Delhi – the political capital

Population wise, Delhi comes second in the world – at about 22 million, second only to Japan’s capital Tokyo.

By Deepak Nagpal | Updated: Nov 08, 2013, 12:34 PM IST

Delhi is the capital city of India. It is also known as the National Capital Territory, and is further part of the National Capital Region that also includes neighbouring cities of Baghpat, Gurgaon, Sonepat, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

Population wise, Delhi comes second in the world – at about 22 million, second only to Japan’s capital Tokyo.

In India, Delhi is the largest city in terms of population as well as area.

While Delhi still has to attain the status of a ‘full state’, it does have its own Legislative Assembly, High Court etc.

The government is represented by a Chief Minister (currently, Sheila Dikshit of the Congress) while the Centre is represented by the Lieutenant Governor.

Some parts of the administration are directly controlled by the Central government – like the Delhi Police, which comes under the purview of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.


Located on the banks of river Yamuna, Delhi has served as capital city of several kingdoms and empires.

In ancient times, it was known as Indraprastha - the capital of the Pandavas during the Mahabharata. During the Delhi sultanates, the city emerged as a major political, cultural and commercial force.

Walled city, constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in AD 1639, remained the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1649 until the Revolt of 1857. Britishers shifted their capital from Kolkata to Delhi in 1911, and built New Delhi to the south of the old city during the 1920s.

Post independence, New Delhi was declared the capital of India.


Geographically, Delhi lies in northern part of India between the latitudes of 28°-24’-17” and 28°-53’-00” North and longitudes of 76°-50’-24” and 77°-20’-37” East.

Delhi is bounded by the Indo-Gangetic alluvial plains in the North and East, by Thar desert in the West and by Aravalli hill ranges in the South.

It shares its borders with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The city has an area of 1,483 sq kms. Its maximum length is 51.90 kms and greatest width is 48.48 kms.


With the 69th amendment of the Constitution Act, 1991, Delhi became a National Capital Territory (NCT) with its own Legislative Assembly.

As the NCT, Delhi comprises 27 tehsils, 9 districts, 62 census towns, 165 villages and 3 statutory towns as New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB). MCD has further been divided into three separate corporations - North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

As the NCT, Delhi has its own Lieutenant Governor, Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister and Council of Ministers. The Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Supreme Court of India, Parliament House, Election Commission, Reserve Bank of India, Union Public Service Commission various other Central ministries and other government offices are located in New Delhi. In Delhi, there are 70 Legislature Unicameral Seats in addition to 7 Lok Sabha and 3 Rajya Sabha Seats.


The economy of Delhi constitutes both agricultural and industrial sector. In the agricultural sector, the agricultural produce of Delhi includes wheat, jowar, bajra, maize and gram. In addition, Delhi has thriving fruit crops, dairy and poultry farming and floriculture. The industrial economy of Delhi includes light engineering machines, automobile parts, electronics, bicycles, sport goods, PVC goods, leather, hosiery, fertilizers and software.

Delhi enjoys a well connected transport and communication systems with inter-state terminuses, railway stations, airport (Indira Gandhi International Airport) and Delhi Metro.

Tourist attractions

Given the strong cultural past, Delhi has numerous historical monuments and famous tourist destinations such as: Purana Quila, Tughlaqabad Fort, Qutab Minar, Lal Quila, Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid, Lodi Gardens, India Gate, Jantar Mantar, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Raj Ghat, Sansad Bhavan, Birla Mandir, Bahai Mandir, National Museum, Craft Museum, Nehru Memorial Museum, National Museum of Natural History, Central Cottage Industries Emporium, National Museum of Modern Art, Dilli Haat and States Emporia to name a few.


Given the cosmopolitan nature of Delhi, it is the home of numerous festivities such as Holi, Diwali, Dushehra, Id, Guru Nanak birthday and Christmas.

Some of the additional festivals of Delhi include: Roshnara festival, Qutab festival, Shalimar festival, winter carnival, Mango festival, Garden tourism, international industrial exhibitions, defense exhibitions and automobile exhibitions.

Compiled by: Deepak Nagpal

With Inputs from: Aman Kanth, Delhi Government and Wikipedia