Delhi


Delhi
/del"ee/, n.
1. a union territory in N India. 4,065,698; 574 sq. mi. (1487 sq. km).
2. Also called Old Delhi. a city in and the capital of this territory: former capital of the old Mogul Empire; administrative headquarters of British India 1912-29. 3,647,023. Cf. New Delhi.

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National capital territory (pop., 2001 prelim.: 13,782,976), north-central India.

Bordered by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, it has an area of 573 sq mi (1,483 sq km) and comprises the cities of Delhi (popularly known as Old Delhi) and New Delhi (India's capital) and adjacent rural areas. Delhi was the capital of a Muslim dynasty from 1206 until it was laid waste by Timur in 1398. It was conquered by the Mughal Bābur in 1526. Although the Mughal capital was mostly at Agra, Delhi was beautified by Shah Jahān, beginning in 1638. Pillaged by Nādir Shah in 1739, it surrendered to the Marathas in 1771. Taken by the British in 1803, it was a centre of the Indian Mutiny in 1857. Delhi replaced Calcutta (now Kolkata) as the capital of British India in 1912, at which time construction began on the section of the city that became New Delhi. The capital was moved to New Delhi in 1931, and it became the capital of independent India in 1947. The area's economy and population centre mainly in Old Delhi, while government is concentrated in New Delhi. The government is the chief employer. The territory is also the transportation hub for north-central India.

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India
Introduction

      city and national capital territory, north-central India. Popularly known as Old Delhi, it is the country's second largest city, surpassed in population only by Greater Mumbai (Bombay). New Delhi, the capital of India, lies immediately to the south. Besides being at the political centre of the country, Delhi is also a focal point in India's transportation network.

      Delhi is situated about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Himalayas and stands on the west (right) bank of the Yamuna River, a tributary of the Ganges (Ganga). The national capital territory lies at an elevation of between 700 and 1,000 feet (213 and 305 metres) and covers an area of 573 square miles (1,483 square km). Of this area, Old Delhi occupies 360 square miles (932 square km) and New Delhi 169 square miles (438 square km). The national capital territory is bounded to the east by the state of Uttar Pradesh and on the north, west, and south by Haryana. It generally has been presumed that the city was named for Raja Dhilu, a king who reigned in the 1st century BC, and that the various names by which it has been known (Delhi, Dehli, Dilli, and Dhilli) have been corruptions of this name.

      Delhi has been the capital city of a succession of mighty empires and powerful kingdoms, and numerous ruins mark the sites of the various cities. According to popular tradition, the city has changed its locality a total of seven times, although some authorities, who take smaller towns and strongholds into account, claim it has changed its site as many as 15 times. All of these locations are confined to a triangular area of about 70 square miles (180 square km) called the Delhi triangle. Two sides of this triangle are represented by the rocky hills of the Aravalli Range in the west and south and the third side by the shifting channel of the Yamuna River. The present site of Delhi is bounded to the west by a northern extension of the Aravali Range known as the Delhi Ridge. Pop. (2001 prelim.) Old Delhi city, 9,817,439; New Delhi city, 294,783; national capital territory, 13,782,976.

Physical and human geography

The landscape
      The climate of Delhi is characterized by extreme dryness, with intensely hot summers. It is associated with a general prevalence of continental air, which moves in from the west or northwest, except during the season of the monsoon (rain-bearing wind), when an easterly to southeasterly influx of oceanic air brings increased humidity. The summer season lasts from mid-March to the end of June, with average maximum and minimum temperatures of 97 °F (36 °C) and 77 °F (25 °C); it is characterized by frequent thunderstorms and squalls, which are most frequent in April and May. The monsoon season, following the hot summer, continues until the end of September, with an average rainfall of about 26 inches (660 mm). The post-monsoon period of October and November constitutes a transition period from monsoon to winter conditions. The winter season extends from late November to mid-February. The air in Delhi is dry for most of the year, with very low relative humidity from April to June and markedly higher humidity in July and August, when weather conditions are oppressive. Delhi's mean daily temperature is highest in May; and the monthly mean temperature is highest in June, which is also the month when the night temperature is at its maximum. The mean daily temperature may rise as high as 110 °F (43 °C). The coldest month is January, when both the mean maximum temperature and the mean minimum temperature are at their lowest—70 °F (21 °C) and 45 °F (7 °C), respectively.

      Air and water pollution have increased with the growth of population, industry, and the use of motor vehicles. Sometimes a temperature inversion (which can occur when a warm air mass remains over a land surface that cools during the night) forms in the winter months, which traps pollutants, prevents them from dispersing, and increases contamination considerably.

Plant and animal life
      The natural plant cover in the Delhi area varies according to the physical features with which it is associated. The ridges and hillsides abound in thorny trees, such as acacias. During the monsoon season, herbaceous species grow in profusion. The sissoo (shisham; Dalbergia sissoo) tree, which yields a dark brown and durable timber, is commonly found in the Bangar (Plain) area of the national capital territory. Riverine vegetation, consisting of weeds and grass, occurs on the banks of the Yamuna. New Delhi is known for its avenues of flowering shade trees, such as the neem (Azadirachta indica; a drought-resistant tree with a pale yellow fruit), jaman (Syzygium cumini; a tree with an edible grapelike fruit), mango, pipal (Ficus religiosa; a fig tree), and sissoo. It is also known for numerous flowering plants, which provide a splash of colour during the winter. These include a large number of multicoloured seasonals: chrysanthemums, phlox, violas, and verbenas. The transition from winter to spring is very gradual, and only the flowers can testify to changing conditions, with chrysanthemums in December yielding place to roses in February.

      The animal life of the national capital territory, like its plant life, is quite diverse. Among carnivorous animals are leopards, hyenas, foxes, wolves, and jackals, which inhabit the jungles, low forests, and hilly ridges. In some places along the banks of the Yamuna, wild boars are found. Monkeys are not uncommon. Birdlife is profuse and includes partridge (gray and black), pigeons (black and blue), parrots, and bush quail. Peafowl are numerous on the hilly ridges. The Yamuna abounds in fish, and an occasional crocodile may be found.

The city layout
 The city plan of Delhi is a mixture of contrasting old and new road and circulation patterns. The contrast between the convoluted form of the old city and the diagonal features of the modern traffic arteries in New Delhi is particularly striking.

      The street pattern of Old Delhi reflects some of the older requirements of defense, with a few transverse streets leading from one major gate to another. Occasionally a through street from a subsidiary gate leads to the main axes. The other Old Delhi streets tend to be irregular in direction, length, and width and are suitable only for pedestrian traffic. Thus, the pattern as a whole consists of a confusing mixture of narrow and winding streets, culs-de-sac, alleys, and byways giving access to residences and commercial areas.

      In sharp contrast to Old Delhi, the Civil Lines (residential areas originally built by the British for senior officers) in the north and New Delhi in the south present an aspect of relative openness, characterized by green grass and trees, order, and quiet.

      When the decision was made in 1911 to transfer the capital of India from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi, and a town planning committee was formed, a site was chosen three miles south of the existing city of Delhi, around Raisina Hill. This was a well-drained, healthy area between the ridge and the river that provided ample room for expansion. The Raisina Hill, commanding a view of the entire area, stood 50 feet (15 metres) above the plain, but the top 20 feet were blasted off to make a level plateau for the major government buildings and to fill in depressions. With this low acropolis as the focus, the plan was laid out.

      The New Delhi plan was characterized by wide avenues with trees in double rows on either side, creating vistas and connecting various points of interest. Almost every major road has a specific focal point closing the vista so that no avenue is lost in the horizon. Besides the diagonal road pattern, the most prominent feature of the plan is the Central Vista Park, starting from the National Stadium in the east, continuing through the All India War Memorial Arch (popularly called the India Gate) and the Central Secretariat (Kendriya Sachivalaya), and culminating in the west at the Presidential House (Rashtrapati Bhavan). This is the main east-west axis; it divides New Delhi into two parts, with the fashionable shopping centre, Connaught Place, in the north and extensive residential colonies in the south.

Land use
      The pattern of land use in Delhi was influenced considerably by the implementation (albeit partial) of the Delhi Development Authority's 20-year (1962–81) master plan. Broadly, public and semipublic land use was concentrated in the Central Secretariat area of New Delhi and in the Old Secretariat area in the Civil Lines, with subsidiary centres developing in the Indraprastha Estate (an office complex) in the east and in Ramakrishnapuram (an office-cum-residence complex) in the south. A large number of small manufacturing establishments have entrenched themselves in almost every part of Old Delhi, but the main industrial areas have become concentrated along Najafgarh Marg (Shrivaji Marg), in the west, and on Mathura Marg, in the south, where a large planned industrial estate (Okhla) has been established. Areas for commercial land use are confined mainly to Chandnī Chowk and Khari Baoli (both in the north), the Sadar Bazar of Old Delhi, the Ajmal Khan Marg of Karol Bagh in western Delhi, and the Connaught Place area of New Delhi. A number of district and local shopping centres have also developed in other localities.

      The University of Delhi is located in the north, where a number of educational institutions for college education and for higher studies are located. Another educational complex that includes Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Indian Institute of Technology, and other institutions has been developed in southern Delhi.

Traditional areas
      In a city such as Delhi, which bears the impress of history, there is a clear distinction between areas where indigenous influences are uppermost and areas characterized by colonial and modernizing influences. Although the social structure of Delhi has changed from coherence to a heterogeneity that is in keeping with its position as the national capital, certain residential neighbourhoods in Old Delhi, in the Civil Lines, in government housing areas, and in more recently developed areas have acquired a specific character of their own.

      In Old Delhi there is a strong feeling of mohalla (“neighbourhood”), partly induced by the peculiar housing layout. There gates or doorways open onto private residences and courtyards or onto katra (one-room tenements facing a courtyard or other enclosure and having access to the street by only one opening or gate). The Civil Lines area consists of residences for upper income groups. The government housing areas also exhibit segregation by income groups. In some developed areas, “mixed neighbourhoods” have been created. Chanakyapuri (more commonly known as the Diplomatic Enclave), with its concentration of foreign embassies, represents a microcosm of international architecture. Cultural “islands” have formed in such areas as the Bengali Market area or Karol Bagh; the latter, for example, is characterized variously by Bengali, South Indian, and Punjabi cultures, although cultural distinctiveness is being eroded as other city residents move in. Another facet of the city profile is the slum, inhabited mostly by construction workers, sweepers, factory labourers, and other low-income groups. There are also urban village enclaves, such as Kotla Mubarakpur, where houses and streets retain rural characteristics though residents have urban occupations.

      There is perhaps no city in India that can compare with Delhi in the number of its monuments. These edifices illustrate the types of Indian architecture from the time of the imperial Gupta dynasty 1,600 years ago to the period of British rule, when the style of such architects as Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker was in evidence in New Delhi. Delhi is particularly rich in material for the study of Indo-Muslim architecture. The monuments of the early Pashtun style (1193–1320)—represented by the Quwat-ul-Islam mosque, the Qutb Minar, the tomb of Iltutmish, and the Alaʾi Gate—reveal the adoption and adaptation of Hindu materials and style to Islamic motifs and requirements. The later Pashtun styles represented in Tughlakabad and in the tombs of the Sayyid kings (1414–51) and Lodī kings (1451–1526) are characterized by finer domes and decoration and the use of finer marbles and tiles. The later Mughal (Mughal architecture) architecture represented in the Red Fort (Lal Qila) and the Principal Mosque (Jama Masjid) reveals an increasing use of marble, elaboration of external surfaces with florid decoration, and the construction of bulbous domes and lofty minarets.

      The Red Fort is one of the most important buildings of the city. Its massive red sandstone walls, 75 feet in height, enclose a complex of palaces, gardens, military barracks, and other buildings. The two most famous of these are the Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-Am) and the Hall of Private Audience (Diwan-i-Khas). The Hall of Public Audience has 60 red sandstone pillars supporting a flat roof. The Hall of Private Audience is smaller and has a pavilion of white marble.

      The architectural styles in the British period—represented by the Central Secretariat, Parliament House (Sansad Bhavan), and the Presidential House (formerly the British viceroy's house)—combine the best features of the modern English school of architecture with traditional Indian forms. In the postindependence era, public buildings in Delhi began to show a utilitarian bias and a search for a synthesis of Indian and Western styles; the attempt, however, has not always been successful, as is evident from the Supreme Court building, the Science Building (a conference hall), and the government ministries. The Children's Building (a children's centre) and Rabindra Building (a fine arts centre) show a trend toward a new style, using modern materials. Along the Yamuna riverfront, memorials set in flowering gardens have been built for such 20th-century national leaders as Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat), Jawaharlal Nehru (Shanti Vana), and Lal Bahadur Shastri (Vijay Ghat).

The people
      Delhi's population has increased some 40-fold from the 240,000 inhabitants it had in 1911. The highest growth rate occurred between 1941 and 1951—mainly because of the influx of a large number of refugees into the city at the time of independence—and the population has since grown steadily. Much of the increase continues to be from immigration.

      The composition of Delhi's population reflects its truly cosmopolitan character, with more than half of the residents coming from outside the territory. Most of these immigrants come from other Indian states and adjacent countries, and only a small proportion consists of resident foreigners. The religious composition of the population is also varied. The great majority of the population is Hindu; Muslims constitute the largest minority, followed by smaller numbers of Sikhs, Jains, Christians, and Buddhists.

The economy
      In the economy of Delhi, the service sector comes first in importance and is the largest employer. The industrial sector is second and the commercial sector third. Agriculture once contributed significantly to the economy of the national capital territory but now is of little importance. A substantial proportion of Delhi's working population is engaged in various services, including public administration, the professions, the liberal arts, and various personal, domestic, and unskilled-labour services. As a trading and commercial centre, Delhi has held a dominant position in northern India for many centuries. In modern times it has also become a manufacturing centre and one of India's most important sources of export goods.

      Traditionally, Delhi has been renowned for its artistic work, such as ivory carving and painting, gold and silver embroidery, decorative ware, copperware, and brassware. In modern times industry has become diversified, and Delhi has become important for the manufacture of sophisticated products in small-scale industry, such as electronics and engineering goods, automobile parts, precision instruments, machinery, and electrical appliances. Wearing apparel, sports and leather goods, handloom products, and handicrafts are also produced. A large and thriving tourist sector has also developed.

Finance and trade
      Delhi's position as the national capital and as a major industrial city have accentuated its function as a banking, wholesale-trade, and distribution centre. It is the headquarters of the Reserve Bank of India and of the regional offices of the State Bank and other banking institutions. It is also a divisional headquarters for the insurance business and an important stock-exchange centre. Delhi has long acted as a major distribution centre for much of northern India, handling a wide variety of items. Much of the distributive trade is carried on from within the Old Delhi area, where most of the markets are located near each other.

      The geographic position of Delhi on the great plain of India, where the Deccan tableland and the Thar Desert approach the Himalayas to produce a narrow corridor, ensures that all land routes from northwestern India to the eastern plain must pass through it, thus making it a pivotal centre in the subcontinent's network of transportation. Five national highways converge on Delhi. Several railway lines also meet there, linking the city with all parts of the country. Delhi is the most important air terminus in northern India for both domestic and international air services. Indira Gandhi International Airport, located in the southwestern part of the city, handles international flights. The nearby Palam Airport is one of the hubs of the domestic airway system.

      The traffic-circulation pattern within a city that was designed for a smaller population became heavily overburdened with Delhi's explosive growth. Improvements to the road system—such as adding overpasses and underpasses and widening major thoroughfares—have alleviated the worst traffic congestion, but the sheer volume of traffic—which includes such slow-moving vehicles as bullock carts, pedicabs, and bicycles—makes road travel in Delhi difficult, particularly during peak-hour conditions. Mass-transportation facilities are still inadequate, the principal means of public transport consisting of an ever-increasing fleet of buses. Long-distance commuting within the city is facilitated by Ring Road bus service and by the Ring Railway.

Administration and social conditions
      Delhi was a chief commissioner's province when India attained independence in 1947. It became a centrally administered state in 1952, but in 1956 its status was changed to that of a union territory under the central government; its designation was changed to the national capital territory in the early 1990s. A unified corporation for both urban and rural areas was established in 1958. The administrative system was further modified by the Delhi Administration Act of 1966. Under the present arrangement, Delhi has a three-tier administration consisting of a lieutenant governor and an executive council, an elected metropolitan council, and the municipal corporation. The lieutenant governor, appointed by the president of India, is the chief administrator of the national capital territory and is assisted by an executive council of four members (headed by a chief executive councillor), which is also appointed by the president. The metropolitan council is a purely deliberative body. The municipal corporation is an elected local body, having under its control most statutory autonomous bodies, notable exceptions being the New Delhi Municipal Committee, the Delhi Cantonment Board, and the Delhi Development Authority. The New Delhi Municipal Committee is a body nominated by the central government. The Cantonment Board consists of partly elected and partly nominated members, the latter including some ex officio members.

      The housing situation in Delhi deteriorated after 1947 as a result of the influx of refugees caused by the partition of India and Pakistan and the city's emergence as the national capital of India. Since then, building activity has been insufficient to close the gap or to keep pace with the increasing population. This has compelled a large proportion of the city's population to seek shelter in congested areas and in unauthorized dwellings or to settle as squatters in slums.

      The traditional houses in Old Delhi are unplanned, consisting of old structures of two, three, or more stories with a high proportion of single-room dwelling units. In the Civil Lines area there are a number of old one-story bungalows. In New Delhi the government housing colonies have been laid out in a lavish manner and are grouped by income.

      A program to build new and rehabilitate old housing has been pushed since the 1950s; it is administered by a number of agencies, such as the government of the national capital territory, the various municipal governments, the Delhi Development Authority, and various individuals and cooperatives.

Public utilities
      Water supply, drainage, sewerage, and conservancy and scavenging services are mandated functions of the municipal corporation. Such functions as city transportation and the generation and distribution of electricity, though not obligatory, are performed by the corporation. Three statutory agencies—the Delhi Water Supply and Sewage Disposal Undertaking, the Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking, and the Delhi Transport Corporation—perform these functions.

      The supply of drinking water in Delhi has not kept up with demand, in spite of the fact that the water system has been improved and augmented several times. The Yamuna River, the main source of supply, is practically dry during the summer months. Underground water has generally been found to be brackish in the territory; Delhi, therefore, must depend for part of its needs upon the adjoining states.

      Most of the residents of Delhi do not have access to adequate sewage disposal. Improvement is needed, both by way of extension of sewerage to new areas and by the expansion of its capacity in older areas. The treatment of sewage is also inadequate.

      Delhi's electric power supply depends on power generated by local coal-burning thermal stations, augmented by sources outside the national capital territory. As with other utilities, the supply of power has always been distributed disproportionately.

Health and security
      Overall health standards in Delhi exceed the national average, but the accessibility of health-care facilities varies widely. Much of the city's health care is provided by a large number of allopathic dispensaries, Ayurvedic and Unanī (yunani) dispensaries (i.e., practicing indigenous systems of medicine that use mostly herbs and minerals), and homeopathic dispensaries. Most of the larger hospitals—such as the Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Smt. Sucheta Kripalani Hospital, and Lok Nayak J.P. Narayan Hospital—are administered by the national government or the Delhi administration.

      The jurisdiction of the Delhi Fire Service extends over both the urban and rural areas of the national capital territory. In the rural areas, temporary stations are opened during the summer. The Delhi Police Service is under a commissioner of police of the Delhi administration. The city is divided into four police districts, each of which is under a superintendent of police.

      The growth of modern education in Delhi has kept pace with the expansion of the city's population. Primary-level education is nearly universal, and a large proportion of students also attend secondary school. Education for women at all levels has advanced at a much faster pace than it has for men. Among the institutions of higher learning, the most important is the University of Delhi (Delhi, University of), which has many affiliated colleges and research institutions. Among the major colleges for professional and other studies are the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, the Indian Institute of Technology, and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Cultural life
      Delhi's cultural life has been influenced considerably by the cosmopolitan character of its population, which comes from different parts of India and the world and possesses varied cultural backgrounds. Much has been borrowed and adapted from Western culture, a process accelerated since independence by the influence of the modern mass media. Television, however, has also facilitated a greater awareness of regional and national interests. Although the cultural activities of earlier days—such as dancing, music, and poetry forums—have been yielding place to the cinema, the cabaret, and clubs, there are also theatre groups and institutions that have fostered indigenous literature and fine arts. Many of India's major cultural institutions—including the national academies of music, dance, and drama; of art; and of letters—are located in Delhi, as are numerous libraries, archives, and museums.

      Delhi is home to numerous fairs and festivals. In addition to a variety of trade and book fairs, the city hosts an annual film festival. The many religious groups in Delhi contribute to an ongoing succession of religious festivals and celebrations.

      Delhi is a city of gardens and fountains, notable examples being the Roshan Ara Gardens and the meticulously planned and laid out Mughal Gardens. Many park and garden areas have grown up around historical monuments, such as the Lodi Gardens (around the Lodi Tombs) and the Firoz Shah Kotla Grounds (around Ashoka's Pillar). Among the major recreation areas are the Delhi Ridge and the Yamuna riverfront. Delhi has well-developed sporting facilities, many of which were built when the city hosted the Asian Games in 1982.

History
      The earliest reference to a settlement at Delhi is found in the epic Mahabharata (a narrative about the descendants of the prince Bharata), which mentions a city called Indraprastha, built about 1400 BC under the direction of Yudhisthira, a Pandava king, on a huge mound somewhere between the sites where the historic Old Fort (Purana Qilah) and Humāyūn's Tomb were later to be located. Although nothing remains of Indraprastha, according to legend it was a thriving city. The first reference to the place-name Delhi, as already mentioned, seems to have been made in the 1st century BC, when Raja Dhilu built a city near the site of the future Qutb Minar and named it for himself. Thereafter Delhi faced many vicissitudes and did not reemerge into prominence until the 12th century AD, when it became the capital of the Cauhan (Cahamana) ruler Prthviraja III. After the defeat of Prthviraja in the late 12th century, the city passed into Muslim hands. Quṭb al-Dīn Aybak, founder of the Muʿizzī (Slave) dynasty and builder of the famous tower Qutb Minar (completed in the early 13th century), also chose Delhi as his capital.

      ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Khaljī (reigned 1296–1316) built the second city of Delhi at Siri, a short distance northeast of the Qutb Minar. The third city of Delhi was built by Ghiyāth al-Dīn Tughluq (1320–25) at Tughlakabad but had to be abandoned in favour of the old site near the Qutb Minar because of a scarcity of water. His successor, Muḥammad ibn Tughluq, extended the city farther northeast and built new fortifications around it. It then became the fourth city of Delhi, under the name Jahanpanah. These new settlements were located between the old cities near the Qutb Minar and Siri Fort. Muḥammad ibn Tughluq's successor, Fīrūz Shah Tughluq, abandoned this site altogether and in 1354 moved his capital farther north near the ancient site of Indraprastha and founded the fifth city of Delhi, Firuzabad, which was situated in what is now the Firoz Shah Kotla area.

      After the invasion and sack of Delhi by Timur (Tamerlane) at the end of the 14th century, the last of the sultan kings moved the capital to Agra, so that Delhi's importance was temporarily diminished. Bābur, the first Mughal (Mughal Dynasty) ruler, reestablished Delhi as the seat of his empire in 1526. His son Humāyūn built a new city, Din Panah, on the site between Firoz Shah Kotla and the Purana Qila. Shēr Shah, who overthrew Humāyūn in 1540, razed Din Panah to the ground and built his new capital, the Sher Shahi (Purana Qila), as the sixth city of Delhi.

      Delhi later again lost importance when the Mughal emperors Akbar (1556–1605) and Jahāngīr (1605–27) moved their headquarters, respectively, to Fatehpur Sikri and Agra, but the city was restored to its former glory and prestige in 1638, when Shah Jahān, Akbar's grandson, laid the foundations of the seventh city of Delhi, Shahjahanabad, which has come to be known as Old Delhi. The greater part of the city is still confined within the space of Shah Jahān's walls, and several gates built during his rule—the Kashmiri Gate, the Delhi Gate, the Turkman Gate, and the Ajmeri Gate—still stand.

      With the fall of the Mughal Empire during the mid-18th century, Delhi again faced many vicissitudes—raids by the Maratha (a people of peninsular India), the invasion by Nāder Shah of Persia, and a brief spell of Maratha rule—before the British arrived in 1803. Under British rule the city flourished, except during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, when the mutineers seized the city for several months, after which British power was restored and Mughal rule ended. In 1912 the British moved the capital of British India from Calcutta to the partially completed New Delhi, the construction of which was finished by 1931.

Vaddiparti Lova Surya Prakasa Rao K.V. Sundaram Vernon Ram
      Since India's independence, Delhi has grown far beyond its original boundaries, spreading north and south along the Yamuna River, spilling onto the river's east bank, expanding over the Delhi ridge to the west, and, eventually, extending beyond the boundaries of the national capital territory into adjacent states. This increase was initially in response to the huge influx of Hindu refugees from Pakistan following partition, but since the early 1950s Delhi began absorbing immigrants from throughout India at an astounding rate. New Delhi, once adjacent to Delhi, is now part of the larger city, as are the sites of the former seats of empire. Between ancient mausoleums and forts have sprouted high-rise towers, commercial complexes, and other aspects of the modern city.

      This rapid development has not been without cost, however. In a pattern familiar to many postcolonial megalopolises, the huge influx of job-seeking immigrants placed a colossal strain on the city's infrastructure and on the ingenuity of city planners to provide sufficient electricity, sanitation, and clean water for the population. Most problematic, in a city in which the population had more than doubled in the final two decades of the 20th century, fully one-tenth of Delhi's residents lived in urban slums called jhuggi-jhompris; these lacked the most basic services and left city planners and administrators the difficult task of integrating an enormous population of slum-dwelling residents into a city whose infrastructure failed to accommodate already existing households.

      Further, traffic congestion in Delhi had become among the worst in the world, a situation that contributed greatly to the city's already hazardous level of air pollution—this earned the Indian capital the dubious honour of being among the most polluted cities in the world. Antipollution measures undertaken since the 1980s have improved Delhi's air quality considerably, but overcrowding, congestion, and an overburdened infrastructure have remained as major obstacles for the city to overcome.

Ed.

Additional Reading
Descriptive works, with maps and illustrations, include P.R. Mehendiratta, Coming to India and to Delhi (1972); India Tourism Development Corporation, Guide to Delhi, 2nd ed. (1982); Khushwant Singh, Delhi: A Portrait (1983); Michael Alexander (ed.), Delhi & Agra: A Travellers' Companion (1987); and Richard Plunkett and Hugh Finlay, Delhi, 2nd ed. (2000).Analyses of social and economic conditions and ethnic developments in the Delhi metropolitan area are given in V.K.R.V. Rao and P.B. Desai, Greater Delhi: A Study in Urbanisation, 1940–1957 (1965); United Nations Dept. Of International Economic And Social Affairs, Population Growth and Policies in Mega-Cities: Delhi (1986); Biswajit Banerjee, Rural to Urban Migration and the Urban Labour Market: A Case Study of Delhi (1986); and Ashok Ranjan Basu, Urban Squatter Housing in Third World (1988).For historical accounts, see Gordon Risley Hearn, The Seven Cities of Delhi, 2nd ed. (1928); Prabha Chopra (ed.), Delhi, History and Places of Interest, rev. ed. (1975); Narayani Gupta, Delhi Between Two Empires, 1803–1931: Society, Government, and Urban Growth (1981); H.K. Kaul (ed.), Historic Delhi: An Anthology (1985, reprinted 1996); and R.E. Frykenberg (ed.), Delhi Through the Ages: Essays in Urban History, Culture, and Society (1986).Vernon Ram Ed.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Delhi — Delhi, CA U.S. Census Designated Place in California Population (2000): 8022 Housing Units (2000): 2186 Land area (2000): 4.649827 sq. miles (12.042996 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.649827 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Delhi — (Hindi: दिल्ली, Urdú: دیلی) forma el Territorio Capital Nacional de la República de India. Contiene la nueva ciudad de Nueva Delhi, la cual ha dejado de ser un área urbana distinguible, pero contiene la mayoría de las instituciones… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Delhi [1] — Delhi, 1) Provinz der Indo britischen Präsidentschaft Bengalen (Vorderindien, Asien), grenzt an Lahore, Sutuleje, Gurwal, Nepaul, Oude, Agra u. Ajmeer, 1670 QM., 8 Mill. Ew. (Hindus, Muhammedaner, Rohilla, Sikhs); nördlich gebirgig u. waldig,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Delhi — [del′ē] 1. territory in N India, including the cities of Delhi & New Delhi: 573 sq mi (1,484 sq km); pop. 10,865,000 2. Delhi city in this territory, on the Jumna River: pop. 7,207,000: see also NEW DELHI …   English World dictionary

  • Delhi 6 — (hindi : दिल्ली 6) est un film indien de Bollywood réalisé par Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra et sorti en 2009. On y retrouve les acteurs Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Om Puri, Waheeda Rahman, Rishi Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni, Deepak Dobriyal et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Delhi — v. de l Inde, sur la Yamunâ, affl. du Gange; 7 175 000 hab.; cap. du territoire de Delhi (1 483 km²; 9 370 470 hab.). Industries. Nombreux monuments: colonne de Fer (inscription du IVe s.), Qutb Minar (XIIIe s.), mosquées. New Delhi, cap.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Delhi — Delhi, eine Provinz des Reiches, welches eine Gesellschaft englischer Kaufleute durch Krieg sich aneignete, ein Distrikt von Indien, ehemals dem Großmogul gehörig. Das trockene, ebene Land, war von der väterlichen Sorgfalt, der patriarchalischen… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Delhi, CA — U.S. Census Designated Place in California Population (2000): 8022 Housing Units (2000): 2186 Land area (2000): 4.649827 sq. miles (12.042996 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.649827 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places


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