Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatu’l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.
The Committee inscribed the site on the World Heritage List under criterion (iv).
Delhi is India’s capital and seat of government. It forms the National Capital Territory of Delhi, rather than being part of a state. Delhi is one of India’s largest cities, and the core of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 21 million inhabitants. Within India it is a major center of arts, commerce, education, tourism, and transit. As the capital of several empires over the last 2000 years, Delhi also contains a striking array of well-preserved historic sites for the tourist to visit. Travellers with little experience of visiting developing megacities will find Delhi to be chaotic, crowded and for much of the year, polluted. During the late spring and early summer months, the city is scorchingly hot. Dig a little deeper however and you will get a glimpse of order beneath the chaos as well as India’s traditional and modern cultural richness flourishing side by… [read more].
Ghaziabad is in Uttar Pradesh in India. As its boundary is adjacent to Delhi, it acts as the main entrance of Uttar Pradesh and that is why it is also called the Gateway of Uttar Pradesh. The place was founded in 1740 by the vizir, Ghazi-ud-din, who called it Ghaziuddinnagar after himself and built a spacious sarai consisting of 120 rooms of masonry with pointed arches. Only the gate, a few portions of the boundary wall and a massive pillar about 14 feet in height remains now, the precincts now being inhabited. His masoleum still stands in the city but is in a bad state of preservation. The Jat raja, Surajmal, was killed near the city by the Rohillas in 1763. An encounter between the freedom fighters and a small British force took place here in May 1857, in which the former were defeated while trying to hold the Hindon. After… [read more].
Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, some 200 km from Delhi. Agra has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort in the city and Fatehpur Sikri 40 km away. There are also many other buildings and tombs from Agra’s days of glory as the capital of the Mughal Empire. Besides these three sites, the city has little else to recommend it. Pollution, especially smog and litter, is rampant and visitors are pestered by swarms of touts and hawkers at every monument, besides the inner Taj Mahal which, once you are in, is free of scams and touts. The sites are some of the wonders of the world and no trip to India is complete without at least one visit to the Taj. For the vast majority of visitors, a single day in Agra is more than enough. While… [read more].