Archive | August, 2011

Dilli !!!!

15 Aug

The name which remained the most popular is Dilli with variation in its pronunciation as Dilli, Dehli, or Delhi . Here’s a view of hers as i saw it,

Qutub Minar – 

Qutub Minar

Inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and wishing to surpass it, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced construction of the Qutub Minar in 1193; but conical]] shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. Numerous inscriptions in Arabic and Nagari characters in different places of the Minar reveal the history of Qutb. According to the inscriptions on its surface it was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughlaq (AD 1351-88) and Sikandar Lodi (AD 1489-1517).

Arches Qutub Minar

Inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and wishing to surpass it, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced construction of the Qutub Minar in 1193; but conical]] shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. Numerous inscriptions in Arabic and Nagari characters in different places of the Minar reveal the history of Qutb. According to the inscriptions on its surface it was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughlaq (AD 1351-88) and Sikandar Lodi (AD 1489-1517).

View from the Qutub Complex

The purpose for building this monument has been variously speculated upon. Some say the minaret was used to calling people for prayer in the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosqueoffer prayer but it is so tall that you can’t hear the person standing on the top. The earliest extant mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. Many historians believe that the Qutub Minar was named after the first Turkish sultan (whose descendant- Wajid Ali Shah-repaired it), Qutub-ud-din Aibak, but others contend that it was named in honour of Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki,[3] a saint fromTransoxiana who came to live in India and was greatly venerated by Iltutmish.

Qutub Complex

The minar did receive some damage because of earthquakes and lightnings on more than a couple of occasions but was reinstated and renovated by the respective rulers. During the rule of Firoz Shah, the minar’s two top floors were damaged due to lightning but were repaired by Firoz Shah. In the year 1505, an earthquake struck and it was repaired by Sikandar Lodi. Later on in the year 1794, the minar faced another earthquake and it was Major Smith, an engineer who repaired the affected parts of the minar.

Red Fort – Mughal Emperor Shah jahan, started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and work was completed in 1648 (10 years). The Red Fort was originally referred to as “Qila-i-Mubarak” (the blessed fort), because it was the residence of the royal family.

Sunshine @ Red Fort

The layout of the Red Fort was organised to retain and integrate this site with the Salimgarh Fort. The fortress palace was an important focal point of the medieval city of Shahjahanabad. The planning and aesthetics of the Red Fort represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which prevailed during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan.

India Gate –  

India Gate @ Night

The India Gate is the national monument of India. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Originally known as All India War Memorial, it is a prominent landmark in Delhi and commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the British Indian Empire, or more correctly the British Raj in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

India Gate Dusk

Originally, a Statue of King George V had stood under the now-vacant canopy in front of the India Gate, and was removed toCoronation Park with other statues. Following India’s independence, India Gate became the site of the Indian Army’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, known as the [Amar Jawan Jyoti]] (The flame of the immortal soldier).

Glowing !!!

Glowing at night !!!

India Gate and Canopy

Standing right behind the gate is an empty canopy made out of sandstone, also designed by Lutyens, and inspired by a 18th century Mahabalipuram pavilion, that until Independence of India in 1947 had the statue of King George V, which now stands in the Coronation Park, Delhi.

Karims – Cars, Bikes, Auto’s and Trucks winding down through the narrow alleyways filled with merchants hawking spices, jewelery, fabric, religious articles, stationery, sandals, and pretty much everything in between, Chandi Chowk is a city within a city itself. For the adventurous it offers a exhilarating, and vivifying rush. My recent visits to this part of Delhi though does not lie with admiring the chaos or wandering down the alleyways, I visit the place to explore my gastronomical journey’s. I haven’t explored or tired out much of the food available here though as most of the visits lead me straight to Gali Kababian, a small lane tucked in the shadow of a majestic Jama Masjid. If you consider Delhi to be the very holy grail of Mughlai cuisine then Karims a resolutely humble restaurant wouldserve to be its baptism.

Karims !!!!

Rashtrapati Bhavan all lit up before the Beating Retreat !!!

Rashtrapati Bhavan – Before the Beating Retreat