DELHI: THE SOUL OF INDIA
1483 sq. km.
Language: Hindi, English, Punjabi, Urdu.
Best Time to Visit:Oct, Nov, Feb and March.
Capital City: New Delhi.
Delhi is very strategically located city in northern India. It borders the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh on East and Haryana on West, North and South. Delhi lies almost entirely in the Gangetic plains. Two prominent features of the geography of Delhi are the Yamuna flood plain and the Delhi ridge. The low-lying Yamuna flood plains provide fertile alluvial soil suitable for agriculture. The ridge forms the most dominating feature in this region. It originates from the Aravalli Range in the south and encircles the west, northeast and northwest parts of the city. Delhi falls under seismic zone-IV, making it vulnerable to major earthquakes.
The summer season lasts from mid-March to the end of June, with average maximum and minimum temperatures of 36 C and 25 C. The monsoon season, following the hot summer, continues until the end of September, with an average rainfall of about 26 inches. The winter season extends from late November to mid-February. The coldest month is January, when both the mean maximum temperature and the mean minimum temperature are at their lowest 21 C and 7 C, respectively.
Delhi as remained the seat of power al through its existence. The Indian capital city of Delhi has a long history, including a history as the capital of several empires. The history is long and dates back to as early as 1000 B. C. According to Indian Folklore, Delhi was the site of the magnificent capital built by the Pandavas, in the Mahabharat, called the Indraprastha. Infact a tiny village of the same name was existent till the early 20th century which was raised by the British later.
Although there is no proof, Excavations have unearthed shards of the grey painted ware (c. 1000 BC) that some archaeologists associate with the age of the Mahabharata. The earliest architectural relics date back to the Maurya Period (c. 300 BC); since then, the site has seen continuous settlement. Eight major cities have been situated in the Delhi area. The first four cities were in the southern part of present-day Delhi.
Apart from the mythological Indraprastha it is said that one King named Dhilu formed this city and named it after him calling it Dhilli. The first established city was in the 11th century A.D. Raja Anangpal of Kanauj, Later a Tomar king built a fort and established Lal Kot as his capital in the vicinity of the Qutab. This probably was Delhis first known city.
From 1206, Delhi became the capital of the Delhi Sultanate under the Slave Dynasty. The first Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aybak was a former slave who rose through the ranks to become a general, a governor and then Sultan of Delhi. Qutb-ud-din started the construction the Qutub Minar, a recognisable symbol of Delhi, to commemorate his victory but died before its completion. By the end of the 12th century, Mohammed Ghori of Afghanistan invaded and occupied Delhi by defeating Prithvi Raj. He returned to Afghanistan but the Lal Kot remained the capital till 1303 A.D. Later Khilji came and defeated the Rajputs at Siri and constructed the second city in the area, known as the Siri fort today.
The Tughlaks formed the third city of Delhi in Tughalakabad. Ghyas ud din Tughlak founded Tughalakabad which took four years to build but had to be deserted soon after due to scarcity of water.
After the end of the Slave dynasty, a succession of Turkic and Central Asian dynasties, the Khilji dynasty, the Tughluq dynasty, the Sayyid dynasty and the Lodhi dynasty held power in the late medieval period and built a sequence of forts and townships in Delhi. Like the Jahanpanha and the Ferozabad.
In 1398, Timur Lenk invaded India. In 1526, following the First Battle of Panipat, Zahiruddin Babur, the former ruler of Fergana, defeated the last Lodhi sultan and founded the Mughal dynasty which ruled from Delhi, Agra and Lahore. "The Mughal King, Humayun was forced to flee by Sher Shah Suri who built the Old fort on the bank of Yamuna. Later after a siege, Humayun beautified the fort but later shifted his capital to Agra. It was the Grandson of the great Mughal emperor Akbar, Shahajehan who shifted back to delhi and built the beautiful red fort and the Jama masjid and called the city Sahajehanbad, which is present day old City.
The Present New Delhi was formally inaugurated in 1931, by the British. Also known as the Lutyens Delhi, the architect built it grand enough after the British decided to shift their capital from Kolkata to Delhi. Post Independence, Delhi became the capital of the vast countrya and has remained so.
Today Delhi has grown more than ever before and is known as the National Capital Region (NCR) which comprises the areas of the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Today Delhi has become a cosmopolitan city from all aspects. Delhi has a huge migratory population giving the city its own unique culture. The history has rewarded the city with some of the best man made monuments in the country. The city has a vast green area called the ridge. It has as many as four renowned universities of India making it an important educational centre as well.
You can get all kinds of cuisines in Delhi from the local favorites to the international cuisines. The transport system of Delhi has changed since the advent of the Delhi metro, and soon enough it will take over Mumbai as the fashion capital of India with most famous dress designers in the city.
Delhi, you can say is a Mini India in itself, with monuments of Historical and architectural importance, places of worship of various faiths and above all the regular political activities which take place in the city.
Historically, Delhi has always remained an important trading centre in northern India. Old Delhi still contains legacies of its rich Mughal past. The maze of lanes and bylanes in this area offers you the most unexpected. The three century old Chandni Chowk is one of the most famous place to buy the bridal attire. Also you can get the most authentic sweet meat and other delicacies of the Northern region in this area.