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
Delhi today is divided into nine districts. These districts came into being in January 1997. Before that Delhi was constituted in only one district, with its headquarters at Tis Hazari. 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
The climate of Delhi is extreme. It is extremely cold during winters and very hot in the summers. The weather usually remains dry except for two-three months of humidity. 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 culture of Delhi could be seen in its Art galleries, Auditoriums, Cinema Halls, Malls, Hotels, Restaurants, Amusement Parks, Cafes, Adventure clubs, Yoga centers, Pubs and Discotheques, Ice Cream Parlors, Bakeries, and Markets spread all throughout the capital. The culture of the cosmopolitan city Delhi comes alive in the classical dance performances in the Kamani auditorium. 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 chhole bhature, samosa, chai, Aloo Chat, Kachori, Dahi Bhalla, Chole Bhature, Parantha, Kababs, Tandoori chicken, Biryani, Butter Chicken, Jalebi, Kulfi, Lassi and Banta, the burgers and the pizzas of the Mc Donald, the Nirulas, the Pizza Huts, the KFCs and the Domino’s reflects the culture of Delhi.
Festivals Celebrated in Delhi
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, Kalkaji temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Gurudwara Sis Ganj, Jama Masjid, Nizamuddin Dargah, Sacred Heart Cathedral/Church, St James Church, and the list goes on.
Shopping in Delhi
Delhi has the most famous markets and streets here. These streets speak loud about their glory, the most famous being Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Janpath, Khan Market, Kamla Nagar, Karol Bagh, Sarojini Nagar, Rajouri Garden Market, Central market of Lajpat Nagar, Paharganj Market, Palika Bazaar, Khari Baoli, Kharak Singh Marg, Bengali Market, Darya Ganj market, Dilli Haat, Greater Kailash, Jwala Heri Market, Kirti Nagar, Lodhi Colony market, Nehru Place, Sadar Bazaar, South Extension, Sundar Nagar, Tibetan Market, Vasant Kunj, and Yashwant Place.
Transportation in Delhi
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
Altitude: 293 m above sea level
Latitude: 28.3 degrees N
Longitude: 77.13degrees E
Population (2001): 13.85 million
Average Temperature: 45 degrees C (Max), 5 degrees C (Min)
Rainfall: 714 mm
Languages: Hindi, English, Urdu and Punjabi
Religions: Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Bahai Faith
Best time to visit: October to March
STD Code: 011