Heritage of Delhi


A Transition through Time – As you walk along

the narrow bylanes of this city of dreams, tread

 softly. Every crumbling wall has a story to tell.

 Every yesterday is replete with history. Rulers

 have come and gone. The city has lived through

 wars and resurrection, repeatedly rising from

the ashes.

Cradling civilisations since times immemorial Delhi goes back

 hundreds of thousands of years back into time.

Stone tools belonging to early stone age were discovered from

 the Aravalli tracts in and around Anangpur, the Jawaharlal Nehru

 University Campus, the northern ridge and elsewhere – evidence

 that the Early Man lived here.

Excavations at Mandoli and Bhorgarh in east and north-west Delhi

 respectively have thrown up remains of

 chalcolithic period dating back to 2nd

 millennium BC, 1st millennium BC as well

 remains of 4th-5th century AD have been

 traced here.

The excavations of the ancient mound of Indraprastha, capital of

the Pandavas, located withing the fold of the sixteenth century

Purana Qila revealed evidence of continuous habitation of the

site for almost 2500 years.

According to the Mahabharata, the Pandavas founded their capital

 Indrapratha in the region known as Khandava-prastha. Delhi was

also witness to the glories of the Maurya Empire during 3rd century BC.

 The Ashokan edict engraved on a rock in East of Kailash as well as

 remains found in Purana Quila excavations belonging to the Mauryan

period point to Delhi‘s importance during this era.

The first city of Delhi, Lal Kot was founded by the Tomar ruler

Anangpal, in the 11th century. It was extended to Qila Rai Pithora

by King Vigraharaja IV (Circa 1153-64). Qutbuddin Aibak became

Delhi‘s first Sultan in 1206 and laid the foundations of the Qutb Minar,

India‘s tallest stone tower at the site of the first city of Delhi

 subsequently the kings of the Sultanate dynasties, Khaljis, Tughluqs Sayyids and Lodis continued to build. New

cities as Delhi grew.

The second city around Siri by Alaud-Din Khalji (1296-1316); Tughlaqabad, the third city built by

 Ghiysud-Din Tughlug (1321-51); Firuzabad, the fifth city of Delhi, is now represented by Kotla Firuz Shah,

founded by Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351-88).

It was Humayun who laid the foundations of the sixth city – Dinpanah. This was destroyed and reconstructed

 as the Purana Qila by Sher Shah Suri however, it was the Mughals who took Delhi to the zenith of architectural glory.

While some construction activities did continue during the reign of Akbar (1556-1605) and Jehangir (1605-27),

 it was Shah Jehan (1628-58) who built the seventh city, Shahjahanabad which remained the Mughal capital until


The British in 1911 shifted the capital of India to Delhi. The eighth city of New Delhi took shape in the imperial

 style of architecture. From then to now Delhi continues to throb with vitality and hope.

The ruins and ramparts still stand tall in dignity – and amidst them rise modern buildings and giant

skyscrapers. It’s a breathtaking synthesis of yesterday and tomorrow, the holding on to the past

 and surging ahead to the future.

Call it what you will.. it’s














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