“Once there was nothing here.
Now, look how minarets camouflage the sunset.
Do you hear the call to prayer?
It leaves me unwinding scrolls of legend
till I reach the first brick they brought here.
How the prayers rose, brick by brick?”
– Agha Shahid Ali –
Delhi, the capital of India incorporates a robust historical background. It has been dominated by a number of the foremost powerful emperors in Indian history.
In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the city was referred to as Indraprastha, where the Pandavas were accustomed live. In the course of eight centuries, a lot of cities emerged near Indraprastha. These were Lal Kot, Siri, Dinpanah, Quila Rai Pithora, Ferozabad, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad, and Shahjahanabad.
Delhi has been a witness to political turmoil for over 5 centuries. It has been dominated by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs.
In 1206 the legions of the Afghan Muhammad of Ghor captured the city, and therefore Old Delhi was established. He indirectly ruled the Ghurish territories in northern India through his general, Qutb ud-Din Aibak, whose descendants separated from the Ghurish empire gradually, forming the Mamluk Dynasty of Delhi Sultans.
Following the Mamluk dynasty was the Khalji Dynasty (1290-1320) and then the Tughluq (1302-1414). These were followed by the Sayyid Dynasty (1414-1451) and the Lodi Dynasty (1451-1526). The Mughal Dynasty ruled over Delhi next.
The city lost its charm for a brief period of time when the Mughal capital was shifted to Agra in 1526. The emperor Shah Jahan crowned Delhi as the capital back again in 1638. In 1757 it was captured by the Hindu Marathas. Their rule extended until 1803 before they were defeated by the colonizers.
From Hindu Kings to Muslim Sultans, the city has seen through varied sorts of monarchs and their subjects. The soil has experienced the smell of blood, sacrifices, and love for the land.
The ‘Havelis’ and edifices from the past stand silent today. Their silence conjointly speaks volumes for their house owners and folks who lived here centuries back.
In the year 1803 AD, the town came under Britisth colonial rule. In 1911, the British shifted their capital Old Delhi. It once more became the middle of all the governing activities. But the town has had the name of overthrowing the occupants of its throne. It enclosed the British and therefore the current political parties that have had the honor of leading a free India.
After independence in 1947, it was finally declared the National Capital of India.
Delhi Weather / Climate
Delhi has an extreme climate. It is terribly warm in the summer months and much cooler in winters as compared to other Indian cities. The typical temperature here will vary from 25℃ to 45℃ throughout the summer season and 22℃ to 5℃ in the winter months.
Keep adequate precuations in mind during summer. To avoid extreme heat, wear lightweight and light-colored cotton clothes, and drink a lot of water. In winter, sporting dark, woolen articles of clothing can shield you from the cold.
Languages in Delhi
Delhi is a linguistically diverse language. The languages spoken here locally include Hindi, English, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, and Marathi amongst others.
Delhi’s linguistic variety is due to migrants settling down here from all parts of the country. Hopes of bringing home a better income lure individuals to bigger towns and cities, and Delhi is no exception to that.
The official languages here are Hindi and English.
Interesting facts about Delhi
- Delhi might as well be greener than assumed. Surprised? The forestcover in Delhi accounts for about 21.3% of the total area, as according to recent data from 2021. This is no easy feat to accomplish for a country that is home to a fifth of the world’s population.
- Five of the original 14 gates of the walled city of Delhi are still standing. These are:
i. Ajmeri Gate: Facing Ajmer in present-day Rajasthan;
ii. Lahori Gate: Facing Lahore in present-day Pakistan;
iii. Kashmiri Gate: Pointing North towards Kashmir;
iv. Delhi Gate: Road to earlier cities of Delhi;
v. Turkman Gate: Named after Sufi Saint Shah Turkman Bayabani.
- Delhi is home to about 300,000 people, and its metropolis has about 14 million people. Of these, 88.8 % are Hindus. The rest are Muslims, Sikhs, Jain, and Christians.
- New Delhi’s Khari Baoli Market is Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. It also might be the largest in the world. Of course, if you love spicy food, then this market is a must-visit.
- After Nairobi in Kenya, Delhi is the world’s Second most bird-rich capital city.
- The wholesale market at Azadpur is Asia’s largest fruit and vegetable market. Nearly 3,000 trucks bring in fruits and vegetables here daily for over 30,000 retail vendors.