Delhi (India)

BRIEF
delhi

This is the capital city of India, and can be called as a major gateway to India. Delhi is one of the most important metropolitan in India, as it is the city of power. It has a very good combination of both modern, as well as ancient culture.

In these 3000 years of its existence, there has been the origin of seven more cities, where the traditional Indian capital is. Strategic location, mixture of modern and Indian culture, rich history, medieval market, beside the modern ones etc are the main reasons for choosing it, as the seat of power. Delhi is a city waiting to be explored.

It is also known as the Headquarters of Indian politics, as most of the heads of the Indian government and other political parties; reside here, including the Prime Minister, and President of the country.

HISTORY

Down the ages, the region in and around modern Delhi saw Lalkot built in the mid-11th century; Siri established by Allauddin Khilji; Tughlakabad and Ferozabad built by the Tuglaks, followed by the city of the Lodis; and then came Shahjahanbad, the capital of the Mughals under Shah-Jahan.

New Delhi also reflects the legacy, the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the distinction, between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. So, wherever the visitor goes, he will invariably confront the past of the city.

CULTURE

The throbbing presence of Delhi pulls one out of the reflections of a mute past. The divisions in the Walled City and New Delhi also mark their varied lifestyles. The Walled City is all about traditions, whereas New Delhi, in contrast, is a city living up to contemporary international standards.

FOOD

Most five-star hotels have very good restaurants where high prices and the additional 18% taxes are well suited to diners with deep pockets or expense accounts. However, given the high percentage of bellies in Delhi, you know that there are great tastes waiting to be had at lower prices.

Jama Masjid the meat lover's institution is the house of real Mughlai food. The pastas, pizzas and entrees are done in olive oil to bring alive the real flavours of Italy.

SHOPPING

Upmarket arcades such as Ansal Plaza, South Extension and Greater Kailash markets and Santushti are comfortable places to shop for branded products. Hauz Khas Village is the perfect place for browsing though art and designwear. Dilli Haat has a wide display of Indian handicrafts, along with regional food stalls.

ENTERTAINMENT

Delhi is a fun place to be in. There is lots to do and lots to see. At one point of time, not too long ago, Delhi was considered to have no night life whatsoever. Not any more! There are pubs and bars opening up, so are night clubs and places where you can go and do some bowling perhaps.

So what does one categorizeas entertainment to start with? We thought of some topics...which we list below. You can click on any of the links below and get to know more details about the topic. We have included what we thought must be categorized as entertainment. We do not assume that the list is exhaustive. So maybe you should let us know what else you would like to see on these pages. We shall gradually keep adding to the list. Do keep coming back for updates.

City Info
LOCATION

Location Northern India, bordered by the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

How to Reach
By Air

Being the capital of India, Delhi is well connected to all other places across the country and the world. Airport: The international terminal, Indira Gandhi International Airport and Palam, the domestic airport, are located 4.5 km away from each other and 25 km from the city centre. It takes approximately 45 minutes to drive to the Palam Airport and another 15 minutes to reach the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Both airports are equipped with snack bars, restaurants, a business centre and other facilities.

By Rail

The Rajdhani Express runs from Delhi to all the other major cities. Trains to smaller cities also run from Delhi, which is a junction for people travelling to other parts of India. Railway station: There are two major stations in Delhi: the Old Delhi Railway Station (situated in the Walled City) and the New Delhi Railway Station (close to Connaught Place). Apart from these, there are many smaller stations that are situated in different localities. Hazrat Nizamuddin Station, 4 km from India Gate, is one of the bigger stations from where many trains operate. Sarai Rohilla has trains departing to the western states.

By Road

The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) has buses coming in and departing for all the states in the northern region. Bus terminus: Delhi is linked by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus service and state roadways of the neighbouring states to all important cities and destinations in Northern India. The Inter State Bus Terminus, focal point for all inter-city bus services, is located at Kashmere Gate.

CLIMATE

The summers are hot and dry with the temperatures ranging between 25C and 44C. The winters are cold and the temperature ranges between 2C and 16C.

DELHI Sightseeing
India Gate
india

This is 42ms high stone of triumph, stands at the eastern end of the Rajpath. It bears the names of 85,000 Indian army soldiers, who died in the campaigns of WW I, the Northwest Frontier operations of the same time, and the 1919 Afghan fiasco.

Red Fort
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The red sandstone wall of Lal Qila, the Red Fort, extends for 2 km, and varies in height from 18ms on the riverside, to 33ms on the city side. Started by Shah Jahan in 1638, the construction of the massive fort was completed in 1648. But he was never able, to move his capital from Agra to this new city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi, for he was imprisoned in Agra Fort by his son Aurangzeb. Dating from the very peak of Mughal power, the Mughal reign from Delhi was a short one. However Aurangzeb was the first and last great Mughal emperor of India.

Qutub Minar
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One of the earliest Muslim monuments in India, it was erected in (c.1230) by Iltutmish of the Delhi Sultanate. Built in the early 13th century, a few kilometers south of Delhi, the Red Sandstone tower is covered with relief work and has a symbolic function, its a Victory Tower, for glorifying Islam's victory against idolaters. The highest monument of India, Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak, to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. An indoor staircase leads to the outside galleries, from where the muezzin calls for prayer. The monument is decked out with huge strips of Koranic verses. The surrounding archeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Moslem art built in 1311, and two mosques, including Quwwatul-Islam, the oldest in northern India, made from materials from about twenty Brahmin temples.

Jama Masjid
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The largest in India, and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan; Jama Masjid is the great mosque of Old Delhi. It has three great gateways, four angle towers and two minarets constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. Broad flights of steps, lead up to the imposing gateways. The Eastern gateway was originally, only opened for the emperor, but is now only open on Friday and Muslim festival days. So large is the mosque's courtyard, that it can hold 25,000 people.

Rashtrapati Bhavan
 rashtrapati

The official residence of the President of India, it stands at the opposite end of the Rajpath, from India Gate. This palace-like building is an interesting blend of Mughal and western architectural styles, the most obvious Indian feature being the huge copper dome. Attached is a Mughal garden, which remains open to the public, only in February and early March. Prior to Independence this was the viceroy's residence.

Raj Ghat
rajghat

Mahatma Gandhi was cremated here in 1948. This sprawling site, on the banks of the Yamuna, is marked by a brick platform, flanked by an eternal flame, surrounded by lush green lawns and imposing boundary walls of concrete.

Sansad Bhavan
sansad

Although a large and imposing building, Sansad Bhavan, the Indian parliament building, stands almost hidden and virtually unnoticed, at the end of Sansad Marg. A circular colonnaded structure, its relative physical insignificance in the grand scheme of New Delhi, shows how the focus of Power has shifted, from the viceroy's residence, which was given pride of place during the time of the British Raj, when New Delhi was conceived.

Other
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CORONATION DURBAR SITE - This is a sobering sight for people interested in the Raj. Standing in a desolate field, this lone obelisk is where, in 1877 and 1903, the great theatrical durbars, featuring the full set of Indian rulers paid homage to the British monarch. FEROZ SHAH KOTLA - Between the old and new Delhi's, lies the Feroz Shah Kotla, erected by Feroz Shah Tuglaq in 1354, the ruins of Ferozabad, the fifth city of Delhi. This fortress-palace is inscribed by Asoka edict and it was 13m high stand stone of Asoka pillar. MOTI MASJID - Built in 1659 by Aurangzeb, for his own personal use and security, the small and totally enclosed Pearl Mosque, made of marble, is next to the baths. One curious feature of the mosque is that, its outer walls are oriented exactly to be in symmetry with the rest of the Red Fort, while the inner walls are slightly askew, so that the mosque has the correct orientation with Mecca. NIZAM-UD-DIN'S SHRINE - Close to Humayun's tomb, is the shrine of the Muslim Sufi saint, Nizam-ud-din Chishti. His shrine, with its large tank, is one of several interesting tombs here. It's worth visiting the shrine at around sunset on Thursday, as it is a popular time for worship. PURANA QUILA - Just South-east of India Gate and north of Humayun's tomb and Nizamuddin train station is the Purana Quila. This is the supposed site of Indraprastha, the original city of Delhi. RAJPATH - Rajpath or the Kings- way is another focus of Lutyens New Delhi. Immensely broad, it is flanked on either side by ornamental ponds. The Republic Day parade is held here every 26th January, and millions of people gather to enjoy the spectacle. SECRETARIAT BUILDINGS - The north and south Secretariat buildings lie on either side of Rajpath on raising hill. These imposing buildings, topped with chhatris (small domes), now house the ministries of Finance and External Affairs respectively.

Chandni Chowk
chandanichowk

This main street of Old Delhi is the colorful shopping bazaar, known as Chandni Chowk. It has very sharp contrast to the open, spacious streets of New Delhi. Its eastern end is a Digambara Jain Gurdwara (temple), with a small marble courtyard, surrounded by a colonnade. There is an interesting bird hospital here, run by the Jains.

Connaught Place
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A business and tourist center, it's a vast traffic circle, with an architecturally uniform series, of colonnaded buildings around the edge, mainly devoted to shops, banks, restaurants and airline offices. Willing to shop, you can have any and every thing at your disposal. It's spacious, but busy, and the people will be willing to provide you with everything imaginable, from an airline ticket to Timbuktu, to having your fortune read. The outer circle is known as Connaught Circus.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple
lakshmi

To the west of Connaught Place, the industrialist B.D. Birla erected this garish modern temple in 1938. It's dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and good fortune and is commonly known as Birla Mandir.

Bahai Temple
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Lying to the east of Siri Fort is the Bahai Temple shaped like a lotus flower. Completed in 1986, it is set amongst pools and gardens, and adherents of any Faith, are free to visit the temple and pray, or meditate silently, according to their own religion. It looks spectacular at dusk, particularly from the air, when it is floodlit, but is rather disappointing close up. The temple lies just inside the Outer Ring Road, 12 km southeast of the city center.