City India

Delhi

Delhi has served as a capital of various kingdoms and empires.

About Delhi

Delhi officially National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census. There are nearly 22.2 million residents in the greater National Capital Region urban area (which also includes the cities Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad along with other smaller nearby towns). The name Delhi is often also used to include urban areas near the NCT, as well as to refer to New Delhi, the capital of India, which lies within the metropolis. Although technically a federally administered union territory, the political administration of the NCT of Delhi today more closely resembles that of a state of India with its own legislature, high court and an executive council of ministers headed by a Chief Minister. New Delhi, jointly administered by both the federal Government of India and the local Government of Delhi, is also the capital of the NCT of Delhi.

Located on the banks of the River Yamuna, Delhi has been known to be continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BCE, though human habitation is believed to have existed since the second millennium BCE. Delhi is also widely believed to have been the site of Indraprastha, the legendary capital of the Pandavas during the times of the Mahabharata. Delhi re-emerged as a major political, cultural and commercial city along the trade routes between northwest India and the Gangetic plain after the rise of the Delhi sultanates. It is the site of many ancient and medieval monuments, archaeological sites and remains. In 1639, Mughal emperor Shahjahan built a new walled city in Delhi which served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857.

History
Human habitation was probably present in and around Delhi during the second millennium BC and before, and continuous inhabitation has been evidenced since at least the 6th century BC.[9] The city is believed to be the site of Indraprastha, legendary capital of the Pandavas in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Settlements grew from the time of the Mauryan Empire (c. 300 BCE).

Remains of seven major cities have been discovered in Delhi. Anang Pal of the Tomara dynasty founded the city of Lal Kot in AD 736. The Chauhans conquered Lal Kot in 1180 and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora. The Chauhan king Prithviraj III was defeated in 1192 by the invader Muhammad Ghori.

In 1206, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, the first ruler of the Slave Dynasty established the Delhi Sultanate. Qutb-ud-din started the construction the Qutub Minar and Quwwat-al- Islam (might of Islam), the earliest extant mosque in India. After the fall of the Slave dynasty, a succession of Turkic and Afghan 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.

The Mughal Empire ruled Delhi for more than three centuries, with a sixteen-year hiatus during the reign of Sher Shah Suri, from 1540 to 1556. During 1553–1556, the Hindu king, Hemu Vikramaditya acceded to the throne of Delhi by defeating forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar at Agra and Delhi. However, the Mughals reestablished their rule after Akbar's army defeated Hemu during the Second Battle of Panipat. Shah Jahan built the seventh city of Delhi that 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 Mughal Empire from 1638. After 1680, the Mughal Empire's influence declined rapidly as the Hindu Marathas rose to prominence.

Geography
The National Capital Territory of Delhi is spread over an area of 1,484 km2 (573 sq mi), of which 783 km2 (302 sq mi) is designated rural, and 700 km2 (270 sq mi) urban. Delhi has a maximum length of 51.9 km (32 mi) and the maximum width of 48.48 km (30 mi). There are three local bodies (statutory towns) namely, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (area is 1,397.3 km2 or 540 sq mi), New Delhi Municipal Committee (42.7 km2 or 16 sq mi) and Delhi Cantonment Board (43 km2 or 17 sq mi).

Delhi is an expansive area, in its extremity it spans from Narela in the north to Ghitorni in the south. Najafgarh is the furthest point west, and Seemapuri is its eastern extremity. The NCR encompasses towns south and east of the said border, namely Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurgaon.

Oddly, the main expanse of Delhi does not follow a specific geographical feature. The main city area of Delhi does not end until Arjangarh in the South, Anand Vihar in the east, Singhu in the north and Nangloi in the west. The terrain of Delhi shows great variation. It changes from plain agricultural fields in the north to dry, arid hills (an offshoot of the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan) in the south and west. There used to be large natural lakes in the southern part of the city, but most have now dried up. Most of Delhi, including New Delhi, is situated on the western banks of the river Yamuna which separates the main city from eastern suburbs (commonly known as trans-Yamuna), although there is a good connectivity between the eastern and western sides, with a number of road and railway bridges as well as the Delhi Metro.

Climate
Delhi features an atypical version of the humid subtropical climate. Summers are long and extremely hot, from early April to mid-October, with the monsoon season in between. Early March sees a reversal in the direction of wind, from the north-western direction, to the south-western. These bring the hot waves from Rajasthan, carrying sand and are a characteristic of the Delhi summer. These are called loo. The months of March to May see a time of hot prickling heat. Monsoon arrives at the end of June, bringing some respite from the heat, but increasing humidity at the same time. The brief, mild winter starts in late November and peaks in January and is notorious for its heavy fog.

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