Explore Delhi

Historical evidence indicates settlement at about this time. Delhi has had many incarnations, with at least eight major powers building their capital here. The final Delhi, New Delhi, was constructed by the British, becoming the capital of independent India in 1947.

Although it's somewhat spread out- urban sprawl is rife- Delhi is relatively straightforward city to navigate. The Yamuna River twists around the capital's northeastern precincts and the city is dotted with green patches such as leafy Lodhi Garden and the forested ridge west to Rashtrapati Bhawan.

There are two main sections: Old Delhi and New Delhi. New Delhi is spacious and planned; its heart is the vast shop-and-restaurant-laden traffic circle known as Connaught Place. In stark contrast is action-packed Old Delhi to the north- famed for its historic Mughal architecture, most notably the Red Fort and Jama Masjid. Old Delhi's main artery is the chronically congested Chandni Chowk.

Still getting around the city is a breeze once you have mastered the art of local taxi and rickshaw fare-setting. There is no dearth of auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, taxis and buses and there is also a modern metro rail system.

The capital of the world's second most populous nation-India, Delhi is without a doubt one of Asia's most enigmatic and captivating cities. Regardless of how many times you visit and no matter how convinced you may be that you have peeled back the skin of this multi-layered city, there are always more layers underneath. Demystifying Delhi seems to be a perpetual work in progress and that's precisely what makes it so intensely memorable, so deeply addictive.

This gutsy city has endured a long history of conquering armies, bloody resistance, fleeing populations and itinerant traders, having been singled out as a desired capital by atleast eight major powers. As a result, Delhi's construction has been a patchwork affair, with each ruler opting to build anew rather than add to an existing city. The city doesn't have a single defining persona but rather a conglomeration of disparate identities that reflect not only a kaleidoscopic history but a jumble of inhabitants.

Serving as North India's major international gateway, Delhi's exposure to people from different nationalities and walks of life has also played a hand in making it the cosmopolitan city you see today: tolerant, creative, quick to adapt, tenacious and with an amazing capacity for reinvention.

You don't have to peer through a magnifying glass to see this incredible diversity, the city oozes with it: the Sikh gurudwara (temple) standing a stone's throw away from the Hindu temple; the huge western style shopping malls looming over the little Ayurvedic apothecary. When hunger strikes, Delhi delights with delicious menu items. Thanks to the locals' love of eating out and their willingness to try out new things. It's hardly surprising that Delhi is described as one of India's tastiest towns.

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