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The Monuments in Southern Delhi

By Seif Kamel

About the Southern Delhi
Being the oldest part of the city of Delhi, the Southern section of the city attracts a large number of tourists who travel to India. Many of the most ancient civilizations have flourished in this area of Delhi and have also witnessed the Indian history from many aspects.

The section of Southern India has always played a role in the life of the inhabitants of the city especially from the religious side. Until today this section of the city of Delhi welcomes a large number of tourists coming from all over the world to enjoy their vacations in India.

Tughluqabad located to the South of Connaught Palace, the fortified walls of the third city that was constructed in Delhi; Tughluqabad, was constructed during the ruling period of Ghiyas El Dine Tughluq who reigned only from 1320 till 1324. Soon after the king Tughluq passed away the city was abandoned probably for the lack of a fresh source of water.

The most remarkable structure that remained until today from this ancient city is the citadel that is located in the Southern section of the site. Many sections of the old city can be traced until today as well. This includes a number of streets, the market of the city, and the palace of the king.

The Thirteen gates located at the southern section of Tughluqabad lead to the tomb of the founder of the city, Ghiyas El Dine Tughluq. Delhi has some of the most wonderful mausoleums in the world and they are included in many affordable tours to India.

The entrance of the tomb consists of a large red sandstone gate that leads into a courtyard that is surrounded by fortified walls. In the middle of this courtyard, the wonderful mausoleum is located with its distinctive sandstone and marble dome. The mausoleum hosts the graves of many people other than the king, Tughluq. This includes his wife, his son, Mohamed Shah II, the Chief Minster of the king, and even the most favorite dog of the king. Along the forest where the mausoleum is located, there are many other garden tombs that were established by the Moguls.

The Coronation Park

Although this area has become only a piece of almost empty land, it has witnessed the power and influence of the British Raj for a long period of time. The British have constructed three large imperial pageants in this area in three different occasions. Tourists from all over the world spend their holidays and adventures tours  in India to view the wonderful monuments of the country.

The first was in 1887 when Queen Victoria was declared to be the Empress of India; the second was in 1903 when her son, Prince Edward VII, became the king, and in 1911 when George V became the King of Britain. The top of these pageants had a number of elephants built with the head of all the princes of India paying homage to the British ruler, the same way they used to do the Mughals. Near the entrance of the Coronation Park, there is a large granite obelisk that was constructed to celebrate the event when King George became the king.

The Archeological Park of Delhi

To the south of the complex of Qutb Minbar, there is an area that was full of remains dating back to many periods of time and it was turned into an archeological park.
This area hosts a large number of monuments that include the tomb of Ghiyas El Din Balban, one of the kings of the Slaves dynasty that ruled from1265 till 1287.

The park also hosts the wonderful mosque and tomb of Jamali Kamali that was constructed in 1528. Hosting some of the most remarkable mosques in the world, travelers from different regions enjoy group tours in India to view the greatness of the Islamic architecture.
Moreover, there is also the remarkable Mogul tomb of Mohamed Quli Khan, one of the courtiers of Sultan Akbar.

This structure was occupied in the early 19th century by Sir Thomas Metcalf who has transformed the building into a country house for him.
Metcalf has also restored some of the structures in the area including the dovecote that dates back to the period of the Lodi.

Furthermore, Metcalf has constructed a pavilion as well that had the Indian style of architecture, a common feature of the British rulers in India at the time.
The Archeological Park of India is quite interesting stretching over a surface area of more than one hundred hectares.

The park has more than eighty monuments including historical tombs, mosques, and gateways dating almost from every century from the 12th till the 20th.

The Temple of Akshardham

Located to the Eastern side of the Yamuna Bridge, the Temple of Akshardham is the newest tourism attraction in the city of Delhi. Built in 2005, the temple of Akshardham is a marvelous piece of architectural art that has started attracting many travelers to spend their private &luxury tours in India. The temple is featured with its remarkable carvings that were made using the same tools and techniques that were carried out in ancient times.

The main mausoleum of the Temple of Akshardham is surrounded by sandstones that are distinctive in their pink color with the elephants being the main theme of this part.
Inside this shrine, there is the centerpiece of the whole complex; a huge three meters high statue of Baghwan Siri Swaminarayan, the founder of this sect. Costume tours to India would certainly include visiting such wonderful monuments. Behind his statue, there are some paintings illustrating the life of this saint, a pair of his sandals, some of his hair, and some of his nail clippings. There are also another four shrines in the structure that were devoted to conventional Hindu gods. A large number of travelers who spend their tours in India visit the temple everyday.

The Qutb Minar Complex

The first city that was ever constructed in Delhi and held the name Lal Kot had the first Moslem structure to be constructed in the city; Qutb Minar, the highlight of many travel packages to India. Qutb Minar is one of the most famous landmarks of Delhi, this complex was once one of the Wonders of the East and second only to the marvelous complex of Taj Mahal.
The construction work of the Qutb Minar has started in 1202 to celebrate the dominance of the Moslem in Delhi when Qutb El din Aybak had more and more victories.

Qutb Minar functioned as one of the most important Islamic centers in the East and the high towering minaret of the mosque was among the most impressive constructions in the city.
Only the first storey was constructed during the reign of Aybak while the other four were built during the ruling periods of his successor, Iltutmish, while the highest section of the minaret was built by Firoz Shah in 1369.

Quwat El Islam, or the Might of Islam, Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India was located near the minaret but only some ruins of this structure remained until today and they are explored by many tourists who travel to India.

This mosque was constructed by Qutb El Din Aybak using the ruins of around 28 Hindu and Jian temples and the architectural characters of these two religions were clear in the construction of the first mosque to be built in India.