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History of Delhi

Delhi HistoryThe history of Delhi can be traced back to the days of Mahabharata. It was during those days itself when the Kauravas and the Pandavas fought against each other for the land of Delhi which was then known as Indraprastha. It is believed that the Pandavas founded their capital city that is Indraprastha in this part of the region which is called Khandava-Prastha. Purana Qila is the sixteenth century monument located in Indraprastha that clearly gives evidences of incessant habitation in that place for over 2500 years. Not only during the days of Mahabharat, but Delhi had been the capital city even during the pre-historic and historic times.

Mandolin, Bhargarh, Anangpur at Jawaharlal Nehru University Campus are some of the excavated places where tools were discovered that clearly proves that survival of mankind in these parts of the world existed as early 1st and 2nd millennium BC with traces of survival during the 4th and 5th century AD.

Delhi being an ancient city has witnessed the forming and falling of many empires such as the Maurya Empire, Mughal Empire, Tughlaq Empire, etc. The importance of the Mauryan Empire can be clearly found out from the remains of the Mauryan Period found in Purana Qila and also the Ashokan Edict in the East of Kailash.

Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526)

Delhi Sultanate consists of those dynasties of India who were Persian speaking and of Turkic and Afghan origin that had ruled over India from 13th Century to the 16th Century. The Delhi sultanate which began its rule in 1206  was followed by the Khilji dynasty which is of Turkic origin. The Tugluks followed the Khiljis which is also a dynasty of Turkic Origin. This dynasty was started by the ruler Ghazi Tughlaq who ascended the throne under the name of Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. The Tughlaq dynasty ended as a result of the alliances with Muslim, Afghan and Turkic warriors from outside South Asia. The Sayyids who succeeded the Tugluks ruled Delhi from 1414 to 1451 until they were displaced by the Lodi Dynasty which was the last dynasty of the Delhi sultanate.

History of DelhiMughal Rule and Delhi :

What came after the Delhi Sultanate is the Mughal Rule. The first emperor to start the heroic Mughal rule was Babar. The Mughal Rule was initiated after the win of Babar in the Battle of Panipat. Humayun took over Babar whose Mughal rule was interrupted by the Suri Dynasty. The successor, Sher Shah Suri took over the Suri Dynasty and the dynasty continued till the next king, Islam Shah Suri. However, this was the end of Suri Dynasty when Humayun took over yet again and Mughal rule continued. Soon after that, some of the great Mughal rulers took over the throne such as Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb. A total of 21 rulers ruled during the Mughal Dynasty.

India attained a heightened level in the area of architecture during the reign of the Mughal. In 1837, Bahadur Shah II took over the Mughal rule and he continued his rule till the year 1857. During this period of time, the Indian rebellion of 1857 took place and Bahadur Shah II was deposed to Burma by the British and hence came an end to the Mughal Rule.

British Rule in Delhi:

The period of dominion started in India in 1858 and then it continued till 1947. It was in the year 1857 that the Mughal Dynasty came to an end and the Indian rule was handed over to the British Raj. The issue of taking over by the British Raj needs special mention of Bahadur Shah Zafar who was the last ruler of the Mughal Empire. He was imprisoned by the British for being the mastermind of the Sepoy Mutiny and fighting bravely to keep India from being taken away by the British.

In the year 1858, the rule of the British East India company was transferred to that of the crown i.e. Queen Victoria. British Raj existed in all of India except for two places which were Goa and Pondicherry. During the British rule, in 1874 the first Municipal Body for Delhi was set up. Supply of piped water too started in the year 1890. It was also believed that constant efforts were being made to downgrade the city of Delhi however, with fail. The population of the city of Delhi started to increase with influx from Punjab and so trade activities also gradually began to expand. By 1896, Delhi became the seventh largest town in India and also the richest town in all of Punjab.

By the 1930s and 40s, Delhi was taken over by Baker and the Lutyens and it turned into a highly advanced History of Delhitown in all of India. A new identity was created for Delhi and the place started to grow with new hotels like The Imperial, Claridges, etc. Buildings, offices, academies came up during the British reign and continued to, even after Indian independence in 1947.

Post Independence Delhi:

After Independence, the speed of Delhi development continued to make its way. After Independence, from the 1950s onwards, the development that Delhi went through is highly significant. Colonies began to rise from the mid 50s onwards and hence, Kirti nagar, Defence colony, Friends colony, South extension, Hauz Khas, Green Park, etc. came up. Some legal and expensive colonies came up and along with it some other illegal colonies also came up as a result of which the planners began to lose direction and the city gradually turned into an unplanned one. After Independence, two mega sporting events were hosted by Delhi: Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. This has highly added to the glitz of the city and made a mark in the pages of history in its own way. Traffic and pollution in the city also increased with the increase in population. However, many organization and independent bodies have come up in order to control the imbalances of the city and keep it pollution free and environment friendly.

Inspite of all the thunder and storms that Delhi had to face, it has come off very well along the pages of history and today Delhi stands tall as one of the oldest cities of India boasting of a huge number of monuments and tombs to look out for. Today Delhi has managed to survive all wars and battles and is a home to above 16 million people. After the Indian independence, Delhi remained a Chief Commissioner’s regime, but in 1956 it became an Union Territory and then the Lt. Governor replaced the Chief Commissioner. Again in the year 1991, another act called the NCT or National Capital Territory Act was passed by the Parliament, which introduced the system of diarchy in Delhi. According to this system, all powers except law and order lay on the elected government whose actual enforcement came in the year 1993.