New Delhi

The Republic Day Parade Rehearsal – Rajpath, New Delhi

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A jeep came to take us to the VIP zone at Rajpath. We walked around one km from the place the jeep left us. At parade ground there were two security checks.
First came the prime-minister and then the president arrived. They were not the real president and prime-minister; they were someone else (it was a mock parade).

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Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter III – Mehrauli

Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter III – Mehrauli

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The urge to talk about Mehrauli Archaeological Park is literally irresistible now. After weeks of traveling and researching over the internet and books, I could not but wonder whether this is the most architecturally and historically rich places in the world. Turning the pages of history brings alive every alley and stone of Mehrauli area with a vigor which I had never ever imagined in wildest of my dreams as I passed through these streets over last several years I have been in Delhi.

Mehrauli is the site of plethora of monuments, so much so that a sense of history and legends pervade every lane and even stones, for here lived kings, sultans, generals, warriors, saints and monks. Prehistoric tales associate Mehrauli with the descendents of the Pandavas. Later it saw the building of Lal Kot, a bastion of the first real city of Delhi whose archaeological proof could be found. Then it became the dominion of legendary Rajput warrior prince Pritviraj indelibly ingrained in Hindu courtly love tradition. Qila Rai Pithora was witness to the glory of Prithviraj Chauhan who was later defeated in Second Battle of Tarain by Ghauri, whereupon the latter’s death, his slave Qutubdin Aibak made Mehrauli his capital and the Sultans and emperors who followed him ruled from there.

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Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter II – Hauz Khas Village Complex

Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter II – Hauz Khas Village Complex

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Walking down the alleys of history, the road – Delhi Metro to be more precise – led me to Hauz Khas on an unbelievable Sunday. I say unbelievable because of the stunning clear blue sky which is a rare sight in Delhi especially during winter. Hauz Khas Village is part of many capitals but is best known as important site for: Siri and Firuzabad, with Siri being the third capital city and Firuzabad the fifth official capital and last of the Sultanate of Delhi.

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Of Seven Capitals and New Delhi: Chapter I – Rai Pithora & Mehrauli

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Qutub Minar of yore was entered through its four monumental gates of which only the Southern one renowned as Alai Darwaza remains standing till date. Along the western periphery of the precinct runs a giant wall with pointed archways, creating a ‘Qibla’ or the decorated prayer wall. There are several buildings in the complex most of which lay in ruins except for the exquisitely carved tomb of Iltutmish which is still in fairly good state. The structure of note inside the complex includes the magnificent Qutub Minar, Ala al-Din Khalji’s madrasa and the Imam Zamin Mosque.

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