has not always been the capital of India but it has played an
important role in Indian history. The settlement of Indraprastha,
which featured in the epic Mahabharata over 3000 years ago, was
located approximately on the site of present -day Delhi. Over 200
years ago, Pataliputra (near modernday Patna) was the capital of
Emperor Ashoka, kingdom More recently the Mughal emperors made Agra
the capital through the 16th and 17 centuries. Under the British,
Calcutta was the capital until the construction of New Delhi in
1911. Of course, it is only comparatively recently the India as we
know it has been unified as one country. Even at the height of their
power the Mughals did not control the sough of India, for example.
But Delhi has always been an important city or a capital of the
northern region of the subcontinent.
have been at least eight cities around modern Delhi. The first four
were to the sough around the area where the Qutab Minar stands. The
earliest known Delhi was called Indraprastha and was centered newer
present-day Purana Qila. At the beginning of the 12th century the
last Hindu kingdom of Delhi was ruled by the Tomara and chauthan
dynasties and was also near the Qutab Minar and Suran Kund, now in
city was followed by Siri, constructed by Ala-ud-din near
present-day Haunz Khas in the 12th century. The third Delhi was
Tughlaqabad, now entirely in ruins,. which stood 10 km sough-east of
the Qutub Minar. The fourth Delhi dates from the 14th century and
was also a creation of the Tughlaqs. Known as Jahanpanah, it also
stood near the Qutab Minar.
fifth Delhi, Ferozabad, was sited at Feroz Shah Kotla in present-day
New Delhi Its ruins contain al Ashoka pillar, moved here from
elsewhere, and traces of a mosque in which Tamer lance prayed during
his attack on India.
has seen many invaders through the ages. Tamer lane plundered in the
14th century; the Afghan Babur occupied it in the 14th century; the
Afghan Babur occupied it in the 16th century, and in 1739 the
Persian emperor, Nadir Shah, sacked the city and carted the Kohinoor
Diamond and the famous peacock Throne off to Iran. The British
captured Delhi in 1803 but during the Indian Mutiny of 1857 it was a
centre of resistance against the British.
Hindu Punjabis have replaced many of the Muslims,. and Hindi