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Delhi - India
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Delhi (or New Delhi, sometimes referred to as Dilli) is the second largest metropolis in India, with a population of 17 million, and a federally-administered union territory officially known as the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT). Located on the banks of the Yamuna River in northern India, it is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Delhi has been the capital of several ancient Indian empires and a major city along the old trade routes between northwest India and the Indo-Gangetic Plains. It is the site of many ancient and medieval monuments, archaeological sites and remains. The Mughal emperor Shahjahan built the city, now known as "Old Delhi", to serve as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857.

After the British Raj took control of India during the 19th century, Calcutta became the capital until George V announced in 1911 that it was to move back to Delhi. A new capital city, New Delhi, was built during the 1920s. When India gained independence from British rule in 1947, New Delhi was declared its capital and seat of government. As such, New Delhi houses important offices of the federal government, including the Parliament of India. Owing to the immigration of people from across the country, Delhi has grown to be a cosmopolitan city. Its rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed the city. Today, Delhi is a major cultural, political, and commercial center of India. Human habitation was probably present in and around Delhi during the second millennium BC and before, as evidenced by archeological relics. The city is believed to be the site of Indraprastha, legendary capital of the Pandavas in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Settlements grew from the time of the Mauryan Empire (c. 300 BC). Remains of seven major cities have been discovered in Delhi. The Tomara dynasty founded the city of Lal Kot in 736 AD. The Chauhan Rajputs of Ajmer conquered Lal Kot in 1180 AD and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora. The Chauhan king Prithviraj III was defeated in 1192 by the Afghan Muhammad Ghori. In 1206, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty established the Delhi Sultanate. Qutb-ud-din started the construction the Qutub Minar and Quwwat-al-Islam (might of Islam), the earliest extant mosque in India. After the fall of the Slave dynasty, a succession of Turkic and Central Asian dynasties, the Khilji dynasty, the Tughluq dynasty, the Sayyid dynasty and the Lodhi dynasty held power in the late medieval period, and built a sequence of forts and townships that are part of the seven cities of Delhi. In 1398, Timur Lenk invaded India on the pretext that the Muslim sultans of Delhi were too much tolerant to their Hindu subjects. Timur entered Delhi and the city was sacked, destroyed, and left in ruins. Delhi was a major center of Sufism during the Sultanate period. In 1526, Zahiruddin Babur defeated the last Lodhi sultan in the First Battle of Panipat and founded the Mughal Empire that ruled from Delhi, Agra and Lahore. Delhi came under direct British control after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In 1911, Delhi was declared the capital of British India and a new political and administrative capital was designed by a team of British architects led by Edwin Lutyens to house the government buildings. New Delhi, also known as Lutyens' Delhi, was officially declared as the seat of the Government of India and the capital of the republic after independence on 15 August 1947. The Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Act gave Delhi its own legislative assembly, though with limited powers.

After the British Raj took control of India during the 19th century, Calcutta became the capital until George V announced in 1911 that it was to move back to Delhi. A new capital city, New Delhi, was built during the 1920s. When India gained independence from British rule in 1947, New Delhi was declared its capital and seat of government. As such, New Delhi houses important offices of the federal government, including the Parliament of India. The National Capital Territory of Delhi is spread over an area of 1,483 km² (573 sq mi), of which 783 km² (302 sq mi) is designated rural, and 700 km² (270 sq mi) urban. Delhi is located at 28°61'N, 77°23'E, and it borders the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh on East and Haryana on West, North and South. Delhi has a semi-arid climate with high variation between summer and winter temperatures. Summers are long, from early April to October, with the monsoon season in between. Winter starts in October and peaks in January and is notorious for its heavy fog. With an estimated net State Domestic Product (SDP) of INR 830.85 billion (19.55 billion USD) (FY 2005), Delhi is the second largest commercial center in South Asia after Mumbai. Delhi has a per capita income of 53,976 INR (1,270 USD) which is around 2.5 times of the national average. Buses (state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC)) are the most popular means of transport catering to about 60% of the total demand. The Delhi Metro, a mass rapid transit system, serves many parts of Delhi. As of 2007, the metro operates three lines with a total length of 65 km (40 miles) and 59 stations while several other lines are under construction. Delhi is a major junction in the rail map of India and is the headquarters of the Northern Railway. The four main railway stations are Old Delhi, Nizamuddin Railway Station, Sarai Rohilla and New Delhi Railway Station. Auto rickshaws are an important and popular means of public transportation in Delhi, as they charge a lower fare than taxis. Most run on Compressed Natural Gas and are yellow and green in color. Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) is situated in the southwestern corner of Delhi and serves for domestic and international connections. In 2006–07, the airport recorded a traffic of more than 20.44 million passengers, making it one of the busiest airports in South Asia. The proposed Taj International Airport is expected to be operational by 2012

Websites:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Delhi
http://goidirectory.nic.in/delhi.htm
http://delhigovt.nic.in/
http://dcnewdelhi.delhigovt.nic.in/images/ndmap.gif
http://www.indianrail.gov.in
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