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Delhi

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DELHI, India, city, proclaimed the capital of India in 1911, also capital since 1 Oct. 1912 of a province, formerly a division of the same name, and anciently of the Patan and Mogul empires stands about 700 miles northeast of Bombay, and about 790 miles northwest of Cal cutta. It was at one time the largest city in India, covering a space of 20 square miles, and having a population of 2,000,000. It is now re duced to a circumference of seven miles. A vast tract covered with ruins marks the extent of the ancient metropolis of the Mogul empire. The present city, built on two rocky eminences, is surrounded by walls of red sandstone 30 feet high, and from three to five feet thick, with a moat 20 feet broad. There are seven colossal arched gates, defended by round bulwarks, and all built of freestone. The streets of the old part of the city are narrow, but in the modern portion they are broad. The houses here are of sandstone and brick, and are of two and three stories in height. The palace or residence of the Great Mogul, built by Shah Jehan, com menced in 1631, and finished in 10 years, is by far the most interesting building in Delhi, and the most magnificent structure of the kind in India. The Great Mosque, a magnificent structure in the Byzantine-Arabic style, is con sidered by the Mohammedans the wonder of the world. It is built of white marble and red sandstone, inlaid like mosaic, in lines and arabesques; at the two extreme corners rise minarets 150 feet high, and between them two lofty domes. This imposing edifice was built by the Emperor Shah Jehan, in 17th century, and took several thousand men for six successive years (1631 to 1637) to complete it. There are no fewer than 40 other mosques in different parts of the city, many of them having lofty minarets and gilded domes. The fine structure which' stands near the Ajmeer gate was for merly the Delhi College. The famous observa tory of Jye Singh, rajah of Jyepoor, at the southwest extremity of the city, has been much dilapidated, and its astronomical instruments nearly all destroyed or carried off. A monu ment was erected in 1888 by the government to Willoughby, one of the heroes of the siege in 1857. The principal manufactures of the town are cotton cloths, indigo, finely embroid ered shawls and jewelry, for which, as well as for delicately carved ivory, Delhi is somewhat noted. The chief imports are by the northern caravans, which bring from Cashmere and Cahnl shawls, fruit, and horses. Precious stones of good quality are to be had at Delhi, particularly the large red and black carnelians.

The agricultural products of the district con sist chiefly of wheat, rice, millet and indigo. The trade of the neighborhood is centred in Delhi, and the Rajputana State Railroad tra verses the district.

Delhi, or as anciently called, Indraprastha, is one of the oldest cities of India. The modern name Dilli or Delhi is first met with in the 1st century B.C. It has been taken frequently by hostile powers. In the beginning of the 19th century the prosperity of the city and country around was threatened with destruction, and the Mogul emperor and royal family were re duced to poverty and distress, by the Mahrattas, who took possession of his capital, of his gardens and houses, and used his name to op press and impoverish the people by fraud and extortion. From this miserable state of desola tion and ruin the city was rescued by the British in 1803, when it was entered and taken posses sion of by Lord Lake. On the breaking out of the Indian mutiny in May 1857, Delhi became the centre of the operations of the rebels, who flocked to it from all quarters. The nominal representative of the Great Mogul, who held the sovereignty of the place under British pro tection, joined cause with the rebels; and in addition to assuming the character of an in dependent potentate, gave his sanction to the massacres and atrocities perpetrated on the European residents. By the middle of June a British army assembled in front of the city, and a siege commenced, which, from the smallness of the besieging force, was necessarily slow and protracted. It was brought to a successful termination on 20 September, when Delhi was entered by the British troops, and the nominal sovereignty heretofore possessed by the king was declared ended; and he himself, after being tried for the murders committed under his authority, was found guilty, and sentenced as a convict to perpetual banishment. A large part of the place was reduced to ruins in the mutiny and siege, but it has since recovered much of its former appearance, and has also been much improved in its sanitary condition by good drainage, an ample water supply, and lighting system. Delhi on 1 Jan. 1877 was the scene selected for the ceremonial proclaiming Queen Victoria