The sprawling city of New Delhi is the capital of India and home to around 17 million people. It was originally designed to be the imperial capital of India by two of the leading British architects of the 20th century – Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. Construction began in 1927 alongside ‘old’ Delhi, the existing capital of Islamic India. Today the boundaries between the two are blurred and offer visitors the contrast between the old and new in this vibrant and exciting global city.
Modern day New Delhi is fast and frenetic and a melting pot for different Indian cultures and castes with Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English all widely spoken. As the national capital it is packed with museums, ancient architecture, a vibrant arts and café scene and is home to some of the most sophisticated restaurants and bars in India.
The city boats three UNESCO world heritage sites reflecting its rich cultural history. Humayun’s Tomb is an important example of Mughal architecture and influenced the later design of the Taj Mahal. Qutub Minar is the tallest minaret in India, whilst The Red Fort is a 17th century complex that served as the residences of the Mughal Emperors and showcases the best of Mughal architecture and design. Other popular attractions are the Siri Fort ruins and the ruined 13th-century palace on the Yamuna river in Feroz Shah Kotla.For a complete contrast visit Connaught Place, the centre of modern Delhi’s financial, commercial and business districts. The circular complex houses shops, cinemas, restaurants and businesses and has a sprawling underground bazaar selling a bewildering range of items from across India.
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