Some Basic Facts About New Delhi
New Delhi, the capital of India, is part of the larger territory of Delhi and is sometimes referred to as Lutyen’s Delhi to signify one of the primary architects of the new city – Sir Edwin Lutyen. It is the seat of the Indian parliament, the administrative houses, the residence of the President of India with it’s adjoining buildings that form a part of the entire structure of governance in the capital. It is also the seat of the local government of Delhi which is headed by the Chief Minister.
New Delhi and the larger area of Delhi has always occupied a place of importance in the history of the nation. Delhi was designated as the new capital of the Mughal Empire when Emperor Shah Jahan moved his seat here.
Kolkata, for a brief period, served as the capital of the undivided nation before it was pronounced at the Delhi Durbar that the capital was once again being shifted to Delhi.
But even before all that, Delhi was around under different names and always assumed a place of importance in the history of the nation. Like the legendary city of Troy, evidence has been found of no less than seven old settlements below the current city.
Delhi has been occupied, lost, reoccupied and bitterly fought over for hundreds of years, till the independence of the country in 1947. Delhi is sometimes referred to as the National Capital Region which extends over to a much larger area and transgresses even some nearby towns. Today Delhi NCT (National Capital Territory) accommodates over 25 million people, making it the second most populous city in the country.
How To Reach New Delhi
Delhi, being the national capital, is well connected with the rest of the world. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is one of the busiest in the world with more than 10 million passengers travelling through. It is well connected by direct flights from major national capitals elsewhere in the globe. If you are flying in to any other airports in the country, simply take a domestic transfer. There is a popular saying in India, “All roads lead to Delhi.”
Places To Stay In New Delhi
Delhi has a wide variety of accommodations available. The best places to stay would be close to the major business districts such as Connaught Place or Carol Bagh.
The latter is ideal for street shopping and the first one is for branded items. There are choices galore. Typically a good bed & breakfast accommodation in one of the above locations will cost $100 to $125 a night. For something more decent try the Hyatt Regency costing around $200 a night. For luxury accommodations try the ITC Grand Bharat at Gurgaon around $450 a night or the Jaypee Vasant Continental at a little less than $1000 a night.
There is plenty of cheap accommodation available in Delhi, but choose wisely. For example Pahar Ganj is backpacker central but check out the accommodation available in the quieter side streets off the beaten track. It might be much the same price as on the main drag, but usually of much better quality.
New Delhi – Places To See
Delhi, though is widely considered as a junction sitting right between the golden triangle (Agra-Delhi-Jaipur), the majestic Himalayas to the North (Uttaranchal-Ladakh-Himachal), the destinations towards central India (Khajuraho-Kanha-Varanasi) and numerous other destinations across the central lands of the country, it itself is steeped in history and architecture and warrants a stay of at least two nights.
Or the Lotus Temple as it has become known was completed in 1986 in the shape of a Lotus flower, specifically chosen as it is a common symbol in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Islam.
The temple is set in lush gardens and looks stunning floodlit in the evening. It is made from pure white marble.
It’s interior is also spectacular. For more info
Humayun was the second in a long line of Mughal emperors that ruled the sub-continent for several centuries. Humayun was the father of Akbar the Great. His rule was cut short when he lost his throne to Sher Shah Suri.
He however regained control of the dominion 15 years later. The tomb was commissioned by Bega Begum and designed by the Persian architect Mirza Ghiyas. It is an imposing construction that used liberal quantities of red sandstone, Persian style gardens and embellishments.
The Qutub Minar
Delhi has been continually occupied for more than a millennia. Evidence has been found that dates back to the 6th century BC. It even has a presence in Indian mythology as to be the site of the fabled city of Indraprastha from the Mahabharata. Thus there are innumerable places strewn all across the NCT that are steeped in history. The Qutub Minar is one such place.
Built-in honor of a Sufi saint, by the then sultan of Delhi Qutb-ud-din Aibak, this magnificent red minar is the second highest in the country standing at 74 meters. Made out of red sandstone and white marble, the minar took three generations to complete.
The complex also housed the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque which probably means that the minar was used for prayers. The foundation of an old fort has been found under the structure and it is believed that this is the legendary Lal Kot (or Red Citadel) which formed the capital of the Chauhan dynasty.
The Red Fort
How can you miss this if you are in Delhi? Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as the center of his vast empire, the magnificent 17th century construction in red sandstone was what gave his capital of Shahajanabad the necessary muscle.
A UNESCO world heritage site the fort has two distinct areas, one accessible to the general public and the other that is under the control of the army.
It is from the ramparts of this fort that the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation on the 15th of August (Independence Day).
Built during the tenure of Emperor Shah Jahan the majestic Jama Masjid is a sight to see.
A magnificent design constructed out of red sandstone and white marble it was designed so that more than 25,000 devotees could sit and offer prayers. It is one of the largest mosques in the country.
The largest and one of the oldest spice markets in Asia, Khari Baoli is slightly off the main tourist circuit. However, if you are going to be walking through the Old Delhi region this is one place you shouldn’t miss.
The sight, the sounds, the intoxicating smell and the overall experience can be overwhelming, that is if you have the appetite for something off-beat.
The market was established well over 500 years ago and though much of the older construction has been destroyed over the course of history, the traditions remain.
This concludes our Golden Triangle – New Delhi. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.
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