Monday February 19, 2018

Raziya Sultan: First and the only Queen of Delhi

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By Harshmeet Singh

Though Delhi officially became the capital of India in 1911, its stature as ‘India’s heart’ had been established long before. A plethora of foreign rulers and Indian princes aspired to capture the seat of Delhi to proclaim themselves as the righteous rulers of India.

The Delhi Sultanate, as the Delhi ruling Persian speaking dynasties were called, witnessed some legendary rulers, one of whom was Raziya al-Din, or as the history fondly remembers her – Raziya Sultan.

The only woman to be ever crowned the ‘Sultan’ of Delhi, Raziya was truly an exception. After the death of Raziya’s father, Iltutmish, Rukn ud din Firuz, Raziya’s brother, was crowned the Sultan. However, he was killed less than seven months into the power. This brought Raziya to the throne – a move that didn’t go well with the powerful Muslim nobles who weren’t ready to accept a female ruler.

Though her rule lasted less than 4 years, it was enough to command a chapter in the Indian history. Minhaj-i-Siraj, the famous Persian historian commented that Raziya was “sagacious, just, beneficent, the patron of the learned, a dispenser of justice, the cherisher of her subjects, and of warlike talent, and endowed with all the admirable attributes and qualifications necessary for a king.”

Iltutmish was extremely fond of her daughter. He ensured that Raziya got the appropriate education and military training as a child. At the time of her birth, Iltutmish is believed to have said ‘This daughter of mine is better than many sons.’ Raziya took to the throne like it belonged to her all along. He set aside the customary veil and asked everyone to address her as ‘Sultan’ and not ‘Sultana’, since Sultana meant the wife of the Sultan. She adopted masculine costumes and led the army from the front. Though comparatively short, her rule was marked by upright law and order. She even managed to manipulate the strong nobles to oppose each other and not her.

With everything falling into place, Raziya looked set to take Delhi Sultanate to great heights under her reign. However, her fortunes took a sudden turn. Raziya had to leave for Bhatinda to tackle an uprising from the Turkish Governor of Lahore. While Raziya engaged in a battle against Malik Altunia (believed to be her childhood lover), who sided with the rebels out of jealousy arising due to Raziya’s closeness with Jalal-ud-din Yaqut, the nobles crowned her brother, Bahram as the Sultan of Delhi.

Raziya lost the battle and was imprisoned by Malik Altunia, who ensured that she was kept in royalty. Soon after, Raziya married Altunia and the couple rode back to Delhi to regain the lost throne. This turned out to be the last ride for the couple who were defeated and killed by Bahram’s forces.
Raziya’s legacy is as decorated by her love story as it is by her administrative skills. It was probably due to her courage to stand against the mighty nobles and her love for Delhi that she has been given such a special place in India’s history despite her short reign.

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10 Best Places To Visit In Delhi

The capital of India, Delhi is one massive city where you can find people from all walks of life.

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Delhi has many places which you must visit to get yourself acquainted with history and culture of India as a whole. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi has many places which you must visit to get yourself acquainted with history and culture of India as a whole. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • Delhi is the capital of India and attracts tourists from all walks of life
  • Delhi has many tourist destinations which attract all kinds of people
  • Delhi has something for everyone and has many places which one can visit

The capital of India, Delhi is one massive city where you can find people from all walks of life. Delhi is full of culture and history, it has something for everyone who comes to visit or live here. From modern nightclubs to old, historical monuments, there is nothing you won’t find in Delhi.

Delhi is one of the major tourist attractions of India. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi is one of the major tourist attractions of India. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi has various places which one can visit. You can be a religious person, history buff, science nerd or an art enthusiast or anything else, Delhi will definitely have something to offer you. Here is the list of 10 best places to visit in Delhi to quench your thirst for history, culture and entertainment.

India Gate

India Gate is one place which you definitely shouldn’t miss while you’re in Delhi. India Gate is one of the best places to visit in Delhi because of its beautiful parks and the ever-burning ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti.’ The area around India Gate is one of the cleanest and you should definitely not miss it during the evening when the place is full of food, people and jest.

India Gate is one the best places to visit in Delhi. Pixabay
India Gate is one the best places to visit in Delhi. Pixabay

Qutub Minar

One of the world’s tallest building, Qutub Minar has beautiful architecture and lots of history attached to it. You can click photographers, sit in the lush green lawns and enjoy amazing food while you’re in its compound. You can also visit Chhatarpur Temple near it, which is yet another place to visit in Delhi.

Qutub Minar is surrounded by lush green garden on all sides. Wikimedia Commons
Qutub Minar is surrounded by the lush green garden on all sides. Wikimedia Commons

Swaminarayan ‘Akshardham Temple’

Akshardham Temple is a relatively new tourist attraction. It is one of best places to visit in Delhi because of its beautiful architecture and peaceful environment. The temple will not disappoint you even if you’re not a religious person. The museum inside is definitely worth a visit as it takes you through various ages of India’s development.

Hindu Temples
Akshardham Temple is one the must-visit places in Delhi (www.akshardham.com)

Red Fort

Red Fort is another one of the tourist’s favourite destination to visit in Delhi. It is of great significance historically and politically. It is one of the top names when it comes to Delhi’s points of interest. In the day you can visit museums and soak the history while at night, you can enjoy the fabulous light and sound show.

Red Fort in Delhi is a place for both the history and political science buffs. Pixabay
Red Fort in Delhi is a place for both the history and political science buffs. Pixabay

The Bahai or Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple is definitely one of best places to visit in Delhi. It is a heaven for all the photographers out there. It is also famous for its quiet and tranquil environment. It is one of the best places to visit quietly and meditate in Delhi.

Night view of Lotus Temple. Wikimedia Commons
Night view of Lotus Temple. Wikimedia Commons

Jama Masjid

If you’re talking Delhi, you just can’t forget to mention Jama Masjid. Jama Masjid is huge and is famous for its beautiful architecture. You can sit in its compound for as long as you like and can even enjoy a picnic there with your friends or family. You can also climb up the tall Minar which will give you a full view of Old Delhi. Near it, you can visit Kebab shops and restaurants which will serve you with some of the best Mughlai food ever.

The Jama Masjid is not only a place to worship but also a place to enjoy small picnics to enjoy with friends and family. VOA
The Jama Masjid is not only a place to worship but also a place to enjoy small picnics to enjoy with friends and family. VOA

Chandani Chowk

Chandani Chowk is the economic hub of Delhi. From clothing to food, there is nothing you won’t find here. Visit the ‘Paranthe Wali Gali’ to experience some of the best Delhi food. You can also visit the famous ‘Old and Famous Jalebi Wala’ for a Jalebi and Rabri combination like never before. The place may seem crowded but it is definitely worth a visit if you really want to experience the essence of Delhi.

Chandni Chowk is famous for the amazing food which one can get there. Wikimedia Commons
Chandni Chowk is famous for the amazing food which one can get there. Wikimedia Commons

Purana Quila 

When we are talking about the best places to visit in Delhi, we just cannot forget the Old Fort. It is one of the most ancient and largest forts in India. It spans around in an area of 2 km. You can enjoy sightseeing and learn about the place. Apart from that, you can also enjoy boating in the lake inside the Old Fort.

Also Read: 10 llittle-knownfacts about Delhi Metro which makes it distinct

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

Located near the Connaught Place, Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous tourist places in Delhi. It is beautifully structured and the lake in the middle is where you can sit comfortably and enjoy the view of various fishes inside it. Near the Gurudwara, you can also visit the famous Hanuman Mandir on one side and the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church on the other.

Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous place of worship of Sikhs in Delhi. Wikimedia Commons
Bangla Sahib is one of the most famous places of worship of Sikhs in Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

National Rail Museum

There are a plethora of museums which you can visit in Delhi, but out of all those National Rail Museum stands out because of a variety of rail models – be it static or working, or small or big. You can also enjoy a toy train while you are visiting the museum!