ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

15 Facts about Delhi and Its Rich Culture

Updated on April 9, 2014
Source

Delhi is a major urban conglomeration, which includes New Delhi, the capital city of the Republic of India. It is a major communications and trade center. Situated in the great lowland trough of northern India in a relatively narrow passageway commanding the divide between the Indus Valley in the northwest and the Ganges Valley in the southeast, Delhi occupies the historic and cultural center of Indic-speaking India, the great crossroads of the subcontinent. The city is strategically located on the Yamuna (Jumna) River, with the Thar Desert on the west, the Himalaya on the north, and the Aravalli Hills to the southwest. Each wave of past invaders from the northwest had to control this area in order to rule northern India.

1. Today, although physically Old Delhi has met New Delhi, the line between them remains sharp. As passing from the new city to the old city, one may see spacious, tree-lined avenues pass suddenly into a labyrinth of narrow, twisting streets and alleys; expansive stone government buildings, quiet shopping centers, and handsome residences give way to temples, mosques, noisy bazaars, and crowded tenements.

New Delhi India Gate & Monument
New Delhi India Gate & Monument | Source

2. The heart of New Delhi is the broad Rajpath (Kingsway), the widest avenue in the city, which runs 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the India Gate (a war memorial) to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace. Along the Rajpath and adjoining boulevards are large government office buildings, Parliament House, and an array of other official structures. To the south is the diplomatic enclave, where some fine examples of modern architecture can be seen. A mile and a half north of the Rajpath is Connaught Place, a huge circle around which is situated New Delhi's main shopping center. Not far north of Connaught Place is the Delhi Gate. Beyond lies Old Delhi with its narrow streets, bazaars, cottage industries, and slums.

3. The residential area of New Delhi contains many elegant one- and two-story homes built in garden settings, often walled, and placed well back from the streets. The streets themselves are broad and tree-lined. There is an air of wealth and graciousness rarely seen in a country where most people are so extremely poor.

Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid | Source

4. The two outstanding monuments of Old Delhi are the Jama Masjid, India's largest Muslim mosque, and the gigantic Red Fort. Both were built during the Mughul (Mogul) rule of Shah Jahan in the 17th century.

5. The Red Fort, so called because of its massive red sandstone walls, comprises, among other architectural masterpieces in marble, the Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, where once stood the Peacock Throne; the Rang Mahal, or Painted Palace; and the beautiful Moti Masjid, or Pearl Mosque.

6. Westward from the Red Fort runs Chandni Chauk ("Silver Street"), which is lined with the shops of some of the city's finest artisans. North of Old Delhi is a suburban section known as Civil Lines, which was developed by the British before they founded New Delhi.

National Museum in New Delhi
National Museum in New Delhi | Source

7. Other outstanding historical monuments found in Delhi and its environs include the Qutb Minar, a 238-foot (72.5-meter), freestanding tower, completed in the 13th century; the Iron Pillar, a remarkable 24-foot (7.3-meter), rust-free iron shaft, erected in the 5th century; the ruins of Tughluqabad and Purana Qila, old cities that preceded Delhi; the Mausoleum and gardens of Humayun, built in the 16th century; the shrine of Nizam-ud-Din, dating from the 14th century; and the open-air astronomical observatory of Jai Singh, built in the 18th century.

8. Literally hundreds of other tombs, mausoleums, mosques, temples, and other monuments of the past abound in every section of the city. More contemporary structures and institutions include Rajghat -the memorial marking the site where Mohandas K. Gandhi was cremated- and the Delhi Zoo.

9. The modern National Museum in New Delhi contains many fine collections of relics dating back 4,000 years to the time of the Indus Valley civilization. Its paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, weapons, decorative crafts, jewelry, and pottery vividly portray India through the centuries. Also in the museum is an outstanding collection of the antiquities of Central Asia gathered by the British Orientalist Sir Aurel Stein. Other museums in Delhi include the National Art Gallery, the private Kumar Art Gallery, the Indian War Memorial Museum, and the Crafts Museum.

10. Many of the country's major research institutions and laboratories are centered in Delhi. These include the National Physical Laboratory, the Central Road Research Institute, the National Scientific Documentation Center, the National Research Development Corporation, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, the Central Family Planning Institute, and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute. Among the institutions of higher education are the University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indira Gandhi National Open University, and a branch of the Indian Institute of Technology.

11. In the field of mass media, Delhi is served by at least 20 daily newspapers and many more weekly newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals, a sizable number having a nationwide distribution. Newspapers and periodicals are published in Hindi, Panjabi, Urdu, and other languages, but those with the greatest prestige and largest readership are usually in English.

12. Delhi is the best Indian city in which to examine and purchase cottage-industry products. Artisans in Old Delhi turn out superb ivory, silver, and glazed pottery wares. The government-sponsored Central Cottage Industries Emporium in New Delhi stocks a wide range of handmade craft products from all over India. In addition, a number of state governments maintain well-stocked retail stores in the city, displaying the handicraft products of their own peoples. Among the states that have such stores are Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

13. Delhi is served by rail, road, and air transportation. Passenger trains, many of them air-conditioned, and freight trains move into the city from Bombay (Mumbai), Calcutta (Kolkata), Madras (Chennai), and Punjab. Major international airlines, both domestic and foreign, link Delhi to every continent, and private and government-owned airlines connect Delhi with all the major cities of the country.

14. Many forms of transportation serve the public within the city. Buses, taxis, and motorcycle-rickshaws are popular for public transport; horse- and other animal-drawn vehicles continue to carry passengers and freight alike, especially in Old Delhi. Trucks, private automobiles, and bicycles abound. Traffic congestion and air pollution are significant problems.

15. Delhi is a major tourist center, and a high percentage of foreign visitors to India make it their first stop. Most luxury hotels are located in New Delhi. Considerable new construction took place before Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games in October 2010. Preparations for the games were beset by difficulties, however, including flooding caused by particularly heavy monsoon rains. The 2010 games were the most costly in history, and ticket sales were below expectations. India was the second Asian nation to host the competition, after Malaysia. It was largest sporting event ever held in India.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • whyjoker profile imageAUTHOR

      whyjoker 

      4 years ago

      you're welcome :)

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 

      4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      whyjoker, you have beautifully described Delhi. Delhi recently was adjudged to be the best city in the country in a television programme, I think it deserves this ranking. Thanks for summarising Delhi through your Hub. Voted up and useful.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)