Delhi, officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi, is the capital territory of India.During the British Raj, Delhi was part of the Punjab Province and is still historically and culturally connected to the Punjab region. It has a population of about 16.3 million, making it the second most populous city and second most populous urban agglomeration in India. Such is the nature of urban expansion in Delhi that its growth has expanded beyond the NCT to incorporate towns in neighbouring states and at its largest extent can count a population of about 25 million residents as of 2014.
Delhi has been continuously inhabited since the 6th century BC. Through most of its history, Delhi has served as a capital of various kingdoms and empires. It has been captured, ransacked and rebuilt several times, particularly during the medieval period, and modern Delhi is a cluster of a number of cities spread across the metropolitan region.
The NCT and its urban region have been given the special status of National Capital Region (NCR) under the Constitution of India’s 69th Amendment Act of 1991. The NCR includes the neighbouring cities of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Neharpar (Greater Faridabad), Greater Noida, Bahadurgarh, Sonepat, Panipat, Karnal, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Rewari, Baghpat, Meerut, Alwar, Bharatpur and other nearby towns.
A 17th century fort complex, constructed in the walled city of Old Delhi, it dates from the very peak of Mughal Power. Built by the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan in 1648, it is a grandiose of pomp and power. Designated as the UNESCO World heritage site, the planning and aesthetics of this Fort represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which prevailed during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan.
A fine example of early Afghan architecture, its construction started immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi in 1193 as a symbol of victory. It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as the Qutub complex.
Declared as UNESCO world heritage site, it was commissioned in 1562 AD by the Mughal Ruler, Humayun’s grieving widow. It was the first mature example of Mughal architecture and the first structure to use red sand tone at such a scale.
The India Gate is the national monument of India. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, the India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was built in 1931. Originally known as the All India War Memorial, it is a prominent landmark in Delhi and commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the Indian Empire, or more correctly the British Raj, in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.
The Bahai House of Worship in New Delhi is popularly known as the Lotus Temple due to its flower-like shape. It was completed in 1986 and serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent. It has won numerous architectural awards and has been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
Also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Indian and Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture. The temple, which attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi is designed in accordance with ancient Vedic text known as the Sthapatya Shastra and is a blend of architectural styles from across India.
From medieval period, Delhi has always been the most important trading center in Northern India. Many of its localities, like Sheikh Sarai and Yusuf Sarai, derive their names from the ancient trading towns of Delhi. No wonder today it is a shopper’s goldmine. The vibrant and exotic atmosphere of Delhi markets can make shopping lots of fun. To know the real culture and traditions of city, the best way is to stroll or wander around through its market places, for it is here that contemporary culture is most visible to the visitors. In fact, Delhi has the best markets in India, with handicrafts from all over the country. These top markets in Delhi are a treasure trove of goods waiting to be discovered.
Chandni Chowk: Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. Built in 17th century by Shah Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara, the market was once divided by canals to reflect moonlight, hence the name Chandni. A pure pandemonium, an exploration of its winding, narrow alleyways is certainly an adventure. It is a must visit, when in Delhi.
Delhi Haat: This huge vivid food and craft bazaar has been deliberately made to feel like a traditional weekly village market, called a haat. It is one of Delhi’s most adored leisure spot beautifully reclaimed on a storm water drain. It offers an exotic blend of delicious regional foods, shopping and events.
Janpath Market: This very popular and bubbling Delhi market has something for everyone. This touristy strip sells the usual trinkets from everywhere in India and Tibet, and it’s a great place to shop for things to take back home. Haggle hard.
Connaught Place: Shaped like a horse-shoe this place is meant to be lucky for both the shoppers and shopkeepers. It has been modeled after the Royal Crescent in Bath, England and was made by the Britishers in 1931. No trip to Delhi can be complete without a shopping spree in CP, the heart of Delhi.
Khan Market:: The market for the elite, it has been rated as the costliest retail location in India. It is situated in one of the greenest pockets of the city, very close to the famed Lodhi Gardens.