According to some sources Delhi is the world’s most populous metropolis. 22 million souls inhabit the huge conurbation (2013) and whether these are the right numbers or, just, the 16.5 million people of the official statistics, is a huge amount.
But Delhi can surprise because of its absolute contrast in distributing so many inhabitants in so incredibly different ways. If we consider the two historical areas of Old Delhi and New Delhi we see densities that the European city cannot even imagine.
In numerical terms Delhi goes from 4,900 inhabitants per square kilometre to almost 28,000, but if we consider the area close to the famous artery of Chandni Chowk rises a lot more (Milan just to make a comparison has a density of about 7,200 inhabitants per kilometre).
The perception of the urban dimension and the magnitude of space are striking.
Entering into a side street from Chandni Chowk you can find yourself in an alley where 2 passers-by cannot cross except turning face to face and moving sideways and on the main road, despite the amplitude, the movement is slow, made viscous by the density of bodies.
Walking from the India Gate to the government buildings instead you will never find a road section less than a kilometre wide and you will rarely feel you can reach the summit of the perspective, so far away from appearing blurred in the humid fogs.