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Delhi, now known as New Delhi is the capital of India. The construction of the new city began on 15 December 1911 with designs made by two British architects, pioneers of their time, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The inauguration of the new city of Delhi took place on 13 February 1931. In 2011, New Delhi celebrated one hundred years of history, being a global center of arts, commerce, academic education and leisure, an outstanding metropolis of 17 million inhabitants, in which are established, inter alia, several international organisations, such as UNESCO, UNICEF and UNAIDS. This vast city offers to its visitors countless options for entertainment and unique places to explore.
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Even today, the mausoleum of the Mongol Emperor Humayun is considered to be a striking building, a representative example of Mongolian architecture of its time, a milestone of the Mongol Empire. Its construction dates back to 1570 when, ordered by the widow of Humayun, a Persian architect named Mirak Mirza Ghiyath designed and started to building the tomb that would later become the necropolis of the Mughal dynasty, including around 150 tombs of the royal family. Initially inspired by Persian architecture, the mausoleum reaches 47 meters in height with a marble decorated double dome flanked by columns.
Externally, the building is adorned with carved stones and coated with red sandstone, white and black marble. Even though the tomb underwent small damage later on, it has retained its original form and rightfully earned a place in the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1993.
Baha'i House of Worship
Or as it is commonly known, the Lotus Temple, name that emanates from its shape, reminiscent of flower. The temple is dedicated to Baha'i faith, one of the youngest religions in the world and it is located in Bahapur village. Its construction was completed in 1986 and since then, it has won numerous architectural awards and is now a world renowned attraction. The Lotus temple is composed of 27 petal shaped marble pieces arranged in a circular pattern of nine facets reaching a height of 40 meters, with a capacity of 2.5 thousand people. The surface of the building, like other Baha'i temples, is decorated with white marble from the greek Mount of Penteli. Along with the gardens and nine lakes that surround it, the Lotus Temple covers an area of 26 acres. It is estimated that over 50 million tourists have visited the temple since its opening to the public in 1986.
Akshardham is a Hindu temple complex in eastern New Delhi, close to the banks of a tributary of the Ganges, named Yamuna. This huge project was an inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who was also responsible for the construction, with the help of 7000 craftsmen and 3000 volunteers. The official inauguration of the complex took place on November 6, 2005. Akshardham is not just a landmark. It is the epitome of 10 000 years of Indian culture displayed by the greatness, the majesty and beauty it deserves. It is the place where Indian tradition and architecture meet the diachrony of Hinduism, where fine arts blend with harmony and the progress of mankind. The central monument has a height of 43 meters, is entirely made of pink sandstone from Rajasthan and Italian marble from Carrara, decorated with 234 carved pillars, 9 majestic domes and 148 statues that depict elephants. Within the complex, one can visit various educational exhibitions, watch the movie projected on a giant screen theater, to rest near the grand musical fountain or browse through sprawling gardens, decorated with statues, fountains and various artworks.
This tower, built in red sandstone and marble, is the largest minaret in India with a height that reaches 72 meters and offers a unique view to those who are willing to climb its 379 stairs. Its construction began in 1192 by King Qutub-ud-din Aibak and its initial purpose was to decorate the mosque of Quwwat-ul-Islam, overcoming the minaret of Jam in Afghanistan in beauty and style, though later on it was used as a watchtower. Unfortunately, the entrance to the tower is closed from 1981 onwards, after a tragic accident caused by a power failure. The entire complex of Qutb is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO.
This arch is the national monument of India. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was built in 1931 to commemorate the 90 000 soldiers of the British-Indian Army who lost their lives during the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The arch of India is located in the heart of the city and is also the location of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.