Delhi, the capital city of India, stands upright as a follower of Delhi Sultanate, the heritage of Mughal Empire and a marvel gifted from the British. Often described as “Heart of India”, Delhi comes across as a city of richness, diversity and power. With a population of about 12.5 million in its territory and 22.2 million in the National Capital Regions (NCR): Gurgaon, Faridabad , Noida and Ghaziabad, it is the eighth most populous city in the world.
Lying almost in the Gangetic plains (northern India) Delhi is located on the banks of river Yamuna. It shares its eastern border with Uttar Pradesh and the western, southern and northern with Haryana.
Delhi has an extreme climate with hot, dry and long summers stretching from March to October and brief but extremely chilly winters from November to February. Monsoons, short and mild, strike Delhi at around the end of June, bringing respite from the Delhi ‘loo’ (hot dry winds) along with displeasure of humidity.
Delhi offers rich and diverse forms of art and culture in the backdrop of scenic retreat to all its tourists.
It houses a plethora of heritage buildings and sites, owing to its lengthy and interesting historical association. The Old city, built by Mughals and the Turkic rulers, is a beautiful memory and a treasured legacy of the bygone eras. Red Fort, Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid (Largest mosque of India), Purana Qila (a famous 16th century fortress), etc., are some of the most cherished heritage sites here. Marvels of modern architecture- Malai Mandir, Lotus Temple, Akshradham Mandir and Shiv Murthi have always been the most sacred and scintillating places of the city. The New Delhi area, which houses several embassies and government buildings, boasts of swanky, wide roads coupled with stretches of lush green trees on both sides. Rashtrapati Bhavan, Rajpath, the Secretariat, the Supreme Court, Vijay Chowk, the Parliament House are some of the significant structures. A drive or a walk in this area is a treat to the eyes.
Delhi is the greenest city of India. The Delhi government has left no stone unturned to increase the green cover in the heart of the nation. Several gardens and parks in the city have become recreational sites as well as peace havens for people of all age groups. Some of the very famous ones are the Mughal Gardens, Lodhi Garden, Deer Park, Japanese Park, Garden of Five Senses, Nehru Garden, etc. These not only beautify the city but also serve as picnic spots and venues for cultural events.
There are innumerable malls, multiplexes and recreational parks in Delhi. Some famous ones include Select City Walk, PVR Vasant Vihar, Rajouri Garden, Adventure Island, World of Wonders, etc. These promise a complete package of entertainment to all.
Delhi, in all true senses is a Shopper’s Paradise. Redefining fashion in its own style, Delhi is a true hospitable host, who caters to any and every need of all its guests. Right from street shopping in markets like Janpath, Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Kamla Nagar to shopping for big brands in swanky malls like Select City Walk, Ambience mall, DLF, Emporio, etc.; shopping in Delhi is a thrilling experience. Chandini Chowk, an old market located in the Old Delhi is a colorful and interesting place to shop for saris and jewelry. Greater Kailash, Khan Market and South Extention are some of the most popular hangout zones for dilliwalas with loads of fancy showrooms, exquisite restaurants and cafes. Connaught Place, the commercial and cultural hub of Delhi houses numerous showrooms, bookstores, cultural and academic centers, libraries and a variety of eating outlets.
Culture and Language
Delhi, over the past few years has evolved into a multilingual, multicultural and a thoroughly cosmopolitan city. This is what has given Delhi its charm and colour. Days of national significance such as Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanti and Independence Day are celebrated in all pomp and vigour, as the whole city, in fact the whole nation rejoices in pride. Religious festivals like Diwali, Holi, Basant-Panchami, Eid-ul-Fitar, Durga Puja, etc., are all celebrated in the best of spirits with colourful shopping, delicious delicacies, beautiful traditions and merrymaking.
Delhi is a host to some of India’s most well known events. The World Book Fair, a biannual book fair with 23 participant nations is held here at Pragati Maidan. Thousands of voracious readers are seen swarming all over the place to check out books, all possible genres of which are available. A technological showcase of India, Auto Expo-Asia’s biggest auto show is held annually at Pragati Maidan.
Food is something with which Delhiites share a very intimate bond. Due to its cosmopolitan nature, all sorts of Indian cuisine such as Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Mughlai, South Indian, etc, are widely available and thoroughly relished by all. The most famous food in Delhi is its lip-smacking “Street Food” i.e. golgappe, chaat-papri, bhel puri, pav-bhaji, chana bhattura, etc., available easily along roadside and at all shopping areas. Paranthe wali gali in Chandini Chowk is the most happening place for Street food in Delhi. International cuisines such as Italian, Continental, Chinese and other western fast foods too, are gaining much popularity here.
Hindi is the most commonly spoken language in this city, both locally and officially. English is spoken more in schools, colleges and offices. Due to its major migrant population, Delhi enjoys multilingualism. Punjabi, Tamil, Kannad, Bengali, Gujrati, Marathi, etc., are spoken by a major share of population.
Public Transport and Connectivity
Delhi boasts of a very efficient network of public transport which encompasses of the Delhi metro, buses (both DTC and Bluelines), rickshaws (four-wheelers) and auto-rickshaws.
It is well connected to all other cities by expressways and highways. Well developed airways and railways are major media of inflow and outflow of people and freight.
Delhi is an evergreen city. The USP of this city is the coexistence of diversities. A city of life, a city of diversity, a city of purpose, Delhi fails to lose its high spirits, even in the darkest of blues. Be it the heartrending attack on the Parliament or the grotesque series of blasts, “dilwallon ki Dilli” never loses heart. And that is what makes it the city of variance and vibrance.