7 Interesting Facts about New Delhi, India
- New Delhi, with over 250,000 residents, has been India’s capital since 1931.The city is part of the huge megabyte of Delhi (one of the city’s eleven districts), which consists of more than 25 million people (although the numbers vary widely in various sources). Did you know? “Megabytes” are, by definition, cities with more than ten million residents. According to Norwegian Wikipedia, Delhi is the world’s fourth largest megabyte.
- Until India became a British crown colony in the mid-1800s, however, it is today referred to as the “Old Delhi” capital(not very far from New Delhi). This city was originally called Shahjahanabad (since it was founded by the great Shah Shah Jahan in 1639).
- British India was long ruled from Calcutta (capital from 1858 to 1912)east of the country, before architects Edwin Landseer Lutyens and Herbert Baker were commissioned to plan and implement a new capital in Delhi. (British colonial rule lasted from 1858 to 1947.)
- One of the major sights in New Delhi is the 72.5 meter high Qutb Minar mine. The world’s tallest minaret (prayer tower associated with a Muslim mosque) built of boulders. Construction of the spectacular tower began in the early 13th century and is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list along with the rest of the “Qutb Complex”.
- UNESCO’s list also includes the magnificent mausoleum of the great mogul Humayun. What many do not know is that Humayun’s tomb was the source of inspiration for the more famous Taj Mahal that was built about a hundred years later.
- Also worth mentioning is “Gurudwara Bangla Sahib”,one of Sikhism’s most famous deities in Delhi, and a place of pilgrimage for Sikh pilgrims from all over India.
- Another well-known building in the city is the 42-meter-high triumphal arch “India Gate,”which was erected to honor the many Indian soldiers who fell in battle for the British Empire during World War I and the Anglo-Afghan Wars.