Architecture of Delhi

Delhi, being the capital of our country, has a special place in terms of historic and cultural value. A part of this significance comes from the unique architecture that the city is home to.  When India was under the British rule, the rural architecture and landscape was untouched. However, Delhi along with Madras, Calcutta and Bombay was developed under the military and economic domination of the British. The beauty of the Delhi Architecture is that it is not uniform in character. We have the imperial Mughal structures and forts, towering temples as well as monuments representing Gothic architecture. This is perfectly in accordance with our democratic and secular country set-up. Hence, Delhi is considered to be an aggregation of a number of cities and in turn an amalgamation of varied cultural settings.

One of the greatest constructions here is Humayun’s Tomb. Built in 1570, it is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, commissioned by Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum. This red and white sandstone building is quite spectacular and is said to have inspired many several major architectural phenomena.

The Red Fort or Lal Quila is also another example of fine Delhi architecture with rich heritage. It cover huge area with its boundary walls which are nearly 1.5 miles long and 60 feet high. The compound of the fort has Diwan-e-khaas, Diwan-e-aam, Zenana, Moti Masjid etc. prominent palaces.

Red Fort
Red Fort

In the book of Delhi Architecture, the Qutub Minar is an important chapter. At 73 meters, this ancient Islamic monument is the tallest minar in the country. The stairs of the tower have 379 steps. The base diameter is 14.3 meters which narrows to 2.7 meters at top.  The minar tilts just over 60 cm from the vertical, which is considered to be within safe limits.

Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar

The Iron Pillar located in Delhi, is a 7 meters tall column in the Qutub complex. It has attracted the attention of archaeologists and metallurgists and has been called “a testament to the skill of ancient Indian blacksmiths” because of its high resistance to corrosion.

Iron Pillar
Iron Pillar

Our Rashtrapati Bhavan is perhaps the most beautiful of them. The official residence for the President of India is a vast mansion with four floors and 340 rooms. With a floor area of 200, 000 square feet it is built by using 700 million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone. It has several impressive designs including the central dome, Jaipur column and the elephant statues outside. Presence of not only Mughal but also European elements can be seen in the estate.

Rashtrapati Bhavan
Rashtrapati Bhavan

Another must-see site is the India Gate. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is definitely the pride of the nation. Following India’s independence, it became the site of the Indian Armed Forces‘s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, known as ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’.

India Gate
India Gate

My favourites include the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart at Connaught Place too. Designed by a British Architect based on inspiration from Italian design, it occupies an area of about 14 acres.

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, which was originally a bungalow, is an incredible Sikh house of worship in the city. With its stunning golden dome and tall flagpole- Nishan Sahib, it is quite noticeable.

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
Gurdwara Bangla Sahib

The Laxminarayan Temple is a Hindu temple spread over 7.5 acres. It is adorned with many shrines, fountains, and a large garde. The three storied temple is one of the major attractions of Delhi and attracts thousands of devotees every year. The highest shikhara of the temple is about 160 feet high. The shrine has mesmerizing fresco paintings depicting life and work of Laxminarayana. The Geeta Bhawan nearby is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Artificial landscape and cascading waterfalls complete an unforgettable construction.

Laxminarayan Temple
Laxminarayan Temple

 

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