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Is Delhi really 100 year old?

800px-Delhi_Drubar,_1911 Delhi, the capital of Republic of India. It is said that Delhi has completed its hundred years on 12th December 2011. How true is this statement?  

What happened 100 years ago?

11th December, 1911 – King George V was declared the Emperor of India and on 12th December 1911, he presented himself to the public at the Coronation Ground in Burari Village, Delhi. This ceremony was called ‘Delhi Durbar’. On this occasion, King George declared that the capital of British India be shifted from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi. 12th December 2011, we complete 100 years of this declaration.

The Ignored truth?

Delhi was treated as a capital since Mahabharta era, when Pandavas had setup their territory in the reign of Khandva Forest and named it as Indrapatta (or Indraprastha). Later, several dynasties came and used Delhi as their capital. Here’s a list:

circa 2500 BC Pandavas Ruled from Indraprastha, the earliest reference of Delhi
736-1180 Tomars Ruled from Lal Kot (now in Mehrauli)
1180-1192 Rajputs Ruled from Qila Rai Pithora (Mehrauli, Lado Sarai area)
1206-1290 Slave Dynasty Ruled from area around Mehrauli
1290-1321 Khilji Dynasty Ruled from area, what we now call Siri (around Siri Fort) in Delhi
1321-1398 Tughlaq Dynasty Ruled from Areas like Tughlaqabad, Jahanpanah (now Begumpur, Sarvpriya Vihar and Tara Apartments etc.) and Ferozabad (or Feroz Shah Kotla). NOTE: Muhammed bin tughlaq took capital from Delhi to Daultabad for some time, but brought it back.
1398-1414 Attack by Timur Lung No Ruler. Period of Chaos
1414-1421 Sayyid Dynasty Ruled from existing establishments of various cities comprising Delhi
1451-1526 Lodhi Dynasty Ruled from existing establishments of various cities comprising Delhi
1526-1540 Timurid/Mughal Dynasty Humayun started Dinpanah at what we now call Old Fort
1540-1556 Sur Dynasty Ruled from Dilli Sher Shahi, around Old Fort of Delhi
1556 Hindu ruler – Hemu (Samrat Hemchandra Vikramaditya) Ruled very small portion of country from vacant fort of Shergarh (now called Old Fort), but removed from throne by Humayun and Mughals came back
1556-1857 Mughal Dynasty Akbar and Jahangir took Capital out of Delhi but Shahjahan bought back to Shahjahanbad and started rule from Red Fort of Delhi.
1856-1947 British After taking last Mughal king out in 1857, British continued to rule from their existing setup  in Calcutta. Then King George V, on 12th December 1911, declared to bring the capital back to Delhi.

  We have numerous sites and remains since 7th century showing Delhi as one of the most important cities of India. British just understood the importance a little late and utilized the empty space lying between the other 7 cities of Delhi. The did a unification of cities and restored few old buildings. After the declaration in 1911, it took more than a decade for the capital to actually move in. The Viceroy House (Rashtrapati Bhavan) was commissioned on January 23rd, 1931.   Following is the video from the Delhi Durbar of 1911 at the Coronation Ground of Delhi. Rest is up to you to decide.  

 

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9 thoughts on “Is Delhi really 100 year old?

  1. unkwn frm dis fact.. thnk u so mch 4 tlng us.. rmrkabl dscrptn.. n i ws wtng 4 ur wrk..

  2. Completely agree with you. We should understand how much old Delhi is actually.

    I was also wondering since past few days, after visiting so many places with DHPC, Delhi is so much old and would have been capitals for many dynasty.

  3. I like this website it’s a master piece! Glad I found this on google.

  4. Rocky Jackson on said:

    Thanks,I alway find this type of post because i have interest for ancient history.
    Awesome.Great video.

  5. biohazardahuja on said:

    Certainly the city of Delhi boasts of a very ancient history, there are several monuments & structures that very few know of & even fewer have seen. Loved this post!!

    PS: When Timur attacked Delhi in 1398, wasn’t the Tughlaq Dynasty still ruling?? There were kings, weak but kings nonetheless, like Nusrat Shah, Mahmud Tughlaq, Mallu Iqbal..

  6. As a dilliwala I totally agree with you. The British moved the capital to Delhi from Calcutta as without capital in Delhi, they were not considered to be ruling India. Even today they say what they use to say then ” Jo Dilli Pay Raj Karta hai, woh hindustan par Raj Karta hai”

  7. amit kumar saini on said:

    i love this bcoz i was born in delhi

  8. Shehnaaz Shaikh on said:

    Excellent research ,wish you all the best ahead.

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