Isa Khan's octagonal tomb, constructed in 1547, Delhi, India.
India's capital city, Delhi, is maddening, chaotic, polluted and crowded, but - unlike Mumbai - also offers the resilient tourist a good variety of places to visit and tranquil spaces.
The most congested but lively and colourful part of the city is Old Delhi, particularly around Chandni Chowk bazaar area, while just southwest of there is the more spacious and British colonial section of New Delhi, with plenty of attractions. New Delhi is officially the name of the capital of India but few people aside from bureaucrats (who are not, let's face it, really people), take any notice of the prefix.
The rest of Delhi is a vast, dull mass of residential living ranging from seething slums to modern, pricey apartment enclaves and mega-rich mansions.
Here and on page three are pictures of a few of Delhi's main attractions, while the next page displays some typical, down-market, street scene photos.
The tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun, begun in 1562, is a magnificently restored complex of red sandstone buildings that pre-date and set the style for the Taj Mahal and are the earliest example of Persian influence in Indian architectural design.
This 'Dormitory of the Mughals' (due to more than 100 graves in the complex) includes the great Bu Halima Gate, the Char Bagh Gardens (Persian-style), an Arab Rest House, the fine little white tomb of Isa Khan that pre-dates Humayun's Tomb (photo at top) and many finely detailed ornaments such as the doorway below.
A small side door to Humayun's Tomb.
The Red Fort main entrance, Lahore Gate, Old Delhi.
Built by Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal and Agra Red Fort fame, the Red Fort in Delhi (aka Delhi Fort) is disheveled but still houses some worthwhile sights including the Diwan-i-Khas (photo below), Diwan-i-Am (Public Audience Hall), Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel Palace, the harem, now a free museum of textiles and weapons), the Naqqar Khana Gate (Drum House), Daawat Khana small palace that now serves refreshments to exhausted visitors...
Diwan-i-Khas, the Emperor's Private Audience Hall, all in marble, Red Fort.
The Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Connaught Place, Delhi. More Delhi Pictures.
Also known as Laxminarayan Temple or the Birla Mandir, this Hindu temple dedicated to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. It's full of shrines and pictures with a large and calm garden behind it. Take off your shoes before entering but keep your wallet ready!
Another magnificent temple complex in Delhi is the Sikh religion's Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a grand whitewashed building topped with a golden dome. It's near Connaught Place and once inside, there are guides to assist foreign tourists. There is a huge pool of holy, healing water and an enormous dining area where anyone can eat a simple meal free of charge. The guards look tough as nails but are actually talkative, cheerful and full of information.