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History of New Delhi

The history of New Delhi is rich and chequered, enigmatic and enchanting. It evolved from the mists of myth, and its recorded history is full of invasions and the rise and fall of dynasties. In the ancient times, Delhi was known as Indraprastha, which according to popular belief, was founded by the mythical Pandavas. However, even if we leave aside the mythology, the recorded history of New Delhi is also quite old. In Delhi, more precisely in the area to the vicinity of Qutab Minar, the Tomar Rajputs established the capital of their kingdom in 736 AD. They named their capital as Lal Kot. Lal Kot was conquered by the Chauhans who renamed it as Quila Rai Pithora. The Chauhans were also responsible for enlarging the ambit of this ancient city of Delhi. The ancient city of Qila Rai Pithora was followed by the creation and eventual destruction of five more cities, within the geographical area of what is now known as Delhi.

They were Siri, built by Alauddin Khlji, Tughlaqabad by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, Jahanpanah by Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Kotla Feroz Shah by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, and Dinpanah by Humayun. Finally, the Mughal emperor Shahjahan built Shahjanabad, around the Red Fort. This seventh city of Delhi is still there, as a part of old Delhi.

New Delhi History

The New Delhi, or the Delhi conceived and created by the world famous architect Edwin Lutyens in the fag end of the colonial period, is the eighth version of Delhi. Today the ruins of these above mentioned ancient and medieval royal citadels, together with Shahjahanabad and Lutyens' Delhi, are part of the Delhi of the twenty first century. Overall, the city of Delhi has evolved through continual metamorphosis since the ancient times, and had the distinction of being the capital and the epicenter of politics and intrigue since the Sultanate period.

The history of New Delhi is dotted with the creation of several architectural masterpieces, and many remnants and ruins, which are now an integral part of the heritage of this great metropolis. Though Delhi had its famed Qutab Minar since the early thirteenth century, and Humayun's Tomb since the mid sixteenth century, it was Shah Jahan's regime which saw the creation of the outstanding architectural glories of Delhi, namely Red Fort and Jamma Masjid.

When the British colonial rule was established in Delhi, in 1857 AD, soon the Britishers shifted their capital to Calcutta, now known as Kolkata. However, in 1911, Delhi was reinstated with its capital status; this time as the capital of the British empire. After independence, it became the capital of the Union Government of India. In 1956, it became an UT. The National Capital Territory Act was passed by the Parliament in 1991, which conferred a diarchy status to Delhi. Under this arrangement, though the elected state government of Delhi was given wide legislative and executive powers, the law and order remained within the purview of the Union Government.

Last Updated On: 2011/06/30


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Posted on 2011-11-02its quiet nice