An aerial view of the Jama Masjid mosque overlooking Old Delhi.
Delhi is known as one of India’s most diverse destinations in terms of cultures, languages and religions. This has yielded a fascinating jumble of art, monuments and other attractions that lend this city a rich depth. However, it is also a vast urban area of industry, and this hustle and bustle can sometimes cloud the beauty of Delhi for first-time visitors. Delhi alone has over 12.25 million residents, not including its greater National Capital Region Area, which would bring this number up to approximately 16 million people. Delhi is the home of New Delhi, which is the capital city of the whole of India, as declared in 1947, when India achieved political independence from British rule. This is where Parliament is situated, as well as various national museums and art galleries.
This area’s history is remarkable, dating back to the sixth century Before our Common Era (BCE). Because of its location, it became one of the major points along the spice trade route, rising in its political and economic stature. Its history is attested to, to some degree, by the many monuments and remnants, left behind from medieval times, which reveal the secrets of ancient civilisations. Many of Delhi’s residents hail from other areas of the subcontinent, having moved here in search of work. As such, it is characterised by a diverse group of residents, each bringing with them their own customs, beliefs and ideals. It is also a particularly high-paced and fast-developing country, attracting ever more of the up-and-coming, creating a chic culture of youth, wealth and sophistication. The locals speak mainly Hindi, English, Punjabi and Urdu.
Today, Delhi has a vibrant beat underlying all of its goings on. Its array of top-class restaurants, relaxed coffee cafés, trendy cocktail bars and quaint market eateries will ensure that every palate is satisfied.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Delhi include:
• The Bahai Temple – more commonly called the Lotus Temple, this white marble spectacle was built to resemble the national flower of India, the Lotus. Its grand scale and idyllic surrounds of lush gardens and beautiful water features make for the perfect environment in which to meditate. Complete silence is required when in this serene structure and there are no idols to whom to pray.
• The Rashtrapati Bhawan – this is the mansion home of the president and is within the very heart of Delhi. It is elevated atop Raisina Hill and is surrounded by gorgeous gardens.
• The Gurdwara Bangla Sahib – as the most visited Gurdwara in Delhi, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib invites millions of visitors to come and offer their prayers at this stunning establishment every year. This is sacred amongst the Sikhs and is a significant place of worship for those subscribing to the Hindu faith as well.
• Raj Ghat – this is the where the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Ghandi, was buried. Situated along the Yamuna River, there are also two museums nearby, both of which tell the story of the life, struggles and achievements of this acclaimed individual.
• The National Museum – this museum covers a wide range of topics in beautiful displays and historical accuracy. It is the largest museum in India and is part of this country’s government. Its displays range from remnants of tools used by prehistoric man to the pieces produced by some of the latest and most progressive artists in India.
Delhi remains one of India’s most fascinating epicentres in terms of tourism, culture, religion and industry. It provides visitors with a new perspective on the people that make up this fascinating country.
For more information, view: http://www.delhitourism.com/