendous 150 acres and features pavilions from all the Indian states. Trade fairs, auto expos and exhibitions are a regular feature here all year round; two theatres, somewhat run down, screen Indian and foreign films; and of late, food centres ranging from a Food Court to Domino's Pizzas have sprung up here.


  
Kalkaji Temple, Nehru Place

  Busier than the Kali temple in Mandir Marg, this is one of the most active temples in the city. The legend goes that a farmer built the temple after discovering that his cow wasn't yielding enough milk because she was offering it to Ma Kali, or the goddess Kalka. Historians say the temple was built in the mid-18th century by Raja Kedarnath, though it has been added to and refurbished several times since by rich merchants and traders. The approach is crowded and bustling with edge-to-edge stalls; the 12-domed temple is always crowded during the daily services and on festival days. The image of Kali here, sheltered by silver umbrellas, is more abstract than usual, and it is worth contrasting this later image with the older and less prettified icon in the Kali Bari.


 
Bahai Temple, Kalkaji

 
Bahai Temple, Kalkaji
The Lotus Temple, designed by Iranian architect Fariburz Sahba, is one of the most fascinating structures built since the Sydney Opera House.
Completed in 1986, it derives its more popular name from the white marble structure in the shape of an opening lotus. It is sacred to members of the Bahai sect of Persia, who have a strong following in India, but is open to general members of the public during hours of worship as well providing they keep the peace. The surrounding 25-odd acres of greenery add to the serenity; the 1,300-seater auditorium dwarfs worshippers and curious tourists alike. Though it's possible to make a flying visit here, it's recommended that you spend a while here just to get the feel of the atmosphere.
Open Tuesday to Sunday from April to September from 9 am to 7 pm, and from October to March from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
(Tel: 6444029)

  

Moth ki Masjid, South Extension, Part II  

Miyan Bhuwa, Sikander Lodi's Prime Minister in the 15th century, is said to have built this delicate, gracious mosque after Sikander gave him a moth, or lentil grain. The grain was planted and the crops that sprouted from it were so plentous that they funded the mosque. Or so legend says. The moth could not preserve him from the ire of Sikander's successor, Ibrahim; Miyan Bhuwa ran afoul of Ibrahim and was put to death a few years after his masjid came up.


  
Hauz Khas, Aurobindo Marg  


Hauz Khas, Aurobindo Marg
The glitzy row of boutiques and restaurants that followed a brief period of fashionable ethnic slumming in Delhi hog the attention at the Hauz Khas complex. The discerning visitor is advised to skip the faux-pastoral arches that decorate the shops and explore the ruins of the former village and tank of Hauz Khas, which dates back to the reign of Feroze Shah Tughlaq.
The huge tank that had been built by Alaudin Khilji was resurrected by Feroze Shah, who constructed many buildings on the banks of the tank. His tomb, a madrasa where scholars debated once upon a time, and a ruined mosque still stand; and from the balconies of some of the more fashionable restaurants, you can view the now-dry tank that once provided enough water for a small town. On the approach road to Hauz Khas is the Chor Minar, a tower that has now collapsed into rubble. The holes in the wall are not all caused by the depredations of nature -- they were built for the specific purpose of housing the heads of thieves, the beheadings employed as a deterrent to other would-be criminals.

  

Siri Fort, Siri Fort Road  

Little is left of what was once the 14th century of Siri, planned by Allaudin Khilji as a city that would return Delhi to its former grandeur. It was the second, but not the last, city to crumble into relative nothingness. The ramparts of Siri Fort are visible on the road, but most people today associate Siri not with the old city, but with the new auditorium-restaurant complex.
  
Chiragh Delhi, Outer Ring Road  
After the death of Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya, the Sufi saint Nasiruddin Mahmud took over as spiritual guide of the Chistis. In his lifetime, he was known as Roshan Chiragh-e-Dilli, 'the lit lamp of Delhi', and his tomb is known by that name. The lanes leading to his shrine are not large enough to take a car through; his dargah, while it still attracts worshippers, is much quieter than that of Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya's.
  
Khirkee Village, near Press Enclave  
One of the many villages that have been enveloped and then consumed by Delhi, Khirkee still retains a modicum of its independence. It derives its name from the Khirkee mosque built in the reign of Feroze Shah Tughlaq, one of the most forbidding and sombre mosques in Delhi. The two-storeyed mosque features rows of arched windows or khirkees, whereby the mosque gets its name. The village now hosts several art galleries, including the experimental Vis-a-Vis gallery. Though many of the gallery-owners and house-owners here have attempted not to change the environment, several of the newer buyers are steadily encroaching on the spirit and ethos of the village.
  
Qutab Minar Complex, Mehrauli  

Qutb Minar Complex, Mehrauli
To visit Delhi without seeing the Qutb Minar is like visiting New York and missing out on the Statue of Liberty. Kitsch or not, it's a pilgrimage that has to be made. The Minar itself, at an imposing 72.5 m, the world's highest single tower, was intended to be a commemorative pillar of victory, commissioned by Qutbuddin Aibak after he had vanquished the Rajputs. Construction began in his reign, in 1193, and was completed by his successor Iltutmish.
The four tapering storeys bear testimony to the changes in architectural style, and are currently undergoing careful renovation under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India. Aside from the sheer size, the calligraphy on the sides of the tower and the carefully maintained optical illusions are worth admiration. The winding staircase that leads all the way up to the top was closed to the public after a disastrous accident in the 1980s where a panic-induced stampede claimed the lives of several schoolchildren, thus putting an end to the growing tradition of suicides from the first two balconies as well.
Perhaps the second most famous structure in the complex is the Iron Pillar, said to date back to the 4th century. The iron has never rusted, despite the fact that the pillar is out in the open, baffling metallurgists down the ages. The widely held belief that visitors who could put their arms around the pillar backwards would be blessed with luck led to the pillar being caged off, but you can still see the marks created by the constant frisson of so many eager arms.
The Alai Darwaza, the gateway to the complex, was one of the earliest examples of arched construction in India, and was erected in 1311 by Allauddin Khilji. Iltutmish's tomb, thoughtfully built by him before his death in 1235, is also part of the complex, though the dome has long since crumbled. One of the most curious, and most revealing, of the structures within the complex is the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, built by Aibak. Though it celebrates the might of Islam, as the name indicates, many of the motifs come straight from Hindu temple architecture.
Within the complex, near the mosque, is a strange structure -- the beginnings of a pillar almost twice as wide at its base as the Qutb Minar, which goes up about half a storey before crumbling into ruin. This is the Alai Minar, commissioned by Allaudin Khilji and intended to be twice as imposing. In the manner of such things, Khilji died before it could be completed, and there it stands, a monument to thwarted ambition.

  
Adham Khan's Tomb, near bus terminus, Mehrauli  
If you're looking for this structure, ask for the bhulbhulaiyyan (labyrinth). Adham Khan was the son of Akbar's wet-nurse, and as such considered a foster-brother of the Emperor. Adham Khan fell from grace when he killed the husband of another wet-nurse; Akbar ordered his execution, which resulted in the death of Adham Khan's grieving mother, Maham Anga, 40 days later. The story goes that touched by her grief, Akbar had this tomb with its maze-like web of corridors constructed in 1562. As a maze, it is not the equal of a similar maze in Lucknow, but it is still extremely possible to get thoroughly lost within its passages!
  
Dargah Qutb Sahib, Mehrauli Bazaar  

The 13th century dargah of the Sufi sant Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar is at the heart of a complex that was added to several times after his death. It now lies right in the middle of the Mehrauli bazaar, and includes several supplementary structures such as the Jogmaya Temple, from where the flower-sellers embark on the annual procession known as the Phoolwalon ki Sair. Nearby are the graves of several later Mughal emperors-the mortal remains of Bahadur Shah I and Akbar II, for instance, are interred here.
  

Tughlaqabad, off Mehrauli-Badarpur Road  

Tughlaqabad, off Mehrauli-Badarpur Road
About 11 km away from the Qutb Minar stand the massive ruins of Tughlaqabad Fort, built with such skill and speed over four years by the craftsmen of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq that most of the ramparts are still intact, seven centuries later. Tughlaq's planning was meticulous -- the grids where houses were laid out still exist, though the houses do not. The ruins of the Vijay Mandal can be seen, but little else remains beyond a forest of interlacing arches that hint at the complexity of the city-fort. The fort complex is not within walking distance, and it's advisable to hire a car.
Legend has it that Nizamuddin Auliya cursed the Tughlaqs, saying that in the end only jackals and the wandering Gujjar tribes would inhabit the fort. Contemporary urban legend has it that the packs of monkeys that roam some of Delhi's residential areas are regularly rounded up by the Municipal Corporation and released over here. But monkeys, jackals and Gujjars alike stay away from one of the more sinister structures here, a 50-feet deep water tank locally known as Jahannum ka Rasta, or the road to hell.

  
Around Old Delhi  
Kashmiri Gate-Delhi University area: Memories of 1857, the year that Indian sepoys took up arms against the British in revolt, are strong here. Regardless of whether one sees the uprising of 1857 as the Sepoy Mutiny or as the First War of Independence, it's impossible to walk around this area without being reminded strongly of that time. There are also traces of the later Mughal rulers: this side of Delhi is all about the last days of empire, British and Mughal.
  
Kashmiri Gate  

Kashmiri Gate
This was the gate from which the royal families would leave Delhi every year in the summer, heading for the cooler climes of Kashmir. On 14 September, 1857, at the height of the Revolt, the British mounted a desperate attack in a bid to wrestle Delhi back from the Indians. The short stretch between Kashmiri Gate and the GPO saw much action. As history and the nearby memorial records, the British did win through and did win the Empire back-as it turned out, for less than a century.
  
Old Delhi GPO/ British Magazine, Lothian Road  
To the south of Kashmiri Gate, this colonial edifice also saw much fighting. Not far from it lie the ruins of the British Magazine, blown up by Captain Willoughby on 11 May 1857 so that it wouldn't fall into the hands of the sepoys who had revolted against the British. On the traffic island opposite the GPO stands the Telegraph Memorial, an obelisk that honours the telegraph operators who transmitted the news of the Revolt to the British garrison at Ambala.
  
St James Church, Lothian Road  

St James Church, Lothian Road
In 1800, a 22-year-old lying wounded on a battlefield vowed to build a church if he survived. James Skinner rose later to become a Colonel in the East India Company army, the legendary commander of Skinner's Horse; he built his church several years later, in the shape of a Greek cross and at the cost of Rs 80,000.
Two stained glass windows, fine examples of that form, were added in the 1860s. An inlaid marble slab in front of the altar marks his grave; elsewhere, memorials and plaques in the church preserve the memory of British families and soldiers killed in the Revolt of 1857, India's first war of independence. The wife and five daughters of George Beresford lie buried in the church garden, near a Memorial Cross. The Church suffered much damage during the 1857 Revolt; mutineers vandalised the marble, tore down what they could, and smashed the bells.
Open daily from 8 am to 12 noon and from 2 to 5 pm.
(Tel: 2960873)

   Northern Railways Office, off Church Road
Northern Railways Office, off Church Road  

One of the most whimsical structures in Delhi, this Indo-Saracenic blend was formerly the residence of the British Commissioner, William Fraser. Fraser was murdered in 1835 at the instance of Nawab Shamsuddin Khan; originally, a marble grave marked his final resting place, but was destroyed during the 1857 Revolt. The Northern Railways Office is still schizophrenic-the typically governmental offices inside belie the honey-yet-for tea atmosphere of the house and lawns themselves.

 

 

The Old Residency, Lothian Road  
No signposts or plaques herald the Old Residency, which is a little hard to locate. Once the hub of British high society, at the turn of the 19th century, it is now a dilapidated mansion, painted a shade of pink that clashes oddly with its original architecture. Before the British moved in, the structure was a library constructed for the pleasure of Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan's bookish son; the British added pillars and a verandah when they moved in around 1803, with Sir David Ochterlony as the first Resident. Dara Shikoh's library, having survived the onslaught of time, did not survive the Revolt of 1857. The Archaeological Survey of India now occupies the premises; ironically, its books are stored in the room once used by Dara for his own.
  
Nicholson Cemetery, Lala Hardev Sahai Marg  

Nicholson Cemetery, Lala Hardev Sahai Marg
The grave of Brigadier General John Nicholson is on the right hand side, along a path on an incline. The man who was reputed to display the severed heads of criminals on his desk, like eccentric paperweights, was a brilliant fighting man. He was shot in the back while leading an assault on Lahore Gate, the main entrance to the Red Fort, during the Revolt and took 10 days to die, aged 35. The cemetery is neglected, the walls broken in many places, but the graves are looked after to some extent. Besides Nicholson's grave are the graves of other soldiers who died in the Revolt, of British children who succumbed to the heat or to disease. Open from 10 am to 5 pm.

  
Civil Lines  
The Civil Lines came up after the Revolt of 1857, when many Europeans were uncomfortable at the thought of living with Indians inside the city walls after the massacre. They built large bungalows in what was essentially a wilderness at the time and lived in relative seclusion -- Indian families only began moving to Civil Lines after plague ravaged the walled city in 1905. The Old Secretariat, a long white building bookended by two towers, now houses the Delhi Administration. Much of Civil Lines is changing today, with newer, more "modern" houses coming up elbow to elbow; its unique character will probably be lost.
  
Qudsia Bagh, Sham Nath Marg  
As the Mughal Empire crumbled, it gave birth to a last explosion of colour. Qudsia Begum, wife of Muhammad Shah 'Rangila', was part of that last fling -- a dancing girl who became a dowager queen. The ISBT has spread its tentacles into much of the original grounds, but the once-imposing gateway that led into these pleasure gardens still survives. A children's playground obscures the past further, but the statue of Maharana Pratap hints at what it once was. It's a far cry from Qudsia's 18th century park, which included a palace, a mosque, waterfalls, a summer house and extensive gardens.
  
Coronation Memorial, near NH1 Bypass  
This is a site that reminds the casual visitor of the great wastelands in present-day Russia where statues of Lenin, Stalin and lesser Soviet leaders lie around in discarded heaps. The site that played host to the great Delhi Durbars, triumphal pageants where the kings of India acknowledged the sovereignty of the men who had come to this country as traders, is neglected, almost forgotten. On 12 December 1911, over a lakh thronged here to see the King Emperor at his accession; this was where he announced the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi.
A solitary sandstone obelisk marks the event and records the King Emperor's proclamation of his coronation. The 60-feet high statue of King George V, displaced summarily from his perch under the canopy on Rajpath, stands forlornly among the grass. Busts and statues of other viceroys, discarded to make way for statues of nationalist leaders, cluster around in a broken circle. It is in some ways a pathetic sight, and yet few Indians regret their banishment.

  
The Ridge  


The Ridge
The last, and threatened, remnants of Delhi's green lungs, the Ridge is split into two parts -- the Northern and the rest, known simply as the Ridge. The Northern end straggles up towards Delhi University and is a reasonably dense park that is bisected by Rani Jhansi road. Ajitgarh, the Mutiny Memorial, is situated here -- a red sandstone spire built by the British to commemorate the siege and capture of the city. A newer plaque, unveiled on 28 August 1972, irritably notes that the "enemy" of the inscriptions were those who "rose against colonial rule and fought bravely for national liberation".
Nearby in the grounds of the Hindu Rao Hospital is another kind of memorial -- a double-storeyed house built in the time of Feroze Shah Tughlaq and known as Pir Ghaib. The pir or holy man who meditated on the premises is reported to have unaccountably disappeared, or become ghaib, one day, hence the name!
Both the Northern Ridge and The Ridge itself are still beautiful, but increasingly suffering from encroachments. A large chunk of it has been preserved as the Buddha Jayanti Park and is a pleasant, if secluded, place. Within the park, an ornamental island hosts a large, gilt-layered statue of the Buddha; every May, Buddhists gather here to celebrate Buddha Jayanti.

Delhi University, Vishvavidyalaya Marg  

The campus is vast by Indian standards, a coalition of colleges held together by the aegis of Delhi University. St Stephens's College, designed by Walter George in 1938, is both the most attractive and the most deliberately Oxbridgian of the lot, with manicured gardens, red brick and a soaring spire. The Vice Chancellor's office is also charming, if you can ascertain what lies under its uncertainly ageing coats of paint-the gardens are being better maintained as the years go by. The registrar's office, at present a singularly unromantic place, is where Lord Mountbatten, India's last viceroy, proposed successfully to Lady Edwina. Several of the colleges, including Hindu and St Stephen's, were originally located at Kashmiri Gate and shifted premises in the early 20th century. If you pass a signboard saying Kranti Chowk (Revolution Square), pause a while. This commemorates the spot where a student set himself on fire in the Nineties, after the Mandal Commission report on reservations split much of India in two over the issue of whether affirmative action for backward sections of society was a desirable step to take.
  
Delhi Cantonment  
At the far end of the Ridge, near Dhaula Kuan, lies Delhi Cantonment. Planned by John Begg in the 1930s, its spit and polish represents a complete contrast to the chaos that governs many other sections of Delhi. Two important landmarks here are the Church of St Martin's and the War Graves Cemetery. The Church of St Martin's, on Church road, was consecrated in 1931 and designed by Arthur Gordon Shoesmith. Three-and-a-half million bricks went into the building of the church; the lines between the bricks form the design. The War Graves Cemetery near the Dhaula Kuan Circle, in contrast to the Nicholson Cemetery, is kept in military order. It commemorates the Commonwealth soldiers who died in World War II on the Eastern Front; the graves are laid out in serried rows and a formal ceremony is held here on Remembrance Day every 11th November.
  
Ajmeri Gate, Ajmeri Gate Road  

Ajmeri Gate, Ajmeri Gate Road
One of the gates of old Shahjahanabad, Ajmeri Gate has lasted for over 300 years and is only now beginning to show the effects of pollution. It rears up in the middle of one of Delhi's most congested localities. A stone's throw away from Ajmeri Gate is the Zeenat Mahal, built in 1846 as a home for the wife of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor. On the other side of Ajmeri Gate is the madrasa of Ghazi-ud-din-in the late 17th century, one of the most important centres of learning in the East. Students still learn their lessons at the mosque here and Delhi's Zakir Hussain College was located on the premises until fairly recently.
  
Turkman Gate, Asaf Ali Road  

Turkman Gate, Asaf Ali Road
Named after a Muslim pir, Hazrat Shah Turkman Bayabani, Turkman Gate's solid mass still commands attention among the more modern buildings around it. Not far from this gate is the tomb of the only woman to rule medieval Delhi, Razia Sultana. She was a competent ruler, but her gender made her a trifle more susceptible to revolt, and was killed in 1240 while attempting to flee Delhi. Her grave is a plain structure, unattended and almost forgotten. Also in Daryaganj is the charming Ghata (Cloud) Mosque, so named because its striped domes recall the clouded-over monsoon sky.
  
Raj Ghat  

Raj Ghat
The site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation is the one essential stop for all visiting heads of state, and still draws hundreds of Indians every year who mourn for the Mahatma. The memorial is simple, as befitted a man who eschewed the trappings of power: a black marble platform inscribed with the last words he spoke: He Ram.
Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948 as he went for his customary prayer meeting at Birla House; the cremation took place a day later. This is a peaceful spot, with the clamour of the Ring road distanced and the Yamuna on the other side.
Along the banks, in the same line, are memorials for other former Prime Ministers of India: Shanti Vana for India's first Prime Minister, the charismatic Jawaharlal Nehru; Shakti Sthal for Indira Gandhi; and Vijay Ghat for Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Rajghat is on Ring road. Open from sunrise to sunset daily, prayer meetings on Friday at 5 pm.

  
Feroze Shah Kotla, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg  

Feroze Shah Kotla, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
The ruins of Ferozabad, the palace complex built by Feroze Shah Tughlaq, are sparse. A few ramparts and the partial ruins of the mosque where Timurlane was said to have said his Friday prayers, the Jami Masjid, are all that remain.