01:14 • Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
03:06 • in the kitchen of the gurdwara
05:51 • Majnu ka Tilla, Tibetan district
09:16 • in the streets
11:23 • Purana Qila • Shish Gumbad
12:52 • Shish Gumbad • Tomb of the Lohdi dynasty
14:07 • Gandhi memorial
14:23 • Jama Masjid mosque
15:34 • the Red Fort
Delhi is both the name of a territory of the Indian Union (the difference with a state is that it is an administrative division directly under the central power) and that of a city. The city of Delhi is made up of the historic districts (Old Delhi) and the new capital built by the British at the beginning of the 20th century, New Delhi.
Located on the banks of the Yamuna River, the city of Delhi is one of the most populous in the world. The population of the entire Delhi metropolitan area is over 26 million.
Delhi has been the capital of various empires since its founding. And fittingly, each of these empires left a mark in the architecture of the city. The first occupants of Delhi lived there as early as before the second millennium BC, and the earliest evidence of continuous habitat recorded dates from the 6th century BC. In turn the Pandavam dynasties, the Maurya to which the Buddhist emperor Ashoka belonged, the Chauhan reigned over Delhi before the Muslim invasions around the year 1200 of our era.
The first mosques date from this period which would last about 300 years with many upheavals and a succession of families of sultans at the head of the city.
A major turning point in Delhi's history was the invasion in 1526 by the Mughals led by Babur. The Mughals are descendants of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane established in present-day Uzbekistan. The Mughals would stay in power for another 300 years.
One of the Mughal emperors, Shah Jahan (the one who had the Taj Mahal built in Agra) built, in the 17th century, the fortified city of Shahjahanabad (today "Old Delhi") where the Red Fort, the Grand Mosque and the Chandni Chowk district are located.
The Mughal Empire would last until the beginning of the 19th century when the British of the British East India Company defeated the last Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II.
A bloody episode marks the end of a great rebellion against the troops of the British East India Company in 1857, resulting in a massacre of thousands of inhabitants and the execution of the rebels. The last Mughal emperor, Muhammad Bahadur Shah was exiled to Burma while most of his 16 sons were hanged. It was on this occasion that the East India Company was dissolved and its possessions came under the direct control of the British government.
The capital of the British was Calcutta, but this city was geographically too remote. So the British decided to make Delhi their new capital. On this occasion, they built new districts, known as New Delhi.
This rich and eventful history has left countless architectural treasures in a bumpy and bustling city. Very polluted too, since Delhi holds the sad title of the most polluted city in the world.
Some of the most important monuments include the Red Fort, also called Shahjahanabad Palace, and India's largest mosque, Jama Mashid. Both were built by Emperor Shah Jahan to whom we also owe the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Among other important monuments, Purana Qila is a fortress, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is a Sikh place of worship, Shish Gumbad mausoleum.
More recently, the Gandhi Memorial was also erected in Delhi.
The Majnu ka Tilla district is where the Tibetans fleeing their country gathered together following the Chinese repression after the Tibetan uprising of 1959. Land along the Yamuna River was offered by the Indian government to Tibetan refugees in 1960. Nowadays, the district is nicknamed "Little Tibet" and has more than 3,500 houses. Some of its houses predate the exodus of Tibetan refugees and were built by the British who brought in workers from Tibet to help build New Delhi. These workers were housed in this neighborhood.
about the place, Delhi:
Delhi is the federal capital of India and is a megalopolis of more than 11,000,000 inhabitants. It is also the capital of the Delhi Territory (National Capital Region) which has more than 17 million inhabitants.
The city has been inhabited continuously since the 6th century BCE.
It is also one of the most polluted and congested cities in the world.
What's the weather like in Delhi?
Spoken comments in the film:
Delhi is a huge city of more than 18,000,000 inhabitants which continues to develop in an anarchic way, multiplying the problems of urbanism and pollution. It holds the sad record for the most polluted city in the world.
But that does not take away from it any of its charm or its architectural splendor.
The Bangla Sahib gurdwara is the most important Sikh place of worship in Delhi. It owes its importance to its connection with the eighth Sikh guru, Guru Har Krishan, as well as to the sacred river which flows inside its enclosure and which bears the name of Sarovar.
The Tibetan quarter of Delhi is currently populated by Tibetan refugees. The origin of this colony dates back to the 1900s when the British government brought in labor from the Himalayas to construct the buildings for the city.
However, when the Dalai Lama was driven out of Tibet to take refuge in Dharamsala, many Tibetans left their country to seek refuge on the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi. The current inhabitants constitute the second generation.
Tradition has it that Delhi's oldest fort, Purana Qila, was built almost 5,000 years ago by the legendary Pandavas. More seriously, its first construction is estimated to be nearly 3000 years old. The fort was largely rebuilt in the 16th century.
Shish Gumbad, mausoleum of the Lodhi family, was probably built at the very beginning of the 16th century. This tomb houses bodies that have not been formally identified.
The Jama Masjid Mosque, or Great Mosque of Shahjahânabâd or Great Mosque of Delhi was built in the middle of the 17th century and is one of the largest in India and can accommodate more than 25,000 worshipers.
The Red Fort dates from the same time as the Jama Masjid Mosque, (mid 17th century), and was also built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It is also known as the Shahjahanabad Fortress, (old name of Delhi) or Lal Qil'ah. This fort is registered on the list of the world heritage of humanity of Unesco since 2007.
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• Disclaimer: As traditional music is often subject to copyright (claimed by major music distribution groups), the musical illustration of this film "Delhi, capital of India • Delhi, India (EN)" does not use typical music of India but is borrowed from a collection of royalty-free music. Despite the painstaking care given to the musical choices in this film, some people might not appreciate this choice, but it is the price to pay for not incurring unnecessary lawsuits. This decision was difficult to take, but it's the only viable solution, unfortunately. •