|Delhi is the capital of India, and it's also the travel hub of northern India. It's an excellent base for visiting Agra and the Taj Mahal, and the Rajasthani colour of Jaipur is less than five hours away. If you're heading north to the Himalaya or east to the ghats of Varanasi, you'll probably pass through Delhi. So you might as well grit your teeth, hold your breath and dive on in. Delhi stands at the western end of the Gangetic Plain, bordered on the eastern side by the state of Uttar Pradesh, and on the other three sides by the state of Haryana. Travelers to Delhi get two cities for the price of one. 'Old' Delhi, the capital of Muslim India between the mid-17th and late 19th centuries, is full of formidable mosques, monuments and forts. It's a lively area of colorful bazaars, narrow streets and barely controlled chaos. In contrast, New Delhi, the imperial city created by the British Raj, is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings, and has a sense of order absent in other parts of the city.
The city is expansive but easy to navigate. The hub of New Delhi is Connaught Place, where you'll find most of the airline offices, travel agents and banks. 'Old' Delhi is a couple of kilometers north, and its main thoroughfare is Chandni Chowk. The two main centres for accommodation are Paharganj, near New Delhi Railway Station (budget), and Janpath, on the southern side of Connaught Place (budget and mid-range). There are a number of cinemas and performing arts centers around Connaught Place, but Delhi's strict licensing laws effectively curtail nightlife.
The main bus station, the Interstate Bus Terminal, is at Kashmiri Gate, north of the (Old) Delhi Railway Station.
Area: 1483 sq km (572 sq mi)
Population: 13.8 million
Main language: Hindi