The ever so versatile city of Delhi is a unique blend of history and contemporary world that have seamlessly mingled and coexisted together. The first impression of the utter pandemonium in the city might overwhelm a new visitor but you will never know when you have fallen for this enthralling metropolis. Over the ages the city has witnessed emperors and kings come and go, kingdoms and empires rise and fall, and conflicts and cooperation of humanity that has carved out the city with its own spirit. Capital of modern India since 1911, this city has some of the most captivating old monuments, engaging art and culture, and modern marvels, such as, the Delhi Metro. The postcard images of iconic Delhi monuments like Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Humayun tomb or Lotus temple when come out alive in front of your eyes is anything but an awe inspiring experience. A city that embraces all these monuments has the amalgamation of different cultures from all over India. The lush open air expanse of New Delhi, also known as Lutyens’ Delhi with colonial architecture and greenery, reflects the image of the bygone colonial era, while Old Delhi still gives the tint of medieval India. Know more about this grand city by browsing through some of its interesting facts given below.
Language(s) Spoken: English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu
Religion: Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity
Area: 1483 sq. km
Population: 16.7million (as per 2011 census)
Interesting And Fun Facts About Delhi
- Delhi stands along the banks of river Yamuna and is flanked by other states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab.
- Spread over an area of 1483 sq. kilometers with an altitude of 216 meters above sea level, Delhi has a population of around 16.7 million (as per 2011 census).
- Hindi, English, Punjabi, and Urdu are the most common languages of Delhi.
- There used to be a tram service in Delhi that started in the year 1903; the same year electricity was introduced in the city. But now tram service is no more in Delhi.
- Delhi is derived from the word “Dhillika” which had around 18 different sites of various kings and emperors that include Indraprastha, Lal Kot, Quila Rai Pithora, Siri, Jahanpanah, Ferozabad, Dinpanah, Tughlakabad, Delhi Sher Shahi, Shahjahanabad, etc.
- The city of Delhi was destroyed and rebuilt seven times and ruled by successive empires and dynasties.
- Some of the most famous rulers that reigned ruled over Delhi were Tomaras, Mamluks, Khilji, Tughlaqs, Sayyids, Lodhis, Mughals, and British.
- Delhi has been found to be a region that was continuously inhabited since 6th century BCE.
- In 1206, the Delhi Sultanate was established by Qutb-ud-in-Aibak, the first ruler of slave dynasty.
- Mughal emperor Shahjahan built a walled city in Delhi in the year 1639, which served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857.
- Delhi came under the direct rule of the British Crown after the Indian rebellion of 1857; it was made a district province of Punjab.
- In 1911, the capital of British Raj was shifted from Calcutta to Delhi after George V’s declaration.
- The grand colonial architecture of New Delhi is credited to Edwin Luyten who was called by King George V for designing and building the British Empire’s administrative buildings. The most grandiose among Luyten’s creation is the Viceroy’s building which is now the presidential palace and is known as Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- 5000 workers were employed for the construction of Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. The construction commenced from 1650 and took six years to complete. The mosque was build on the orders of Emperor Shahjahan to complement his palace at the Red Fort.
- The Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret at 72.5 meters, was build by Qutub-ud-din Aibek but it was completed by his successor Iltutmish.
- In the center of the courtyard of Qutub Minar stands the iron pillar of Ashoka that is resistant to rust.
- The last fort built in India was the Red Fort which is situated in Old Delhi. It was completed in 1647 when Shahjahan decided to shift the Mughal seat of power from Agra to Delhi.
- Delhi is believed to be the site of the famous city of Indraprastha, founded by the Pandavas from the Sanskrit epic of Mahabharata.
- Delhi’s maximum length is 51.9 kilometers while its maximum width is 48.48 kilometers.
- Delhi ridge is the largest city forest in Delhi, which is also known as the ‘green lungs’ of the city. The ridge is a northern extension of the Aravalli ranges and protects Delhi from the sandy winds of the west.
- The Delhi ridge makes Delhi the World’s Second most bird-rich Capital city after Nairobi in Kenya.
- Compared to the Himalayas, which are 50 million years old, Delhi Ridge still stands with a whopping age of 1500 million years!
- The political status of Delhi is that of a federally-administered union territory that is known as the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) and includes National Capital Region.
- The National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) is the largest metropolis by area and the second largest metropolis by population.
- With the head counts of 16.7 million (2011 Census) National Capital Territory is the eight largest metropolis in the world by population.
- Delhi has the third largest tree-cover among the cities in India.
- Delhi won the United States Department of Energy’s first ‘Clean Cities International Partner of the Year’ award for ‘‘bold efforts to curb air pollution and support alternative fuel initiatives’’ in 2003.
- Delhi is ranked as the 7th most expensive office hotspot in the world.
- Delhi hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the largest and reportedly the most expensive Commonwealth Games held till date.
- Delhi’s public transport the DTC or Delhi Transport Corporation runs the world’s largest fleet of environment-friendly CNG buses.
- DTC was once called the DTU or Delhi Transport Undertaking. In early 50s and 60s, no bus was allowed to carry more than its seating capacity and an additional 12 standing passengers at the most.
- The Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, one of the satellite cities of Delhi, is among the 5 top fastest circuits in the world for Formula One racing.