Top 10 Interesting Facts About Delhi
10. Prison Industry
Tihar Jail, just west of New Delhi, is the largest prison complex in South Asia. The correctional facility’s claim to fame is not girth, however, but a venture called “Made in Tihar”. The scheme engages prisoners in a variety of trades and then flips the end products, from apparel to furniture, biscuits to mustard oil, for profit; to the tune of 250 million rupees in 2012.
9. World Heritage Sites
Most big city mayors would be content to have one World Heritage Site to crow about. Delhi just so happens to have three: Humayun’s Tomb, Qutb Minar and its Monuments and the Red Fort Complex.
8. Langur Monkey Protection Squads
Delhi’s simian street gangs were not a closely guarded secret but when the global press turned its attention on India’s capital in the run-up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, they became public enemy number one. Langurs, long introduced in the city to deter the more populous and pesky rhesus monkeys, were re-enlisted with renewed vigour to thwart any potential embarrassment. It’s debatable whether the initiative worked. Alas, the protection squads have since been disbanded.
7. Population Quibbles
Censuses are a tricky business in India, where a million people here or there can get lost, statistically, with ease. A leviathan government enterprise to assign every citizen a national identification number has been under way since 2009 but until it reaches its lofty goal, exact population figures won’t be easy to ascertain. The 2011 census says, for example, that Delhi contains 16.7 million people but most insiders consider that number woefully low. Try upwards of 22 million.
6. Good Genes
Delhi’s an old city; that much is widely known. But delve a little deeper and the story gets more impressive. The National Capital Region, for one, sits on the remnants of eleven other capitals, all practically eroded or razed to dust over the ages. Moreover, most archaeologists date the city’s original settlement to about 5,000 years ago, to the era of the Mahabharata epic.
5. Green Lungs
India’s capital is dizzyingly urban, without question, but the city has a green oasis known as the Delhi Ridge. This northern extension of the ancient Aravalli Range pre-dates the Himalayas, protects the city from Rajasthan’s torrid winds and doubles as an avian sanctuary of note.
4. Shahrukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan, India’s biggest movie star – possibly ever – was born in New Delhi in 1965. The “Badshah of Bollywood” has tens of millions of fans, a slew of awards and over 75 films to his credit. One of the most successful, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, is still showing at the Maratha Mandir cinema in Mumbai, 18 years after it was released.
3. Mammoth Mosque
Delhi’s Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India. On auspicious dates the interior and exterior courtyard accommodate up to 25,000 worshipers.
Outside perspectives on Delhi tend to focus on the city’s congestion and large population. What often gets lost in the shuffle is the National Capital’s economic muscle. To wit, a net domestic product in the 24 billion USD range, by some estimates. Additionally, the city has the highest per capita income in India. Indeed, a cursory tour of some of the best restaurants and hotels in New Delhi suggests that they rival counterparts in the rest of Asia in terms of grandeur.
1. Festival City
Delhi’s sheer supply and diversity of festivals far outstrips the likes of Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. The city’s Auto Expo is the most important on the continent. Phool Walon Ki Sair, a multi-cultural, secular procession of flowers held after the rainy season, was first held in 1812. And the biennial New Delhi World Book Fair is India’s oldest and the second-largest in the world.About the author
Sallys recent travel to India saw her gain knowledge that noramlly only the locals know. She hopes to share the acquired information to allow future travellers to make the most of their soon to be experience.
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