Delhi the city has remained the Capital of this country or its major chunk since times immemorial. It is now almost a big as whole the Union Territory of Delhi and can be said to be a city state. The third largest city of the country, Delhi is the busiest entrance and exit point, besides being the capital of this vast piece of land known as India. Delhi has temperature fluctuating between 5°C to 20°C in winters and 35°C to 50°C during summers languages spoken Hindi, Urdu. Punjabi and English and population around 1,37,82,976 million living in the area about 1500 sq. km.
Believed to have been in existence since the hoary past, traditionally Delhi’s history is traced back to the Mahabharat Archaeologically it was the Hindu Tomar King Anangpal, who first founded Delhi in 1060 AD. Later the Chauhan King Prithviraj ruled here till he was dispossessed by the foreign invaded Mohmd. Gauri, who left his slave Chieftain Kutubuddin Aibak to rule over the region. After the Slave Dynasty, Delhi was subsequently ruled by the Khilji, Tughiak, Sayyad and Lodi Dynasties. Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi to establish the rule of the Mughals for almost 250 years. The British reigned here from 1857 to 1947 when India received her Independence. A variety of ancient, medieval and modern monuments adorn the entire length and breadth of Delhi. The prominent ones among those are being described below which have been the cynosure of tourists.
The Red Fort
This Shahjchan’ s (the Mughal Emperor’s) dream in red stone was completed in 1648 after nine years’ labour of the choicest architects and masons of the time. Its octagonal ramparts are 60 feet high and 1.5 miles or 2.41 km. around. It is a typically Indian fort symbolising the Mughal power and splendour. It has two imposing gateways-Lahori Gate on the western side and Delhi Gate on the eastern side. The main entrance is through Lahori Gate. In Shahjahan’s time this citadel was called Urdu Mualla. but later on it came to he known as Quilla-i-Mualla or the Fort of Exalted Dignity.
The barbican over the Lahori Gate was erected during the reign of Aurangzeb, because when the people passed that way, the King’s throne came into view and they had to bow before it. this caused great inconvenience to the people and courtiers, and embarrassment to the King. From the ramparts of this same barbican the Prime Minister of India now hoist the National Flag and address the nation on Independence Day.
The Quila was very well-planned and was then executed with almost perfection. It has a complex of palaces amidst well laid out gardens and boulevards, halls of private and public audience, prayer rooms, royal baths, fountains, stables, music gallery, quarters for staff and servants, and a shopping arcade.
Diwan-j-Arn or the Hall of Public Audience is the Chamber where the Emperor used to hold his court and hear public complaints. The precious stones of the royal recess were looted by the British soldiers, following the uprising of the nationalist forces in 1857.
Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience was the most luxurious of Chambers, where the Emperor gave private and personal audience to the favored ones. On the marble pedestal in the centre of the hall, once stood the famous Peacock Throne (Takhte-Taus) said to be worth 12 million pounds sterling at that time. The Peacock Throne of solid gold, was inlaid with many precious stones, had figures of peacocks standing behind it. Between then stood a parrot of single emerald. In 1793, Nadir Shah seized the Peacock Throne along with nine other throoes and carted these off to Iran. The total value of the treasure, from the royal sources alone was then estimated to be Rs. 70 crores. Nadir Shah also took away the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond. On the walls of this Chamber, a Persian couplet is inscribed that reads:
The other monuments worth visiting in the Fort are: The Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque constructed by Aurangzeb in 1659 for his personal prayers-the Rang Mahal, The Khas Mahal, The Shahi Hamams, the Shah Buij from where the channel of water ran through the palace complex. Sonet Lumiere or the Sound and Light Spectacle is used each evening to re-enact the history of the Red Fort. Conducted, alternately in Hindi and English, the show is thrilling and exact in telescoping the past centuries of grandeur and turmoil that this tort witnessed mutely.
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