The culture of Delhi has been influenced by its long history and historical association as the capital of India. This is exemplified by many important monuments. Delhi is also identified as the site of Indraprastha, the former capital of the Pandavas. The Archaeological Survey of India recognizes 1200 heritage buildings and 175 monuments as national heritage. In the Old City, the Moghali and Turkish rulers built several architecturally significant buildings, including the Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque built in 1656 and Red Fort. Three world heritage sites – the Red Fort, the Qutab Minar and Humayun’s Tomb – are located in Delhi. Other monuments include India Gate, Jantar Mantar – an eighteenth century observatory – and Purana Qila – a 16th century fortress. The Laxminarayan Temple, Akshardham, Baha’i Lotus Temple and ISKCON Temple are examples of modern architecture. Raj Ghat and associated memories are home memories of Mahatma Gandhi and other notable personalities. New Delhi houses several government buildings and official residences reminiscent of British colonial architecture, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Secretariat, the Rajpath, the Parliament of India and Vijay Chowk. The Safdarjung Tomb is an example of the style of Mughal gardens. Some present havelis (residential buildings) are in the Old Town.
Lotus Temple, is a Bahá’í Worship House completed in 1986. Noted for its Fiorellina form, it serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent and has become a prominent attraction in the city. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architecture awards and has been featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines. Like all other Bahá’í Houses of Worship, it is open to all, regardless of religion or any other distinction, as emphasized in Bahá’í texts. The Baha’i laws emphasize that the spirit of the House of Worship is that it is a meeting place where people of all religions worship God without denominational restrictions. Bahá’í laws also stipulate that only the sacred scriptures of the Bahá’í Faith and other religions can be read or sung in any language; Although the readings and prayers can be defined as music by choirs, you can not play musical instruments inside. In addition, no sermon can be delivered and ritual ceremonies can not be performed.
Chandni Chowk, a seventeenth-century market, is one of the most popular shopping areas in Delhi for jewelery and Zari saris. The arts and crafts include Delhi, Zardozi – an embroidery made with gold strands – and Meenakari – the art of enameling.