Delhi, the capital city of India, may seem a little overwhelming for first-timers, with its tidal wave of heat, traffic, energy, and abundance of fun things to do. It is home to spellbinding mosques, forts, and monuments left over from the Mughal rulers that once occupied the city. There’s an immense contrast between the rambling Old Delhi and the well planned New Delhi, and you’re sure to have a wonderful time exploring both.
In the twelfth edition of this series on Indian monuments by Sahapedia, Paromita Shastri looks at the Qutub complex, which presents an amalgamation of several architectural styles in India-Persian, Arabic and Indian-that later came to be known as Indo-Saracenic. The famed Qutub Minar itself has braved natural calamities and disastrous preservation efforts to continue as one of India’s most identifiable monuments.
A look at the winning and shortlisted images from the 2018 Historic Photographer of the Year contest, which celebrates the beauty of cultural sites around the world from the Taj Mahal to the Red Sands Forts.
At the National Tourism Awards held in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, Qutub Minar begged an award for being the best monument for differently-abled, while Ahmedabad and Mandu were jointly declared the ‘Best Heritage City’ in the country. These awards were presented by Union Tourism Minister K.J Alphons.
UNESCO World Heritage City Ahmedabad and Mandu were Thursday jointly declared as the ‘Best Heritage City’, while Qutub Minar bagged the top award in the differently-abled friendly monument category at the National Tourism Awards here.
Wherever we go, whatever place we visit, we seem to always be drawn to and impressed by prominent tall structures, in part because they’re tall but more because they’re special. Or used to be.
Towers in general didn’t have a housing purpose but more specialized ones, serving as clock towers, defensive structures or having observation and communication functions. Nowadays, since technology took on these roles, most of the towers serve as museums or offer leisure touristic activities.
The oldest of them date back to 8000 BC, as is the case of the Neolithic Jericho, and stretch all the way to present times, with the more modern ones taking more eccentric approaches in their design and architecture.
Let’s now take a look at The Most Famous Towers in the World:
13. Galata Tower
A special landmark of the Galata district in Istanbul, Turkey, dating from 1348, the Galata Tower was built as part of the fortifications that enclosed the Genoese colony.
With a height of 67 meters and its cone shape, the tower stands out allowing for a great view of the city and the region.
Heritage activists on Sunday accused the Indian government of trying to privatise historic relics such as the Taj Mahal after it launched a controversial scheme allowing companies to “adopt” dozens of monuments.
Opposition politicians accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of “leasing out” monuments under the “Adopt a Heritage” plan that will see 95 historic sites taken over by private entities.
India’s tourism ministry on Saturday announced a five-year contract worth 250 million rupees ($3.7 million) with the Dalmia Bharat conglomerate for the iconic 17th-century Red Fort in Delhi and another fort in the southern Andhra Pradesh state.
Other monuments on the list include the Taj Mahal — which two conglomerates are competing for — and the 12th-century Unesco-listed Qutub Minar complex in Delhi.
The Red Fort — built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1639 and also on the Unesco list — is where India’s prime minister makes an annual independence day speech.
The government says contracts awarded under the programme will only cover development, operations and maintenance of amenities around the Red Fort.
Dalmia Bharat will be allowed to put up some advertising, set ticket prices and earn money from their sales, under government supervision.
In ‘Delhi’s Qutb Complex’, Catherine B. Asher goes beyond Mehrauli and Delhi to look at the afterlife of the iconic tower that is the Qutb Minar.
Mehrauli is truly a magical place. The average visitor skims but the surface, marvelling at the towering Qutb Minar and taking a cursory stroll through the other buildings that lie within the popular UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Qutb complex. Those who go beyond, into the neighbouring village, may visit the shrine of the Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, or a restaurant. There is now, of course, a smaller group of more adventurous explorers who are discovering the treasures of Mehrauli – particularly in the village and the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, mainly through the medium of increasingly popular ‘heritage walks’.