Geographic Facts About New Delhi, India

Swaminarayan Akshardham temple, the biggest Hindu temple in the world, New Delhi, India
Swaminarayan Akshardham temple, the biggest Hindu temple in the world. Punnawit Suwuttananun / Getty Images

New Delhi is both the capital and center of government of India and is the center of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is located in northern India within the metropolis of Delhi and it is one of the nine districts of Delhi. It has a total area of 16.5 square miles (42.7 sq km) and it is considered one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

The city of New Delhi is known for its vulnerability to climate change and global warming (its temperatures are predicted to rise by 2˚C by 2030 due to its intense growth and industrialization) and a building collapse which killed at least 65 people on November 16, 2010.

Top Ten Facts to Know About India's Capital City

  1. New Delhi itself was not established until 1912 when the British moved India's capital city from Calcutta (now called Kolkata) to Delhi in December 1911. At that time the British government in India decided it wanted to build a new city to serve as its capital which would be adjacent to Delhi and known as New Delhi. New Delhi was completed in 1931 and the old city became known as Old Delhi.
  2. In 1947 India gained independence from the British and New Delhi was given some limited independence. At that time it was administered by a Chief Commissioner who was appointed by the Indian government. In 1956, Delhi became a union territory and a Lieutenant Governor began the administration of the region. In 1991 the Constitution Act changed the Union Territory of Delhi to the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
  3. Today, New Delhi is located within the metropolis of Delhi and it still serves as the capital city of India. It is at the center of the nine districts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Commonly, the metropolis of Delhi is known as New Delhi, although New Delhi only officially represents a district or city within Delhi.
  4. New Delhi itself is governed by a municipal government that is called the New Delhi Municipal Council, whereas other areas within Delhi are governed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
  5. New Delhi today is one of the fastest growing cities in both India and the world. It is the government, commercial and financial center of India. Governmental employees represent a large portion of the city's workforce, while much of the rest of the city's population is employed in the expanding service sector. The main industries in New Delhi include information technology, telecommunications, and tourism.
  6. The city of New Delhi had a population of 295,000 in 2001 but metropolitan Delhi had a population of over 13 million. Most of the people living in New Delhi practice Hinduism (86.8%) but there are also large Muslim, Sikh, Jain and Christian communities in the city.
  7. New Delhi is located on the Indo-Gangetic Plain in northern India. Since it sits on this plain, most of the city is relatively flat. It is also located in the floodplains of several large rivers, but none of them actually flow through the city. In addition, New Delhi is prone to major earthquakes.
  8. The climate of New Delhi is considered humid subtropical and it is highly influenced by the seasonal monsoon. It has long, hot summers and cool, dry winters. The average January low temperature is 45°F (7°C) and the average May (the hottest month of the year) high temperature is 102°F (39°C). Precipitation is highest in July and August.
  9. When it was determined that New Delhi would be built in 1912, the British architect Edwin Lutyens came up with plans for much of the city. As a result, New Delhi is highly planned and it is built around two promenades -- the Rajpath and Janpath. The Rashtrapati Bhaven or the center of the Indian government is located in the center of New Delhi.
  10. New Delhi is also considered a cultural center of India. It has many historic buildings, festivals to go along with holidays like Republic Day and Independence Day as well as many religious festivals.

To learn more about New Delhi and metropolitan Delhi, visit the city's official government website.

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Briney, Amanda. "Geographic Facts About New Delhi, India." ThoughtCo, Sep. 9, 2021, Briney, Amanda. (2021, September 9). Geographic Facts About New Delhi, India. Retrieved from Briney, Amanda. "Geographic Facts About New Delhi, India." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 24, 2023).