Stadtführer : Delhi
The capital city of India was moved from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. Delhi, with a history of 5000 years, was made the capital city of various dynasties and rebuilt for a total of 7 times. A new city project was made for the south of Delhi in 1920s. Edwin Lutyens, one of the most important architects of the 20th century, designed this new city and the capital city was moved once again from Delhi to New Delhi. New Delhi is the eighth city built in this region. India was under British rule until 1947; New Delhi was the first capital and governmental headquarters of the newly independent country. New Delhi, which is known for its wide boulevards –with trees in both sides- and its modern houses, and Delhi have a total population of over 17 million people as of 2006. At the present, New Delhi is the industrial, administrative, educational, and cultural center of the country. The cities, Old and New Delhi, are percieved as one city and together called Delhi in India.
New Delhi is set next to the Yamuna River, which is located in the north part of the country. In the city ,which has a temperate climate, while the temperature goes down to 7 degrees Celcius in December and January –the coldest months-, it goes up to 40 degrees Celcius in June and July-the hottest months.
Tourist AttractionsOld Delhi: The Seven Delhis that existed before New Delhi, start from the west of Red Fort and continue as ruins. The Kashmiri Gate is located at the northern end. Also there is a monument in Sabzi Mandi –to the west of the Kashmiri Gate-that is dedicated to the Englishmen that have died in the war there.
Chandni Chowk: It is the colorful main street of Old Delhi. Here, there is always a crowded, busy and chaotic atmosphere, unlike the orderly, open and wide streets of New Delhi. Red Fort and Jama Masjid are located, opposite to each other, on the two ends of Chandni Chowk.
Red Fort: This fortress is named after stones that are called Lal Qila in Hindi (Lal: red, Qila: fort). Many volunteering guides and traveling salesmen welcome visitors to the fortress that was built under the orders of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. Usually, fairs with acrobats, illusionists, and magicians are organized in front of the fortress. The entrance to the fortress is filled with souvenir shops. When you get past the crowd, you reach a whole new world with wide gardens and a peaceful, serene environment. The Yamuna River flows behind the fortress. After you get into Red Fort, you can see the gate Lahore, Diwan-i Aam where the emperor listened to the complaints and suggestions of the public, Diwan-i Has where the emperor entertained his private guests, and the Royal Bath.
Jama Masjid: Jama Masjid, meaning “Friday Mosque”, is the largest mosque in India and the masterpiece of the architectural work of Shah Jahan. The masjid which has a courtyard with the capacity of 25 thousand people, three large entrance gates, four towers, and two 40 meter high minarets, was built in 1658.
Raj Ghat: Raj Ghat is the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his assassination in 1948. Ghat is now a park densely covered with trees. You can see the names of the famous people who have planted the individual trees.
Jantar Mantar (Yantra Mandir): Jantar Mantar was built as an observatory by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1725. It is easy to get to, because of its proximity to Connaught Place. The monumental sun dial located works with such sensitivity that it can count even seconds. The devices that calculate solar and lunar eclipses, shows the orbits of stars, and observe the passing of souls meant for heaven were constructed side by side.
Firoz Shah Kotla: Only ruins and remains and the famous Ashoka column have reached our time from the palace that is named after Firoz Shah Tughluq, the 5th founder of Delhi -which was rebuilt for a total of 8 times.
India Gate: The 42 meter tall gate made of stones and symbolizing victory is located on the eastern end of the road to the parliament called Raj Path. The names of every single Indian soldier that gave their lives in the First World War and the battles in Afganistan are engraved on the monument.
Rashtrapati Bhavan: Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of the Republic of India, was built in 1929. Its building resembs a palace and its Mughal gardens are laed on 130 hectares of land.
Qutub Minar: The minaret was built in 1193 in for victory of Muslims defeating the last Hindi king in Delhi. It is 73 meters in height, 15 meters in bottom diameter, and 2.5 meters in top diameter. In the five story minaret, the first floor was made of red bricks, the fourth and fifth were made of marble.
Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque: Qutub-id Din, the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty, had completed the construction of this mosque in 1193. Throughout the centuries after that, numerous additions and extensions were made to the mosques. The architecture of the mosque reflect Hindi and Jain influences.
Iron Pillar of Delhi: This seven meter column was put here by the Hindi King Chandra Varman in the 5th century AD. The mysteries of how and with what kind of a technology this iron pillar was made so perfectly and how it is that no rusting happened in the two thousand years of existence could not be solved.
Lotus Temple: One of the 7 Bahai temples built all around the world, is in Tughlakabad, New Delhi. The Bahai temples are constructed in architectural styles reflecting the cultural characteristics of individual regions. That is the reason why the temple in Delhi has the shape of the lotus flower.
Culture & EntertainmentThere are a lot of large and important history, art, and handicrafts museums. Those museums are at the center of the city’s cultural life. The major ones are:
National Museum: A lot of historical artifacts of India can be seen in the National Museum located in Janpath. Here, various artifacts from historical remains dating back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC and handcrafts of the Vijayanagar region to local clothing of different tribes and artifacts from the British era. This museum is a must-see in Delhi.
Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum: It is the house where Indira Gandhi lived and also used as an office. Gandhi was in this house when she was assassinated by her bodyguards. Gandhi’s personal belongings and her footprints on the spot where she was assassinated are displayed.
Nehru Museum: The personal belongings, life, struggle of the first prime minister of independent India, J. Nehru, are displayed together with published works related to him. An audio laser show is organized during tourist season.
“The International Mango Festival” which has been organized in Delhi for the last 20 years, is another interesting cultural event. Over 500 types of mango are displayed in the festival.
Food & DrinkIn India, you may come across very delicious foods, but be careful, you may come across very bad ones as well. Contrary to a widely held belief, not all Hindus are vegetarians. Strict vegetarianism is more common in South India, which could avoid Muslim occupations. There are differences between the north and south parts of India in terms of eating habits and styles, due to differences in both history and climate. Meat is used more often in the northern cuisine. However in the south, dishes are more strictly vegetarian. More rice is consumed and dishes are spicier.
Delhi’s national cuisine has its roots in the kitchen. Be sure to try the “chaat”, which resembles the Spanish style tapas and Turkish style appetizersk, you may find more often in the streets of Delhi.
Janpath and Connaught Place Areas
They are Indian style fast food centers. Here, fairly high quality foods are offered in a clean and healthy environment for reasonable prices. Together with the typical Indian cuisine tastes like Samosa and Dosa, you can find western foods such as hamburgers here. You can find examples of Chinese and Western cuisines here.
ShoppingThere is nothing you cannot find in New Delhi. From electronics to textile, from local handcrafts to book, from foods to antiques, you may shop for anything in almost every street. No matter what they say about prices being fixed, bargaining is done. Most of the shops are open until eight in the evening.
The city’s major shopping mall located in downtown Delhi, is where you can find more luxury and western merchandise. TDI Mall, Lajpat Nagar Pacific Mall, and Anand Vihar are big shopping malls. You can purchase local products in unique Indian bazaar Chandni Chowk, which is considered to be the heart of Old Delhi consisting of very small shops and narrow streets. The underground bazaar located under Connaught Place, in which electronics are sold is called Palika.
Ticket Sales Offices : Delhi
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Delhi : Flughafen
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