November 8th, 2014

Delhi: at the crossroads of cultural and religious traditions

The capital of India – one of the most ancient cities in the world that has both all the features of the modern metropolis, the largest transport hub, from where you can get to any part of the world. Delhi consists of two parts – the Old and the New Town, located on the banks of the river Yamuna. The city and its surrounding areas comprise a total of about 1,500 square meters. km. Under the Constitution, the capital of India is known as New Delhi, however, and in the state and in other countries around the world use the abbreviated name of the city. Delhi is located in the middle of a triangle formed by the three other major centers of the country: Mumbai (Bombay), Calcutta, Chennai (Madras) – and is a connecting rod geographical India, where crossed major rail, air, road communication state. Population of the capital is continuously increasing and in 2000 amounted to 13mln people.

India – the only country in the world where cultural and religious traditions have not been interrupted since antiquity. This is especially felt when you get acquainted with the capital of the state – forever young and at the same time infinitely ancient Delhi. How old is this city? Who founded it? When on location in the city for the first time there were people? It seems that these questions still nobody can answer. The only indisputable fact is that Delhi is mentioned in the ancient epic "Mahabharata". But the city amazes at every turn, causing the feeling that you are in addition to its Palm Sunday was in a parallel world, so different from the usual modern life. Gorgeous modern buildings interspersed in the streets with ancient temples, Buddhist monasteries and Muslim minarets. A unique way of life and psychology of citizens equally incomprehensible to the visitor as the laws by which the universe is built. All of these people, regardless of educational level and income, living in an unreal pace for tourists, say, along with national holidays, sun and moon phases. It seems that they wander serenely from one rebirth to another in the company of gods and mysterious characters.

Delhi for many centuries was the capital of small sultanates and powerful empires, his eyes came the rise and fall of many dynasties. Tourists are attracted by the beautiful landscapes, amazing and unique traditions cosmogonic views, impregnable forts, majestic ancient temples, palaces, mausoleums and minarets. Inimitable brilliance, wealth and splendor of the East at all times attracted the adventurers and adventurers from around the world. History Delhi abounded not quiescent periods. Repeatedly destroyed city, but each time the ashes again grew magnificent buildings, and again over lush parks fragrant smoke rising from the temple censers and settle down upon us a great mirror of the river.

Delhi Historians still can not make a consensus on how many settlements existed in the territory of the modern city and the people when I first came to this place. Among the most authoritative judgments on this matter – a view of Jawaharlal Nehru and famous historian P. Spira. Nehru argued that in the history of the seven cities mentioned on the site of the present capital, and New Delhi – the eighth settlement, built on the ruins of the ancient capitals. A P. Speer was convinced that the modern city once existed three main settlement center, around which at various times have been established 16 settlements and fortifications. This point of view is now shared by most historians.

At the beginning of XX century the city became the capital of British India. Then here was built New Delhi (1931), supplemented the appearance of the ancient capital huge modern shops, chic hotels, majestic walls of the Presidential Palace and Parliament, broad avenues, the famous "India Gate". Life rages on huge local markets, major shopping centers, fine public buildings. There are many theaters, stadiums, hotels, entertainment venues, magnificent parks and art galleries.

A few steps from here that the Old Delhi, the city of the past, which soar above the shadows of the past centuries. His heart is Chandni Chowk – the shopping center with streets and lanes that are a haven of local artisans. Here you can see the majestic Red Fort, richly inlaid and painted with intricate ornaments. In the old part of the town and the Raj Ghat – the cremation site of Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and other prominent figures of India. A nearby bright smile sun erupts Laxmi Narayan temple dedicated to the goddess of happiness, love and wealth, wife of Vishnu. And above all this splendor raises its walls the largest and most interesting architecturally acting cathedral mosque of the country – the Jama Masjid, built in the XVII century.

And, of course, will not be ignored symbol of the city – the famous Qutab Minar, built by the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, Qutab-ud-din Aybak, in 1199. This tall tower is called Victory Monument. Qutab Minar in the territory worth iron pillar,