Yes, everyone has been to Delhi at least once in her/his lifetime. Yes, everyone knows the famous places in Delhi. Yet, Delhi is like a poetic puzzle, always having something unexplored, unheard of.
To start with, you must have been through these places on your Delhi Tour; but did you know the facts you needed to know while visiting these places:
Red Fort: We all are familiar with the Red Fort as it becomes an epitome of attention on the independence day speeches. Yet, many people do not know that originally the Red Fort was coloured mostly in white, with red walls. Years after construction, the white colour fall off and the British painted it red. Originally, the red fort got its name from the red walls surrounding the monument. Within Red Fort is the Rangmahal which was supposed to be the humble abode of the king’s wives and mistresses and no one except the emperor and the princes were allowed in the Rangmahal. The famous Kohinoor diamond was once a part of the Red Fort, which itself took ten years to build and was home to the last Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar.
Qutub Minar: The elongated minaret, which is also the tallest one of its kind in the world, also serves as the compound to India’s first mosque Quwwat-Ul-Islam, which is now in ruins. The complex in which the Qutub Minar stands was actually a place populated by Hindu and Jain temples. After Ghori invade Delhi and placed Qutbuddin Aibak on the throne, hence marking the start of the slave dynasty, Aibak decided to break these complexes to get the raw material for building mosques in the region. The minaret is named after the very Qutbuddin Aibak, but in reality during his four years of reign he hardly had the time or resources required to build a structure of such magnificence. In fact, none of the travellers or writers of his time who were consistently following his regime and work, wrote anything about the minaret. Till 16th century and the arrival of Babur, the minaret was recorded under the name of Altamash, Alauddin Khilji and Mohammed-Bin-Tughluq. Hence there is a possibility, that Qutub minar was actually not even built by Qutbuddin Aibak!
Delhi is extensively famous for both these places and when you visit them next time, you will surely start wondering about the above stated facts! That said, Delhi’s puzzle hides many a gems within the confines of the capital. Some of these unexplored places to visit in Delhi are:
- Mirza Ghalib ki Haveli. If you are a literature buff or have even heard about Mirza Ghalib’s poetry, you have to visit this place. Located secretly in the hustle and bustle of Chandni Chowk. After having enjoyed the mouth-watering food in Chandni Chowk, you should visit this place. It is believed that the great poet Mirza Ghalib wrote his most prolific work Adhuri Khwahishon ki Dua at this very haveli. Many of Ghalib’s writing instruments and his original work in his very own handwriting have been preserved in the haveli. The haveli is also home to a museum carrying all of these, which has been preserved by the Government of India and kept for public display.
- Agrasen ki Baoli. For most of the people, this is not a secret. Agrasen ki Baoli is a step well sitting right in the middle of Connaught Place. The secrecy of this place is not noteworthy, but its mystic beauty definitely is. Even in the scorching heat of Delhi in summers, the clever architecture of the place keeps it shady and cool inside. But the real beauty of the places rises to its epitome when you look at it from a certain angle. You should stand at the top most stair and look ahead of you. You will be able to see the Baoli downstairs and the crowded market of Connaught Place in the background. This beautiful juxtaposition of ancient architecture in the heart of a modern day market shows the real spirit of Delhi.
- Jahaz Mahal Fort. The condition of this place is not something worth appreciating, and yet you will be able to see the shape of a ship forming as you observe the architecture of this ancient fort. It was named Jahaz Mahal because of its reflection in the nearby lake resembles the shape of a ship. It was built by the Lodi dynasty and is supposed to have served as an inn for various pilgrims travelling through Delhi.
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