Delhi, a true cosmopolitan city with diversified culture is the capital of the world’s largest democracy, India. Known as Indraprastha in ancient times, Delhi has been wooed by rulers, attracted invaders and has been build and destroyed several times. Historians say that is has been rebuilt seven times during different ages.
The two worlds of the city, the Old and the New form a great synthesis and co-exist of modernity and traditions in a remarkable manner.
Geography of Delhi
Delhi is located at 28.38° North and 77.13° East & lies in northern India. Uttar Pradesh is on the east and Haryana is on the west of Delhi.
There are three major geographical regions: the Yamuna flood plain, the ridge & the Gangetic Plains. The Yamuna flood plains provide fertile soil suitable for agriculture. However, these plains are prone to recurrent floods. With an average altitude of 293 m above sea level, the ridge forms the most dominating feature in this region.
It originates from the Aravalli Hills in the south and encircles the west, north-east and north-west portions of the city. The Great Plains are located in the south of the city and cover most of Delhi.
Brief History of Delhi
Delhi has glorious and tumultuous 5,000 year old history . A city of great antiquity, Delhi has been traditionally credited with being the capital of the Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata. The area around the Yamuna River (near Purana Qila) has been identified with the city of Indraprastha. It took centuries for Delhi to take center stage of attention once again and till date it has continued to dominate the every aspect of the Indian life. The recorded history of Delhi started only after coming of Aryans from the Central Asia. Over the ages, the city attracted a large number of races because of its central position and wealth. Even now, the city is attracting people from all over the country who come in search of better life and opportunity. This character of assimilation has given a new dimension and dynamism to the city.
The modern Delhi was founded in the 8th century AD by Tomara Rajputs who were later supplanted by the Chauhans. Prithivi Raj Chauhan, the last ruler of this dynasty, was defeated by Muhammad Ghori in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192. Thus came the end of the Hindu rule at Delhi. It then became the pivot of the Muslim rule in India, which continued till 1857 when the Mughal Empire ended.
When the last Mughal emperor who was declared leader of the Indian Mutiny or "First War of Independence" was captured and sent to Burma by the British. The uprising caused a lot of bloodshed before Delhi was brought under the British control. After a period of more than 50 years, Delhi was once again made capital of India in 1911.
Calcutta now Kolkata served as the British capital during this break period. With Indian Independence in 1947, the last representative of the British India, Lord Mountbatten lost all authority, and the democratically elected Congress government came to power with Jawaharlal Nehru as the first Prime Minister of India. Today, Delhi has the distinction of being the capital of largest secular democratic country in the world and is growing in all directions.
Delhi is India’s most prosperous state with a per capita income of Rs. 11,650. The state has best infrastructural facilities available in the country. Major industries are manufacture of Sports Goods, Radio & TV Parts, Plastic & PVC Goods, Textiles, Chemicals, Fertilizers, Soft Drinks, Hand & Machine tools, Leather Goods, Galvanizing & Electroplating, Printing etc.
Delhi Travel Information
Delhi is a city with magnetic attraction. Delhi was a witness of every scar India has suffered from time-to-time. Delhi has seen the struggle of the Indians to regain their freedom, Now Delhi stands proudly as a symbol of the strength, achievements and aspirations of we Indians.
Delhi should be first tourism destination to understand India and Indians deeply. There are many destinations to see.
The Qutab Minar, which is the tallest monument in India, ushered in the new Indo-Islamic style of architecture that was a fusion of the Indian and Mughal styles.
On the other hand, India Gate is a memorial in tribute to the soldiers martyred in the Afghan War is an example of Britsh architecture. It has the names of all these heroic men inscribed on it.
Red Fort, an example of the rich Mughal architecture, is another fascinating building, built with red sandstones. Now a days, Red Fort is used as a venue to the Independence Day parade of India.
Connaught Place is the most happening place in New Delhi. It is the central business district of New Delhi. A shopper's paradise- Connaught place is one of the most famous shopping destinations of India. It houses some of the best restaurants, discos and hotels of the city. Those in search of spiritual rejuvenation can visit the Lotus Temple, a beautiful white marble building and a place of worship for Bahai's.
Rivers of Delhi
Yamuna is the only main river flowing through Delhi. Yamuna is one of India’s most sacred rivers, Most of the city, including New Delhi, lies west of the river. East of the river is the Old City.
Education in Delhi
Today, Delhi is considered as the best place to pursue higher education. This is the reason that Delhi has attracted many students and researchers from all parts of the world. The overall literacy rate of Delhi at 81.82% is much higher than the national average literacy rate. The educational institutes in Delhi are managed by the NCT or by Private organizations. A 2001 survey tells that there were 2416 primary, 715 middle and 1576 secondary schools in Delhi. In addition, there were 131 colleges, which include 5 Medical and 8 Engineering colleges. Delhi has five universities; seven deemed universities and one Open University. English has been adopted as the common medium of study in the private schools in Delhi. The schools are affiliated to either the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ICSE) boards.
Due to diversity of people, The Makki Ki Roti and Sarson Ka Sag of Punjab; Momos from Sikkim; Chowmein from Mizoram; Dal - Bati Choorma from Rajasthan; Shrikhand, Pao-Bhaji and Puram Poli of Maharashtra; Macher Jhol from Bengal; Wazwan, the ceremonial Kashmiri feast; Idli, Dosa and Uttapam of South Indian and Sadya, the traditional feast of Kerala, all are available in Delhi. A delightful outlets of Indian food are the food stalls at Dilli Haat, here, the food of different states is available at very moderate rates. In Delhi the omnipresent tandoori chicken and tandoori roti, which, when freshly had from the tandoor, makes a delicious meal. This is often available at roadside dhabas at a moderate cost.
Arts & Culture of Delhi
Delhi is by nature a homogenous city, It is ready to assimilate all incoming influences, whether they are people, culture, or the languages.
During October to March, many events take place in the fields of the visual and performing arts. At Kamani Auditorium, the Chamber Theatre at Triveni Kala Sagam, FICCI Auditorium, the India International Center, Siri Fort, LTG Auditorium, Pragati Maidan and Sri Ram Center, where Delhites can enjoy the privilege of seeing, and listening to, the legendary gurus as well as their disciples.
Music lovers look forward to the Shankarlal, Dhrupad and Tansen Festivals in February and March and the Vishnu Digamber Festival in August, at which India's greatest musicians perform Roshanara Festivals of music and dance organized by Delhi Tourism.
October witnesses the popular Qutub Festivals where reputed musicians and dancers offer captivating renditions with the Qutub Minar as the backdrop. Film buffs eagerly await the National Film Festivals and the bi-annual International Film Festival, held in January. Apart from commercial cinema houses, films are periodically screened at the Max Mueller Bhawan, the Alliance Francaise, the Japan Cultural Center, the British Council Division, the Russian Center for Science and Cultural and the Hungarian Information Center.
People can see many galleries i.e. Art Heritage, Triveni Art Gallery, Sridharani Gallery, Art Today, Vadehra Art Gallery, Eicher Gallery, Gallery 42, Dhoomi Mal Art Centre, Gallery Escape, Lalit Kala Akademi, LGT Gallery, Gallery Ganesha, Gallery steps, AIFACS, Max Mueller Photo Gallery, British Council Divisio Gallery, Gallery Romain Rolland, Khirkee Gallery, the Village Gallery and at times the American Centre. Traditional crafts, too have long been practiced in Delhi.
The city was particularly well known for its silver and gold enameling, and zari or embroidery in gold thread. Master-craftersmen in both crafts still live in the Walled City where there are also miniature painters. Delhi also has fine potters, wooden toy makes, kite makers and lacquer craftsmen. In Old Delhi it is not unusual to come upon a traditional workshop.
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