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WHERE TO GO SIGHTSEEING: Calcutta: Long the capital of British India, Calcutta is still the commercial metropolis of modern India. It has a population of well over 5,000,000 and is a huge, sprawling, noisy city, teeming with life. The nerve center is Dalhousie Square, where tall, imposing buildings, Government offices and mercantile houses stand in a quadrangle around the placid waters of the reservoir. But the center of attraction is the famous Chowringhee, the beautiful wide avenue flanked on one side by shops, cinemas and fashionable restaurants, and on the other by the Maidan, which stretches as a vast expanse of green dotted with reservoirs, monuments and clusters of trees. Here are the playing fields where crowds gather to watch a football match. Here too are the Eden Gardens, famed as the cricketer’s paradise. Rising from the Maidan and overlooking Chowringhee is the marble Victoria Memorial, built by the British. In its galleries are many objects of interest relating to British-Indian history, historical documents and paintings. The Hooghly, like the Thames, has lost some of its natural beauty due to the smoke of the factories that sprawl on its banks, but it is still appealing. Dakhineswar Temple, where the great saint and yogi of the nineteenth century, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, lived, and Belur Math, the monastery founded by his great disciple, Swami Vivekanand, are both on the banks of the river. A little farther away are the Botanic Gardens, which are well worth a visit. Among the sights in these gardens is an ancient banyan tree which has so spread itself that several hundred people can sit in its shade. Connecting the two banks of the river is the new Howrah Bridge, the third largest cantilever bridge in the world. Among other sights of interest are Fort William, built by Lord Clive in 1773 a.d.; the Zoological Gardens; the Museum, the biggest in India; the Jain Temple, standing in a fascinating garden; and the Kalighat Temple, the oldest temple of Calcutta, which was there long before the city was founded. Delhi: Delhi’s most ancient sites and monuments, dating to India’s Epic Age, I emphasize the dynamic change in modern India’s way of life and thought. The city has continuously been the seat of Imperial power since the tenth century. Here, many cities have risen and fallen; only their ruins mark the site where they once stood. Old Delhi has many architectural masterpieces. The Red Fort, built 300 years ago, dominates the city and stands as a symbol of Mughal glory. Inside it are the relics of what was once the Imperial Palace of Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal. From the Fort to the Fatehpuri Mosque runs the Chandni Chowk, once famous as the richest street in the world. A little to the south towers the famous mosque, the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the world and one of the noblest buildings in India. South and southwest of the city are the Tomb of Humayun, the first Moghul monument in India, built in the sixteenth century of red sandstone inlaid with white marble; the Cyclopean ruins of thirteenth-century Tughlakabad, the grim capitol of warrior kings, with its massive fort and the founder’s imposing tomb; and the Kutb Minar, dating from the twelfth century, another tower of victory beautifully fashioned out of 700-year-old red sandstone, regarded as one of the most perfect towers of the world. Nearby is the famous rustproof Iron Pillar, dating from the fourth century a.d. Other points of interest are Isa Khan’s tomb (fifteenth century in style); Nizamuddin, the burial place of saints, princes and poets for over three centuries; Nawab Safdar Jung’s tomb, the last moghul monument of note (eighteenth century); Hans Khas, fascinating ruins of a once-important university, and a fourteenth-century water reservoir. New Delhi: with its symmetrical buildings, tree-lined avenues and spacious parks, is a planned city. It has a circular Parliament House and an imposing Central Secretariat, which stands at the approaches to the residence of the President of the Republic. On the right bank of the Y

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