Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)
Delhi is the symbol of old India and new ? even the stones here whisper to our ears of the ages of long ago and the air we breathe is full of the dust and fragrances of the past, as also of the fresh and piercing winds of the present. - Jawaharlal Nehru
Delhi, the capital of India is the third largest city of the world, exceeded in size by Calcutta and Mumbai. Delhi is situated in north central India and stands on the west bank of Yamuna river. It is bounded on the east by the state of Uttar Pardesh and on the north, west and south by Haryana. The eternal Yamuna has witnessed the glory and the tumultuous history of the 3000 year old Delhi. Delhi is spread over an area of 1483 sq. kilometers, 216 meters above sea level and has a population of around 14 million. The amalgamation of various cultures, traditions, religions has painted Delhi in colour which are brought from all over India. Delhi is a true cosmopolitan city always on the move. Delhi remains the centre of power. Once it was a city of royal power. Then it became the seat of colonial power. Later it was the seat of bureaucratic power. The seat of political power it has always been. Today it is emerging as an important centre for corporate power too. It is a perfect introduction to the cultural wealth, the complexities and dynamism of India. Delhi has always been the hub of activity, art, culture and the history of the whole country and continues to do so.
It is divided into two parts Old Delhi & New Delhi.
'Old' Delhi, the capital of Muslim India between the mid-17th and late 19th centuries, is full of formidable mosques, monuments and forts. The ancient Delhi of the Mughal emperors was surrounded by a wall and was a congested city of narrow bylanes. Though better known as Old Delhi, this area is also called Delhi. Old Delhi , Shah Jahan's seventeenth-century capital ( Shahjahanabad ), lies 2km or so further north.The Delhi Jn rly stn is in Old Delhi, the inter-state bus terminus is slightly to the north, at the Kashmiri Gate. Buses go to all over north and west India from the Kashmiri Gate. Near the Delhi Gate lies the Yamuna on the left and the Aruna Asaf Ali Rd on the right, ending at Ramlila Pavilion, the juncture of Old and New Delhi.
It's a lively area of colourful bazaars, narrow streets and barely controlled chaos. Monuments in sandstone and marble, which stand in assorted states of repair, make Delhi a veritable museum of Indo-Islamic architecture, seen at its best in the frenetic streets of Old Delhi. Old Delhi looks entirely different from the more modern New Delhi and south Delhi areas.
The other Delhi, the imperial city created as the capital of India by the British. In addition to its historic interest and role as the government centre, Delhi is a major travel gateway. In 1911, the British asked Lutyens to give new meaning to city development which is reflected in the architectural designs and sophistication that buildings in Delhi like Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, Connaught Place and various administrative buildings like the South and North blocks along the breathtaking view available from Raj Path. The capital of the Indian republic is at New Delhi, the planned city devised by the British. The smooth roads, modern houses and buildings and offices and departments attract tourist. As you come out of the New Delhi rly stn, in front is Paharganj and on the south Chemsford Road which intersect at Connaught Place. New Delhi, the imperial city created by the British Raj, is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings, and has a sense of order absent from other parts of the city.
Central New Delhi
The hub of the metropolis is Central New Delhi, an orderly plan of wide roads lined with sturdy colonial buildings which was established soon after the imperial capital of British India moved here in 1911. At its hub, the royal mall, Rajpath, runs from palatial Rashtrapati Bhavan, in the west, to the India Gate war memorial in the east. At the north edge of the new capital lies the thriving business centre, Connaught Place, where neon advertisements for Wimpy, American Express, hotels and countless airline offices adorn the flat roofs and colonnaded verandas of high white buildings that curve around a central park to form an almost perfect circle. Most of the airline offices, travel agents, banks and hotels are here. There are a number of cinemas and performing arts centres around Connaught Place, but Delhi's strict licensing laws effectively curtail nightlife. Central New Delhi also has its fair share of more recent high-rise offices and hotels, standing close to pre-British constructions such as the open-air observatory, Jantar Mantar, and a generous smattering of excellent museums covering arts and crafts and the lives of India's post-Independence politicians.
Most of the early settlements of Delhi, including its first cities, are to be found not in "Old Delhi" but in SOUTH DELHI, the area south of Connaught Place and Rajpath. Although the rapid expansion of suburban Delhi is swallowing up the countryside, the area remains littered with monuments from the past, and pockets of almost untouched rural peace make it a fascinating blend of the contemporary, the pastoral and the historic.
|Delhi at a glance :|
|State:||National Capital Territory / Union Territory of Delhi|
|STD code:||011 |
|Max. Temp.:||46 Degree Celcius|
|Min. Temp.:||04 Degree Celcius|
|Winter:||Late Nov.-Early Feb.|
|Spring:||March to Mid April|
|Summer:||April end to Aug end|
|Autumn:||Sep to Nov. end|
|Best Season:||October to March|
|Area:||1,483 sq km|
|Density:||9,339.52 sq km|
|Language:||Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and English and most other Indian Languages|
|Classification:||National capital territory|
|Chief Minister:||Sheila Dixit|
|Major Political parties:||Congress, BJP|
|Gross domestic product:||USD 500 billion approx.(2003)|
Manufacture of razor blades, sports goods, radio and T.V. parts, plastic and PVC goods, textiles, chemicals, fertilizers, soft drinks, hand and machine tools
|Major Crops:|| Wheat, Maize, Bazra, Jowar, Vegetable and Fruit crops|
Delhi is a cultural nerve centre of India. The cultural activity is at its best during the season from October to March when a host of dance and music performances from all parts of the country are held. Theatre is equally popular and the local institutions regularly organise scripts & plays.
The hand embroidary in silver and gold thread on silk & other fabrics has been done for past hundreds of years. Delhi offers a multitude of objects direct from various part of the country.
Delhi offers a variety of cuisines and a large number of restaurants which serve Indian & Mughlai food. Besides speciality restaurant for Chinese, Continental, Mexican and fast food outlets are in plenty.
As a major entry point for India many major international flights go through New Delhi. It is also extensively connected by air, road and rail with the rest of the country.
|Major cities linked:|
Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Port Blair, Thiruvanathapuram, Vadodara, Pune.
|Domestic airport:||Palam Airport|
|International airport:||Indira Gandhi International Airport|
Capital of India, separate state, Second largest metropolitan city in India, Industrial & IT Hub, Education center par excellence. Seat of government and influence
|Other Facts :|
| ||Delhi has more cars than the other three metros put together. (One million cars, 3.8 million vehicles) Last year 4000 cars were stolen.|| ||There are more cell phones in Delhi (8 lakhs) than in Mumbai.
|| ||More than 500 people are murdered every year in Delhi.
|| ||More than one woman is raped every day.
|| ||Eight houses are burgled every day.
|| ||Every day there are 3 kidnappings of women.
|| ||Kidnappers demanded more than Rs. 11 crore as ransom in the year 2000.
|| ||Delhi together with Gurgaon and Noida contributed Rs. 6146 crore worth of IT software and services exported in 2000 against Karnataka's Rs 4267 crore.
|| ||Delhi receives 40 per cent of the 20 lakh tourists to the country every year.
|| ||Until the 1960's Delhi had 11 soccer grounds but now only has one. In contrast Delhi has seen 14 golf courses added in the last 5 years to the cities landscape.
|| ||Cyber crime, tender mafia, Islamic militancy, and economic offenses are on the rise in Delhi while inter-state extortion rackets, kidnappings, robberies, and Sikh militancy are decreasing.
|| ||Every decade Delhi adds 40 lakh migrants.
|| ||Last year 1842 people were killed on Delhi's roads. The current average is now 6 per day.
|| ||Delhi adds roughly 500 000 to its population every year.
|| ||Nearly 50 per cent of Multi National Corporations that have entered Indian since the 1990s have chosen Delhi as their base.
|| ||Two new restaurants are added every day to the city. But one-third of its population lives in slums and unauthorized colonies.
|| ||More than 60 per cent of the effluents channeled into the Yamuna is untreated and the water table in some of its most posh areas has receded to 30 m below the surface.
|Read more (history)………….||