Delhi is a city of contrasts, on one side there are symbols of a historical past while on the other, it is a bustling city comprising skyscrapers, advanced means of transport including metro and modern infrastructure. Being India’s capital also makes it one of the most important cities in India as it is here where the major decisions that will impact the country are made. As far as Delhi’s position as a tourist centre is considered, it is definitely on the top due to its various aspects, both ancient and contemporary. Its strategic location and easy access also make Delhi a popular destination for travelers. Perhaps, these were also one of the reasons why Delhi was an easy target for invaders in the past. It was the Mughal rule in the mid 17th century that added to the beauty of Delhi with its magnificent buildings which are architectural marvels and which even today are the identity marks of the city. Then came the British Raj, which brought along with it, the British architectural symbols and added to the spectacle that was Delhi. The fine constructions in red sandstone stand proudly in Delhi even today, announcing their royal magnificence.
Today, it is hard to define Delhi or rather it is difficult to categorise it, as however you name it, Delhi stands true to all definitions. Whether you call it an ancient city with history marking its presence in the old monumental buildings or you call it a modern metro, Delhi is all these and more. Today, Delhi is witnessing a sort of redevelopment in all spheres. The Metro has added its charm to Delhi and has made it to the list of modern cities. There is also a rush of modern infrastructure as new flyovers are being built, malls and multiplexes have become a part of modern lifestyle and coffee outlets display the contemporary culture but at the same time, ancient monuments are getting their own attention and uplift and the regal gardens too are beautified, thus enhancing the skyline and ethereal beauty of Delhi. Yet, if you delve underneath, you will find an astonishing historical past and you will be greeted by a Delhi which even today practices century-old customs and traditions and you will witness stark contrasts that are part of India’s identity, a culture where the modern century and past period clash with each other but still, have learnt to exist amicably with each other.
The Delhi Charm
Though there are many features that can be referred to as the charming aspects of Delhi, it is the elegant buildings that stand out from the rest. Edwin Lutyens, the British architect, whose signature style is behind most of the British monuments, would not have imagined that his creations will continue to amaze onlookers, even centuries later. One of the buildings that come in the world list of amazing architecture has to the Rashtrapati Bhavan located at Raisina Hills and the Mughal Gardens that seem to have put a loving fence all around it, protecting and beautifying the splendid construction. Of course, even in the educational front, Delhi stands proud with many educational institutions, one being the JNU or the Jawaharlal Nehru University, which can count illustrious and renowned Indians as its alumni.
Today, thanks to its reputation as the Capital City of India, Delhi is also increasingly becoming a corporate city with glitzy offices of eminent industrialists flaunting their presence, a symbol of Delhi’s fast growing aspect in terms of industrialization. Apart from that, Delhi has also the most advanced communication means and other infrastructure. The traffic jams on its high-end roads are symbolic of the bustling metropolis it is and Delhi is also renowned for its highly efficient public transport.
The Amazing Historic Structures of Delhi
Delhi has a lively landscape with majestic monuments that not only stand as a proud reminder of a glorious past but also take us to a time when architecture was at its golden peak. The different towers and the minute details that went into their making not only fill us with awe-inspiring delight but also inspire and amaze us in many ways. Old Delhi or Purani Dilli, as it is referred to, comprises old buildings which are still going strong, ready to awe even the next generations. Though each of the buildings is as good as the next, two monuments that need a special mention are the Red Fort and the pious Jama Masjid. The former along with Taj Mahal is fittingly, one of the wonders of the world. Mehrauli, considered to be the first city in Delhi situated in the south, was perhaps one of the ancient cities, as it came into existence in the 12th century or so. The other must mention monument is the exotic Qutab Minar, then there is the Humayun’s Tomb, listed as one of the World Heritage Sites, and the amazing Jantar Mantar, which stands as a symbol of scientific advancement in the early days, which was set up by Sawai Man Singh to follow and study the movements of celestial bodies.
The New Swanky Addition to Delhi – The Metro
Gone are the days when Delhi-ites had to just look at Metro railways on television, now it is a reality as the Delhi Metro has changed the way Delhi looks and travels. It has not only helped ease the busy traffic of Delhi but has also made travelling easier and more comfortable. It will also help make Delhi cleaner as hopefully vehicular traffic on roads will be less. Another plan that hopes to beautify Metro is to transform the area of Metro’s Connaught Place Station, above the ground, into a park including an amphitheatre, water bodies and more.
Delhi – The Shopping Hub
What is a tourist centre or a city without shopping arenas? And Delhi, the Capital of India, should have more and it indeed has. Delhi is a place where antiquity meets contemporary period and this unique connection is also quite visible when one has to shop. The old bazaars or the traditional market places that sell everything from spices, artifacts, handicrafts to clothes or the new sprawling malls that are home to international brands, Delhi has all and everything that a shopper looks for. The best part is that Delhi has something to offer for all types of budgets. A visit to Delhi Haat can take you to different states as one gets all kinds of handloom and handicrafts from various parts of India under one roof. While in Delhi, get some unique ‘attar’ or fragrances and you will forget your international branded perfumes. Some of the attars available here even date back to the Mughal area, may be packaging and some ingredients might have changed but the fragrance still captivates. Munch popcorns or zoom around with a cappuccino in and around these markets or in between catch a movie, do what you wish to, for Delhi welcomes you with its powerful arms.
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