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Delhi Travel Guide:

Introduction
New Delhi is the capital city of Republic of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi and is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is 42.7 km2.

The foundation of the city was laid on December 15, 1911. It was planned by two leading 20th century British architects namely Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The city was inaugurated on February 13, 1931, by British India's Governor-General Lord Irwin. New Delhi is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and is home to numerous national institutions and landmarks.

History
Delhi was laid out to the south of the Old City which was constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. However, New Delhi overlies the site of seven ancient cities and hence includes many historic monuments like the Jantar Mantar and the Lodhi Gardens.
Calcutta was the capital of India until December 1911 during the British Raj. However, Delhi had served as the political and financial centre of several empires of ancient and medieval India, most notably of the Mughal Empire from 1799 to 1849. During the early 1900s, a proposal was made to the British administration to shift the capital of the British Indian Empire (as it was officially called) from Calcutta to Delhi. Unlike Calcutta, which was located on the eastern coast of India, Delhi was located in northern India and the Government of British India felt that it would be easier to administer India from Delhi rather than from Calcutta. On December 12, 1911, during the Delhi Durbar, George V, the then Emperor of India, along with Queen Mary, his Consort, made the announcement that the capital of the Raj was to be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi, while laying the foundation stone for the Viceroy's residence in the Coronation Park, Kingsway Camp.
The foundation stone of New Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911 at Kingsway Camp on December 15, 1911, during their imperial visit. Large parts of New Delhi were planned by Edwin Lutyens (Sir Edwin from 1918) and Herbert Baker (Sir Herbert from 1926), both leading 20th century British architects, and the contract was given to Sobha Singh (later Sir Sobha Singh). Lutyens first visited Delhi in 1912, and construction really began after World War I and was completed by 1931, when the city later dubbed "Lutyens' Delhi" was inaugurated on February 13, 1931, by Lord Irwin, the Viceroy. Lutyens laid out the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain's imperial aspirations.
Though soon Lutyens started considering other places, and finalized on a site atop the Raisina Hill, formerly Raisina village, a Meo village, for the Rashtrapati Bhawan, then known as the Viceroy's House. The historic reason for this choice was that the hill lay directly opposite to the Dinapanah citadel, which was also considered the site of Indraprastha, the ancient region of Delhi. Subsequently, the foundation stone was shifted from the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911-1912, where the Coronation Pillar stood as well, and embedded in the walls of the forecourt of the Secretariat. The Rajpath, also known as King's Way, stretched from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Secretariat building, which houses various ministries of the Government of India, flanked out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, and the Parliament House, both designed by Herbert Baker, is located at the Sansad Marg, which runs parallel to the Rajpath.
After India gained independence in 1947, a limited autonomy was conferred to New Delhi and was administered by a Chief Commissioner appointed by the Government of India. In 1956, Delhi was converted into a union territory and eventually the Chief Commissioner was replaced by a Lieutenant Governor. The Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi.[5] A system of diarchy was introduced under which the elected Government was given wide powers, excluding law and order which remained with the Central Government. The actual enforcement of the legislation came in 1993.

Geography
With a total area of 42.7 km2, New Delhi forms a small part of the Delhi metropolitan area and is located in the Indo-Gangetic Plain because of which there is little difference in the city's altitude. New Delhi and surrounding areas were once a part of the Aravalli Range, but all that is left now is the Delhi ridge, which is also called the Lungs of Delhi. The second feature is the Yamuna floodplains; New Delhi lies west of the Yamuna river, although for the most part, New Delhi is a landlocked city. East of the river is the urban area of Shahdara. New Delhi falls under the seismic zone-IV, making it vulnerable to earthquakes.

Government
As of 2005, the government structure of the New Delhi Municipal Council includes a chairperson, three members of New Delhi's Legislative Assembly, two members nominated by the Chief Minister of National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) and five members nominated by the central government. The current Chief Minister of the NCT is Sheila Dikshit. According to the Indian constitution, if a law passed by Delhi's legislative assembly is repugnant to any law passed by the Parliament of India, then the law enacted by the parliament shall prevail over the law enacted by the assembly.

New Delhi is governed through a municipal government, known as the New Delhi Municipal Council. Other urban areas of the metropolis of Delhi are administered by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. However, the entire metropolis of Delhi is commonly known as New Delhi in contrast to Old Delhi.

Demographics
In 2001, New Delhi had a population of 179,112 while the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) had a population of 13,850,507 making it the second largest metropolitan area in India after Mumbai.[28] There are 925 women per 1000 men in NCT, and the literacy rate is 81.67%.
Hinduism is the religion of 86.8% of New Delhi's population. There are also large communities of Muslims (6.3%), Sikhs (2.4%), Jains (1.1%) and Christians (0.9%) in Delhi. Other minorities include Parsis, Buddhists and Jews.[31] Hindi is the principal spoken language while English is the principal written language of the city. The linguistic groups from all over India are well represented in the city; among them are Urdu, Punjabi, Bihari, Bengali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Garhwali, Kannada, Malayalam, North-East, Marathi, Odiya and Gujarati roughly in same order

Economy
Connaught Place, one of northern India's largest commercial and financial centres, is located in the northern part of New Delhi. Adjoining areas such as Barakhamba Road, ITO are also major commercial centres. Government and quasi government sector was the primary employer in New Delhi. The city's service sector has expanded due in part to the large skilled English-speaking workforce that has attracted many multinational companies. Key service industries include information technology, telecommunications, hotels, banking, media and tourism.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi does not release any economic figures specifically for New Delhi but publishes an official economic report on the whole of Delhi annually. According to the Economic Survey of Delhi, the metropolis has a net State Domestic Product (SDP) of Rs. 83,085 crores (for the year 2004–05)[37] and a per capita income of Rs. 53,976. The tertiary sector contributes 78.4% of Delhi's gross SDP followed by secondary and primary sectors with 20.2% and 1.4% contribution respectively