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Delhi is the city which seems to exist in several centuries at the same time. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling Havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast the Imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings.
Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Down the ages the city has been built, destroyed and then rebuilt. Interestingly, many of Delhi’s rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creators.
The city’s importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empire and magnificent monuments, but also in its rich and diverse cultures. No wonder chroniclers of Delhi culture – from Chand bardai and Amir khusro o William Dalrymple and filmmakers Dibakar Banrjee – are never at a loss for themes.
Delhi is also the political hub of India. The Pandavas in the age of the Mahabharata had their capital at Indraprastha, which is believed to have been geography located in today’s Delhi. The various Hindu and the Muslim rulers contributed to its growth. The British Raj of course decided to make it the capital of colonized India by shifting the Raj from Kolkata to Delhi in 1911. Thus, on 12 December, 2011, the national capital turned 100 years old. In post independence metropolis with a vibrant culture – a kaleidoscope of India’s cultural diversity.
For first-timers, Delhi cam seems chaotic and confusing with its crazy traffic. Connecting all parts of the vast city, the Delhi Metro brings all places of interest within a hopping distance. Take the Metro to experience the city full of dazzling gems, captivating ancient monuments, fascinating museums, open green spaces, vivacious performing-arts venues, fabulous eating places and bustling markets.