Charismatic Delhi – The India Gate

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The India Gate

Kids playing around, friends chilling out, families picnicking, couples rekindling love and patriots becoming more patriotic – when all these are found at one spot, you must be conjuring up images of the India Gate. I see them all as I approach this historic site. Though chaotic in nature as the surroundings are occupied by large number of people, you will find some space for yourself, solitude in nature.

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Rambling lush lawns, long narrow canals, colorful flowers, beautiful fountains, imposing structures, expansive areas and wide streets are some of the main attributes of the India Gate. Sooner I come out of the Central Secretariat Metro Station; the delightful sights of couples, families and youngsters completely inundated in the water activities. A summer evening at the India Gate is pretty much relaxing and unwinding.

Since the distance from Central Secretariat Metro Station to India Gate is less than two kilometers, I prefer taking an evening stroll along the canals in the lawns, seeing the crowd at their best playful acts. Indeed, watching a large number of crowds indulged in outdoor activities is a delightful sight.

Top 10 Activities at the India Gate:

If you ask me to name one destination that can keep you thrilled, keep you occupied the whole day, my answer would be the India Gate. And why not? The iconic structure, which is a war memorial, is India’s one of the most intriguing tourist attractions. For Delhiites, the India Gate is a regular spot for fun. For international travelers, it’s to witness and admire India’s glory.

Universal Picnic Spot for Everyone:

Relaxing Crowd in a Laid-back Environment
Relaxing Crowd in a Laid-back Environment

The expansive greenery, well-manicured lawns on both sides of Rajpath well complemented by canals mostly adorned with boats offer a plenty of space for families and friends to spend some quality time away from home. The vibe it produces is so enthralling. Come once, the captivating sight will entrap you and would not let you go back easily. Pack your picnic basket, filling it with essentials like food and beverages, tableware, cleanup (paper towels and trash bags) and other miscellaneous items that you need.

Boating:

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Want a Ride?

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It is true that Delhiites don’t have access to beaches. So what? They can do other water related activities. One such is boating. India Gate boating is very much famous amongst couples, lovers, kids and families. Do not forget to take a snap of yours keeping the imposing Arch on the backdrop. Anytime throughout the day is an awesome time for boating. Those who are in love, go for a romantic boat ride in the dusk and rekindle the momentum.

Here’s the Youtube link of boating video.

You Don’t Need a Cricket Ground to Play the Game:

Cricket at India Gate
Cricket at India Gate

Are you a diehard cricket fan? Then you don’t need a cricket ground to play your best short. Even I have played cricket with my brother and other guys in the narrow lanes and alleyways. Visitors who are in group should not afford to miss this fun. Oh, your group comprises beautiful girls who consider themselves so delicate and frail? I don’t think that is a problem. Even cricket is very much admired by girls. Ask your friend, I’m sure she won’t turn her back.

Here’s the Youtube link of funny cricket match video at India Gate.

Walking on Rajpath:

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Not the type of visitor who would simply sit back and relax? If so, then why not prefer a romantic walk along with your sweetheart hand-in-hand on Rajpath with India Gate embellishing the background? Feel the aroma of love when it is drizzling on the most celebrated street in New Delhi. No, you cannot afford to miss. What a feeling! Isn’t it?

Have Meetha Pan & Get Your Picture Drawn:

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Take One
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He is a genius.

Look at the panwala! How meticulously he’s performing his job. I take a pause and see him moving his hands so fast, serving his customers diligently – nah, not a single customer returns empty handed. Have a meetha pan, and move forward till you reach the wonderful guy who sees you and draws your picture. He’s a real professional.

Pamper Your Girlfriend’s Moods with a Long, Tiring Photo shoot:

Your girl is likely to tempt you to capture her many moods. That’s not a bad idea I guess because there is no better location that India Gate. Show your creativity and capture shots that are beyond the imagination of your girl. I’m sure your sweetheart will go gaga over your ingenuity. Why would you ask a professional photographer when you can take overwhelming pictures and save a few hundred bucks?

Watch the Sunset, Followed by Carnival-like Evening:

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Swarming with hordes of visitors and hawkers, India Gate creates carnival-like scenery as the Sun moves to the other part of earth. Witness the marvelous sunset like nowhere in Delhi (well, I cannot guarantee a breathtaking sunset like at the Taj Mahal, yet it is no less than that). Budding photographers always wait for this time of the day so that they can have some fantastic pictures to their name.

Watch a Candlelight March:

They say if you sneeze in Delhi, the entire country catches the cold. Do not try and make out its literal meaning. Since Delhi is the heart of this vast subcontinent where media has its home established, no matter how big or small an event or protest happens it reaches to the nook and corner of the country. And when in Delhi, especially at the India Gate, you can spot hordes of people go candlelight vigil on the Rajpath, demanding justice to the victims.

Be a Live Spectator to President’s Speech:

Our President is a great orator. Witnessing his articulation is a real treat. Be fortunate enough to appreciate India’s first citizen delivering public speech at Rastrapati Bhavan, only a few kilometers away from your fun spot. You never know you might get the first news than India’s leading daily.

Admire the Iconic Structure of India Gate:

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Wow, you covered almost all major activities. There is still one left. You got to admire the majestic arch structure and go gaga over the aesthetic artwork of this magnificent war memorial. The majestic monument was designed by the most famous war memorial designer Edin Lutyens, whose feat also lies in building some of the most impressive war memorials in Europe. He has built 66 war memorials in the continent, Cenotaph constructed in 1919, being the most known after World War I. While constructing the India Gate, Edin had the shape of the Arc de Triomphe. The massive structure stands tall up to 42 meters and spans over 30 feet. The flame, which is known as the Flame of the Immortal soldier or Amar Jawan Jyoti, under the shrine of the structure is ceaselessly burning since 1971, commemorating the immortal soldiers who lost their lives during the wars.

Charismatic Delhi – The Red Fort

The Red Fort
The Imposing Red Fort

 

Now at the Red Fort! The aroma of Old Delhi is emanating everywhere. The busy streets and narrow alleyways mostly occupied by cyclists, motorists, rickshaw-walas and an array of shops and stores, from saree shops to lehenga markets, decorating both sides of the road speak loudly that the scene is certainly procured from Chandni Chowk. And it is correct. I am at the Red Fort, once served the residence of the Mughal family for over two hundred years.

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Handcrafted Traditional Stuff

Red Fort at a Glance:

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With a history close to four hundred years, the Red Fort or Lal Quila built by Shah Jahan in 1648 stands still partially and has withstood all odds over several centuries. Perched over a massive area of two hundred and fifty acres fenced by thick, strong walls, the imposing fort showcases extraordinary Mughal artwork and architecture, which combine Indian, European and Persian art. Apart from holding historical importance, the largest monument in Delhi also plays a pivotal role on Independence Day when the Prime of Minister of India hoists the Tricolor National Flag and delivers a patriotic speech, ultimately motivating and inculcating patriotism in the minds and souls of Indians.

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I just returned from a complete sightseeing of the Tughlaqabad Fort, which was sparsely sprinkled with visitors. At the Red Fort, the scenery is totally different. It is pretty hot out here. That hardly makes any difference to the ever-increasing enthusiasm and zeal of the visitors, both locals and foreigners alike. Families, friends, couples and individuals are busy taking that perfect shot that would certainly ornament their Facebook page. A long queue is waiting for me, probably testing my patience (but I am unperturbed. I’m not worried. I’m fully equipped to tackle the scorching heat).

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You See the Queue?

A head-to-toe security check is performed by the security personnel and entrance is then allowed. What catches the attention at once is the vast collection of art and craft shops selling all kinds of stuff, including glittering jewelry, beautiful hand bags, etc. at pocket-friendly rates. Walk pass the art and craft shops, visitors are welcome by a great complex of buildings, intricately crafted and impressively designed.

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Inside the fortification are constructed outstanding building complexes, such as Divan-i-Khas, the Rang Mahal, Moti Masjid, Mumtaz Mahal and the hammam. The manicured green meadows adorned by birds and humans and surrounded by imposing mahals and masjids offer a perfect visual treat to the eyes.

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The Delhi Red Fort is octagonal and appealing interiors with notable marble structures. The robust walls that stretch up to approximately two and half kilometers are draped with turrets and bastions.

Sound & Light Show:

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Sound & Light Show – Red Fort Delhi

One of the highlights of the Delhi Red Fort is its Sound and Light Show.

Important Information:

Delhi Red Fort Tickets: Rs 10/- for Indian adults, Rs 150/- for foreigners

Nearby Attractions: Chandni Chowk Market, Jama Masjid and Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib.

Nearest Metro: Chandni Chowk Metro Station

Charismatic Delhi – Tughlaqabad Fort!

If you have been to Delhi in summer, at least you know what it is like. It is too hot in May, with daytime temperatures are sizzling, touching above 430 C. While the scorching heat of the sun compels Delhiites to stay indoors, I thought to myself – why not give it a challenge and have a glance at some of the capital’s historical sites?As I was lost in the thoughts of the massive stone fortifications of Tughlaqabad Fort, thick defensive walls of the Red Fort and verdant surroundings of India Gate, my shoes were already dancing and my camera was going out of control to take snaps. Before I could do anything, my restless feet had already started the journey, leaving no choice.

Also Read: Replica of Taj Mahal in Delhi…Any Guesses?

Fort Entrance
Fort Entrance

Tughlaqabad Fort – The Third City of Delhi:

Spreading over six kilometers in the southern part of Delhi is the striking, yet dilapidated huge stone fortification of Tughlaqabad. The citadel is one of the most outstanding historic monuments in Delhi was built in 1321 by the founder of Tughlaq Dynasty by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. Perched right on the Mehrauli-Badarpur road connecting to the new city, the Tughlaqabad Fort was the third historic city of Delhi. It is now able to draw a generous amount of visitors who combine serenity with history.

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Uneven Terrain
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Beautiful!!!

 

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Nice Place to Play Hide & Seek
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Big Well

Be watchful! The craggy, uneven terrain is often threatened by thorny shrubs might make you uncomfortable as it did to me while trying to cover the remains of this vast complex. Make sure you have got big eyes to cover up this massive complex because the remains stretch as far as your eyes can observe.

The Romantic Side of Tughlaqabad Fort:

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Unperturbed

While strolling through the rocky terrains, I stumbled upon with a handful of innocent visitors who have no knowledge of the outer world and busy in finding the safest place so that they can spend some quality time with their partners. I thought to myself – apart from its historical importance, the fort also bears some romantic tinges or it has gradually earned a big name amongst romantics. I couldn’t but laugh when I saw the guards constantly making efforts to spot lovers, poking at them and drive them away or at least ask them to sit at a little distance. I must say the guards need a handsome hike in next three months because they are doing more than what they are assigned.

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The Mausoleum of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq:

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Tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq
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Verdant Garden
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Graves of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq (middle), His Wife & His Son

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Connected via causeway (divided by Mehrauli-Badarpur Road) is the Tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. The tomb is set in a lush garden in one corner surrounded by thick, fortified walls. The walls are approximately fifteen meters high. The red sandstone tomb is actually a single-domed square tomb. The white marble dome looks so elegant and is clearly visible from a distance. Peep through inside and discover three graves lined up – the grave of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq is nestled between the graves of his wife and successor (his son).

Guidelines for Visitors:

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Some Handy Information:

Tughlaqabad Fort Tickets: To get inside the fort, it is important to have Tughlaqabad Fort tickets. Indians can pay Rs 5/- for a ticket, while it costs Rs 100/- to foreigners.

Tughlaqabad Fort Timings: What make Tughlaqabad Fort different from other attractions in Delhi are its timings. It is open all days of the week. You could start your trip from 7 am till 5 pm.

Tughlaqabad Fort Address: It is located on the popular Mehrauli-Badarpur Road. Reaching this citadel is easy by car, auto, bus and metro.

Tughlaqabad Fort nearest Metro Station: The nearest metro stations are Tughlakabad Metro Station and Saket Metro Station.

Also Read: Tuglaqabad – The Other Side of Delhi