Delhi, the political and cultural capital of several empires including the Mughals on Monday added yet another chapter to its glorious history as it marked 100 years of its re-emergence as modern India’s capital.
Delhi was proclaimed as the capital of British Raj on December 12, 1911, shifting from Kolkata, by then Emperor of India George V thereby returning to the historic city its lost glory.
As the city celebrated 100 years of its re-emergence as modern India’s capital, Delhi government and other cultural agencies like the Indian Council for Cultural Relations have lined up for a later date, a series of celebrations to mark the occasion.
A book with pictorial references and articles about the city by eminent persons like Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Malvika Singh chronicling its culturally diverse heritage since Mughal era was launched here by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today.
The book — Delhi: Red Fort to Raisina traces the journey of Shahjahan’s new capital of the Mughal empire Shajahanabad built on the banks of river Yamuna in 1638 to New Delhi, the new capital of British-ruled India.
A photo exhibition on the city of monuments is also among a series of events that the government agencies have lined up to mark the centenary year. The exhibition will chronicle the culture of Delhi — right from its ancient days to the modern period — where both the heritage sites and modern-day buildings co-exist. The year-long celebrations will actually kick off in January when the Ministry of Culture has lined up a number of events that will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the city.
The ‘Delhi Ke Pakwan Festival‘ brings the very soul of Delhi’s culture, street food to the people with a variety of ‘kebabs’, ‘kulfi’ and other mouth-watering delicacies.
The foundation stone for the building of a new city in Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of the Delhi Durbar at Kingsway Camp on December 15, 1911 and New Delhi, as it is called, came out of the architectural brilliance of Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.
Delhi has traditionally been the seat of a series of empires and regimes that have ruled India since over 3,000 years back.
Each of the empire has left behind an indelible imprint on the heritage of Delhi, that has housed no less than eight cities over the centuries, and the 100 years of the latest city marks an opportunity to celebrate the continuity of this rich habitation.
There are quite a number of architectural marvels in New Delhi, including the Jama Masqid, the largest mosque in India. Others include the Delhi Fort, Humayun’s tomb, Jantar Mantar and Purana Qila. Modern architecture is depicted in the construction of the Lotus Temple, Akshardham and Laxminarayan temple. Laxminarayan temple is a very nice spot to visit while in India. It was put up by the Birla Family in 1938. It has a lovely garden and fountains behind it. Also, you can visit the Red Fort. The last fort to be built in New Delhi, it has lived through a number of historical hallmarks, including the decline of British rule, the building and fall of fortunes and the Independence of India. You really must see this place while in New Delhi. You should also make an effort to visit the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Chandni Chowk and Qutab Minar.