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On first glance, Jantar Mantar seems like a collection of weird buildings contorted beyond belief. On closer look, the genius of the construction is apparent. Built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1725, it is a brilliant attempt to revise the calendar and the astronomical tables. A mammoth sun dial stands in the center of the observatory. There are many other constructions made to track the sun beams and moon cycles. Once a precise mechanism for telling time and eclipses, now Jantar Mantar is made defunct due to the overshadowing by tall skyscrapers all around. But it's still one of the must-visit places of the city.
Thought to date back to the ancient city of Indraprastha, that finds mentions in ancient Indian texts, Purana Qila is shrouded in myths, legends and history. The present rampart overlooking its lake is nestled along the banks of the River Yamuna. It was built by Emperor Humayun and later restored by Emperor Sher Shah Suri. The impressive red sandstone structure that currently stands, though erected in the 16th Century has a history that predates to antiquity as per archaeological excavations. Qila-i-Kuhna Mosque, Sher Mandal and Humayun Gate are some the interesting structures within the complex that still stand today.
Rolling across acres, the tranquil Lodhi Gardens are as historic as they are picturesque. This sprawling garden carries within its very fabric inextricable traces of the Lodhi dynasty. Mottled with a tracery of manicured lawns, verdant foliage and mammoth trees, the gardens are steeped deep in both, natural magnificence and antiquity. A string of time-worn, enigmatic tombs are dispersed across the course of the garden, tombs which are a solemn homage to the Sayyid and Lodi sultans (kings) who ruled north India in the 15th and 16th Centuries. The Bara Gumbad sits nestled right in the heart of the garden, and gives way to a spectacular three-domed mosque, whereas the Shisha Gumbad carries within itself remnants of an ancient family; the tomb of Muhammad Shah looks nothing short of a palace, while the tomb of Sikandar Lodi features a majestic walled enclosure accentuated by lush green lawns. These tombs, with their sharp arches, glazed tiles and structural domes, are yet another testimony to the sheer genius and glory of Mughal architecture. The garden is further nourished by a tracery of water features, including trickling rivulets, and a placid lake dotted with pristine white ducks. Considered a favorite among Delhi picnickers, joggers and families, the garden is located within close proximity to Humayun's Tomb. These gardens are particularly breath-taking in the evenings, as the monuments are beautifully illuminated with halogen lights.
The Deer Park at Hauz Khas village is a popular picnic spot for families and groups. This lush green area with its landscaped trees and bushes lets you escape the bustle and noise of the city. What draws most visitors here are the spotted deer spotted often around the park as well as majestic peacocks, rabbits and guinea pigs. The park also includes a designated play area for the kids, making this a perfect place to be on any given Sunday.