Delhi is located in northern India and was declared a union territory on December 1991.
It is believed that Delhi was named after a king of the Mauryan dynasty who built the city in 50BC. He was often referred to as Dhillu or Dilu. In Prakrit, the word 'dhili' means 'loose'. The Rajputs often referred to the city as Dhili in reference to the weak foundation of the iron pillar that was built by Raja Dhava in the city.
Capital: New Delhi
Area and Borders:
The union territory covers an area of 1,483 square kilometres and is bordered by Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu are the chief languages spoken.
Learn to Speak Hindi:
- What is your name?: Ap ka naam kya hain?
- How are you?: Tum kaise ho?/Aap kaise hain?
- I am fine: Main achha hoon.
- What did you do?: Tumne/Aapne (respect) kya kiya?
The climate of Delhi is influenced by the monsoons with high variations between summer and winter temperatures. Summers start in April and peak in May, with average temperatures close to 32 degree Celsius. Winters start in November and peak in January with average temperatures of around 12 degree Celsius.
The monsoons start in late June and last until mid- September with about 800mms of rain.
The important crops grown here are wheat, gram, bajra and jowar. The region makes use of irrigation to cultivate crops. The important sources of irrigation are tube wells, wells and canals.
Delhi is known for its skilled craftsmen. In the past, the economy was driven mainly by the production of jewellery, embroidery, silver and brass ware, silk, handloom products, ivory, textiles and copper and brass utensils. The city is rich in quartzite rock, which is used for the production of stone ware and for building construction. Tourism and the service sector also play a major role in Delhi's economy.
Humayun's Tomb is the mausoleum of Mughal emperor Humayun. It is the first Mughal garden-tomb to be built on the Indian subcontinent and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Jantar Mantar was built in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur. It is an observatory that houses instruments that were used to keep track of celestial bodies.The Bahai Temple is one of the architectural splendours of India. It is built in the shape of a half-open lotus and rises to a height of more than 40 metres.
Arts and Crafts:
Shahjahanabad, better known as Old Delhi, has a rich craft legacy. It was known for its ivory carving and its Meenakari work. Delhi is also known for its Zardozi work, which uses golden thread and semi-precious stones to create embroidery on silks and velvets.Another craft that has brought Delhi fame is the production of silver paper or varak. Varak is the thin sheet of silver used on Indian sweets.
The traditional attire of women in Delhi is the salwar kameez. Men dress in kurtas and pyjamas. On formal occasions like marriages, women wear elaborate saris whereas men wear sherwanis or western suits.
The cuisine is famous for its variety and spice. The food is a mixture of North Indian food, Mughlai food, Punjabi food and mouth-watering street food. Delhi is famous for its chaat including papri, bhalle-papri, aloo tikki and gol gappe.
The Phulwalon-ki-Sair or the Flower Sellers' Procession takes place annually in the month of October. This festival is specific to an area called Mehrauli and first originated in the 16th Century. The procession ends with people carrying decorated floral fans to the shrine of Khwaja Utb-ud-din Bakhtyar Kaki and the Temple of Jogmaya. The procession finally ends at Jahaz Mahal, a 16th Century resort by the side of a lake.
- Amir Khusrau was a Persian poet who was associated with many royal courts. He is known for his playful riddles and songs. He is associated with Sufism and is said to be the creator of the Qawwali form of music.
- The Union Territory is Famous for: The Garden Tourism Festival, which is a three-day festival that is organised in the month of February every year.
- A variety of flowers, exotic plants, trees, rockeries, fountains, theme-based gardens, lily pools and horticultural demonstrations are displayed here.