South Delhi is the administrative district of Delhi, India, commissioned in 1997 and bordered by the Yamuna River. To the north lies the district of New Delhi. For centuries, Buddhist monks traveled through Delhi on their way to Taxila and other areas of Central Asia. The history of this region dates back as far as 1060 AD, displayed in the rich culture of the majestic Mughal and Persian architecture. A visit to South Delhi offers many monuments that tell the history of India. Qutub Minar From most parts of South Delhi, you can see the outline of the tallest monument in India, the Qutub Minar. Built in the year 1200 AD, this tower was built sometime after Delhi was taken over. The exact reason for building the Qutub Minar is a mystery. Many historians believe the structure was a celebration of the takeover of Delhi. It was common during this time for Mughals to create such victory monuments. The minaret is 234 feet high and the tallest individual tower in the world. The smooth, white marbles steps, 378 in total, surround carvings and inscriptions on the surface walls of the building. Over the years, the tower has suffered damage and now leans slightly. The Qutub Minar is one of the most treasured monuments of India. Red Fort When Shah Jahan shifted his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad, he laid the foundation for the Red Fort. The building was completed in April of 1648. The fort features exotic palaces built of red sandstone. The perimeter is approximately 2.41 km, and it rises to the height of 33.5 m with a full moat surrounding the grounds. The palace region, known as Chhatta Chowk, is encased by arcaded apartments that today offer exquisite shopping opportunities. The main buildings include Diwan-i-Am, Hamam, Moti Masjjd, and Murntaz Mahal. Within these enclosures are inlaid black marble outlines of musalas (small prayer carpets), inlaid floral patterns of multi-colored stones, ornamented gilded stuccowork, and the main hall with three bays. Humayun's Tomb Humayun's Tomb is a complex of buildings commissioned by Hamida Banu Begum in 1562, created to be a final resting place for her husband, Emperor Humayun. This tomb is the first example of Mughal-style architecture in India. The tomb proper, located in the center of a square garden, is divided into four sections by causeways. The octagonal central chamber contains the cenotaph with diagonal sides leading to the corner chambers. These chambers house the remains of other members of the royal family, including Hamida. The mausoleum building is a perfect example of Persian architecture. Structurally, the form exhibits the traditions of India with exemplified arched alcoves, corridors, and the unmistakable high-domed roof.
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