Exploring Delhi – Its Rich History, Diverse Culture, and Finger-licking Cuisines

Delhi– India’s capital city — is truly the heart of the nation. And why not? With such a rich history and vivid culture, Delhi encompasses the true spirit of every Indian. No wonder, when you ask a Delhite if he wants to settle elsewhere, you will know the answer by the look of shock on his face!

Did you know that Delhi is the second-wealthiest city in India just after Mumbai? It boasts of a total private wealth of $450 billion and houses 18 billionaires and 23,000 millionaires. With a GSDP of INR 6.86 trillion in 2018, Delhi is the fasted growing state in the country. Also, as you must already know, Delhi is divided into two segments — Purani Dilli aka Old Delhi and Nayi Dilli aka New Delhi.

So today, let us take a virtual stroll down the lanes of this bustling city

History

Thehistory of Delhi is packed with ancient stories of Indian culture and tradition — taking us back to the glorious times of the Mughal Regime, the British Raj, and the Epic Mahabharata period. Previously called Indraprastha — around 3000 years ago in 1000 BC — Delhi came to be ruled by Hindu kings in the 12th century.

Finally, it was taken over by the Mughals, when Mohammed Gauri defeated Prithviraj Chauhan. In 1351, Feroz Shah Tughlaq rebuilt the city on the banks of river Yamuna and gave it the name Ferozabad. Shah Jahan later assumed control over the reign and renamed it Shahjahanabad. And this Shahjahanabad is what we refer to as the current Old Delhi.

However, Delhi assumed the title of the capital city only under the British Raj, when the then English officials constructed several infrastructure, buildings, public offices and parliamentary buildings. These events gave rise to New Delhi.

Natural diversity

Delhi is bordered by Haryana in the north,west and south and by Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the east. If you speak about the main geographical features here, they are the Yamuna along with its banks and the Delhi Ridge. While the fertile plains of Yamuna promote the agricultural growth of the city, the Delhi Ridge mainly controls the rainfall and climatic conditions of the region. Delhi experiences an extreme weather pattern — with very hot summer months, rainy monsoons, and cold, short winters — often accompanied with a lot of fog.

Historical sites and places of interest

Delhi, of course, is home to the richest historical monuments in India and hence, acts as a major tourist spot for both domestic and international travellers. Prominent among them are its UNESCO World Heritage Sites — which include the Qutub Complex, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb — perfect specimens of Indo-Islamic architecture.

Apart from these, other famous sites are the India Gate, the Hindu temple complexAkshardham, Lal Mandir, Laxminarayan Temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Lotus Temple, Jama Masjidand ISKCON Temple.

Not only this, Delhi also serves as the hub for shopping of all kinds. Some of the most popular shopping destinations are Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Sarojini Nagar, Khan Market and Dilli Haat. You can also visit its massive malls such as include Select Citywalk, DLF Promenade, DLF Emporio, Metro Walk and Ansal Plaza.

Food and Culture

Delhi’s culture presents a mix of its diverse history. You can find an amalgamation of Punjabi, refugee, and Mughal influences. The most popular dishes include kebabs, biryani, tandoori, butter chicken, dal makhani, shahi paneer, aloo chaat, chaat, dahi bhalla, kachori, gol gappe, samosa, chole bhature, chole kulche, gulab jamun, jalebi and lassi. If you are exploring Delhi, don’t forget to taste each of these delicacies, at least once! Scour the streets for hidden food outlets or sit in a local dhaba and eat to your full. Also, never miss out to pay a visit to the renowned Karim Hotel, the Punjab Grill and Bukhara, and Gali Paranthe Wali street in Chandni Chowk.

Whether you are in India or reside abroad, you should definitely visit Delhi and witness its glorious past, delicious cuisines, and buzzing markets.