Friday, August 2, 2013

Delhi At A Glance

Delhi, also known as Dilli, is the second largest metropolis of India and the eighth largest metropolis of the world. It is a cosmopolitan city and one of the most preferred destinations of monument lovers as its landscape is dotted with medieval architectural masterpieces. These monuments and buildings are the legacies of several kingdoms and dynasties that ruled the city.

The famous monuments and places of interest of Delhi have attracted a vast number of people over centuries. Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humanyun's Tomb, Jama Masjid, India Gate, Bahai Temple (Lotus Temple), and the recently constructed Akshardham Temple are among Delhi's most thronged places. Most of the monuments were constructed during Mughal Emperor Shahjahan's Reign. Qutub Minar, which is the world's tallest free-standing brick minaret, was built by Qutubuddin Aibak in the thirteenth century.

History of Delhi

Delhi is known to be inhabited since 6th century BC. Its history is replete with many instances of loot and plunder and reintegration of the city. After the rise of the Delhi Sultanate in the 12th century AD, Delhi emerged as a major political, cultural and commercial city along the trade routes between northwest India and the Gangetic Plains.

delhi red fort
Red Fort in Delhi

Mughal Emperor Shahjahan built a Walled City during the 17th century known as Shahjahabad. It served as the capital of Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857. After the first battle of independence in 1857, Delhi fell in the hands of British until India's independence in 1947.

Geography & Climate of Delhi

Delhi is located in northern India between the latitudes of 28°-24’-17” and 28°-53’-00” North and longitudes of 76°-50’-24” and 77°-20’-37” East. The total area of NCT of Delhi is 1483 Sq. Kms. It is bordered by Haryana in the west, north-west and south-west and Uttar Pradesh in the east and north-east. The river Yamuna flows through the city with the Aravalli range falling at its outskirts. Most of the Ridge Forests, which once was an integral feature of the topography of Delhi, made way to the rapid force of urbanization.

delhi climate chart

The average annual rainfall in Delhi is 714 mm, three-fourths of which falls in July, August and September. Summers and winters of Delhi are relatively very harsh. The temperature during April, May and June can rise up to 45 degree celsius while during December and January, the mercury could dip to almost freezing point. A typical warm air blows during summer days termed as 'Loo' whilst foggy mornings are a common sight during the winters.

Demographics of Delhi

delhi chandni chowk road

Delhi is a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society. According to 2001 census, the population of Delhi is 1,37,80,000 with a sex ratio of 821 females per 1,000 males. Hindi is the official language of Delhi, which is spoken by majority of the population. English, Urdu and Punjabi are the other major languages of Delhi. Hinduism is the religion of the majority of the population (82%), while Islam comes second with its follower constituting 12% of the population. Sikhism, Jainism and Christianity are the other major religions practiced in the NCT of Delhi. Jobs in public and private sectors are the main source of income for the local population while a substantial number of people are self-employed. Delhi boasts of some of the most famous delicacies of India with Mughlai and Punjabi cuisines are among the most loved ones.

Culture & Heritage of Delhi

Festivals- Since Delhi is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, many festivals are celebrated here exhibiting religious tolerance and communal harmony. Diwali, Dussera, Eid, Lohri, Baisakhi, Holi, International Mango Festival, Maha Shivaratri, and Christmas are among the important festivals of Delhi. Besides, the city observes many national festivals such as Independence Day, Republic Day, and Armed Forces Day.

holi in new delhi

Music- Sufi songs and Qawwalis around the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin are some of the the oldest music forms of Delhi. Gurbanis of Gurudwaras and Bhajans sung in temples across Delhi are deeply rooted in Delhi's culture and tradition.

Dance- Krishna Katha and Ram Lila are two famous dance ballets organized every year by the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra to celebrate the Hindu festivals of Janmashtami and Dusshera respectively. However, one can observe famous regional folk and classical dances in many festivals celebrated in Delhi throughout the year. Some of the famous festivals are Qutub Festival organized by Delhi Tourism in October, the Folk Dance and Music Festival put up by the Indian Trade Promotion Organization in November and the Kathak Utsav celebrated by the Kathak Kendra in December.

Lodi Restaurant in New Delhi

Art- Delhi has a rich tradition of art, which draws upon the legacies of various kingdoms and dynasties. Its art includes many variations such as painting, sculpting and performing arts. There are many famous art galleries such as National Art Gallery, and Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts exhibit some of the famous arts, paintings and sculptures of Delhi.

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