New Delhi Commonwealth Walkway

India / Asia

INDIA India is the seventh-largest country in the world and one of the oldest civilisations with an exceptionally rich cultural heritage.  It is known from archaeological evidence that a highly sophisticated urbanised culture—the Indus Civilisation —dominated the north-western part of the subcontinent from about 2,600 to 2,000 BCE. From that period on, India functioned as a virtually self-contained political and cultural arena, which gave rise to a distinctive tradition that was associated primarily with Hinduism, the roots of which can largely be traced to the Indus civilisation.  Other religions, notably Buddhism and Jainism, originated in India.    India has three well-defined regions – the mountain range of the Himalayas (separating it from China), which stretch southwards through the northern plains of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra, and the southern peninsula. It tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.  Over the centuries many kingdoms rose and fell.  The Mogul Empire was founded by Akbar, who reigned from 1556 to 1605, and his successors in the next generations were also significant – Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb.  The Mogul Empire was effectively in decline by the time Aurangzeb died in 1707.   In the 18th-century merchant, adventurers arrived from Portugal, France, Britain, Holland and Denmark.  The East India Company had been trading in Calcutta since 1690.  In 1757 Robert Clive (Clive of India) defeated the Mogul Emperor’s army and by 1763, held sway in the sub-continent.  Later, as a result of the Indian Mutiny, power came under direct British rule.  Queen Victoria became Empress of India in 1877, and the period of the British Raj followed. Nationalism grew following the foundation of the Indian National Congress by Allan Hume (1829-1912), and advanced during the First World War, at which point Mahatma Gandhi became the leader of the independent movement.  Independence was granted in 1947 with partition – and the western part of India became Pakistan.  India became a Republic in 1950.  India was one of the founding members of the Commonwealth. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress during the years since Independence. India has become self-sufficient in agricultural production and is now one of the top industrialised countries in the world and one of the few nations to have gone into outer space to conquer nature for the benefit of the people.  India’s government is a constitutional republic representing a highly diverse population, consisting of thousands of ethnic groups. With roughly one-sixth of the world’s total population, India is the second-most populous country, after China. Fun fact
  • Chess was invented in India 
New Delhi:  New Delhi is the national capital of India.  It is situated in the north-central part of the country on the west bank of the Yamuna Riveradjacent to and just south of Delhi city (Old Delhi) and within the Delhi national capital territory.  It became the capital following a decree by the King-Emperor George V, following the Delhi Durbar, in which he ordained that the capital be moved from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi.  Construction began in 1912 at a site about 3 miles (5 km) south of the Delhi city centre, and the new capital was formally dedicated in 1931.  The straight and diagonal pattern of the broad tree-lined avenues in New Delhi, with extensive its green spaces and wide vistas, contrasts sharply with the crowded, narrow, and winding streets characteristic of Old Delhi. The main east-west axis of New Delhi is Central Vista Park, which is flanked by government buildings, museums, and research centres in a parklike setting. 

14.9 miles / 24 kilometres

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