We often say that the image of a country can be first of all created by the main capital city, and New Delhi gives a rather extensive view. Delhi is the fourth largest capital in the world, a metropolis of luxury and poverty, modernity and backwardness. When you have just arrived and are standing at the airport, everything seems to be normal, but as soon as you take the first step outside the airport, everything is changing, and there will be no limit to surprise … Wide highways and expensive cars and immediately cows roaming the streets freely. Bright luxurious national outfits and “denim youth”. The oldest temples and cultural monuments made of expensive materials with a long history and modern buildings of architecture. Everything is mixed here, but at the same time it has created such a special unique image and atmosphere that you will not meet and feel anywhere else in the world. Delipishet life, and every millimeter, every moment conveys the Indian flavor.
Calcutta was the capital of British India from 1757 to 1911. But, at the same time, Delhi served as the political and financial center of several empires of Ancient and Medieval India, especially the Mughal Empire. In the early 1900s, a proposal was made to the British administration to move the capital of the Indian Empire from Calcutta to Delhi. Unlike Calcutta, located on the east coast of India, Delhi is in Northern India and the government of British India thought it would be easier to govern the country from Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of the Muslim Sultanate in the 17th-19th centuries, many mosques, monuments, forts remained from this period. High minarets, palaces, majestic temples, beautiful mausoleums and impregnable forts have always delighted and surprised travelers. Several times the city was destroyed to the ground, but it rose again from the ashes, even more beautiful than before. Delhi was built in the 1930s as a colonial capital with wide avenues and colonial style mansions. All important government offices and foreign embassies are also located here.
About the main attractions of Delhi:
Qutab Minar is the world’s tallest brick minaret with a height of 72.6 meters, which is a unique monument of medieval Indo-Islamic architecture and is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This is a five-tiered tower rising above the historical site where once there was a Hindu temple, and then Sultan Qutb ud-din Aibak destroyed it and laid the foundation of the Delhi Sultanate from the same material. In 1193, he built the Qutab Minar mosque to mark the beginning of the era of the sultans. The mosque is decorated with decorative elements from Hindu temples and bears Islamic domes and arches. Base diameter – 14.74 m, the diameter of the upper part of the tower is 3.05 m. In the courtyard of the mosque there is the so-called Iron Pillar – a stainless steel column 7 meters high and weighing 6 tons made of iron, transported here from the Hindu temple of the god Vishnu. A fence was built around the column. It is believed that if you stand with your back to the column and wrap your arms around it from behind, it will bring happiness.
Swaminarayan Akshardham is the largest Hindu temple in the world, and its opening took place, nothing at all, in 2005 and entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most grandiose Hindu temple in the world. Seven thousand craftsmen from Rajasthan, Orissa and Bengal built it day and night for five years. The construction cost $500 million, collected through voluntary donations. The height of the temple is 42 m, the width and length are 94 and 106 meters. In the center is a three-meter statue of Swaminarayan, the great guru, who was born in India in the 18th century (1781-1830), and during his life changed and transformed the lives, views and society of many, many people of different classes. Currently, followers of his teachings live all over the world.
Akshardham translates as “God’s Abode” or “House for God”. The temple was built in accordance with the traditions of ancient Indian art and architecture. At the center of the complex is a mandir, which means “temple” in Hindi. The mandir stands on 234 columns, decorated with the finest hand-carved, it contains 9 decorative domes, 20 spiers, 20,000 statues of the spiritual followers of Hinduism in India. The temple is carved from pink stone and sandstone. Facing of internal halls from white marble and gold. Each part of the temple has a spiritual and symbolic meaning. The base rests on 148 elephants. The walls are decorated with images of gods, saints and illustrations of ancient parables. These short stories are like a fable, because animals mean people and there is a moral at the end. The territory of the temple is decorated with cozy and beautiful green alleys and fountains, which show a magnificent fountain show in the evenings.
I don’t have enough words to fully describe Akshardham, this is such a grandiose, beautiful, graceful and stunning building and place…
The Chattarpur Temple Complex is one of the largest temple complexes built in Delhi in recent times. The temple is so called due to the fact that it is located on the outskirts of the eponymous southern district of Delhi (Chattarpur). It is dedicated to the female deity Katyayana, who, according to Hindu beliefs, is one of the nine forms of the goddess Durga (Shakti), the wife of the god Shiva. Chattarpur was founded by the spiritual master Baba Shiromani Sant Nagpal in 1974. Until 2005, Chattarpur was the largest and grandest temple complex in India. Its area is 24 hectares. Today it is second in size only to Akshardham. Chattarpur is built in the traditional temple style entirely of white marble, decorated with a special architectural technique – Patanjali, popular in the East. The complex consists of twenty temples of various sizes dedicated to the famous Hindu gods – Shiva, Ganesha, Krishna, Lord Rama.
The Lotus Temple is a huge building made of snow-white Pentelian marble in the shape of a blooming lotus flower, and incredible beauty and magic, which was born in 1986. Its doors are always open for people of various faiths, and the halls in the form of lotus petals are conducive to long meditations in peace and harmony with oneself. The cost of the temple is about 100 million Indian rupees. Today, the Lotus Temple is the main temple of the Baha’i religion in India and neighboring countries. Baha’is believe
that God in the universe is one, and all religions in their essence are also one. The nine doors of the Lotus temple symbolize the number of major religions in the world and lead from each outer corner inward to a single center, into a hall about 40 meters high. The temple complex consists of the temple itself in the form of a flower, a garden that surrounds the building along the perimeter, and nine pools that create the illusion that the lotus “grows” directly from the water.
The India Gate is a stone arch built as a memorial to the Indian soldiers who died in the First World War. An eternal flame burns at the foot of the arch. More than 90,000 names are carved into the arch itself.
Delhi is a special place on our planet, contrasting, bright and unforgettable for anyone who has been here. Being here, it is important to look at everything from different angles, so to speak, to live and feel all the versatility and peculiarity. To be an attentive and sincerely inspired observer…