JAIPUR HOUSE, the former residence of the maharajas off Jaipur, is one of India’s largest museums of modern art, covering the period from the mid-19th century to the present day. Its excellent collections include works by leading modern Indian painters such as Kamani Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Ravi Varma and Amrita Shergill, as well as contemporary artists such as Ram Kumar and Anjolie Ela Menon. Also on display are works by British artists such as Thomas Daniell and his nephew William Daniell, and an interesting group of “Company Paintings” – 18thand 19th-century works by Indian artists commissioned specially for the British market.
MANDI HOUSE COMPLEX
MANDI HOUSE, today the offices of the stateowned television centre, lends its name to this cultural complex encircling the roundabout. Triveani Kala Sangam has contemporary art galleries, an open air amphitheatre for concerts and plays, a popular cafe and a bookshop specializing in Indian arts publications. The state-sponsored Rabindra Bhavan arts complex houses the national academies of literature (Sahitya Akademi), fine arts and sculpture (Lalit Kala Akademi), and the performing arts (Sangeet Natak Akademi) in separate wings. All three have libraries and display galleries that sell reproductions and postcards. Regular exhibitions of photography, graphics and ceramics are also held here, Kamani Auditorium, the Shri Ram Centre and the National School of Drama are vibrant centres for theatre, music and dance performances.
OPENED IN 1931 and named after the Duke of Connaught, this shopping complex, with its Palladian archways and stuccoed colonnades, was designed by Robert Tor Russell as a deliberate contrast to the noise, smells and chaos of an Indian bazaar. The central circle of Connaught Place has now been renamed Rajiv Chowk, and the outer circle Indira Chock. Its arcades and pavements spill over with paan kiosks, book stalls and shoe-shine boys, while the eclectic mix of shops is interspersed with eateries and cinema halls. Though no longer Delhi’s premier shopping area, its shaded arcades are pleasant to stroll through. Other popular shopping centres around Connaught Place include the state emporia on Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Shankar Market in the outer circle, and the stalls along Janpath.
REPUBLIC DAY PARADE
REPUBLIC DAY PARADE Ever since 1950, when India became a republic, this parade on 26 January has attracted large crowds despite the often chils weather. Soldiers and sailors, war veterans and school children, and even elephants and camels, march smartly down Rajpath. Especially popular are the folk dancers and the inventive floats representing each state of the country. A ceremonial flypast by the Indian Air Force signals the end of the always colourful parade.