Birla Mandir Temple Delhi : Rishi, one of my friends, is a very religious person. She took us to this temple. If you are from Delhi, you may recognize the temple. It is the Birla Mandir. We spent some really quiet and calming time. Offered prayers to Lord Vishnu and goddess Laxmi. It was the perfect way to end our journey.
Museums are always among one of the important ingredients in my travelling agenda and Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Museum, Delhi was a part of it. I was wandering in this metropolitan city from more than four days and still some places of interest were left out to be explored. Gathering knowledge of Indian history and various manuscripts and specimens of our ancestors and their cultures was my prime interest. Recollection, reconstruction and preservation are the unique attempts of this museum. Initially it used to be the living place of our Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who resided here for sixteen years and was named as Teen Murti House. But after his death in the year 1964, it was transformed into a museum to endorse originality of researches in contemporary Indian History through reference of the Nehru’s Era.
The museum is encompassed by the green gardens with full of blooming flowers, where I spend some of the time to unwind myself. It is a spectacular and splendid structure with the combination of French and British architecture. A library is also situated inside the Teen Murti House, which exhibits the digital collection of historical documents, manuscripts and several others with the assistance of HCL Infosystems in the year 2010. The museum and the library have together supported number of historians and scholars from all over India through its companionship program. It houses a magnificent collection of reports, newspapers, book journals and various issues related with labor in figures of PhD thesis. Today in the field of Jawaharlal Nehru research resources, it is the leading center in the world. Some of the bits and pieces of such a wholesome personality are exhibited in the noted publications of the center and they are Man of Destiny by Ruskin Bond, Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Nehru Anthology and various others.
I was fortunate to be the part of the crowd who came to visit and know about the biography of this world famous personality. Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Museum, Delhi gave me many precious moments to be overjoyed for the life time. With this hope I moved on towards my next destination, National Zoological Park Delhi.
Lajpat Nagar Market, Delhi : After our meeting with the client, we had ample time for ourselves. What better way to spend time on shopping. We went to lajpat nagar market. It is one of the most well known markets in Delhi. Known for it’s products such as interior decor, clothes, footwear, jewellery and accessories.
It took me about half an hour to reach the Purana Quila, Delhi from the garden. I was fortunate enough to get the minimal traffic on the way and well managed to reach the place timely. This old fort is said to be the construction of 5000 years ago and was built by Pandavas in the legendary city of Indraprastha, an indispensible part of the epic, Mahabharata. Getting deep into the roots of Indian history and culture remain always my passion and it is simply irresistible. After looking at the historical building, I could well analyze the colossal gap between the two places of garden and fort. Both are differentiated in number of ways. The former place was full of life and the other was the unsaid story of the ancestors of India. This contradictory moment was making me more closure to Delhi.
Created in the unique style of Lodi’s architecture, which was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri, some of the ruins still stand today. The fort consists of flamboyant arches, three gigantic gates like cenotaphs in the directions of north, west and south respectively. After many excavation efforts of Archeological Survey of India, some of the decorated crockery and pots were unearthed by them. Finely built with red stones, the fort exists with a past and glorious narrated history. The fort is defined by 60-foot marble walls with three Gates known as Humayun Door, Big Door and Forbidden Door, whose translations are Humayun Darwaza, Bada Darwaaza and Talaqi Darwaaza, respectively. I got to see the Light and Sound Show, which presents the past glorious history of Delhi. The lake near the fort has a tranquil water body with boating facilities. I even saw some of the great structures in the premises of the fort like Sher Mandal, Kairul Manzil, a museum belonging to the Mughal era’s artifacts and Quila Khuna Masjid.
I could recognize about one of the finest historical architecture of Delhi. Purana Quila, Delhi holds a magnificent history on its back with number of rulers. After having a brief knowledge of a piece from the giant history I moved forward to have added knowledge of the exhibits in the museum of Delhi.
An aesthetic project of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation is based on the communication between two ingredients of God’s creation, man and nature. The only difference is that Garden of Five Senses, Delhi is the exotic place where the nature has been given innovative moulds to converse with man with its ecstatic beauty. To boast the blissful atmosphere to the mishmash crowd of Delhi and to provide tranquility to the hard earning inhabitants of Delhi, the park is constructed by stealing the nature’s nectar. Nature is my best friend and whenever I get the chance to meet with it I forget all of my worries and plunge towards it to exchange some words of silence with it. Honestly, till now it was one of my favorite destinations in Delhi. Each and every piece of the garden was reflecting nature’s own specimens.
It was built with the twin purpose, which consists of arousing human awareness towards toxin-less environment and with some spare time to come out of their worries in the tranquility of the garden. It is an astounding amalgamation of God’s and manmade creations, which disperse a message of bliss and illumination. The name is appropriate to assist the domain of essence. The enigmatic allure and spectacular serene are the key features of the garden. The five senses of touch, smell, sight, hear and taste are enhanced by the touchable rock displays, fragrance of the essence and flowers, appealing landscapes for the eyes, soothing sound of the waterfalls and ceramic bells that alleviate the ears, and the mouthwatering delicacies of the food courts for the tongue, respectively. It took quiet long time to reach the garden from my stay place to the location at Said-ul-Aizab village. Precisely, the garden is built on the 20 acres of the land expanded with enormous varieties of plants, trees and shrubs.
An amazing permutation of science and nature is simply spellbinding. Some of the incredible attractions of the Garden of Five Senses, Delhi are flora with 200 species under one roof, Color Gardens, expansive plaza that consists of stone cut elephants, Khas Bagh created with a pattern of Mughal Garden and several others with loads of beauty added to them. All those were keeping me away from my next place of interest, Purana Qila, Delhi.
Dhaba – The Claridges, Delhi : We were in Delhi, the capital of India. So we had to buy some really cool stuff. We shopped like maniacs for two hours and at the end, we were out of energy so we decided to do some “Pet Pooja” [i.e. gorging on food in Hindi]. If you are in New Delhi, you must check this place out.”It’s all yummy worth, every penny”.
Delhi is the domain of diversified culture and cuisines, and this was recognized by me after exploring half of this metropolitan city. The second innings of the journey started with Hilton New Delhi Mayur Vihar. The hotel with all the contemporary amenities and world-class hospitality is the part of the multitude Delhi and I was overwhelmed by the managerial staff support. Situated in the heart of the city, it disperses a fragrance of freshness to the tourists from different background. Though I was not aware of all the local places but with the support of some inhabitants residing near the hotel I came to know about some of the popularities of New Delhi.
Mayur Vihar is known to be one of the aristocratic and innovative business districts of the city. Pragati Maidan, a hub for event and exhibition is just 10 minutes away from the hotel and the demanding metro station is at the distance of half a kilometer. I enjoyed the relaxing interior and the rejuvenating spa for the time being as I have heard a lot about them from many. The hotel’s Lobby Lounge is encompassed with calm and blissful water body, which is accompanied with ecstatic gardens. One would definitely enjoy taking sips of champagne or a cup of English tea after taking seat over there. Having roots from Rajasthan I preferred to have tea with some cookies, which are also among some of the finest servings of the hotel.
I was amazed with the classy combination of Indian restaurant with north Indian cuisines and scrumptious delicacies which is named as S.P.I.C.E.D. Being stimulated by the textures, color and shapes of assorted spices in its menu, it has been named as S.P.I.C.E.D. The hotel was absolutely perfect for me with one major reason and that is the Fitness Center, which was complimentary for me during my stay. My accommodation in Hilton New Delhi Mayur Vihar was done in a single bedroom suite with attached chic marble bathroom and well-managed room service. I spent that entire day in the hotel relaxing and pondering on the next places to be visited. I went for sound sleep to wake up on time the next day with a schedule of a garden to be visited for the first.
After visiting the Lodhi Garden, we reached home around 8.30 pm. We were famished, so we changed our clothes as fast as we could and hit on our dinner. Though it was a hectic day, I was feeling contented. Only thing I was missing was ‘shopping’. Sitting in the bedroom, I was shuffling the pictures I had clicked in my camera and I don’t remember when I fell asleep. I woke up at 8 in the morning; Sandra was still sleeping so I woke her up. After finishing our daily jobs, we had orange juice and poha in breakfast. By the time we finished that, it was 9.30 am. Jantar Mantar was hardly 5 km away from Sandra’s house, so we decided to take a public transport bus. It’s a quick and economical service in Delhi. As it was morning, it took us only 15 minutes to reach Jantar Mantar, Delhi.
Basically, Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory established by Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh II of Jaipur. There are total 5 Jantar Mantars, all founded by Jai Singh II. Rest four Jantar Mantars are located at Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Banaras. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur is the biggest of all five and I had already seen it. The history of these Jantar Mantars depicts that Mughal Monarch Muhammad Shah assigned the duty of revamping the calendar to Jaipur’s king Sawai Jai Singh II. In order to complete his task, he constructed these five observatories. The primary aim of the observatories was to calculate the time, movements of moon and sun, and to assemble astronomical tables. The Jantar Mantar at Delhi was completed in1724.
It consists of four major apparatuses called ‘Samrat Yantra’, ‘Ram Yantra’, ‘Jayprakash Yantra’ and ‘Misra Yantra’. The Samrat Yantra is a 70-foot high, 114-foot long and 10-foot thick huge sun dial triangle with a 128-foot long Hypotenuse indicating towards North Pole parallel to earth’s axis. The Jayprakash Yantra is made of hollow hemispheres with a numbered concave surface. An observer could assume position of a star using this instrument. The Misra Yantra was to determine the longest and shortest day of the year. It could tell definite time of noon at various places unconcerned with a distance; this was the most significant feature of this Yantra. It was 12 o’clock when we left Jantar Mantar, Delhi and I thought it was time enough when I should move from Sandra’s house to the Hotel Hilton New Delhi. So I rushed back to Sandra’s house, packed my luggage, bid a thankful farewell to her mom and her and headed towards the hotel.
Delhi National Railway Museum : This January we went to Delhi to attend a fashion event that was organised by one of our clients. After the project was over, we had a good amount of time to hang out in Delhi. So we decided to check some place out. We went to “Delhi national railway museum”. I must say it is really a fun place to visit.
It is quite a long 8 kilometres distance from Qutub Minar to Lodhi Garden, Delhi. It was a weekend and it was Delhi, so naturally roads were over-crowded and Delhi’s traffic again played a villain and 10 minutes distance turned into 25 minutes. It was around 6 pm and I was afraid that Lodhi Garden might be closed but Sandra gave me a relief telling that Lodhi Garden remains open till late evening and she was absolutely right. People were enjoying, some were jogging, some were exercising, some were playing disc throw; in short, it was a lively atmosphere there charged with enthusiasm. Lodhi Garden, Delhi is a huge park covering over 90 acres of land. It’s not just a garden; it incorporates four medieval structures – Shisha Gumbad, Sikander Lodi’s tomb, Bada Gumbad and Mohammad Shah’s tomb. All these monuments date back to the 15th century.
The Mausoleum of Mohammad Shah is the oldest building in the garden. It was constructed in 1444 AD by Alauddin Alam Shah to pay homage to Mohammad Shah, the last Sayyed ruler. It is an octagonal cubical featured with ‘chhajjas’ and ‘Guldastas’. Tomb of Sikander Lodi is little akin to Mohammad shah’s and it was produced by his son and last sultan of Delhi from ‘Lodi Empire’; Ibrahim Lodi in 1517 AD. Babur defeated him in the first battle of Panipat and founded Mughal Empire. It is an uncomplicated rectangular complex surrounded by walls. British revitalized it and placed an inscription in 1866 AD depicting Lodi’s overthrow by Babur.
This garden has been used since medieval era for various purposes. During Akbar’s reign, it played the role of an observatory and Library. During Britons, it was cultivated by Lady Willingdon and hence, it was baptized as ‘Lady Willingdon Park’ in 1936. Its present name was given after independence. There is a small booklet available to understand the history of the garden, monuments and birds. Since 2005, this park is accessible for common people as a garden and picnic spot. Bara Gumbad stands exactly in the middle of the garden. Right in front of it stands Sheesh Gumbad composed of glazed tile. Thus, Lodhi Garden, Delhi is a remarkable mixture of nature and history. Thanks to the Archaeological Survey of India for all these knowledgeable information etched outside every monument. It was getting dark and it was time to go to Sandra’s home.