Necessity is the mother of invention and this holds remarkably true for the Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, who had a keen interest in keeping track of calendars and dates, back when it was only possible by tracking the movements of the sun, moon and planets. Being unhappy about the tiny instruments that were typically used, Maharaja Jai Singh created large astronomical instruments for accurate measurements in five sites, Connaught Place being one of them. The Jantar Mantar in Connaught Place has 13 grand astronomical tools which still give the accurate time and date, as well as marking important astronomical movements, and is a fascinating glimpse of India’s historical scientific prowess.
Before the bazaars, stalls and dining establishments sprouted around Connaught Place, the area was all about cinemas. In the 1920s, it wasn’t Bollywood and Hollywood shows that has the spotlight, but rather Urdu plays, Russian ballets and silent films. Connaught Place used to be the home of the elite, especially after the Indian Cinema boom, where talkies, Bollywood and Hollywood film started gaining popularity. Although the area isn’t quite as cinematic as it was before, heritage cinemas such as Odeon and Rivoli remain some of the best places to catch up on some good flicks. Rivoli, Regal Building, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Hanuman Road Area, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, India
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
One of the prominent Sikh pilgrimage centers in Delhi, the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is located on Ashok Road with close proximity to the Connaught Place. The history of this gurudwara dates back to the 17th century, when it was the palace of Raja Jai Singh. It is said that in the year 1664, Guru Har Krishan Sahib Ji, the eighth Sikh Guru came to visit the King and cured people who were contracted with smallpox and cholera epidemic by distributing them water from the tank. That water tank, used by the Guru, still exists today inside the gurudwara and is believed to possess medicinal properties. The Gurudwara premises include the main prayer hall (containing the Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs), the water tank in the middle, a library, a museum, a hospital, a school and an art gallery. As similar to all gurudwaras, langar is served in the Bangla Sahib where everyone irrespective of religion, caste or creed is welcome to share a meal. Few important information for visitors are: The gurudwara is open 24 hours, all days of the week. Entry is free. You are required to dress modestly and keep your head covered inside the gurudwara premises. You are required to remove your shoes before entering the gurudwara. On the birth anniversary of Guru Har Krishan, special gatherings and prayers are held. The nearest metro station is Patel Chowk which falls on the Yellow Line of the Delhi Metro.
Shopping at Palika Bazar.
Name it and you will get it in Palika Bazaar – whether it is clothes, nighties, scents, electronic devices and their accompaniments, or even your CDs and DVDs, everything is right there at Palika Bazaar. In case you want to buy those small trinkets to carry back to your people as a reminder of the market and your trip there, you can find it all here under one roof. As long as you can talk and convince the shopkeepers, you can ensure you get a good deal on products. By default, the shopkeepers will put up an exorbitantly high price on the products and you will have talk your way to them to reduce the prices. There are a lot of small eateries at the market and it is better to get somebody who knows the place inside out accompany you as you could lose your way in the extensive market area. However, in recent times, since the mall culture is catching up, lesser and lesser people are visiting the Palika Bazaa