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Making of New Delhi

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Making of New Delhi - Lesson Summary

The Battle of Assaye was a major battle fought between the British East India Company and the Maratha Confederacy. The Company won the battle and on the 30th of December, 1803, Delhi came under the control of the British with Calcutta still being the capital. 

The Indians stayed in unplanned areas known as “black” areas, the British stayed in well-planned areas known as “white” areas. Before 1857 the British in Delhi stayed within the walled city among the wealthy Indians, took part in local festivals, and enjoyed Persian and Urdu poetry and culture. The years from 1830 to 1857 is considered by many as the period of the Delhi renaissance.

In 1857, rebellious sepoys fought against the British, killed many British citizens and took over Delhi. This angered the British, and, on recapturing the city, they burnt houses and killed hundreds of helpless Indians. They exiled Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and his wife to Rangoon in Burma, destroyed several parts of his palace, shut down the gardens and constructed barracks in their place. Nearly 1/3 rd of the city was destroyed.

In 1877, a Durbar was organised in Delhi to proclaim Queen Victoria as the Empress of India. In 1911, Delhi was announced the new capital of British India. The British now wanted to build New Delhi and the task of designing the city was assigned to architects Herbert Baker and Edward Lutyens.

The city of New Delhi was built on the Raisina Hill to the south of Delhi. The Secretariat buildings were built on either side of a two-mile long street, the Kingsway, which today is known as the Rajpath. The Kingsway led to the Viceroy’s Palace, known today as the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The streets of New Delhi are broad and straight, and are lined with extensive mansions in the centre of large compounds.

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