Delhi

Capital
New Delhi
Population
13.8 million
Area
1483 km²
Languages
Hindi, English and Punjabi

Best time to visit
October - March
Climate °C
November - March: 21 - 30 degrees
May - June: Intolerable hot
July - September: Monsoon

About

Delhi is usually the most used entry point into India since it is well connected with all major airlines. It is also well linke to all parts af the country and is an ideal pace to explore the north. However if Delhi is you first experience of India be prepared to be shocked. Coming from the west especially you will most likely experience it as complete mayhem, billion of people, pollution, noise, hassle, dirt, smell, beggars, cows and a complete anarchy on the roads.

However if you allow yourself more time in Delhi you will soon notice its charm and the rich history that it contains. Delhi is both one of the oldest and newest cities in the world. The contrasts are enourmous and may represent the contrasts that are descriptive of the whole country.

Modern Delhi spreads over the remains of several older city centers that once ruled the country. Among them are Shahjahanabad, the 7th city (Old Delhi), which was build by Shah Jahan in the 17th century. This part of Delhi consists of narrow alleyways, packed markets and houses are build very close together. Here you also find The Red Fort and Jama Masji.

South of Old Delhi, lies New Delhi, a with spacious boulevards shaded by leafy trees, beutifully designed rundabouts with flowerarrangements and parks. New Delhi was planned and designed by the British architect Edwars Lutyen and was initiated in 1931.

The other cities include Qutb Minar, Indraprastha, Jahanpanah Firozbad, Lal Kot, Purana Quila, Siri and Tughluqabad.

Delhi, is today, one of the fastest growing cities of India. Here, remnants of the past survive side by side with skyscrapers, residential colonies and bustling commercial complexes. The city houses some of the finest museums in the country. Its boutiques and shopping arcades offer access to a wealth of traditional and contemporary crafts, from all over the country. It has specialty restaurants to please the gourmet, open parks and gardens ablaze with flowers, and in winter months, particularly, an amazing plethora of cultural events. Its multi - layered existence is tantalizing, and can entice the curious traveller into a fascinating journey of discovery.

How to get here

Air
All the major airlines in the world fly through Delhi. Domestic air links over Delhi from all the major cities in the country. The Airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport just outside Delhi.

Rail
Trains run from all the parts of the country to Delhi. For nearby places like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Gwalior, Bhopal, Lucknow and Kanpur, the Shatabdi Express is recommended.

Bus
Buses from all the major places in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are available for getting to Delhi.

Places to visit

Red Fort - India Gate - Jama Masjid - Chandni Chowk - Humayun's Tomb Hauz Kauz - Qutab Minar - Raj Ghat - Lodi Gardens - Bahai Temple

.: Red Fort
It got its name becasue of the red stone with which it is built. The Red Fort is one of the most outstanding palaces in the world. It was from this fort the British banished the last Mughal ruler, Bhadur Shah Zafar, marking the end of the three century long Mughal rule. It was also from here the first prime minister of India, pandit Jawharlal Nehru, announced to the nation that India was free form colonial rule.

The mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, (who also build the Taj Mahal) after ruling from Agra for 11 years, decided to move to Delhi and laid the foundation stone of the Red Fort in 1618. With a boundary of almost 1.5 miles, the fort is an irregular octagon and has two entrances, the Lahore Gate and Delhi Gate.

East and west, old and new, tradition and modernity, powerty and extravagance. The contrasts are overwhelming - mind boggling!

.: India Gate
Straight down the road from Rashtrapati Bhavan is India Gate, which is a memorial dedicated to the Unknown Soldier. Designed by Lutyens, the 42 metre high structure is a war memorial in honor of the soldiers who died during the Second World War.

.: Jama Masjid
Work on the Jama Masjid mosque was begun in 1650 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It is loacted opposite the Red Fort and based on the plan and design of Ostad Khalil, a that time great sculpturor. More than 5,000 people worked for 6 years to complete the largest mosque in India.

.: Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk ( Moonlight Square) is opposite the Red Fort and is a market that hubs with activity all through the year. The area was laid out by Shahjahan's daughter, Jahanara. The water in a pool reflected the moonlight and then flowed into a channel that flowed through the avenue. It is a crowded place and normally there is a maze of traffic that one has to negotiate almost every second.

.: Humayun's Tomb
This tomb, which was built by emperor Humayun's wife, took eight years to complete and is regarded as an example of the early Mughal architecture. The emperor's wife, Begai Begum, was buried in the tomb and the structure is the first of its kind built in the centre of a well-planned garden. The combination of white marble and red sandstone was a great influence on later Mughal architecture. It is generally regarded as a prototype of the famed Taj Mahal of Agra.

.: Hauz Kauz
The Royal Tank (Hauz Khas) was excavated in 1300 AD by Alauddin Khalji to supply water to his new capital Siri. Today the ruins of a madarsa are to be seen here. This theological college was built at a later date by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and his tomb also stands close by. The complex is surrounded by parkland and the little village of Hauz Khas is now an attractive shopping area. There is also a deer park in the area.

.: Qutab Minar
A Unesco world heritage site. Qutab Minar lies 15 km to the south of Connaught Circus at Lal kot. The 72.5 meter high Pillar stands as a victory symbol of a Muslim King Kutub-ud-din-Aibak in India. The Tower was erected to cast the shadow of God over both East and West. Aayaat from Quran is also inscribed. The 5 storeyed Qutub Minar is a remarkable instance of sculpture in India.

.: Raj Ghat
Is located on the banks of the river Yamuna. 4 km away from Janpath to the northeast of Feroz Shah near Delhi Gate. Here the mortal remains of Mahatma (The Great soul) Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) were cremated on the evening of January 31, 1948. A simple open platform inscribed with the Mahatma's last words, 'Hey Ram' (Oh God) is set in a garden with fountains and a variety of exotic trees.

.: Lodi Gardens
A Splendid landscaped garden surrounds the 15th century tombs of the Lodi Kinds. Ibrahim Lodi the last Lodi ruler was defeated in 1526 by Babur who established the Mugual Empire in India.

.: Bahai Temple
A recent architectural wonder of the Bahai faith. Beautifully designed, the Baha’i House of worship (also known as the Lotus Temple) is built in the shape of a lotus. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquility. Nine pools of water around the structure ad to the illusion of a lotus floating in water



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