New Delhi – The Heartbeat of 1 billion people
Home to over 25 million people, Delhi, the capital of India, is a city living in two different ages. Highly modern and yet littered with relics of the ancient past, Delhi puts you into a sensory overload. All throughout the middle ages, the city has been ransacked, rebuilt, captured; carved piece by piece into what it is today. So, here are
10 things about Delhi:
1. History of Delhi
Delhi has been the centre of mighty empires, starting with the Delhi Sultanate in 12th century AD. The foreign invaders would be so impressed by the city’s strategic location that they would rebuild the city in their own way. Consequently, the architecture and map of Delhi has been painted by the Turks, Mughals, Persians, Hindus and the British.
2. Nightlife of Delhi
In the recent years (Honestly? Less than a year), the nightlife options in Delhi have grown exponentially. Apart from 5-star hotels, the drinking dens and nightclubs can be found in Connaught Place and the posh south Delhi suburbs. The Hauz Khas Village has become a very popular destination for tourists and residents to wind down after dark.The city also offers a diverse collection of music, dance and theater shows. Local newspapers provide a daily and weekly listing of the events.
3. Safety in Delhi
Although, Delhi presents a lot of nightlife options, the nights aren’t particularly safe for women who are travelling alone. The main reason is lack of an effective and visible police presence. Tourists are advised to travel in small groups and carry pepper sprays with them as a precaution.
4. Living Expenses in Delhi
Delhi is ranked as the 7th most expensive office hotspot in the world.
The cost of buying a square foot of land averages to about INR 10,000 (USD 160) in a good locality. The prices of buying the same can go upto INR 30,000 (USD 510) in a posh neighbourhood.
Renting a one bedroom flat can be as low as INR 3,000 (USD 50) and as high as INR 15,000 (USD 250)a month.
Budget hotels can cost you INR 2,000 (USD 30) per night. Luxury hotels charge as much as INR 25,000 (USD 420) per night for a suite.
5. Cuisines in Delhi
The remnants of all the old empires can not only be seen in their large stone and marble relics, but also in the city’s cuisine today. Heavily influenced by the persian and punjabi food, Delhi is famous for its Mughlai and the traditional north Indian cuisine. It is more famous for its chaat. The best food is found in the old, walled Delhi’s narrow, serpentine streets. The shops dating back to over 200 years, Old Delhi’s culinary experiences are unparalleled. The food must be watched out for, though. Not every street vendor is selling hygienic food out there. But it is not hard to find the ancient shops, having a 100 year old legacy to vouch for their food. The city is famous for its chole or matar (peas) kulche, kebabs, parathas, jalebis, kulfis and aloo chaats. You can have plenty of options to get rid of your hunger in under a dollar or two.
This second most populous city of India ranks 45th in the world rankings. Its 25 million residents are spread out over an area near 1,500 sq. km. The official languages are Hindi and English. Punjabi and Urdu are widely spoken as well. As per the 2011 census, the literacy rate stands at 86.3% with 91% males being literate and 81% of the females.
The sex ratio was 866 females per 1000 males, according to the 2011 census.
Delhi has the highest road density compared to any other city in India. It also has the highest number of registered private vehicles, making the roads highly crowded.
Indian citizens get access to 30 countries visa-free and can get visa on arrival for 28 countries.
7. Public Transport in Delhi
Delhi is connected to the rest of the world via the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Delhi’s public transport the DTC or Delhi Transport Corporation runs the world’s largest fleet of environment-friendly CNG buses, making it one of the ‘greenest’ cities in the world. The city’s rapid transit system, the Delhi Metro, is one of the landmarks of the city. Easy travel cards are available for daily commuters at INR 500. For travellers, cards are available for one day, or three days at INR 100 and INR 250 respectively. Daily fare for a return journey can be as low as under a dollar.
Three-wheeled contraptions called Autos or Auto Rickshaws are a great way to see the city over short distances. And test your faith in God. Also, it is unfortunate that some auto drivers are unfair, so in case the auto is not metered, fix the auto fare before boarding.
Pollution in Delhi – Ironically, despite having a green cover of about 20% and a fleet of environment-friendly public transport, it is one of the most polluted cities in the world. The Particulate Matter – PM 2.5 levels in Delhi were 130 as opposed to Beijing’s 70, in 2015. The state and central governments are taking effective measures to reduce the high pollution levels in the city.
8. Weather of Delhi
Delhi’s monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate is extreme. The summers are scorching, the winter chills you to your bones and the spell leaves you wishing for dry roads.
Summer: April to June. Temperatures get as high as 50 degrees C. During the summers, the city witnesses the trademark dust storms, typically common to deserts.
Monsoon: July to September with about 80 cm of rain measured. The weather remains moderately hot and very humid.
Autumn: October to November. Temperature averages at 25 degrees C. The weather remains pleasant and sunny.
Winter: December to February. The city chills down to as low as 4 degrees C.
The best time to visit the city is during spring or autumn (February to March and September to November), when the weather is pleasant and sunny.
9. Culture of Delhi
Hinduism is the predominant religion in Delhi. 81.68% of the Delhiites identify themselves as Hindus. The next largest religious faith is Islam(12.86%), followed by Sikhism (3.41%), and Jainism (1%). Punjabis account for 35% and Sikhs for 4% of Delhi’s total population.
The city celebrates almost all religious festivals due its inherent diversity. The major festivals include Diwali, Holi, Mahavir Jayanti, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Raksha Bandhan, Durga Puja, Lohri, Chauth, Krishna Janmastami, Maha Shivratri, Eid ul-Fitr, Moharram and Buddha Jayanti.
10. Places to Visit in Delhi
The Archaeological Survey of India recognizes 1200 heritage buildings and 175 monuments as national heritage sites in Delhi.
Things to do in Delhi: The Qutub Minar, Birla Mandir, the Red Fort, Humayun’s tomb, India Gate, Connaught Place, Jama Masjid, Purana Quila, Lotus Temple, and the Akshardham Temple. Take a lazy evening stroll in the beautiful Lodhi Garden and get lost (not literally) in the vibrant streets of Chandni Chowk.
Museums and Galleries: Delhi has the National Museum, the Crafts Museum, the National Gallery of Modern art and the Nehru Memorial Museum.
Attraction for Kids: The National Zoological Park, Nehru Planetarium, Rail Museum and the National Science Centre cater to the kids.
Places Nearby: Cities of Agra, Jaipur, Alwar, and Orchha are a mere six hour bus ride from Delhi. Religious cities of Mathura, Haridwar and Rishikesh take about the same time. An overnight bus journey can land you among the serene Himalayas.
Offbeat: Deeg, Shekhawati and Nawalgarh in Rajasthan are some of the many places where the tourist influx is not so high. In the north, Kanatal, Mashobra and Tirthan Valley are quiet getaways.
To sum up, Delhi is a perfect vacation spot for everyone. There’s something in it for everyone: the foodie will be unable to stop gorging, the history buff will have plenty of lazy afternoons to spend exploring old forts and ruins, and the party animal can dance all night. There is also a Toilet Museum, in case you’re curious. The best part: it’s one of the easiest metro cities to explore while on a budget! Read more
|City||Delhi (National Capital Territory of Delhi, Capital of India)|
|Area||1,484 sq. km|
|Population||17 million (approx.) as on Jan 2016|
|Languages||Hindi, English, Punjabi, Urdu|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR) (1 USD = INR 67 as on 27-Jan-2016)|
|Time Zone||Indian Standard Time (UTC +5:30)|
|Driving||Left Hand Traffic, Right Hand Drive vehicles|
|Helpline||Emergency -100, Fire – 101, Ambulance – 102, Women – 1091, Anti Corruption 011-27357169|
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