New Delhi

New Delhi

New Delhi India – one of the World’s Top Global Cities

By Sangeeta Sinha

New Delhi India

Lotus Temple in New Delhi India.

After the serious problems that cropped up due to Bengal Partition in 1905, the British rulers shifted to Delhi in 1911. Here, they wanted to build a new city that would also serve as their capital after Calcutta.

Those days, Calcutta was the capital city of British India. After the completion of the new city in 1931, they named it ‘New Delhi’. The already-existing old city named was ‘Old Delhi’—and moved their base here to New Delhi.

Edwin Lutyens, a famous British architect, planned the city of New Delhi, and got it built around Janpath and Rajpath—the two promenades.

After India’s Independence in 1947, Delhi became a Union Territory in 1956 with the Lieutenant Governor shouldering the administrative responsibilities. After 35 years, in 1991, Union Territory of Delhi changed to National Capital Territory of Delhi under the Constitution Act.

Some consider New Delhi the microcosm of India. It is one of the world’s top global cities with strengths in the arts, education, entertainment, commerce, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, and professional services. It’s also one of the world’s leading candidates in research and development, tourism and transport, all contributing to its prominence.

Some Delhi Facts

(from http://www.delhitourism.gov.in/delhitourism/aboutus/index.jsp)

 'Martyr's Column' at the Gandhi Smriti

The ‘Martyr’s Column’ at the Gandhi Smriti, the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi in 1948. Credit: Wilson Loo Kok Wee


Area: 1,483 sq. km
Latitudinal parallel: 28.3oN
Longitudinal meridian: 77.13oE
Altitude: 293 m above sea level
Population: 13.85million (Census 2001)
Average Temperature: 45oC (Max) – usually in May – Jun, 5oC (Min) – usually in Dec – Jan
Desirable Clothes: Woolen for winters and light cotton for summers
Rainfall: 714 mm
Monsoon: July to mid-September
Population: 13.85 (Census 2001)
Season: Extreme climate with very hot summer and very cold winter
Best time to visit: October to March
STD Code: 011
Languages: Hindi, English, Urdu and Punjabi
Religions: Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Bahai Faith

Delhi’s Districts

New Delhi, the Capital City of India being the center of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Situated on the banks of the famous river Yamuna (because of availability of fertile alluvial soil for agriculture), it is one of the 9 districts of Delhi, and is located within Delhi’s metropolis.

Delhi’s nine districts are:

The National Museum in New Delhi

The National Museum in New Delhi is one of the largest museums in India. Photo credit: Miya.m

  1. New Delhi
  2. North Delhi
  3. North East Delhi
  4. North West Delhi
  5. South Delhi
  6. South West Delhi
  7. East Delhi
  8. West Delhi
  9. Central Delhi

The major part of Delhi—considered a part of the Aravalli Range of mountains—is a plain area. It is divided into Delhi Cantonment, Delhi, and New Delhi. There are three regions of the city’s topography—the Plain, the Yamuna Flood Plan, and the Ridge.

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) governs New Delhi, and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) governs other areas within Delhi.

Keeping Delhi as a center point, one can visit many hilly places of North India.

The India Gate

The India Gate built in 1931 is the national monument of India.

History in Brief

The famous Indian epic, Mahabharata (goes back 3000 years) had featured Delhi as ‘Indraprastha’, a fabled city. Fabled or not, evidences suggest that there was a settlement around the River Yamuna about 2500 years ago (between 1000 BCE and 4th century ACE). Ptolemy, who had visited India around 2nd century ACE, had mentioned Delhi as ‘Dilli’ in his writings.

In 736 ACE, Delhi is known to have come into being with ‘Lal Kot’, the walled citadel, being founded by the Tomar Rajputs. The Chauhans took over in the 12th century and renamed Lal Kot as ‘Qila Rai Pithora’. After the Chauhans, Delhi changed many hands when Slave Dynasty took over.

It was the beginning of a major Muslim rule. Thereafter, many other non-Indian dynasties came and went—Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Sayyids, Lodis. It is from this Lodis that Babur took over the reign of Delhi; hence, started the Mughal Dynasty (1526 to 1857). The powerful Mughal rulers were Babar, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangazeb. They made Delhi their seat and ruled over India from here.

During Emperor Jahangir’s reign (17th century), the East India Company had come to India, and with time (after Aurangazeb), they reduced the Mughal rulers to mere puppet kings. Delhi was captured by the British in 1803; they retained their hold on Delhi till such time it was decided—when King George V came to India—to shift the capital from Calcutta to Delhi.

Important Places of Interest

Indira Gandhi International Airport

Indira Gandhi International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world and the busiest airports in South Asia. Photo credit: Ramesh NG

  • Jantar Mantar: One of the oldest astronomical observatories in India and world, it was built by Sawai Raja Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1752. The other four observatories, built by the same king between 1752 and 1760, are at Mathura, Jaipur, Ujjain, and Varanasi. It has a huge version of Spherical Sundial that works based on the position of the sun. There are three instruments within this observatory:
  •                     1. Samrat Yantra: Or the giant hour sundial, has a quadrant with graduations showing hours, minutes, and seconds, on its either side.
                        2. Mishra Yantra: Indicates noon time in various cities of the world.
                        3. Jayprakash Yantra: It has hollowed-out hemispheres where the concave surfaces bear markings that helped in aligning the position of the stars.

  • Gurudwara Bangla Sahib: Its gold-plated dome and white facade towers attract tourists from everywhere. It is built on the site where once, the eighth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Harkishen Dev, stayed in 1664. Once can also visit Baba Baghel Singh Museum situated within the complex.
  • Lotus Temple (Bahai Temple): Shaped like ‘lotus’, it is made of white marble. It belongs to the Bahai faith. Ponds and gardens surrounding this temple is a good spot for picnic.
  • India Gate: It is a war memorial built in memory of those Indian soldiers who had lost their lives in First World War fighting for the British army.
  • Qutab Minar: An excellent example of early Indo-Islamic architecture, it is the tallest brick minaret in the world built in 1206. Its five distinct storeys are covered with Quaranic verses and intricate carvings.
  • Red Fort: Built by Shah Jahan, one of the Mughal Emperors, in 1638, this monument reminds every one of the powerful Mughal rule. Red sandstones had been used in building this monument.
  • The Secretariat Building in New Delhi

    The Secretariat Building houses Ministries of Defence, Finance, Home Affairs and External Affairs. It also houses the Prime Minister’s office. Credit: Laurie Jones

  • Chandni Chowk: It is the main but very crowded, chaotic, congested street of Old Delhi. As so, it is also one of the busiest and oldest marketplaces in India. The best thing to enjoy here is street food—mouthwatering, and cheapest.
  • Humayun’s Tomb: Built in 1570 in Mughal architecture with beautiful surrounding gardens, it is the tomb of Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor.
  • Lodi Gardens: Built around the tombs of the 15th and 16th century rulers by the British in 1936, the vast gardens provide retreat from city life.
  • Garden of Five Senses: Designed especially to awaken our five senses, the garden displays a foray of rocks, murals, spiral walkways, flowers, sculptures, waterfalls, and ceramic bells. It is a beautiful garden to relax after a tiring day.

Other places worth seeing are Feroze Shah Kotla, Gole Dak Khana, Kali Bari Temple, Kalkaji Temple, Birla Mandir, and many churches, mosques, and temples.

Climate

New Delhi, being a land-locked city, has Subtropical climate with long summers that are hot and humid and short winters that are dry and cool. It does not have a specific rainy season as such.

Generally, the hottest month is May with an average temperature ranging between 102°F to 110°F. January temperature averages at 45°F. July and August are the months with highest precipitation.

train  at Delhi Metro station at Yamuna Bank

A new train, made in Germany by Bombardier, enters the Delhi Metro station at Yamuna Bank. Credit: Le Rétroviseur

Transportation

Public transport in Delhi is provided by buses, auto rickshaws and a metro rail system. Buses are the most popular means of transport catering to about 60% of the total demand. The New Delhi Railway Station which is the main railway station in Delhi is the second busiest. It is one of the largest stations in India and connects Delhi with the rest of the country.

The New Delhi Railway Station, which is the main railway station in Delhi, is the second busiest and one of the largest stations in India. It connects Delhi with the rest of the country. Delhi has one of the highest road densities in India. Private vehicles account for about 30% of the total demand for transportation.

 

Have you been to New Delhi?   If so, add your insights below about this interesting travel destination.  

Best Time to Visit

According to Delhi’s Official Tourism Website the best time to visit Delhi is from October to March when the weather is at its best. During this period flowers are at their blooming best, the weather is pleasant and enjoyable to experience Incredible Delhi.

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New Delhi

 

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