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Delhi, the capital of India, is often locally called as ‘Dilli’. The city is located on the banks of river Yamuna. Delhi portrays the unification of ancient and modern times. During the Mahabharta times, the Old Delhi, called ‘Indraprastha’ was the capital of Pandavas. A lot of old forts, monuments, mosques, archeological sites and heritage buildings of old Delhi are a major attraction for tourists visiting Delhi. The New Delhi was created during the British Rule to be used as the centre of their activities. After Independence, New Delhi was declared the capital of India in 1947.
Officially called a Union Territory, Delhi is the centre of all political activities of India. The Supreme Court, the highest authority on legal issues in India, is situated in Delhi. The Central Government of India is headquartered in Delhi. The President and the Prime Minister have their offices and official residences in Delhi. It also houses leaders of most of the political parties of India. The local administration of Delhi is handled by the Government of Delhi.
Delhi’s natives are mostly migrated from across the country. English, Hindi and Punjabi are the most widely used languages of Delhi. The infrastructure of Delhi has been rapidly developed with lots of new/renovated stadiums, over-bridges, huge shopping malls, etc. Delhi Metro has given a new dimension to the transport of Delhi.
Spread over a very large area, Delhi shares its borders with the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Climate in Delhi is quite diverse. During the summer season March-August, the temperature sometimes soars upto 46°C. September-mid November is generally pleasant with cool air. During winter months, from mid-November to March, the temperature keeps shifting between 5 to 25°C. Beautiful sunny days during most of this season, makes Delhi winter enjoyable.
Delhi is very well connected by Air, Road and Trains. Delhi has its own domestic and international airport known as Indira Gandhi International Airport. A majority of International airlines have frequent regular flights connecting Delhi to most parts of the world. It receives hundreds of flights per week from all over the world. Delhi is connected to all the major cities of India through Rail Network. Apart from various small railway stations, Delhi has two major railway stations named Old Delhi Railway Station and New Delhi Railway Station. By road, the Delhi has bus services to all the neighbouring states. The Inter State Bus Terminals of Delhi cater to the hundreds of people everyday travelling from and to other states of India. For local transport, cycle-rickshaw, auto-rickshaw and taxi are the most popular mode of transport. Delhi Transport Corporation also runs a fleet of buses throughout Delhi, some of which are air-conditioned. Delhi Metro has made the local commuting a lot easier and convenient. Most of the Delhi is now connected through Delhi Metro. Delhi Metro has state-of-the-art air-conditioned coaches. Automatic Fare Collection System of Delhi Metro makes it very easy and convenient for passengers.
Attractions of Delhi
Red fort is one of the most famous tourist spots in Delhi. The foundation for the enclosed wall of the fort was laid in1638 while the construction of Red Fort was started in 1639 by Mughal emperor Shahjahan. The complete wall has been constructed with Red sandstone. The walls around the fort have various gates, wickets and bastions. The wall has fourteen gates, the most popular being Kashmiri, Turkman, Lahori, Mori, Ajmeri and Delhi gate. There are various buildings in the fort compound including the Hall of Public Audiences, the Hall of Private Audiences, Royal Baths, Palace of Color and the Pearl Mosque. It also houses some private chambers like Tasbih-Khana (Chamber for counting beads for private prayers) and Khwabgah (the sleeping chamber). India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru gave his first speech on August 15, 1947 from the Red Fort. Since then, every year on Independence Day, the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from Red Fort.
Reflecting the magnitude of India’s ancient architecture is the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple. Located on the banks of River Yamuna in East Delhi, the temple is spread across an area of over 30 acres. The main monument looking spectacular in pink sandstone and white marble is 141 ft. high, 316 ft. wide and 370 ft. long. It has over 20,000 sculptures and statues of different deities of Hindus. An 11 ft. tall ‘panchdhatu’ (five metals) statue of Swaminarayan presides over the complete monument which rises on the statues of 148 elephants. The temple is a true example of India’s enduring spirituality and traditions.
‘Qutab Minar’ is one of the most famous tourist spots of Delhi. It was built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak. It is a five storied tower measuring approx. 73 m high with 399 steps. Each story is marked by a balcony. Sandstone has been extensively used for construction of the tower and the nearby structures. The tower has been ornamented by the bands of inscriptions. Near the tower, stands the 7 meter high Iron Pillar called ‘Ashoka Pillar’. The Pillar has withstood the changing weathers and natural calamities for centuries and it has not rusted. It is believed that if one can encircle it with hands while standing with your back touching the piller, their wish will be fulfilled.
Bahai temple or ‘The Lotus temple’, is a House of worship where followers of any faith can pray or meditate. The temple is built with white marble, having nine pools of water around. Everyday approx. 7000-10000 people visit the temple during weekdays and during weekends, the number of people reaches to nearly 40000 per day. India Gate, ISKCON temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Jama Masjid, Birla Mandir, Nizamuddin Dargah, Cathedral Church of Redemption, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhawan (President House), National Museum, Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana are places of national, spiritual and emotional importance and worth visiting.
Delhi is also famous for different kind of cuisines and shopping. Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and busiest markets of Delhi. It is one of the largest wholesale markets of India. One can enjoy shopping and mouth-watering dishes here. Connaught Place, often referred to as ‘CP’, is one of the largest commercial, financial and business centres of Delhi. Several Business houses have their Corporate or Head offices here. Some large Corporate have their offices spread over various floors in many buildings. It has Emporiums of various States of India showcasing and selling their traditional clothes and articles. It also has one of the most popular shopping street, Janpath, where one can get articles ranging from fashion accessories to traditional lamps, clothes, shoes, eatables, etc. at a very reasonable price.
Delhi Shopping Malls are frequented by locals and tourists alike, where one can find apparel, jewellery, cosmetics, household items, shoes, food products, exotic food items of Indian as well as major global brands. The malls also hold 'Flee markets' on certain days of the week where one can get good discount on a wide range of products. Most of the shopping malls have their own Food Courts, where one can relish food right from famous Indian food like Butter Chicken, Kadahi Paneer, different kinds of curries. traditional Rajasthani meals, etc. to international cuisine like Chinese, Thai, Mexican to the well loved Bugers, Pizzas, Pastas, sizzlers and much more.
Festivals in Delhi are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Delhi being home to people from various cultures, festivals of all religions are celebrated here. Family, Friends and neighbours get together to make every festival a special occasion.
Visit Delhi to feel the Warmth & Love of Delhiites!