Delhi preview

India

A City with a Rich History

Situated in the North of India, Delhi, the capital of India, is one of the oldest existing cities in the world. This city is said to have been built and destroyed 11 times and has played a pivotal role in the history of India.

Medieval Delhi: A City of Many Cities

According to old Hindu legends, Delhi is estimated to be over 5,000 years old. The earliest reference to the city (around 2500 BC) is in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata where it is called Indraprastha or Hastinapur (the city of elephants). In fact, a village called Indraprastha existed in Delhi until the beginning of the 19th century when it was demolished by the British to make way for New Delhi.

The name Delhi is believed to be derived either from Raja Dillu's Dilli (100BC), a city situated just east of Lalkot or from Dhilba, a city founded by the Tomar Rajputs in 736AD. In the years that followed, about seven ancient empires of medieval India founded their capital cites around New Delhi.

Qila Rai Pithora, established around 1170 AD by the Rajput king Prithviraj Chauhan, is probably the first of Delhi’s seven cites. Chauhan made Delhi the most important Hindu centre in northern India.

The ruins of Siri, the second captial city built around 1290 AD by Alauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate, can still be seen near the Siri fort and the neighbouring village of Shahpur Jat. Ala-ud-Din-Khilji proclaimed himself the King of Delhi and built Hauz Khas, a magnificent tank that provided water to meet the needs of the city.

During his four year reign Ghiyasuddin Tughluq (1320 AD) built the fort city of Tughlakabad, Delhi’s third city, and…

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