The Lahore gate is the main gate to the fort, getting its name from the fact that it faces Lahore. It leads to a vaulted arcade, the Chatta Chowk (Covered Bazaar). The shops cater to the tourist trade today, but once they stocked articles for the royal household - silks, jewellery, gold. This arcade was also known as the Meena Bazaar, where ladies of the court shopped on Thursdays. No man was allowed inside the citadel on that day.
This is a must for incurable Raj fans looking for their fix of nostalgia. It's north of Old Delhi and is best reached by auto-rickshaw. An obelisk marks the site where the durbars were enacted between 1877 and 1903. It was here that King George V was declared Emperor of India in 1911.
The ruins of Ferozabad, the fifth city of Delhi, erected by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1354 can be found at Feroz Shah Kotla, just off Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg between the Old and New Delhi. A 13-metre-high sandstone obelisk with Ashoka's edicts (and a later inscription) can be seen in the old fortress palace. Also to be seen are the remains of an old mosque and a fine well. But most of the ruins were used in the construction of later cities.
The shrine of the Muslim Sufi saint, Nizamuddin Chishti, who died in 1325 aged 92, is across the road from Humayun's tomb. With its large tank, it is one of several interesting tombs here. Other tombs include the later grave of Jahanara, the daughter of Shan Jahan, who stayed with her father during his imprisonment by Aurangzeb in Agra's Red Fort. Amir Khusru, a renowned Urdu poet, also has his tomb here as does Atgah Khan, a favourite of Humayun and his son Akbar. It's worth visiting the shrine at around sunset on Thursdays, as it is a popular time for worship, and qawwali singers start performing after the evening prayers.
The Safdarjang Tomb was built in 1753-54 by the Nawab of Avadh for his father, Safdarjang, and is one of the last examples of Mughal architecture before the final remnants of the great empire collapsed. The tomb stands on a high terrace in an extensive garden. Entry is free on Friday. On other days a small entry fee is charged. This tomb is adjacent to the small Safdarjung airport
The walled city and fort of Tughlaqabad with its 13 gateways lies east of the Qutab Minar.The third city of Delhi, it was built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq.Its construction involved a legendary quarrel with the saint Nizamuddin, when the Tughlaq ruler took away the workers the latter wanted for work on his shrine.
The buildings in this complex, 15km south of Delhi, date from the onset of Muslim rule in India. The Qutab Minar itself is a soaring tower of victory which was started in 1193, immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu king in Delhi. It is nearly 73 meters high and tapers from a 15-metre-diameter base to just 2.5 metres at the top. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony.The first three storeys are made of red sandstone, the fourth and fifth of marble. Although Qutab-ud-din began construction of the tower, he only got to the first storey. His successors completed it, and in 1368, Feroz Shah Tughlaq rebuilt the top storeys and added a cupola. An earthquake brought the cupola down in 1803 and an Englishman replaced it with another in 1829. However, that dome was removed some years later. Today , this impressively ornate tower has a slight tilt, but otherwise has worn the centuries remarkably well. The tower is closed to visitors.
This seven-metre-high pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque and has been there since long before the mosque's construction. A six - line Sanskrit inscription indicates that it was initially erected outside a Vishnu temple, possibly in Bihar, and was raised in memory of the Gupta king, Chandragupta Vikramaditya, who ruled from 375 to 413. What the inscription does not tell is how it was made. Scientists have never discovered how this iron, which is of such purity that it has not rusted after 2000 years, could be cast with the technology of the time. It is said that if you can encircle the pillar with your hands whilst standing with your back to it, your wish will be fulfilled.
The same time as Ala-ud-din made his additions to the
mosque, he also conceived a far more ambitious
construction programme. He would build a second tower of
victory, exactly like the Qutab Minar, except it would be
twice as high! When he died the tower had reached 27
metres and no-one was willing to continue his
over-ambitious project. The uncompleted tower stands to
the north of the Qutab Minar and the mosque.