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DELHI VACATIONS

Delhi - a canvas that reflects the complexities, contradictions, beauty and dynamism of a city where the past co-exist with the present. Many dynasties ruled from here and this capital city is rich in the architecture of its monuments. Diverse cultural elements absorbed into the daily life of city have enriched its character. Exploring the city can be a fascinating and rewarding experience…
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Qutub Minar, New Delhi (India)Delhi - Immortal City

Sprawling on the banks of the river Yamuna, Delhi, the capital of India, typifies the soul of the country. In time the city conceals within its bosom annals of civilisations that flourished for more than three thousand years. Indraprastha, according to legends, the city founded by the Pandavas in the times of the epic Mahabharata (1500 B.C.), was located near the Old Fort that stands on a large mound overlooking the river.

Since those early days many dynasties and rulers flourished on its regal soil. The legacy of that past survives in the many monuments left behind by the regents, each a chronicle of the glory of its time and an imprint of the character of the ruler. Today, the city is a curious blend of the modern and traditional, skyscrapers, beautiful gardens and wide tree-lined avenues perpetuate the Mughal passion of landscaping and architectural excellence. More important, however, Delhi blends within its folds the great cultural variety of India; an unceasing range of activity, a million ways of saying 'You are Welcome'.

Tourist Hot Spots
Delhi's history is so ancient that the story of its origin derives more from mythology than written history. Recorded history testifies to the fact that at least eight different cities have been established here. Through the ages, different rulers and their followers have left their mark on Delhi in the form of numerous architectural gems of great historical and social value.

Red Fort:Red Fort
Red Fort is laid out along the river Yamuna as an irregular octagon , surrounded by a wall of about 2.4 km in circumference and is built of red sandstone. The Mughal king Shah Jahan transfered the capital from Agra to Delhi and the Fort was completed in 1648. The fort has two main entrances , the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate which faces the famed Chandni Chowk market.The Fort has Diwan-e-am, and Diwan-e-Khas where the king would grant audience to the public and would grant audience to important people respectively. Another attraction is Light and Sound show held in the evenings.

Qutub Minar:
This magnificent structure in the southern part of the capital was built by a Muslim King , Qutub-ud-din Aibak in 1199 A.D. A part of it which he could not finish was completed by another Muslim King Iltutmish. Minar is 72.5 m high and has as its base a mosque. In front of the imposing structures an Iron Pillar believed to have been built in the 5th century A.D. which has not caught rust ever since it was built.

India Gate: India Gate
Straight down the road from Rashtrapati Bhavan is India Gate which is primarily a memorial to unknown soldier. Designed by Lutyens , the 42 meter high structure is a war memorial in honour of soldiers who died during the second World War. The structure has an eternal flame (Amar Jawan Jyoti) to honour the memory of the unknown soldiers.

Jantar Mantar :
Within the Connaught Place are is the Jantar Mantar observatory built by the Rajput King of Jaipur, Sawai Jai Singh in 1724. It was believed to have been built with mmasonry instruments for observing the movements of the stars and the planets.

Humayun's Tomb :
This tomb, which as built by emperor Humanyun's wife, took eight years to complete. The emperor's wife Begai Begum was buried in the tomb and the structure is first of its kind built in the center of a well - planned garden. The combination of white marble and red sand stone was a great influence on later Mughal architecture. It is generally regarded as a prototype of the famed Taj Mahal of Agra.

Lotus Temple:
Is a very recent architectural marvel of the Bahai faith and is visible from several spots in south Delhi. Located in Kalkaji in the south of Delhi. It is Lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name.It is made up of marble,cement dolomite, and sand.

Rastrapati Bhavan: Rastrapati Bhavan (President House, Delhi)
Formely the Viceregal Lodge, the building is the highlight of Lutyen's New Delhi and was completed in 1929 at a cost of 12,53,000 pound sterling. Located in an area of 130 hectares, the palace has 340 rooms. At one time, 2,000 people were required to look after the building and serve the Viceroy's household. The lodge also has impressive garden called the Mughal Garden, which is open to public twice in a year, usually in February and March.

Tughlaqabad:
The walled city and fort of Tughlaqabad with its 13 gateways lies east of the Qutab Minar.The third city of Delhi, it was built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq.Its construction involved a legendary quarrel with the saint Nizamuddin, when the Tughlaq ruler took away the workers the latter wanted for work on his shrine.

Cultural Capital of India - Arts and Crafts Cultural Capital of India - Arts and Crafts
As the seat of empires for centuries, and with royalty as patrons, Delhi has long been a cultural center, attracting the best of painters, musicians and dancers. Though today's patrons have changed, Delhi is more than ever the cultural capital of the country, and is also visited by foreign dancers, musicians and theatre groups en route to the Far East.

Prime Attractions
October to March is the "cultural season" of Delhi, during which time a plethora of events take place in the fields of the visual and performing arts. The best of the performing arts representing the range of classical dance forms and schools of music from all over India can be viewed at Kamani Auditorium, the Chamber Theatre at Triveni Kala Sagam, FICCI Auditorium, the India International Center, Siri Fort, LTG Auditorium, Pragati Maidan and Sri Ram Centre, where one can enjoy the privilege of seeing, and listening to, the legendary gurus as well as their disciples.

Theatre
Theatre in Delhi receives a constant impetus from the presence of the National School of Drama. The variety offered ranges from Hindi translations of European plays, to regional theatre, as well as folk forms. Delhi's numerous art galleries reflect the country's burgeoning art scene. Well-known and new artists from all over the country display their works in these galleries.

Food and Specialties Food and Specialties
From age - old eateries in the by lanes of the Walled City to glitzy, specialty restaurants in five - star hotels, Delhi is a moveable feast. It offers a choice of Indian and international cuisine in different ambiences to suit varied budgets. For gourmets, Delhi is synonymous with Mughlai and Frontier cuisine. The best of Mughlai cuisine can be enjoyed at Karim, (both in Jama Masjid and Nizamuddin) where recipes, dating from the times of the Mughals have been the closely - guarded secret of generation of chefs.

Popular Places
Delhi Ka Aangan (Hyatt Regency), Darbar (Ashoka Hotel) and Corbetts (Claridges) are among the many options available in the expensive range, while Gulati Restaurant (Pandara Market), Angeethi (Asiad Village) and Degchi (Regal Building) are among those catering to more modest budgets. The finest Frontier cuisine is available at the Bukhara (Maurya Sheraton), Frontier (Ashoka Hotel) and Baluchi (The Hilton).

Delhi is also synonymous with the omnipresent tandoori chicken and tandoori roti, which, when freshly had from the tandoor, makes a delicious meal. This is often available at roadside dhabas at a moderate cost.

Shopping in DelhiShopping in Delhi
Delhi is a veritable paradise for shoppers, who can buy objects ranging from the simplest of Indian handicrafts to international designer labels, and often within the same shopping area. Delhi is unique in that it has representative outlets for the handicrafts of each Indian state. This in it self presents a staggering array of goods, and at very affordable prices.

For visitors to Delhi, shopping is high on the list of "things to do". Tourists find a wide choice of items- such as carpets, silks, jewellery, leather and silver ware, handicrafts and handprinted cotton - that are synonymous with India. Each item is available in a range of prices, depending on the quality and the outlet. The exploration of Delhi's markets could be begin at Chandni Chowk. Despite the pressures of traffic and population, its historic land marks survive to tell the story of the last three centuries.

There are some antique stores behind Jama Masjid, and more lining the entrance to the Red Fort, where the Meena Bazar once was. These offer items arranging from jewellery to painting and furniture, and cater almost entirely to tourists. Connaught Place, New Delhi's original shopping arcade was planned as part of the Imperial capital in 1911. The Santushi Shopping Arcade opposite the Ashoka Hotel has become another popular up market haunt.






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