Delhi is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. Delhi is situated on the banks of Yamuna and extends over an area of 1484 sq km. The city is bordered by the Haryana in the north, west and south and Uttar Pradesh in the east. Delhi is the largest commercial center in the northern India and the culture of Delhi has been influenced by its important history as the capital of India. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many a times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt here. Interestingly, a number of Delhi's rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creators.
The old city of Delhi was surrounded by a high stone wall, erected in 1638. It is approached through seven arched gateways, including the Delhi Gate in the south, the Ajmer Gate in the east, and the Kashmir Gate in the north. Within the walls is a maze of congested narrow streets, alleys, busy bazaars, and some of the nation's most spectacular Indo-Muslim architectural features. Delhi can be said to be the true portrayer of India culture. Delhi manages to seamlessly blend the traditional and the modern.
History of Delhi
The first city was built in the 12th century AD by the Cahaman ruler Prithviraja. It was captured by Muslims in 1193 and became the capital of a Muslim empire in India under Qutubuddin Aybak, builder of the Qutb Minar tower. Muslim control ended with the capture and destruction of Delhi in the late 14th century by the Turkish conqueror Tamerlane. Babur, founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, restored Delhi to capital status in 1526, and his son Humayun built a new city here. Delhi has been the political hub of India. Every political activity in the country traces its roots here. This was true even of the mythological era. The Pandavas of the Mahabharata had their capital at Indraprastha, which is believed to have been geographically located in today's Delhi.