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New Delhi's history lesson
New Delhi and its predecessor cities have been home to several dynasties and empires for a thousand years, and each left their stamp on the city. You can book day tours from companies like Delhi Magic (delhimagic.com), but if you're the independent type, you can take a full day (getting around Delhi, whether by cab or metro, takes time) and go through thousands of years of history.
12th -13th century: Qutub Complex
This UNESCO World Heritage site is mostly a remnant of the Mamluk/Ghulum dynasy, a collection of building, fortifications and the Qutub Minar (or minaret), the tallest building of its kind in India. The Minar is covered with Islamic calligraphy and intricate decorations all along its 73 metres of height.
15th century: Lodhi Gardens
Hundreds of years later, the last king of the Sayyid dynasty, Mohammed Shah's tomb was built here. That structure and a three-domed mosque are the highlights of these peaceful Delhi gardens.
16th century: Humayun's Tomb
Before the British came, the Mughal Empire was the most powerful political entity in the history of the subcontinent, and the architectural legacy is easily seen across India. A predecessor to its more famous cousin, the Taj Mahal, Humayun's Tomb is the resting place of the second Mughal emperor, and is a massive building at the centre of the even more massive Char Bagh complex.
20th century: The India Gate
This 42-metre-tall ark is both a monument to the British Empire and the Republic of India. Designed by British architect Edwin Lutyens and built in the ‘20s and ‘30s, since independence the statue of George V was removed and it has served as a memorial for Indian soldiers.
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