New Delhi

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

New Delhi

New Delhi (dĕl´ē), city (1991 pop. 294,149), capital of India and of Delhi state, N central India, on the right bank of the Yamuna River. Predominantly an administrative center, it was constructed between 1912 and 1929 to replace Calcutta (now Kolkata) as capital of British India; New Delhi was officially inaugurated in 1931. The city is also a transportation hub and trade center with manufactures in electronics, automobile parts, engineering products, and electrical appliances.

Designed by architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, New Delhi has broad, symmetrically aligned streets that provide vistas of historic monuments. Between the main government buildings a broad boulevard leads east to west from India Gate, a massive war memorial arch (built 1921), through a great court to the resplendent sandstone and marble Government House (formerly the viceroy's palace; now the residence of India's president). In the southern section of the city is the prayer ground where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated (1948). In the west are Balmiki and Lakshminarayan temples, which Gandhi frequented; the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple (2005) is is East Delhi across the Yamuna. The city has many sports stadiums and medical institutes. In recent years metropolitan New Delhi, including Old Delhi, has experienced overcrowding and severe air pollution. The city opened its subway system, the second in India, in 2002.

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