New Delhi Travel Guide
Introduction to New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital of India. Calcutta (now Kolkata) was the capital of India during the British Raj until December 1911, however prior to British reign, Delhi served as the centre of several empires of ancient India, most notably of the Mughal empire from 1649 to 1857. In the early 1900s, the Brits took a cue from their predecessors and moved the capital back to Delhi. Long story short, New Delhi was inaugurated as the new capital on 13 February, 1931.
Leading 20th-century British architect Edwin Lutyens planned much of New Delhi. Designed as a testament to Britain's imperial airs, New Delhi is structured around 2 central promenades called the Rajpath and the Janpath. With a total area of 42.7 square kilometres and a population of 250,000 - New Delhi forms a small part of the Delhi metropolitan area. At the heart of the city is the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India and the largest residence of any head of state in the world.
New Delhi is considered an international city due to its multi-ethnic and multicultural presence. National events such as Republic Day, Independence Day and Gandhi's birthday are celebrated big time. On India's Independence Day (August 15), the Indian Prime Minister addresses the nation from the historic Red Fort. On this day many Delhiites rejoice by flying kites, which are considered a symbol of freedom.
The majority (83.8 percent) of New Delhi’s population identify as Hindu, so it goes without saying that religious festivals are a huge part of the culture here and just about every week of the year is dedicated to a celebration of some sort. Aside from religion, New Delhi celebrates art and culture with its annual India Art Fair now attracting over 90,000 people from around the world. Art, music, dance, religion, food and fashion are all celebrated in New Delhi, ensuring any visit to this city is guaranteed to be a spectacle, all year round.