New Delhi

Lotus Temple
Courtesy of Creative Commons by Jagdish Yadav on Flickr

New Delhi comes as two cities. Old Delhi occupies the north and of course it the historic city. New Delhi occupies the south and developed around 1947 when it became the capital of British India. Bisecting the city is the Yamuna River which is a tributary of the holy river Ganges.

Something Old Something New

New and Old Delhi holds historical significance in the areas of commerce, transportation, and culture. The name of the city is lost in early Indian legends and associated with King Raja Dhilu. Delhi new or old has always been the center of ancient empires and might kingdoms in the area.

The city lies about 100 miles south of the lofty Himalayas. Summers come hot with many days near or over 100 degrees. Monsoon season brings rain and humidity. Winters are dry.

New Delhi has many contrasts. Local influences, remnants of colonialism, and modern cosmopolitanism mix in homes and in the streets. A common building design is one room tenements with a courtyard that has one gate into the street. This gives a balance of private and public. It makes a strong sense of neighborhood since there is a protected and secluded outdoor place to meet and talk, a favorite activity.

New Delhi’s money moves through trade, public administration, finance, and a variety of services. The economy is not just local. New Delhi has become a big player in international finances and international corporations.


Older buildings come from the early Muslim period and are ornamental. Hindu motifs include serpents, ancient alphabets, and lotus fringed arches and bricks. Later red sandstone surfaces with white marble are commonly found from the Khaljis period. Arches and styles that remind one of the Taj Mahal in Agra are prevalent as well. Once the British came in the 20th century modern architecture appeared.


The National Museum of India is housed here. It displays Indian art history, iconographic and Buddhist studies. The art collection contains styles of the Mughal, Rajput, Deccani, and Pahari schools. Ancient manuscripts are available for viewing, gorgeous temple wall hangings, weapons encrusted with precious stones, and pottery are available for viewing.

Lotus Temple is known as the Mother Temple of India. Made by designer Fariborz Sahba to evoke the emotions of peace and harmony the temple does that. The number 9 is a central motif of the towering structure. Around the temple are 9 ponds. Nine doors allow entrance into the temple and lead to a central hall. The Bahai faith considers the number 9 sacred and to represent the nine faiths of the world. The temple is dedicated to all nine religions that honors the sole God.

Gardens are an important feature of New Delhi. Deer Park in the Chankyapuri area is landscaped with shady trees and lots of water. Animals abound such as deer, peacocks and guinea pigs. Lodi Garden is near Safdarjung Tomb. Fountains, water and landscaping make for a tranquil path. It is best known for its bird watching of kingfisher, hornbills, and mynahs. Mahatma Gandhi Park is located behind the Town Hall on Church Mission Road. Many venues for social events, cultural events, and festival events occurred every year here.


New Delhi because of its long history and diversity has so much to offer a visitor. One trip would not be enough to see all the sites and experience the best India has to give. So if one gets the chance go and go again.


About this entry