Delhi is India's capital and 2nd largest city. It is also one of the oldest cities in Asia and the many layers of its history make it a fascinating places to visit in Delhi. Delhi is the leading international gateway into north India and for many visitors arrival here will be their first taste of the country in all its splendour.
India is often described as a land of extremes and of contrasts and Delhi certainly lives up to this reputation. There is no escaping the occasional glimpse of chaos and poverty, but at the same time the city bursts with beautiful architecture, extreme wealth and an ever-improving infrastructure as the city strives to recreate itself as a 21st century megacity to rival those elsewhere in Asia.
For the visitor, Delhi can be seen in three main sections: Old Delhi, New Delhi and South Delhi. Old Delhi refers to that part of the metropolis on the west bank of the Yamuna River and a typical sightseeing tour of the city will begin here. This part of Delhi is home to the Jama Masjid- the largest mosque in India and possibly its grandest as well.
Nearby are the markets of Chandni Chowk which are the busiest in Delhi and present an incredibly vibrant picture of the city and her residents- a cycle-rickshaw ride through these markets is a truly eye-opening experience.
During the early part of the 20th century, New Delhi was conceived as the capital of the British Raj (the previous capital was in Calcutta, now Kolkata, in the east of the country). The architecture of the grand government buildings of New Delhi is primarily the work of one man- Edwin Lutyens- and is uniformly impressing and imposing.
Although the buildings themselves are not open to the public as the form the seat of India's central government, a tour of this area gives a glimpse of yet another of the eras of Delhi's development. Ironically British rule lasted just 15 years after the capital was shifted to Delhi- 1932-47.