|Metro Map of Delhi|
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Delhi (From Wikipedia)
Delhi (Hindi: दिल्ली, Urdu: دہلی or دلّی, Punjabi: ਦਿੱਲੀ) is a metropolis in northern India. The name Delhi also refers to the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) , which is a special union territory jointly administered by the Central government, the NCT elected government and three municipal corporations. The metropolis of Delhi and the National Capital Territory of Delhi are coextensive and for most practical purposes they are considered to be the same entity. New Delhi, an urban area within the metropolis of Delhi, is the seat of the Government of India.
Delhi is the sixth most populous metropolis in the world with a population of 15.3 million (2005 figure). Delhi's metropolitan area, informally known as the National Capital Region (NCR), comprises of the NCT and the neighbouring satellite towns of Faridabad and Gurgaon in Haryana, and Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh making it the sixth most populous agglomeration in the world, with an estimated population of 19.7 million.
Delhi has the most vibrant history among prominent cities or towns of India. Delhi was the capital of several empires in ancient India and has over 60,000 recognized monuments built over several millennia. It is believed to be the site of Indraprastha, founded by the Pandavas of the Mahabharata around 5000 BC. Delhi derives its historic importance from its position in northern India between the Aravalli Hills to the southwest and the Yamuna river on whose western banks it stands. This enabled it to dominate the old trade routes from northwest India to the plains of the Ganges. As a result, it has always been an important cultural and intellectual centre. Due to high migration rate, Delhi registers as one of the fastest growing cities in Asia. As a consequence, it faces key issues like environmental degradation, air and water pollution, traffic congestion and acute power and water shortage.
Origin of name
The name Delhi is of uncertain etymology. One suggestion is that the name Delhi is derived from the Mauryan king, Maharaja Dhillu. However, some historians believe that the word Dilli, another name for Delhi, orignated from the Persian word Dahleez (Urdu: دہلیز) meaning frontier or threshold. Another school suggests that the city's original name is Dhillika. The Persianized surname Dahelvi is also related to residents of Delhi.
Delhi is believed to be the site Indraprastha, capital of the Pandavas in the Indian epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC. Hindu texts state that the city of Delhi used to be referred to in Sanskrit as Hastinapur, which means "elephant-city". Archaeological evidence suggests that Indraprastha once stood where the Old Fort is today. The earliest architectural relics date back to the Maurya Period (c. 300 BC); since then the site has seen continuous settlement. The famous Iron pillar near the Qutub Minar was commissioned by the emperor Kumara Gupta I of the Gupta dynasty (320-540) and transplanted to Delhi during the 10th century. Eight major cities have been situated in the Delhi area. The first four cities were in the southern part of present-day Delhi.
The Tomara Rajput dynasty founded the city of Lal Kot in 736 A.D. near the Qutub Minar. The epic Prithvirajaraso names the Rajput Anangpal as the founder of Delhi. The Chauhan Rajput kings of Ajmer conquered Lal Kot in 1180 A.D. and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora. The Chauhan king Prithviraj III was defeated in 1192 by the Afghan Muhammad Ghori. From 1206, Delhi became the capital of the Delhi Sultanate under the Slave Dynasty. The first Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aybak was a former slave who rose through the ranks to become a general, a governor and then Sultan of Delhi. Qutb-ud-din started the construction the Qutub Minar to commemorate his victory but died before its completion. In the Qutb complex he also constructed the Quwwat-al-Islam (might of Islam), which is the earliest extant mosque in India. After the end 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 1526, following the First Battle of Panipat, Zahiruddin Babur, the former ruler of Fergana, defeated the last Lodhi sultan and founded the Mughal dynasty which ruled from Delhi, Agra and Lahore.
In the mid-sixteenth century there was an interruption in the Mughal rule of India as Sher Shah Suri defeated Babur's son Humayun and forced him to flee to Afghanistan and Persia. Sher Shah Suri built the sixth city of Delhi, as well as the old fort known as Purana Qila and the Grand Trunk Road. After Sher Shah Suriís early death, Humayun recovered the throne with Persian help. The third and greatest Mughal emperor, Akbar, moved the capital to Agra resulting in a decline in the fortunes of Delhi. In the mid-seventeenth century, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658) built the seventh city of Delhi that sometimes bears his name (Shahjahanabad), and is more commonly known as the old city or old Delhi. The old city served as the capital of the later Mughal Empire from 1638 onwards, when Shah Jahan transferred the capital back from Agra. Aurangzeb (1658-1707) crowned himself as emperor in Delhi in 1658. In 1761, Delhi was raided by Ahmed Shah Abdali after the Third battle of Panipat.
Delhi passed to British control in 1857 after the First War of Indian Independence. Shortly after the First War of Independence, Calcutta was declared the capital of British India and Delhi was made a district province of the Punjab. But in 1911, Delhi was again declared as the capital of India. Parts of the old city were pulled down to create New Delhi, a monumental new quarter of the city designed by the British architect 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 after independence in 1947.
During the Partition of India thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees from West Punjab and Sindh migrated to Delhi. In 1984, the assassination of then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, led to a violent backlash against the Sikh community, resulting in more than a thousand deaths. In 1991, the Parliament of India passed the National Capital Territory Act which gave Delhi its own legislative assembly, though with limited powers.
With an estimated Gross Domestic Product of 478 billion INR (2005 figure), Delhi is an important commercial center in South Asia. According to the economic survey of Delhi, carried out in 2000-01, Delhi had a per capita income of 38,860 INR and recorded an annual economic growth rate of 9.9%. In 2001, the tertiary sector contributed 78.4% of Delhi's GDP followed by Secondary and Primary sectors with 20.2% and 1.4% contribution respectively. The city enjoys a considerably high literacy rate (81.7%). Delhi's workforce constituted 32.84% of the population showing an increase of 51.9% between 1991 and 2001. This massive increase in the workforce was primarily due to migration of unemployed people from neighbouring states. As a consequence, Delhi's unemployment rate increased from 5.7% to 12.7% during the period 1992 to 2000. In December 2000, 991,000 people were registered with various employment exchange programs in Delhi.
Historically, Delhi has always been the economic capital of northern India. In early 19th century, it started to gain importance in arts and craft, textile and handloom. Many small-scale industries expanded, including the handloom and copper utensils industry. By the end of the 19th century, Delhi was northern India's manufacturing hub. Delhi lies along the important trade route between Punjab and the Gangetic plains making it one of ancient India's most important trading center.
In recent years, Delhi's service sector has expanded exponentially due in part to the large skilled English-speaking workforce that has attracted many multinational companies. Key service industries include information technology, telecommunications, hotels, banking, media, tourism and life sciences. Delhi's manufacturing industry has also grown considerably as many consumer goods industries have established manufacturing units and headquarters in and around Delhi. Delhi's large consumer market, coupled with the easy availability of skilled labour, has attracted a lot of foreign investment in Delhi. In 2001, the manufacturing sector employed 731,000 workers (24.6% of Delhi's workforce) while the number of industrial units increased by 48.4%. However, the contribution of the manufacturing sector to Delhi's GDP declined from 25.4% in 1994 to 20.2% in 2001. Construction, banking, power, telecommunications, health and community services and real estate form integral parts of Delhi's economy. Tourism is also a significant contributor to the economy of Delhi. Other key industries include goverment administration and defence. In 2001, the Union government had a total workforce of more than 212,000 in Delhi while the State government employed more than 114,000 people. Other local government bodies in Delhi employ as many as 298,000 people. In comparision, organised private sector employed only 217,000.
Delhi's relatively high per capita income, better living standards and high economic growth rate has attracted a lot of people from rural areas in neighbouring states such as Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Due to this high migration rate, Delhi registers as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. According to a United Nations report, Delhi will be the third largest agglomerate in the world after Tokyo and Mumbai by 2025.
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