Delhi - The Capital of India
The capital city of the country and one of the largest cities in India. Delhi has a history extending back over three millennia. Since then, it has been through many rulers and many changes. It is its varied history that makes it a treasure trove for tourists. Tracing the history of these several cities can prove to be both fascinating and exhausting.
Today Delhi is a crowded and extremely polluted modern city, which has ancient, crumbling structures cropping up unexpectedly in every area. The more ancient monuments are around South Delhi, where the huge, thick wall of Siri Fort runs parallel to a main road, and the gargantuan ruins of Tughlaqabad occupy the outskirts of the city. The famous Qutab Minar is among the oldest relics of the first Mohammedan rulers of Delhi. Close to the centre of town is the more modern "kotla" or humble home of Feroze Shah Tughlaq, part of the fifth city of Delhi. Purana Qila and Lal Qila, the Old Fort and the Red Fort are the sixth and seventh incarnations of Delhi, whereas Lutyens Delhi built by the British and inaugurated in 1931 is the last. There are other scattered remains of history, including Humayun's Tomb, Lodi Gardens, Hauz Khas village, Khirki masjid, the mausoleum of Nizam-ud-din Chishti, Balban's Tomb, some well known, others obscure, all evocative of the lives and times of bygone eras.
Apart from history and architecture, Delhi has hundreds of markets, some selling everything from toothpaste to truck tyres. Connaught Place is still the centre of town, though almost everything you get here is available elsewhere. The old city area, Chandni Chowk, is a different experience, with tiny, crowded streets and Sunday bazaars in addition to the usual stalls. Then there are the upmarket, posh shopping areas, of which South Extension, Defence Colony, Greater Kailash, Hauz Khas are the most popular.