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Delhi - Overview

Delhi is part of the National Council Territory or the NCT, comprising Delhi, Delhi Cantonment and New Delhi. While Delhi had been a historic capital of many kingdoms, the last of these being that of the great mughals, New Delhi was constructed by the British to house government buildings when the British decided to shift their capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. New Delhi lies six kilometres south of the older city, now known as Old Delhi.

Delhi's metropolitan area is known as the National Capital Region or NCR. This includes the entire Delhi region, as well as the satellite townships of Delhi namely Faridabad and Gurgaon in the adjoining state of Haryana and Noida and Ghaziabad in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh. http://delhigovt.nic.in is the official website of the Government of Delhi.

All International flights headed to New Delhi, the capital of India, touch ground at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI). IGI is located near National Highway no.8 in Southwest Delhi and is about 30 minutes' drive to the Embassy area in Chanakya Puri. Delhi is home to more than 160 embassies and consulates and a large expat population.

A first-timer in the city would find it a melting pot of sorts with a bewildering variety and diversity of culture, religion, people and, of course, food! This is partly because Delhi has been home to many kingdoms for thousands of years. The excavations at the present Old Fort suggest the existence of the city of Indraprastha founded by Pandavas in 1450 B.C. Since then the city has been a continuous settlement. The other factor contributing to the variety of Delhi is its strategic location between the Aravali hills on two sides and river Yamuna on the third, with lots of fertile land, which attracted the attention of every conqueror worth his mettle. The city is said to have been demolished and rebuilt over seven times by different rulers. The remains of these cities exist even today! Delhi has therefore always been an important cultural, intellectual and trade centre.

Delhi is truly a city of opportunities and is buzzing with life and vigour. Expats generally enjoy Delhi's colourful lifestyle and live in the better residential areas. As India has emerged as a major destination for IT-enabled services, thousands of jobs have been created and scores of multinational corporations (MNCs) have set up their business operations in Noida and Gurgaon. Most of these companies provide transport for their employees. Delhi also hosts the India International Trade Fair held every year from 14th to 27th November at Pragati Maidan in Central Delhi.

The property business is booming and newly constructed world-class accommodation is available in Satellite Townships. The literacy rate is 81.82% and most of the population speaks and writes good English. Delhi gives ample scope to its residents to socialize; conferences are held, concerts organized and almost all festivals across the nation find a home in the National Capital Territory. Lots of shopping malls have sprung up all across the NCR to provide a world-class shopping experience.

Expats, however, can face some adjustment problems for the first few months. Most expats are not used to seeing so many people everywhere. It may take some time to adjust in a city whose population exceeds 18 million! Weather conditions in Delhi may be another problem, with temperatures exceeding 45 degrees centigrade in the months of May and June, followed by incessant rains in July and August. However, most of the offices are air-conditioned.

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