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Qutub Minar, Delhi Tour & TravelDelhi has evolved over the ruins of seven cities, built by rulers from the Hindu Rajputs to the Mughals and finally the British. The earliest references to habitation in this area lie in the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata. According to popular belief, in the 1st century BC, Raja Dhilu is said to have settled the city which was named after him. Artefacts including terracotta pots, coins and jewellery, indicate its importance as a trading city in the Mauryan era, and there are references to 'Dilli' in the 2nd century AD by Ptolemy.

Work began soon, with the famous British architect Edwin Lutyens being commissioned to build the new city. New Delhi, crowned by the classical Rashtrapati Bhavan that housed the Viceroy, the parliament, offices of government and spacious bungalows, was laid out as the new capital. In 1931, it was officially inaugurated and remained the seat of British governance till independence in 1947.

A city of great character, of contrasts and convolutions - this is Delhi, the capital city of India. A city with antiquity dating back over 2,000 years, it is also a modern metropolis with fast cars and neon lit shopping malls. So varied are the shades of Delhi's different faces, it is difficult to grasp it in a short span of time.

Home to over 10 million people, the sights of Destination Delhi range from the ruins of the seven historical cities built over time, monuments that testify to its position as a central hub of commerce and government, to symbols of an ever-growing prosperity in the southern parts that has engulfed a multitude of old villages. Even a cursory glance at a Delhi destination guide will reveal that here is a city that is simply packed with important sights that include the historical, cultural and the religious. This is the home of the Qutub Minar and India Gate, Chandni Chowk and the Red Fort, the Lotus Temple and Jama Masjid. Delhi is the city of the mythological Pandavs and the mythical Indraprastha, of the medieval Sultanate and of the great Mughal, Shah Jahan.

The large number of important sightseeing venues and the expanse of the city together make Delhi actually quite a difficult city to "do" in a short span of time. North Delhi, which is Old Delhi, is the area where the Mughals left behind some of the greatest architectural delights in all of India. In the southern parts of New Delhi are more remnants from bygone eras: forts, mausoleums and other sundry monuments.

But it is central Delhi where much of the action happens; this is Lutyen's Delhi, where the corridors of power are located and only the most successful companies can afford the real estate. Tourists flock to central Delhi with the intuition of homing pigeons. Budget accommodation abounds in Paharganj, from where the New Delhi railway station is just a short walk, a brief auto-rickshaw ride will get one to the atmospheric lanes of Old Delhi, and the pleasures of Connaught Place are right there. Only a small distance from "CP" are Delhi's most important museums.

A repository of India's culture and heritage, Delhi is famous for its many museums, art galleries and crafts expositions that are a mirror to the entire country. It is also the center of most important cultural festivals, where performers from the classical arts to modern pop stars, artists, sculptors, dramatists, film-makers, all come to present their works. Charting phenomenal growth over five decades after India's independence in 1947, Delhi has now become a heterogeneous mixture of all religious groups, linguistic communities, social segments and economic brackets. While the city is bustling with activity that holds out a promise for everyone, it can brutally stamp out the vulnerable, leaving no ripples on the surface. Delhi - here you can feel the pulse of India beating to the rhythm of rapidly changing times.

How to reach ::

By air
Gateway to India and its capital city, Delhi is served by two airports to the southwest of the centre. The Indira Gandhi International Airport -Terminal II, 23 kms from Connaught Place receives all the international flights.
The domestic airport, Indira Gandhi Terminal I, is 15 kms from Connaught Place. The airport is divided into two sections. Terminal I-A is used by the national carrier Indian Airlines, while Terminal I-B is for private airlines.

By train
The two major railway stations of Delhi are New Delhi Station close to Connaught Place, and Old Delhi Station in the congested Old Delhi area. . The quieter Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in south Delhi gets south-bound trains and the fast trains to Agra.

By bus
The main bus stand is at Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), close to Old Delhi railway station. All inter-state buses terminate and begin from here. Private buses pull in at the New Delhi Railway Station near Connaught Place.