Tips collections, Delhi
National Museum Located on Janpath is one of the treasure houses of the our glorious past. The museum has a large collection of excavated items many of which date back to 2nd and 3rd century B.C. The museum has separate section for the Harrapa (Indus valley civilisation) collection. Recently the museum added a very interesting section of Jewellery collection. Apart from the regular sections the museum has regular exhibition on different themes. Information about any such exhibition can be obtained from the museum itself or from the tourist offices. A daily film show is organised in the auditorium of the museum and it is closed on Monday.
Open 10AM to 5 PM
Entrance Fee for India Rs 10
for Forgien Rs 300 inclouded Audio Guide.
Camera fee for Indian Rs 20
for Forgions Rs 300
Video camera is prohibted.
The residence of Late Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India was converted into a museum after his death. The museum is a fascinating place to learn about the history of the Independence Movement. There are several photographs of the erstwhile Prime Minister, giving an account of his life. Besides this, the colonial building is also equally interesting, with its teak paneled rooms with high ceilings, spacious verandas and well kept gardens.
Nehru Museum was once used to be the official residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in India before independence. After the departure of the last Commander-in-Chief, it became the official residence of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru lived here for 16 years until his death on May 27, 1964. Soon after his death the Government of India decided that Teen Murti House should be dedicated to his memory and should house a museum and a library.
National gallery of modern art located in the stately Jaipur House near India Gate, was once the residence of the Jaipur Maharajas.The museum has a splendid collection of sculptuures and paintings dating from 150 years ago to the present days.The famous Indian artists such as Amrita Shergill, Raja Ravi Varma and MF Hussain as well as the Britesh landscape artists, the Daniells.
Close to the road connecting Mehrauli with Badarpur in the south of Delhi, lies the majestic Tughlakabad Fort on a high outcrop of rocks, with walls which touch a height of over 27 metres at some points.The sprawling fortress was built by Ghyiasuddin Tughlak in 1321 A.D. to guard against the threat of invasion by the Mongols. Built in just four years, to enter the fort, one has to walk over a causeway which was once supported by 27 elegant arches, some of which are still visible. The fort has a huge depression towards the north where could have been a tank for storing rain water.Adjacent to the high three-tiered wall and at the fort's southern edge is an escape route leading downwards out of the fort.It is not advisable to enter the escape route. To the west of the entrance are the ruins of a palatial building where once stood a hall with 1000 pillars.Within the citadel and to its further west is a 15.5 metre deep water tank called Jahannum Ka Rasta( Road to hell).Legend has it that Ghiyasuddin was cursed by a saint, Nizamuddin Auliya because he had diverted all the labour working for the saint to build his city and the work of the saint got held up. The curse was that the city would be abandoned soon after it came up and it would be inhabited by jackals and Gujjars, a nomadic tribe. Ghiysauddin died in 1325 when a pavilion erected in his honour crashed on him. It is said that the accident was engineered by his son, Mohammed.With his death, the short-lived story of the city came to an end.
OPEN Sunrice to Sunset/9 AM to 5 PM
ENTRANCE Fee for Foregin Rs 100/US$ 2.
Indian Rs 05 and Video Camera Rs 25.
Stretching along the Ring Road, very close to the rear of the Red Fort is a host of memorials built as a tribute to various prime ministers of the country, though the most popular is Raj Ghat built in honour of Mahatma Gandhi. The Mahatma, after his assassination on January 30, 1948, just as he was coming out of his daily prayers, was cremated on the banks of the Yamuna a day after he was killed. Raj Ghat was converted into a national memorial, the design for which was given by Vanu Bhuta. A footpath made of stone flanked by well-maintained lawns, leads to a walled enclosure, open to the sky, with a simple stone platform in black marble which indicates the site where he was cremated.Every Friday at 5 p.m., prayers are held. Just across the road is Gandhi Darshan, a small museum in which are depicted various aspects of Gandhi's life.Over the years many more memorials were built with Shanti Vana being the memorial of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (India's first Prime Minister) who died in 1964, Shakti Sthala for Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri-Vijay Ghat , Kisan Ghat for Chaudhary Charan Singh and Rajiv Gandhi(Vir Bhumi).
The Tibet house is a must visit for those interested in Tibetian history, an excellent resource centre about Tibet. The House has a collection of artefacts brought from Tibet when the Dalai Lama fled from there.
There are rare 'Thangkhas' or painted scrolls from 15th century Tibetan monasteries, an exquisite collection of Buddha figurines, old currency notes, objects of prayer, musical instruments and antique jewellery. There is a library with books on Tibet, Tibetan history and culture. A shop is also located over here that sells clothes, jewellery, medicines, incense, curios and Tibetian handicrafts.
Open :- Monday to Friday 9.30 to 5.30
We have just returned from a trip to India and spent some time travelling by Motorhome from Delhi to Rajasthan, staying for 3 days using a company called http://www.motorhome.co.in
Whilst there in Rajasthan we spent some time on a camel safari and played some cricket with the locals. The experience of travelling and also sleeping in the spacious Motorhome was excellent and with Sanjay and Bina who run this operation looking after our every need we were well and truly spoilt with great service. The company can cater for any travel needs throughout Asia and we will definitely be using them again to travel in Nepal. They look after all the driving, cooking and cleaning and there experience with the local culture and sights is extraordinary. If you want to do and see some truly different things you should speak to them.
Valley Of The Dolls. One can find just about every kind of a doll one needs to see in Shankar's International Dolls Museum. There are about 6,000 dolls collected from over 85 countries and a third of the collection has been gathered from different parts of India. Each doll is resplendently dressed in costumes that represent the country or the region they come from.
The museum is special because it allows a certain kind of a cultural exchange. Through dolls it presents an interesting way to learn about different cultures of various countries. The brilliant costumes, the varied jewellery of the dolls narrate intriguing stories of different cultures, their climate, their folklore and their mythologies.
There is also a workshop and a Doll Designing Centre in the museum. One can buy dolls from here too. So come and visit this museum and let go the child in you.
The Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum was the residence of the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. It was in this house that she was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards on 31st October 1984. The house was converted into a museum after her assassination.
The museum conserves some of the belongings of Indira Gandhi, including the sari she was wearing when she was assassinated. There is a collection of photographs, which record the Nationalist movement and the Nehru-Gandhi family.
A modest bungalow, it is furnished simply and hung with photographs narrating her life from childhood days with the Mahatma to later off-duty relaxation with her grandchildren Rahul, Priyanka and Varun. It is surrounded by a charming garden where you can hear Mrs. Gandhi's speeches from megaphones hidden in the bushes. It was in this garden that she was assassinated.
The spot where Indira Gandhi was assassinated is enclosed in a glass frame. One can still see the dried blood spots.
Khirki Masjid was built by Khan-I-Jahan Junan Shah, the prime minister of Ferozshah Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388). The mosque may have served as a private place of worship of Khan-I-Jahan Junan Shah.
It is a small quadrangle-shaped mosque, and the only one of its kind-a mosque, which is closed on top. Mosques usually have an open courtyard where the faithfuls offer their prayers to God.Masjid has elaborate latticework on its windows.The pillars and brackets in the mosque show a high degree of indigenous influence. The roof of the Khirki Masjid is divided into squares through which sunlight streams in.Most of the squares, however, sport groups of domes on them. The mosque, which is built with rubble masonry covered externally with plaster, has majestic steps leading up to it.
Delhi Zoo is located near the Purana Qila on the Delhi-Mathura road was established in 1959 and is spread over a massive area of 214 acres. Is regarded as one of the finest zoos in Asia and efforts have been made to provide an almost natural habitat to the animals and birds. There are many animals and bird species from places like Africa, America, Australia and even Asia.
Delhi zoo features quite an amazing range of flora and fauna. Over one thousand varieties of animals, reptiles and avian species can be seen here. Leopard cat, Indian Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Black Buck, Indian Gazelle and Lion-tailed macaque are some of the commonly found animals here. It also has nearly all varieties of deer spotted in the country. Don’t miss the white tiger from Rewa, the elephant which plays a harmonica and the leopards. The zoo is home to many species now endangered in India. Several species of migratory birds have made this spot their favorite haunting ground. Winter is the time when the winged visitors including, storks, ducks and other species throng the large lake at the entrance of Delhi zoo.
This place is particularly popular among the children.
Opem 9.30 AM to 4 PM Close on Friday
National Rail Museum is located In Chanakya Puri. It is unique in its collection of rail engines and locomotives. India was among the countries which had railway lines since 19th century. The locomotives in the museums are displayed in open. But they also have a small in house museum which gives the details of the progress and development in the history of railway in India.
Children love a ride in the toy train that takes them around the museum on a miniature rail track.
Open 930 to 5 PM
Entrance Fees Rs 10 Video Camera Rs 100
Boating Rs 20
Every Monday Close.
The ruins of Ferozabad, the 5th city of Delhi, erected by Feroz Shah Tughlaq built in 14th century (AD1351-1388) can be found at Feroz Shah Kotla, just off Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg between the Old and New Delhi. The remains of a mosque and a well can also be seen, but most of the ruins were used for the construction of later cities. Ferozshah Tughlaq was himself a great patron of architecture. He built the Ferozshah Kotla fort, this fifth city of Delhi was full of splendid palaces, mosques and gardens. The famous 14-meter highly polished sandstone Ashoka Pillar carrying Emperor Ashoka's message of peace stands here.
Off the Beaten Track
Raj Ghat, not far from the banks of the Yamuna River, has a simple black marble memorial to Mahatma Gandhi marking the spot where he was cremated following his assassination in 1948. A commemorative ceremony takes place every Friday. Two museums dedicated to Gandhi are nearby. Jawaharlal Nehru was cremated just to the north at Shanti Vana (Forest of Peace). The area is now a beautiful park with labelled trees planted by a mixed bag of notables, including Elizabeth II, Dwight Eisenhower and Ho Chi Minh. The rarely-visited but quite beautiful Zinat-ul Masjid (Most Beautiful of Mosques) towers over Raj Ghat.
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Khari Baoli, the street that runs from the Fatehpuri Mosque to the western edge of the old city, is Delhi''s bustling wholesale spice market. It''s well worth a wander simply to take in the sights and smells because things have changed little here for centuries. Huge sacks of herbs and spices are still brought to the wholesalers on long, narrow barrows pushed by labourers, and there are eye-catching displays of everything from lentils and rice to giant jars of chutneys, pickles, nuts and tea.
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Coronation Durbar Site
Incurable Raj fans looking for a nostalgia fix should head to the Coronation Durbar site, marked by a lone obelisk in a desolate field located in open country north of ''Old'' Delhi. It was on this site that, in 1877 and 1903, the durbars were enacted and, in 1911, King George V was declared Emperor of India. Close by there''s a walled garden complete with a rogues'' gallery of marble statues of former Imperial dignitaries, languishing like disgraced schoolboys out of the public eye. Pride of place goes to a 15m (50ft) high statue of George V that rises ghost-like above the acacia trees. It was placed here after being removed from the canopy midway along Rajpath soon after Independence. Most of Delhi''s residents are blissfully unaware of the existence or significance of this place.
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The Shalimar Garden, which lies on the fringes of the city about 10km (33ft) north-west of ''Old'' Delhi, is one of the most important Moghul gardens in the city. This was once the first-night staging post for the Moghuls on their way to Kashmir and Lahore. Aurangzeb was crowned emperor here in 1658. The beautiful central pavilion, the Shish Mahal, was built by Shah Jahan. Although it is in a fairly advanced state of decay, some of the original painted flower decoration has survived and the place has lots of atmosphere.
I would recommend few things which are distinct and rarely covered by travellers.
1. Punjabi Shaadi: If you can get hold of a Punjabi 'Groom to be' I recommend you attend a wedding. Join the pompous procession in which Dulha (groom) travels on the horseback and his relatives and friends dance on the streets with accompanying Band. You could shake a leg too. Some rich families have even started hiring elephants and horse carriages instead of horse backs as Dulha's vehicle. Then observe the VIP welcome with Garlands and flowers which ladki waale (Bride's family) extend as baraat (Groom's marriage procession) reaches the marrriage venue. The feast that follows is not any less colorful. I hope you get the idea.
Hmm... finding such a friend who can have you invited can be an ordeal! If you are lucky you would see a marriage procession somewhere on the streets or you can write to me and I would see if I could help at that time :)
2. Cheap Shopping: There is a bazaar called as Monastery near ISBT which sells cheap apprels, footwear and other such small items. Designs are all copy of the popular brands, material is quite ok and the stuff comes at a fraction of what the original at a show room would cost.
Then on sundays you have a Chor Bazaar (Thieves market literally) behind the Red Fort. It is said that you get stuff that has been stolen from all over the place of course at a fraction of the cost and the assembly of thousands of people itself is quite a spectacle.
3. Meet a Jat: Most of the Delhi's cops and Bus Conductors belong to the community of Jats. JAT as the junta (hindi for public) here has defined stands for 'Just Avoid Them'. LOL, so meet him it may turn out to be a 'memorable experience'.