The Qutub Minar ruins date back to the very beginnings of Islamic rule in India. The complex houses Delhi's first mosque which, artistically, combines Hindu and Islamic decorative features. The scale and detail of the ancient structures was incredibly impressive.
Qutub Minar itself is a victory tower, and is the tallest stone tower in India. Established in 1199, it stands at 72.5m high and has 379 steps. It is now no longer climbable after a tragic accident in 1981, when a power cut left the staircase in blackout and in the resulting chaos/stampede, 45 people were killed.
The complex was a beautiful place to wander, despite being packed with tourists. And we found it had a similar ambiance to the Roman Forum.
Photos by Ben Journee
Lodi Gardens, unlike Qutub Minar, was quiet and essentially free from tourists.
Walking through the, surprisingly large (we later found the gardens spread over 90 acres) and tranquil gardens, local joggers would cross our paths sporadically. We wandered past a group of teens filming a dance routine (probably for YouTube) and a little 'lover's lane' amongst the trees.
Hidden amongst the bushes and pathways are 15th century tombs and mosques built by Sayyid and Lodi rulers, from whose rule little architecture is left.
The buildings were stunningly beautiful, monumental and awing. Even more so perhaps because of the real tranquility of the gardens, which lie in the centre of New Delhi.