The National Capital Territory of Delhi is an international metropolis with excellent tourist spots, recreational facilities and a history that dates back to ancient times. The name Delhi, first recorded in the 1st century BC, had been applied to a succession of cities built on this site before the present city was founded in 1638 by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. The first fortress city was built in the 12th century by Chauhan ruler, Prithviraj Chauhan. Delhi was captured by Muslims in 1193 and it became the capital of the Muslim empire in India under
Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the builder of the historic tower,
Qutab Minar. Around 1771, the Marathas gained control of the city and the British forces seized the city from them in 1803. Delhi came under British rule after 1857 and in 1911 they decided to make Delhi their capital. After India gained independence in 1947, Delhi became the national capital of India.
The state of Delhi covers an area of 1,485 sq km. Situated on the banks of Yamuna River(a tributary of the Ganges), Delhi is bounded in the east by Uttar Pradesh and in the north, west and south by Haryana.
Old Delhi is surrounded by a high stone wall that was erected in 1638 and can be approached through seven arched gateways, including the Delhi Gate in the south, the Ajmeri Gate in the east and the
Kashmiri Gate in the north. The city has attracted several people from all parts of the country and today, Delhi presents an epitome of the Indian society.
Punjabis and Jats are two dominant communities in Delhi. Languages commonly spoken are Hindi, English, Punjabi and Urdu. Many of India's major cultural institutions - including the National Museum, the national academies of music, dance, art and theatre - are located in Delhi. The city 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 majority of the people are Hindus. Muslims constitute the largest minority, followed by Sikhs, Jains, Christians and Buddhists.
Delhi is a nucleus of trade, commerce and industry. It is the nerve centre of Indian politics. The President, Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers have their residences and offices in Delhi.
Government office complexes are a major source of employment and the city is also home to prominent business, medical, agricultural and educational institutions. Delhi has six universities and more than 100 colleges, besides several premier research institutions. A number of international companies have also opened their branches in Delhi.