Delhi Travel Locations
Adjoining the India International Centre are The Lodi Gardens. These well-kept gardens contain the tombs of the Sayyid and Lodi rulers. Mohammed Shah's Tomb (1450) was a prototype for the later Mughal-style tomb of Humayun, a design which would eventually develop into the Taj Mahal. Other tombs include those of his predecessor Mubarak Shah (1433), Ibrahim Lodi (1526) and Sikander Lodi (1517). The Bara Gumbad Mosque is a fine example of its type of plaster decoration.
Built in 1725 by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, a keen astronomer, this observatory is dominated by a huge sundial known as the Prince of Dials. Other instruments plot the course of heavenly bodies and predict eclipses. This massive salmon-coloured Jantar Mantar is only a short stroll down Sansad Marg (Parliament Street).
At the eastern end of Rajpath stands the 42-metre-high stone Arc-de-triomphe bearing the name of 85,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in the campaigns of World war-I, the North-West Frontier operations of the same time and the 1919 Afghan fiasco. It is now a monument dedicated to the memory of the unknown soldiers. Amar Jawan Jyoti is a flame that is not only kept alive here, but burns fiercely in every proud Indian heart as well.
The immensely broad Rajpath or Kings way is where the Repbulic Day parade is held every January 26. Flanked on either side by ornamental ponds, the Rajpath is another focus of Lutyens' New Delhi.
On either side of Rajpath on Raisina hill, lie the imposing North and South Secretariat Buildings topped with chhatris (small domes). They now house the ministries of the Finance and External Affairs respectively.
This circular, colonnaded building symbolises the largest democracy in the world. It houses both the Upper and the Lower houses of the Indian Parliament, known as the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha respectively.Permits to visit the parliament and sit in the public gallery are available from the reception office on Raisina Road.
At the opposite end of the Rajpath from India Gate stands the official residence of the President of India. The palace-like building, completed in 1929, is a blend of Mughal and Western architectural styles, the most obvious Indian feature being the huge copper dome. The Mughal garden to the west of the building occupies 130 hectares. It is open to the public in February.
The Delhi Zoo is on the south side of the Purana Qila. The white tigers housed here are a great tourist attraction. The zoo is open daily except Friday, in summer from 8 am to 6 pm and in winter from 9 am to 5 pm. There is a small entry fee.