Delhi completes a centenary

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 12, 2011 15:51 hrs

From congested lanes near Jama Masjid to posh locales in South-ex, from historical Qutub Minar to modern world-class metro, from Golgappas of Janakpuri to sweets of Chandini Chowk, from young scholars thronging the DU Campus to elite in Parliament, Delhi which stands on the threshold of stepping into another centenary of being India's capital, is indeed an amalgamation of myriad shades of the country.

The city, located on the banks of river Yamuna, has a rich culture of its own, a predominant mix of modern and traditional and this is what sets the city apart from others.

One can discover that on one hand the city boasts of captivating ancient monuments like India gate, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Purana Quila and Lodi Tomb etc. while on the flipside it gives an impression of being a world-class metropolis.

Apart from having a glorious past, the city is also the political hub of the country with almost every political decision finding its root in Delhi. Be it Anna Hazare's protest for a strong Lokpal Bill or colourful Queer Parades on abandonment of Section 377 of IPC, all of it can be witnessed in the city.

And what captures the fascination of most people is the delicious food served here. Apparently, one can dip into the delectable paranthas and chaat in Chandini Chowk or Biryani at Karims or even international cuisines at Oberoi Maidans, the city never disappoints food lovers.

It is even the dream place for shopholics with market of Connaught Place, Karol Bagh, Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar offering exclusive jewellary, clothes and anything to everything. Baba Kharak Singh Marg, near Parliament Street is famous for multiple emporiums with the famous handicraft and artifacts of different states of India under one roof at government-controlled prices.

Many of the country's finest people have walked through the portals of Delhi's premier education institutions. Be it Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan from Kirorimal or Manmohan Singh from Hindu college, Delhi University, undoubtedly, has the richest alumni in the country.

As the wheel of 100 years complete a full turn, a number of celebrations that will go throughout the year are being planned by the city government and Indian Council for Cultural Relations which will indeed make the city glow with a lot of zeal and fervour.

A book on Delhi, called Red Fort to Raisina, encapsulating the history of seven cities of Delhi and making of the city will be released on Monday evening by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The food festival 'Dilli Ke Pakwan' organized by Delhi Tourism from Dec 3 to Dec 11 was a huge success with a large number of people thronging the venue at Baba Kharak Singh Marg to taste the appetizing food of the city.

The festival, apart from serving the traditional street food from the capital, also had other attractions like cultural activities, handicrafts especially pottery and bangle making etc.

Rohit Chauhan, a student of Delhi University (DU), said, "The festival had every possible speciality of Delhi. The paranthas of Chandni Chowk's Paranthewali galli, Khan ke kebas, Bunty Singh's fruit chaat and Janakpuri's famous gol gappe- it couldn't have been better to celebrate this momentous occasion."

Keeping in mind, a need to capture Delhi's history, a week-long event 'Dastan-e-Dilli' including an exhibition and various other cultural programmes will begin from Monday.

This one is being organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the venue is the ICCR's Azad Bhavan gallery.

The exhibition is titled 'Timeless Delhi' and displays the progress of the city from significant Indraprastha to an energetic 21st century metropolitan through photographs, works of art, lithographic prints by painters of the East India Company and accompanying texts from the pages of history.

The opening of the exhibition will be followed by ´Mehfil-e-Dilli´, a dance performance by Shovana Narayan and thumri recital by Dr. Kumud Jha Diwan.

However, no official ceremony has been planned to commemorate the special day.

(Reporting by Vatsal Verma)

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