Three Indian cities have been listed among the top 60 of the world, in a new, exhaustive survey carried out by a leading British newspaper.
Leading the list stands London, while Delhi is ranked at 29 and Mumbai at 32. Though Kolkata is also on the list, its position has not been spelt out by the newspaper.
The list was compiled by The Independent after "months of research on population figures, financial markets, tourism trends, transport facilities and data relating to sports and arts events and transport" in each city. following which overall scores were given out of 100.
While London scored 97 to rank number one, Delhi got 39, Mumbai 36 and Kolkata, 21.
"Delhi and Mumbai both came in way ahead of Russia's former capital St Petersburg, the laidback bliss of Melbourne or even the balmy Mediterranean delights of Israel's capital Tel Aviv," the newspaper noted.
The second position has gone to New York, the third to Paris, the fourth to Tokyo. The top 15 include a number of other American cities including Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles and San Fransisco. But ahead of them stand Johannesburg, Sydney, Mexico City and Dubai.
The report pointed out that across the world, civic competition was reaching new heights as cities tried hard to provide the finest creative, culinary and tourist experiences. "This is creating powerhouses such as Delhi and Beijing," it said.
What were the features that gave London its foremost position? Curiously one of these was the currently much maligned Tube network (or underground railway), the first such in the world, completed in the late 19th century. Its cultural credentials, the fact that it has hosted the Olympic Games twice in a century ( in 1908 and 1948) and the sheer variety of cuisines available at its restaurants pushed it to the top.
The Indian contribution to its culinary achievement cannot be ignored. There are over 900 Indian curry houses in the city, two of which are Michelin star winners.
Delhi scored on the variety and excellence of the cultural events it offered, the myriad culinary experiences available as well as some excellent hotels. Mumbai had Bollywood to offer, its cash generating capacity and cosmopolitan make up.
Indeed diversity was a major scoring point for all three Indian cities. Paris failed to grab the top spot largely because of its lack of diversity. French cuisine may be justly well renowned, but that is no excuse for having just 10 ethnic restaurants offering other cuisines in the entire city!