Delhi, India, one of the oldest existing cities in the world

Delhi, India, one of the oldest existing cities in the world

Delhi (Hindi: ??????, Urdu: ????, Punjabi: ?????) is northern India's largest city. One part of it, known as New Delhi (Hindi: ?? ?????? Naï Dillî), is officially designated the capital of India, but the names are often used interchangeably.

Delhi is said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Damascus and Varanasi. Legend estimates it to be over 5,000 years old. Over the millennial, Delhi is said to have been built and destroyed 11 times. The oldest alleged incarnation of the city shows up in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata as Indraprastha. The earliest historically recognized version of the city is Qila Rai Pithora – This dates back to the 10th century A.D. as per available historical records.

Inspite of its rich historical heritage represented by the numerous monuments, Delhi's population is hardly aware of it and has little pride or feeling for the city's history. This is due to the simple reason that few Delhi residents actually belong to Delhi. The population of Delhi is a heterogeneous mix of people originally belonging to different parts of North India and beyond. Among the prominent North Indian communities are the Punjabis, who are the descendants of the refugees of the Indian Partition. They are easily the most affluent community. However, their dominance in recent years has been challenged by the increasing affluence of other North Indian communities. Delhi has a prominent South Indian Community, primarily in areas like RK Puram and Munirka. A Bengali Settlement, the Chittaranjan Park in south east Delhi is the Mini Calcutta of Delhi.

And the biggest irony is the fact that the descendants of the builders of Delhi's many Muslim monuments no longer stay in Delhi. Most of them migrated to Pakistan during the Partition, with only a small, ever-diminishing community in Old Delhi keeping old courtly traditions alive.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.Based on a work at Wikitravel.org & Traveldudes.org.

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