History of Delhi
Calcutta was the capital of India until 1911 during the
British Raj. However, Delhi had served as the political and
financial centre of several empires of
medieval India, most notably of the
Mughal Empire. During the early 1900s, a proposal was made to
the British administration to shift the capital of the Indian
Empire from Calcutta to Delhi. Unlike Calcutta, which was located
on the eastern coast of India, Delhi was located in northern India
Government of British India felt that it would be easier to
administer India from Delhi rather than from Calcutta.
George V, the then
Emperor of India, made the announcement the capital of the Raj
was to be shifted from
Calcutta to Delhi.
Delhi was laid out to the south of the Old City which was
constructed by Mughal Emperor
Shah Jahan. However, New Delhi overlays the site of
seven ancient cities and hence includes many historic
monuments like the
Jantar Mantar and the Lodhi Gardens.
of New Delhi was planned by
Edwin Lutyens, a leading 20th century
British architect and it has been dubbed "Lutyens'
Delhi". Lutyens laid out the central administrative area of
the city as a testament to Britain's
imperial pretensions. At the heart of the city was the
Rashtrapati Bhawan (then known as Viceroy's House) which sat
Raisina Hill. The
Rajpath, also known as King's Way, stretched from the
India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The Secretariat which houses various ministries of the
Government of India, flanked out of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The
Parliament House, designed by
Herbert Baker, is located at the Sansad Marg, which runs
parallel to the Rajpath.
India gained independence in 1947, a limited autonomy was
conferred to New Delhi and was administered by a Chief
Commissioner appointed by the
Government of India. In 1956, Delhi was converted into a
union territory and eventually the Chief Commissioner was
replaced by a Lieutenant Governor. The
Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 declared the
Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital
Territory of Delhi.
A system of
diarchy was introduced under which the elected Government was
given wide powers, excluding law and order which remained with the
Central Government. The actual enforcement of the legislation came