New Delhi

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Patrick Horton:...city’s fortunes did not revive until Shahjahan built Shahjahanabad. Under the British Delhi then declined again until 1911, when it was decided to move the capital here from Calcutta (Kolkata). For the British Delhi was the capital of the area that now included three countries: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The traditional seven cities of Delhi which developed over centuries from the 12 centuries onwards are:...Purana Qila Shergarh, a city started by Humayun in the 16th century and completed by Sher Shah Suri;...

New Delhi is the capital of India and seat of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. It is also the centre of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi and is one of the eleven districts of Delhi National Capital Territory. New Delhi constitutes roughly 1% of the population of Delhi metropolis. With a population of 22 million in 2011, Delhi metropolitan region is the world's second most populous city and the largest city in India and also one of the largest in the world in terms of area.

The foundation stone of the city was laid by George V, Emperor of India during the Delhi Durbar of 1911. It was designed by British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The new capital was inaugurated on 13 February 1931, by India's Viceroy Lord Irwin.

Quotes[edit]

With evidence of continuous settlement dating back to the 6th Century BC, Delhi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. The legendary city of Indraprastha from the epic Mahabharata is said to have been situated where Delhi now lies. Thought to have been built and destroyed 11 times, evidence of at least eight distinct settlements can still be seen in Delhi.

  • Much of Delhi’s regional importance came from the location in the watershed between the Ganga and the Indus river systems...In the sixth century BC, Delhi formed part of the Kuru kingdom, one of the Mahajanapadas or ‘great states.’ In the Buddhist documents of that period, Indapatta (identified with Indraprastha) is mentioned as the capital of the Kuru state.
    • A.G. Krishna Menon, in "Delhi: A Heritage City: 20 Walks through History", P.9
  • One evidence of the continuing importance of Delhi, as a location in the third century BC, is the inscription (edict) engraved here on the instruction of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka... the edict is to be found on a rock in the area in modern Kalkaji.
    • A.G. Krishna Menon, in "Delhi: A Heritage City: 20 Walks through History", P.9
  • Delhi has always been a gateway city, built on the plains, initially on the fording point on the Yamuna River and on the route between western and Central Asia and Southeast Asia. The old empires did not conform to natural boundaries or present-day frontiers, and the limits of the Delhi-centered empire waxed and waned with the power of the ruler. At times it encompassed parts of what are Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bengal and Tamil Nadu. In 16th and 17th centuries, Delhi became a backwater as Agra, Lahore and Fatehpur Sikri became alternative capitals of India, and city’s fortunes did not revive until Shahjahan built Shahjahanabad. Under the British Delhi then declined again until 1911, when it was decided to move the capital here from Calcutta (Kolkata). For the British Delhi was the capital of the area that now included three countries: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
    • Patrick Horton, in Delhi, Lonely Planet, 2002, p. 16
  • Since independence, after the trauma of partition, Delhi now as the national capital has acquired an economic stability, as the seat of the national government, and the home of head offices of both domestic and multinational companies.
    • Patrick Horton, in "Delhi", p. 17
  • A Paradise, that's Delhi
    Humpty Dumpty, hocus pocus, hurly burly
    If there is a paradise on earth, it is Delhi
    Full of people, overflowing
    Markets onto the road going
    Full of fumes, full of gases
    Full of ultra modern asses
    Full of shining, made-up faces
    Full of heart and cancer cases
    Car and truck and motorcycle
    Full of vehicle on the vehicle
    Full of jolting, full of stoking
    Full of lanes and bylanes choking
    Full of housing haywire going
    Full of sewage into Jamuna flowing
    Full of callous indifference breeding
    Full of pastures fast receding
    Full of power, and still power crisis
    Full of smoothly rising prices
    Full of girth and grime and mirth
    Our Delhi is a paradise on earth.
Harry Shattuck:We had admired the presidential palace and parliament houses, paused beside the striking India Gate,...
  • We had admired the presidential palace and parliament houses, paused beside the striking India Gate, inspected the 16th Century Humayun's Tomb--a forerunner to the Taj Mahal--and cruised past scores of international embassies. Now, without crossing a border--or pausing at a stoplight--we were in a different world.
Upinder Singh:...the stately layout and architecture of Lutyen’s Delhi bear the imposing imprint of British imperial rule.
  • Delhi area has an incredibly long and eventful ancient past, beginning thousands of years ago in the stone age and merging at the other end into the medieval period when the Rajputs made-way for Delhi Sultans in the twelfth century.
  • Delhi--created at the end of the 12th Century from the ruins of seven ancient cities--is a microcosm of all India. The city of 13 million people is the nation's capital and cultural heart. New Delhi is home to grand hotels, fashionable homes, spacious parks and broad promenades. Old Delhi is compact, crowded and chaotic.
    • Harry Shattuck, in The old and the new of Delhi: Within city, it's a whole other world
  • In its long history Delhi has been on several occasions the victim of military occupation accompanied by pillage and rapine, and these occasions have sometimes altered the course of the city’s fortunes, both materially and culturally. One such occasion was its capture by Qutubuddin Aibak on behalf of Sultan Muizud-Din Muhammad-ibn-Sam of Ghur in 1192 or 1193. Others, much later, were Nader Shah’s capture of the city in 1739, followed by its occupation by Ahamd Shah Durrani, the British in 1803, and the destruction which accompanied the uprising of 1857 and its suppression.
  • The period from 1724, to Nadir Shah’s invasion in 1739 was one of rapid internal decay of the empire, but one of outer brilliance for Delhi as far as its cultural life was concerned. The phase of 1740 to 1760 was period of growing anarchy.
    • Rakesh Kumar Bhatt, in History and Development of Libraries in India, P.174
Delhi Durbar held in 1911 and capital shifted from Calcutta to Delhi in 1912
  • Modern Delhi began with the slow revival of the city under British domination. During the ‘Delhi Renaissance’, approximately 1830 to the outbreak of uprising of 1857, Delhi exhibited the beginnings of a cultural ferment; Western technology and idea entered the city and supported each other.
    • Rakesh Kumar Bhatt, in History and Development of Libraries in India, P.175
Harry Shattuck:Lal Qila, the massive 17th Century Red Fort, once was home to 5,000 residents. Built between 1639 and 1648 with red sandstone brought from Rajasthan by Mogul King Shah Jahan,...
Harry Shattuck:Old Delhi is bereft of splendor: Jama Masjid is the largest Muslim mosque in all of Asia.
  • Lal Qila, the massive 17th Century Red Fort, once was home to 5,000 residents. Built between 1639 and 1648 with red sandstone brought from Rajasthan by Mogul King Shah Jahan, the Red Fort is surrounded by a 1.5 mile wall. It initially served as the capital of Shah Jahan's empire. The same king commissioned construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra as a monument to his wife... A shopping bazaar is within.
    • Harry Shattuck, in The old and the new of Delhi: Within city, it's a whole other world
  • Old Delhi is bereft of splendor: Jama Masjid is the largest Muslim mosque in all of Asia. Dating to the 17th Century and commissioned by Shah Jahan, Asia's largest mosque was built of sandstone and black marble over six years by 5,000 laborers. Five gates remind Muslims that they are to pray five times daily, and up to 20,000 gather here--with women and men typically praying at different times. Climb the steps of a 130-foot-tall minaret for panoramic views of Old Delhi.
    • Harry Shattuck, in The old and the new of Delhi: Within city, it's a whole other world
  • Chandni Chowk is the street--an imperial avenue under Shah Jahan's reign--extends from the Red Fort. The name often is applied to connecting alleys and streets. It's jammed with makeshift shops, markets, rickshaws, carts drawn by horses and oxen, cows, goats and pedestrians.
    • Harry Shattuck, in The old and the new of Delhi: Within city, it's a whole other world
  • Once through this ruined city did I pass
    I espied a lonely bird on a bough and asked
    What knowest thou of this wilderness?
    It replied: 'I can sum it up in two words:
    ‘Alas, Alas!”
If the government does not pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, I will begin my fast unto death at New Delhi.
  • If the government does not pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, I will begin my fast unto death at New Delhi.
  • It was a big challenge for me when I decided to start with the Sufi night. It took a while for the crowd to understand the music that was being played at the club since Delhi's crowd is more used to listening to hip-hop and Bollywood music, but the introduction of Sufi music definitely brought in a change.
  • The soil and climate in Delhi are also not favourable for anthrax.
    • Riaz Khan (Delhi Zoo curator), Money Control (2012)[4]
  • Delhi does not have legislations and policies which recognise the city’s values. The state government has not been able to identify the unique elements and outstanding universal values yet.
  • As you go from New Delhi to Old Delhi suddenly, the streets are narrower. Suddenly, there are bicycle-rickshaws instead of cars. Suddenly, there are more people. Suddenly, everything is different.
    • Raj Ahluwalia, in The old and the new of Delhi: Within city, it's a whole other world
  • In Delhi one could manage a drink and dine off other people all 365 days...Delhi had over a hundred embassies, High Commissions and legations. Diplomats in Delhi did not have much work to do. Most of their energies were directed to wining and dining officials of the External Affairs and other ministries of the Government of India, cultivating non-official locals, and celebrating their independence days.
  • That's Delhi. When life gets too much for you all you need to do is to spend an hour at Nigambodh Ghat, watch the dead being put to flames and hear their kin wail for them. Then come home and down a couple of pegs of whisky. In Delhi, death and drink make life worth living.
    • [[Khushwant Singh, in Delhi: A Novel, p. 26
  • They grouped into nativities - Bengalis, Biharis, Bandladeshis, South Indians, Northeasterners, Kashmiri Pandits and Punjabis - or sought refuge in professional identities. They were Delhiites because geography and the pursuit of common goals made them so and not because the city offered a unifying identity. Delhi now belonged to everyone who lived in it, but no one belonged to Delhi. The original Delhiites too were missing from public life - they preferred the city of memory.

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