Each and every person residing in Delhi will claim that they know Delhi way much better, but every time and everywhere we do fall short of information about the place which has made its own existence among us.
I have been bringing to you various aspects of Delhi through various posts but today my focus will on the monumental features of the Capital. Delhi and its monuments go hand in hand. I believe no single person be it they staying here since eternal time would have covered every monument that the city cover in its premises.
But yes let’s not make it too obvious and let’s see what these pillars of Delhi have kept hidden from us. Let’s visit some unknown facts about them.
Built in 1693 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, Red Fort or the Red Monument is known for its massive walls of red sandstone. According to history, Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the construction of Red Fort when he decided to shift the capital from Agra to Delhi. Initially Red Fort was known as ShahJahanbad named after its creator Shah Jahan. Even today, every Independence day, the Prime Minister of India hosts the National flag at the red fort and delivers a nationally broadcast speech from its ramparts.
Some Lesser known facts
- The Red Fort was originally white
- The Red Fort got its name because of the Red Boundary walls
- The Red Fort construction took exactly 10 years
- The Red Fort houses a building called the Rang Mahal
- The Kohinoor diamond which was a part of the royal thrones of Shah Jahan, located in the Diwan-i-khas, was actually a part of the Red Fort
- The UNESCO has named Red Fort as a world Heritage site in 2007 because of its historical and cultural significance
The Qutub Minar is the tallest minaret of the world made up of bricks. It is a 73-meter tall tapering tower of 5 stories, with 14.3 meters of base diameter, reducing to 2.7 meters at the top of the peak. It contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps. Qutab-Ud-Din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate started the construction of this monument in 1192. Qutub Minar was an inspiration for many minarets and towers build after it.
Some lesser-known facts about the tower
- The Iron Pillar in the Qutub Minar Complex has not caught even after like 200 years
- Qutub Minar is the tallest Brick Minaret of the world
- The Whole structure has verses from the Quran carved into it
- The Qutub Minar is a bit tilted at one side, because of the construction and renovations done over the years
- Following an accident in 1981 in which many people lost their lives, the government has restricted visitors from climbing the tower
- It is also considered as the tower of victory
The India Gate was originally called the All India War Memorial. India Gate was built as a memorial to the 70,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in the 1st World War during the period 1914–21. The Foundation stone of India Gate was laid on 10th February 1921. The best time to visit India Gate is amid summers. Generally, people prefer visiting the place after sunset or at night so as to view the illuminated India Gate and enjoying with the flock of locals at this time.
Some Lesser Known Fact:
- India gate was considered one of the biggest war memorials of the world
- Though started in 1921, the construction took around a decade to complete
- The walls of India Gate has the names of all the martyred soldiers inscribed on them
- The flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti burns day and night, to remind the nation of Indian soldiers who died in the 1st World War and the Afghan War
- It is customary for the President, Prime Minister and visiting guests of the State to visit India Gate and pay homage to Amar Jawan Jyoti on occasions of State ceremonies.
Jama Masjid one of the largest mosques of India, was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 at a cost of 1 million rupees. In Jama Masjid there are 3 domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets. It is believed that the construction of Jama masjid was done by around 5000 workers. The mosque has 3 gates, 4 towers and two 40m high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and smooth white marble.
Some Lesser known facts about the mosque:
- The words “Jama Masjid” means Friday Mosque
- The Courtyard of Jama Masjid can accommodate around 25,000 people at one time.
- Originally Jama Masjid was known as “Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa”
- Jama Masjid has witnessed massive attacks on it in 2006 and 2008 killing a few people and injuring several
- The Mosque was inaugurated by an imam from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan
- The western portion of the shrine constitutes a huge hall which features 260 columns that have been sculpted in the Jain and Hindu architectural pattern.
Humayun Tomb is the tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi. It was the first garden-tomb in the Indian Subcontinent and is located in Nizamuddin East Delhi, India. It was also the first structure to use sandstone on such a scale. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, and since then has undergone extensive restoration work, which is complete. The site was chosen on the banks of Yamuna river, due to its proximity to Nizamuddin Dargah.
Some Lesser known facts
- There are more than 100 graves within the entire complex. Several of them on the 1st level terrace known as “Dormitory of the Mughals”
- The Tomb concept of eight side chambers symbolizes the Islamic concept of Paradise
- The Tomb was designed by a Persian Architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyath
- This tomb was made by Humayun’s first wife Empress Bega Begum in the memory of Humayun after his death
- It was used by Bahadur Shah Zafar who took refuge in this tomb with three princes during the rebellion of 1857.
- It also sheltered the last Emperor of Mughal dynasty. Before surrendering to the British Rulers, Bahadur Shah was hiding in the Humayun’s Tomb.