Delhi, the capital of India, is an mixture of the old and the new. The ancient and the modern times are in combination here, not only in the remains of a succession of empires, but equally in present social structure and lifestyles. This is the place most people think of when they consider visiting India.
The name Delhi, Dehali, or Dilli is derived from Dhillika, the name of the first medieval township of Delhi, located on the southwestern border of the present Delhi, in Mehrauli. This was the first in the series of seven medieval cities. It is also known as Yoginipura, that is, the fortress of the yoginis (female divinities).
There was, however, an ancient urban settlement in Delhi known as Indraprastha on the banks of the Yamuna which is traditionally believed to have been founded by the Pandava brothers, the mythical heroes of Mahabharata, the national epic of India. Excavations at the site of the township inside Purana Kila or the Old Fort show that the date of the oldest habitation in Delhi is around the 3rd or 4th century B.C.
Delhi is divided into two parts. The old Delhi or Delhi was one of the capitals of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries. Old forts, mosques and monuments related to India’s Muslim history are located here. New Delhi is the imperial city that was created as the capital by the British. It is spread over a wide area and is lined with imposing boulevards.
Delhi is a major travel gateway into India. It is one of India’s busiest entry points for overseas airlines and is on the overland route access across Asia. Delhi is the place all travelers think about, but they soon discover that Delhi is only the very beginning of the wonders India has to offer.