Tombs, Mosques and Mausoleums of Delhi

The following article gives a concise information on the Tombs, Mosques and Mausoleums of Delhi.

Driving past the newly constructed and developed localities of South Delhi towards a northerly direction can bring one to the sacred tomb of the Muslim saint Nizamuddin Aulia. This saint, who died in 1325, had numerous followers during his lifetime. He was well-known for his miracles and learning even among the Hindus. His tomb is regarded as a holy shrine and many visit the place to pray for the fulfilment of their wishes and desires. Close by stand the Jamaat-Khana Mosque (1315) and other historical ruins.

To the east of Nizamuddin, lies Humayun's Mausoleum raised by his spouse in 1565. Exemplifying early Muslim architecture, it is a garden sepulchre with an irregular octagonal plan and double-domed elevation and was to serve as a model for the Taj Mahal in the generations to come thereafter.

Further north, on Mathura Road, are the remains of Humayun's Dinpanah township. On the right are the visible ruins of a market, a city gate and a mosque. On the opposite are the ramparts, a moat and portals of Purana Qila that served as Humayun's citadel. Inside stand a beautiful mosque and a double-storied octagonal pavilion, Sher Mandal of the 16th Century.

At a short distance from Purana Qila, to the north is Firozshah Kotla, built of rubble. The famous Ashokan column is installed in one of its buildings.

Adjacent to the south wall of Purana Qila is the Delhi Zoological Park, famous for its wide range of animals and birds with a huge compound.

A little westward from Purana Qila lies India Gate, the memorial of First World War which serves as a picnic spot for many, with its spacious lawns and shallow tanks, and the Presidential Palace, with its 340 rooms and extensive grounds. The drive between the Memorial Arch and President's Palace serves as the arena for the colourful spectacle of India's Republic Day celebrations on 26 January each year.

Just south-east of the India Gate lawns is the Gallery of Modern Art housing specimens of paintings and sculptures of the artists of modern India. It also exhibits a number of paintings of the world famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.

On the southern side of the lawns is the National Museum of India, which contains representative collections of Indian art and archaeology besides several Central Asian murals and antiquities.

Specimens of traditional crafts of India in different mediums are displayed at the Crafts Museum, north east of India Gate on Mathura Road.

Indo-Muslim sepulchres are to be seen at the Lodi Gardens. The structural harmony of the medium sized tombs of Saiyad and Lodi rulers and other remains is set off by the beautifully laid-out garden which surrounds them.

Further west is another mausoleum of Safdarjung, a Mughal noble of the early 18th Century, built in the characteristic Mughal garden-tomb style.

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