Delhi has a strong historical background, owing to the fact that it was ruled over by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history. The history of the city dates back to the time of Mahabharata, when it was known as Indraprastha, the city of Pandavas. According to the great epic, the place was originally a barren piece of land and was converted into a wonderful city by the efforts of the Pandavas. As other kings occupied the neighboring region, some other cities came up like Lal Kot, Siri, Dinpanah, Quila Rai Pithora, Ferozabad, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad and Shahjahanabad. Later, these cities merged into one hustling and bustling metropolitan city, which finally emerged as the political capital of free India. Delhi has been a witness to the political turmoil for over five centuries. It was ruled by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs. In the year 1803 AD, the city came under the British rule. In 1911, British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi. It again became the center of all the governing activities. But, the city has the reputation of throwing the one who sits on its throne. It included the British and the current political parties that have had the honor of leading free India. After independence in 1947, New Delhi was officially declared as the seat of the Government of India. During the Partition, of India thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees from West Punjab migrated to Delhi. Since then, the city has not looked back. Delhi presents a beautiful blend of the varied cultures. The beauty of the city lies in the diversity it exhibits. In some places it is a garden city with beautiful parks, while in some places, it's crowded with heavy traffic. Turbaned Sikhs, colourfully dressed Rajasthani and Gujarati women, Muslim shopkeepers in Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi, Tibetans and Ladakhis along Janpath and Kashmiris in the handicraft emporia around Connaught Place, all add to the cosmopolitan feel of the city. Soaring skyscrapers, posh residential colonies and bustling commercial complexes can be seen adding on to its metropolitan characteristic. This is complimented by the ancient historical monuments. The traditional and contemporary art and crafts from all over the country are available in boutiques and shopping arcades here. Other than this, Delhi has become the center stage for all the political activities in the country. The premier government, administrative and judiciary buildings are also located here. The leaders of the nation run the nation and write the future of millions of people from Delhi itself
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
The downpour came as a relief to the Delhiites with the city experiencing 166.6 mm rain in the first two days of the month. Various busy intersections like ITO, Minto Bridge, Nizamuddin Bridge, Dhaula Kuan, Ajadpur Sabji mandi, IIT, Hauz Khas
Several autos, heavy vehicles like trucks and cars were stranded on the roads due to heavy water-logging.
"The travel time from AIIMS to Hauzkhas is just few minutes on the usual day but today it took over an hour to cover the distance," Sarita, a business executive with a private firm said. Rain Rain Rain,
Up above from the skiesu come,
As drops of joy
As drops of sorrow
As a shower of blessing from the heavens.
Rain Rain Rain,
Pitter patter pitter patteron the window panes,
thunder and lightning fill up the skiescreating an orchestral symphony.
Rain Rain Rain,
With wind, sun and clouds, seven colors u bring togetherand joy in our hearts.
Rain Rain Rain
A miracle to a droughtA curse when in glut, tiny silver crystals trickles from up above.
Cha Bars are certainly the flavour of the season and Cha Bar ar CP's Oxford Book store is certainly recommended for a cuppa. Sip as you flip, eat as you read other than feasting on the panoramic view of CP that Cha Bar offers I would suggest the Blueberry Muffins Marble Cake and of course, the teas-specially the Khobong, the Green and the Ayurvedic. Of course, the choise of Chas can be Chore-there are 67 to choose form.Most Delhi wallas are tea lovers but only within home. Outside, they talk like coffee connoisseurs. That may be changing. No longer is this humble drink confined to grimy dhabas and JNU addas, or locked behind the counters of 5-star hotel lounges. Chai is becoming cool. Tea bars are the new hotspots. The brewed beverage has started infusing into the milky layer of the Delhi social scene.
I went out shopping one Saturday, was unimpressed with what i called the “refined” taste of air-conditioned mall chaat. “If you want street food you go to the street,” was my friend's verdict. She dug instead into a platter of fried bread and vegetables.Street foods in the mall do not immediately threaten the street food of Delhi, but the roadside vendors may well have to change the way they do business. A court order earlier this year directed the city to ban the cooking of food outdoors, though not the sale of precooked foods. The city has yet to issue final rules, but it is likely to usher in changes to chaat-making.
Old Delhi is a constellation of living artefacts, and Darya Ganj’s Old Book Bazaar is among the most interesting ones. Stretching nearly 1.5 km near Darya Ganj’s Golcha cinema, the bazaar is the only source of income for many of its 200 pavement booksellers.
According to Mr. Subhash Chand Agrawal, President, Sunday Book Bazaar Patri Welfare Association, the market has been a Sunday feature in the area for the past three decades. Not all books here are second-hand. The sellers acquire books from different places. Many publishers, not able to sell the old editions of books, sell them to these pavement booksellers at cheaper prices. Also, loads of books remain unclaimed during transportation through trains and buses which are then auctioned by Railway and other transportation authorities. However, according to one bookseller, Farid Anwar, “books also come from distributors on Ansari Road”. Often, customers with old books lying at home come to sell them to these sellers. The sellers also sell in bulk acting as distributors themselves. Traders dealing in used books come from as far away as Hyderabad to buy their stock here.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held in Delhi, India between October 3 and October 14, 2010. With a population of over 15 million, Delhi is one of the largest cities in the world. This will be the largest multi-sport event conducted to date in Delhi and India generally, which has previously hosted the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi.
This is the first time the Commonwealth Games will be held in India, which will be the third developing country to host the event (after Jamaica in 1966 and Malaysia in 1998). This is the second time the event has been held in Asia (after 1998).
In January 2005, the Commonwealth Games Federation vice-president Randhir Singh expressed concern that Delhi was behind schedule in forming an organising committee. On 18 January 2008, however, the Commonwealth Games Federation expressed its approval of Delhi's progress
Located at the distance of around 14 kilometers from the Delhi International airport, Chanakyapuri is full of embassies and foreign diplomats. Rightly named after the ancient Indian diplomat Chanakya, the locality serves as the diplomatic enclave of Delhi, full of foreign diplomats and foreign envoys. It is strategically located in the heart of New Delhi, so its proximity with the high hierarchy of India is untroubled. Roads like Nyaya Marg, Niti Marg, Panchsheel Marg, and Shanti Path takes you to Chanakyapuri.
To have the divine experience of Shri Aadi Shakti Maa Jhandewali's darshan, devotees can plan visit to her famous temple , located in Delhi. The name Jhandewalan was given during Shah Jahan's reign, due to the prayer flags or 'Jhandas' being offered. This ancient temple has a subterranean shrine as well as one on the ground level. Thousands of devotees converge for darshan or blessing, including the rich and the famous especially during the Navratras in spring and autumn. The upper level of the temple has divine idol of Mata Jhandewali. There are idols of other Gods also at the same level. At the ground level , the original idol of Jhandewali Mata is there. There is a history attached to this idol. It is believed that Badri Bhagat, one of the great devotee of matarani, dreamed of her and she told him about this idol. Thereafter the temple was constructed at the same place. There is a divine place for performing Shiv puja in the adjoining area at the lower level itself. The offering for the Goddess are easily available in the shops in the temple vicinity.
Built on the site where the Mughals beheaded Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1675, Gurdwara Sis Ganj commemorates the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur. It is situated in the Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi. According to the legend, Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by Mughal emperor, Auranzeb, as he refused to convert to Islam. On his death, no one dared to pick up his body. Suddenly, sky became clouded, followed by a heavy downpour. Then, two of his brave disciples fled with his head and body. The head of the Guru was taken to Chakk Nanaki in Anandpur Sahib, while the body was taken to Rakab Ganj Gurudwara.
Gurdwara Rakab Ganj was built in 1732 by Lakhi Banjara, the devotee who performed the last rites of the martyred Guru Teg Bahadur. It is located on the Pant Road in New Delhi, facing the Parliament House. An interesting legend is attached to Gurdwara Rakab Ganj. It is said that Guruji were executed on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, for not converting to Islam. After he was beheaded, Lakhi Singh escaped with the body of Guruji to his home & cremated the body and later set fire to the house to remove any evidences. When the fire extinguished, he put the holy ashes in an urn and buried it on that site itself.
Moth ki Masjid is situated between Uday Park and the plush South Extension Part 2 area of New Delhi. An interesting legend is attached to the origin of the Moth ki Masjid, or the Lentil Mosque, of India. About 500 years old, it was built by Sikander Lodi. According to the legend, one day Sikandar Lodi gave a grain of moth (a type of lentil) to his loyal minister Miyan Bhuwa as a reward for fun. The witty minister planted the seed carefully years after years until it multiplied so many times that it could finally finance the construction of the mosque. He then went to the sovereign to ask his permission to build the mosque.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliyaa Dargah is located in New Delhi, across the road from Humayun's tomb. The 'dargah' of revered Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliyaa has its devotees all over the Islamic world. A settlement has sprung up here, known as 'Nizamuddin' for short. This shrine also houses the tomb of Amir Khusrau, a famous poet and the saint's beloved disciple. Encroachments plaque, the shrine, and the area itself, seem to belong to another century. The shrine was built by Muhammad Tughluq & is one of the sacred places of pilgrimage in India.
Shah Jahan, as his final architectural extravagance, built one of the largest mosques in India, Jama Masjid. It is situated in Old Delhi area of the capital. Also known as Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, it was the principal mosque of the Emperor. Owing to its huge size, it took six years to be fully complete. Situated on a high platform, the austere, yet beautiful, building was built in red sandstone, with extensive use of white marble. The pulpit of Jama Masjid has been beautifully carved out of a single block of marble. It has three gateways, four soaring towers and two minarets. The 130-ft high slender minarets of the mosque grace its impressive façade.
Gurdwara Majnu ka Tila is situated on the Grand Trunk Road, in the Timarpur region of New Delhi. This shrine is dedicated to Guru Nanak, who hallowed this place during his visit to Delhi in the 15th century. The small structure was expanded in the 1980s to a larger white marble structure, with a cusped dome. It was also proposed to be covered with gold leaf work, later. There is an interesting story associated with Majnu ka Tila Gurudwara. According to the tale, a Muslim hermit used to live on this hillock, during the reign of Sikander Lodhi.
One of the most beautiful temples in India, the 40 m high Lotus Temple is also known as Bahai Temple, and is built in the shape of a half-opened Lotus flower. Situated near Bahapur village, it is the seventh Baha'i House of Worship in the world. Completed in 1986, this pure white marble temple is also known as Taj of Modern India. Surrounded by carefully manicured lawns, it has been constructed using marble, cement, sand and dolomite. The temple structure has 27 giant white marble petals and nine pools, indicative of the nine unifying spiritual paths of the Baha'i faith, which believes in oneness of all religions and mankind.
Chattarpur Mandir is situated just 4 km from Qutub Minar, located in the Mehrauli area of New Delhi. The spectacular temple complex is an architectural gem in itself. All the shrines in the complex are built from white marble. Comparatively recent in its construction, it rivals the splendor of the Mughal architecture of the city. Devotees from all over Delhi come to pay their homage to the deities in the temple. The main shrine is dedicated to Goddess Durga and exhibits traits of the temple architecture of South India. On Durga Puja, one can see never-ending queues of devotees waiting patiently for their turn to ask for the blessings of the Goddess. According to the popular belief, tying a thread on the tree inside the complex of Chattarpur Mandir fulfills one's wishes. Prayers and sermons are conducted in the temple 24 hours a day. Anybody can participate in these spiritual meetings, any time. The beauty of the complex is highlighted by the lush green gardens in the area. There are also a number of temples inside the complex, dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses, like Vishnu, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Shiva.
Lakshmi Narayan Mandir is situated near Connaught Place area of New Delhi. It was built by Raja Baldev Das in 1938. Popularly known as Birla Mandir, it is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth and her consort, Lord Vishnu. Built in Orissan style, its walls are adorned with various Hindu symbols and inscriptions from the holy books of the Gita and the Upanishads. The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi and took six years to complete. According to the conditions placed by him, people of all castes, including the untouchables, were allowed to visit the temple. It is maintained by Birla family, the renowned industrialists of India.
The National Gallery of Modern Art was established in the year 1954 by, the then Vice President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. The best place to see Indian contemporary art, this museum is situated at Jaipur House of New Delhi. The royal building of the museum was formerly the residence of erstwhile Maharajas of Jaipur. It houses a splendid collection of paintings, some of which are as old as 150 years! The painting treasure housed here includes the 19th and early-20th century paintings of British artists, Thomas Daniell, and his nephew, William. You can also see the artworks of renowned Indian artists, such as Rabindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy and Amrita Sher Gill. National Gallery of Modern Art throws light on the evolution of modern Indian paintings and sculpture. There is also an Art Reference Library, with a good collection of art books, journals and periodicals as well as a sculpture garden at the back. Apart from organizing shows and gallery management, there are a number of other activities undertaken at the gallery.
A reserve collection is being carefully maintained and documented by the gallery.
The restoration department conserves the art works.
The publication department publishes 335 publications, 35 posters, postcards, etc.
The gallery is also producing and acquiring films on artists, many of which have received awards.
The gallery organizes annual summer camps of art training for children and other educational activities.