INDIA TRAVEL - 3 NOT TO BE MISSED HISTORICAL LANDMARKS OF DELHI

Hello friends! Festival season is in full swing and I am sure all of you are having a great time celebrating them. Winter is also setting in slowly and Delhi's winter is extreme and awesome in the sense that on one hand it is biting cold and on the other it brings with it so many eating options to keep you busy munching whole day. Delhi is the capital of India and is also called the heart of India. And heart of Delhi is Connaught Place in central Delhi, a commercial hub and a hot spot for tourists. It's British era architecture, proximity to many well known tourist attractions and very easy connectivity makes it a much sought after destination. Just a stone's thrhe ow away from Connaught Place (or CP as it is fondly called) are three major historical cum religious landmarks which attract a lot of travelers. The unique feature of these landmarks is that they belong to three different religions and are in close proximity of each other and receive equal respect from the citizens, thus showcasing the cosmopolitan character of the city. These are Pracheen Hanuman Mandir, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and Sacred Heart Cathedral.

PRACHEEN HANUMAN MANDIR

This is a Hindu temple devoted to Lord Hanuman. This is an ancient Hanuman temple in Delhi (pracheen means ancient), and is supposed to be one of the five temples of Mahabharata days in Delhi (known as Indraprastha during that period). The Hanuman idol placed in the temple is Swayambhu or self menifested. The face of the idol depicts bala Hanuman or Hanuman as a child and is worchipped as Shri Hanuman Ji Maharaj or The Great Lord Hanuman.


Pracheen Hanuman Mandir, Delhi
PRACHEEN HANUMAAN MANDIR
Hanuman Mandir, Delhi
CLOSE UP OF HANUMAN MANDIR
Pracheen Hanuman Mandir has a unique feature in that it has an Islamic symbol of crescent moon fixed in the spire (Viman) instead of the usual Aum or Sun symbol found in other Hindu temples. This ancient temple's gate has beautiful artwork by skilled craftsmen and is known as Dwar. The epic Ramayana's story is engraved on massive silver doors. The temple, which is 33 m(108 ft), has a main mandap or hall, whose ceiling has an artistic depiction of Ramayana. A 24 hour non stop chanting of the mantra or hymn "Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram" in the temple since 1st August'1964 is a special feature of the temple and it is claimed that it has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.


Hanuman Mandir, New Delhi
ANOTHER VIEW OF HANUMAN MANDIR
The main festival of Pracheen Hanuman Mandir is Hanuman Jayanti (birthday of Lord Hanuman) every year, which is celebrated during full moon in the months of March-April as per Hindu calendar.


Idol at Pracheen Hanuman Mandir
THE PRESIDING DEITY
Image source - indiaongo.in

GURUDWARA BANGLA SAHIB 

Located barely 500 m from Pracheen Hanuman Mandir is the holy Sikh shrine of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It is one of the most prominent Sikh shrines of worship. Built in the memory of visit of eighth Sikh guru Shri Harkrishan Ji, it was originally the bungalow of the then Indian ruler Raja Jai Singh and was known as Jaisinghpura. Guru Shri Harkrishan Ji was invited by Raja Jai Singh to visit Delhi in the year 1664 and stayed here. 


Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi
GURUDWARA BANGLA SAHIB
Bangla Sahib, Baba Khadak Singh Marg
GOLDEN DOMES OF GURUDWARA BANGLA SAHIB
During that time small pox epidemic had spread all over the city and many people were dying due to this. Guru Sahib, out of compassion for the mankind dipped his feet in the water and pored charan amrit into a small tank. Anyone, who took water from that tank, got cured of the disease. Thus Guru Sahib saved the people from this epidemic. The tank has now become a sarovar or pond and has fishes in it. Pilgrims consider it sacred and take it's water to their places. A special congregation is held here during the birth anniversary of Guru Shri Harkrishan Ji. 


Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sarovar
THE CALM AND SERENE SAROVAR
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Gol Dak Khana
BEAUTIFUL SAROVAR
Gurudwara has a golden dome and white structure. It comprises of main Gurudwara and the sarovar. A yatri nivas or tourist home and a school are also being operated in the premises. The basement has an art gallery, a museum and a hospital. Just like other Gurudwaras, there is a langar or community kitchen daily, where free vegetarian meal is served.

You can visit the Gurudwara any time of the day or night as it is open 24x7.

SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL

Just opposite Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, across the road is the Sacred Heart Cathedral. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral and is one of the oldest Church buildings in Delhi. Blessed on 8th December'1935, the Cathedral is spread over an area of more than 14 acres. British architecture Henry Medd designed the Church building and the design has Italian style. 


Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Delhi
SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL
Image source - triphobo.com
Cathedral's entrance porch has circular arcaded trurrets on both sides which rise above roof height. Canopy is supported by a facade of white pillars. The inner side of the cathedral has broad arches, polished floors and a towering curved roof. The alter is of marble and a large fresco depicting the Last Supper is there behind it in the Apse. A large crucifix and a statue of Virgin Mary are situated to the left of Chapel.


Sacred Heart Cathedral, Gol Dak Khana
UP AND CLOSE AT SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL
A portion of the Cathedral land has been allotted to run St. Columba's boys' school and another to Girls school. The Cathedral is a prime attraction for all travelers to Delhi.

The best part of the above three landmarks is their connectivity. Being in the center of the city, they are easily accessible. You can ride Delhi Metro or state run buses or hire cabs to reach these places.

So, whenever you are in Delhi, do not miss these amazing and beautiful historical landmarks.

HAPPY TRAVELING AND A VERY HAPPY DIWALI TO ALL OF YOU!!