The capital of India, the “Dilwallon ka Shehr”, the heart of India, Delhi is the centre of all! Delhi is the centre of education, politics, tourism, health, fashion, transport and many more. Delhi is a place of culture, festivals, traditions, history and present, cuisine, bazaars, museums, monuments and people. It is the second most populous city after Mumbai in India and the fourth largest city in the world.
Delhi is a blend of the past and the contemporary. Delhi is a composition of two parts- Old Delhi and New Delhi. While Old Delhi, the capital of Islamic India, gives a look of narrow lanes and old buildings, New Delhi, a creation of the British, is a spacious place with impressing buildings.
Delhi: Past and Present
One of the biggest metropolises in the world, Delhi is known as the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The etymological meaning of Delhi has varied connotations. Delhi is said to be derived from the word “Dhillu” or “Dilu” (a king), “Dhili” (loose) Dehleez or Dehali (threshold or entrance) and Dili or Del in Persian which means “the heart”.
The history of Delhi can be canvassed through the numerous ‘Dilli(s)’ built over the ages – Indraprastha, Dhili, Mehrauli, Siri, Tughluqabad, Jahanpanah, Ferozabad, Dinpanah, Lodi Complex, Shahjahanabad, and Lutyen’s Delhi. Delhi today is divided into nine districts. These districts came into being in January 1997. The districts of Delhi are primarily administrative and revenue districts.
They are Central Delhi, North Delhi, South Delhi, East Delhi, North East Delhi, South West Delhi, New Delhi, North West Delhi and West Delhi. Each district of Delhi is headed by a Deputy Commissioner.
Geography and Climate of Delhi
Delhi is situated on the banks of river Yamuna. The city is located at 28.38° N and 77.13° E on the northern part of India. Delhi is bordered by Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. The climate of Delhiis extreme. It is extremely cold during winters and very hot in the summers. The winter season starts from November and lasts till the end of January.
Temperature in winter drops down to as low as 2-3 degrees C during this time. Delhi could be seen covered by a blanket of dense fog and cold waves blow during this time of the year. Summer in Delhi is an experience of high temperature with occasional dust storms during the day. Temperature rises to as high as 45 degrees C in April and June.
Hot western winds called “Loo” blows during the day time. The monsoon season starts from July and lasts till September. The best time to visit Delhi is during autumn and spring season that is October-November and February-March as temperature is moderate and the climate is pleasant during this time.
Culture of Delhi
The city of Delhi was built, demolished and rebuilt innumerable times by the rulers ruling it. These incidents had an effect on the building architecture, language, art, rituals and customs and cuisine of Delhi. The city of Delhi has always been vibrant in all aspects of life. Be it art and culture, religion or lifestyle Delhi has always established itself as a world class city. The culture of Delhiis a mix of traditional and the contemporary.
The culture of Delhi could be seen in its Art galleries, Auditoriums, Adventure clubs, spread all throughout the capital. It celebrates itself through the aesthetic paintings housed in the National Gallery of Modern Art and nurtures its body by the books of the British Council Library.
The kirtan of Hare Rama Hare Krishna of the ISKON temple, the divine “prasada” of the Bangla Saheb Gurudwara nurtures its religious senses. The culture of travelling by the Delhi metro and the peppy dresses of youngsters are another significant aspect of the culture of Delhi. Food of Delhi stands apart!
The hot, steaming momos of a corner shop in Greater Kailash, the delectable gol gappas and parathas of Chandni Chowk, the innumerable food reflects the culture of Delhi.
Festivals Celebrated in Delhi
Dilliwallahs or Delhites as they are known are nowhere less in celebrating thefestivals of India . Festivals like Holi, Diwali, Dussehra, Janmashtmi, Lohri, Shivaratri, Rakshbandhan, Buddha Purnima, Durga Puja, Chhath, Eid, Navratri, Mahavir Jayanti and Guru Purab are celebrated with pomp and gaiety here. The city celebrates National Days like Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti with much enthusiasm.
Tourism of Delhihas a lot to offer to one who comes to the city or to one who is a resident here. Right from the heritage monuments and historical spots of every thing here speaks loud about the glorious history of the city.
For walks or recreational activities there are parks and gardens like the Mughal garden, Lodi garden, the garden of five senses, Shalimar garden, Nehru park, Buddha Jayanti park, Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in the city. For the pilgrims the city has the ever beautiful Akshardham Temple, Chattarpur Mandir/Temple, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Lotus temple, ISKCON temple, Church, and the list goes on.
Shopping in Delhi
It is a usual festival like occasion everyday in the streets and markets of Delhi. People are addicted when it comes to shopping in Delhi. The Delhi roads are always busy and Delhi is also always busy. The city never sleeps. People throng the city streets acquiring all that the city has to offer. The streets, markets and bazaars of Delhi are a delightful experience. Delhi has the most famous markets and streets here. These streets speak loud about their glory, the most famous being Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, etc.
Transportation in Delhi
Delhi is well connected within the city, to other cities and to the world by the best transport facilities. While international connectivity is made through major airways, the internal linking among the cities of India is made by domesticairlines, rails and road services. Delhi is very well connected with international and national places by domestic and international flights.
All major airlines have their flights operating from Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi. Major cities in India are connected by the Domestic Airport in Delhi. Delhi again has a very good network of the Railways. Delhi has three important railway stations i.e the New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.
The mode of transportation within the city has been made easy with the introduction of Metro Rail which is economical and time saving at the same time. The introduction of CNG as a fuel has lowered the risk of pollution in the city. DTC buses, auto rickshaws and cab and taxi services help in the mode of communication of the people. And yes, who can forget Delhi's pride -Delhi Metro.
Delhi Facts and Figures
Geographical Area: 1,483 sq km Altitude: 293 m above sea level Latitude: 28.3 degrees N Longitude: 77.13degrees E Population (2001): 13.85 million Rainfall: 714 mm Best time to visit: October to March STD Code: 011