Delhi, the capital of India has a strong historical background. It was ruled by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history. The history of the city is as old as the epic Mahabharata. The town was known as Indraprastha, where Pandavas used to live. In due course, eight more cities came alive adjacent to Indraprastha: Lal Kot, Siri, Dinpanah, Quila Rai Pithora, Ferozabad, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad and Shahjahanabad.
Delhi has been a witness to the political turmoil for over five centuries. It was ruled by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs.
In 1192 the legions of the Afghan warrior Muhammad of Ghori captured the Rajput town, and the Delhi Sultanate was established (1206). The invasion of Delhi by Timur in 1398 put an end to the sultanate; the Lodis, last of the Delhi sultans, gave way to Babur, who, after the battle of Panipat in 1526, founded the Mughal Empire. The early Mughal emperors favoured Agra as their capital, and Delhi became their permanent seat only after Shah Jahan built (1638) the walls of Old Delhi.
From Hindu Kings to Muslim Sultans, the reins of the city kept shifting from one ruler to another. The soils of the city smell of blood, sacrifices and love for the nation. The old ‘Havelis’ and edifices from the past stand silent but their silence also speaks volumes for their owners and people who lived here centuries back.
In the year 1803 AD, the city came under British rule. In 1911, the British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi. It again became the centre of all the governing activities. The city has the reputation of overthrowing the occupants of its throne including the British and the current political parties that have had the honour of leading free India. After independence in 1947, New Delhi was officially declared as the Capital of India.
Delhi was not fortunate enough to embrace Independence as of yet. 15th August 1947, did see the National Flag flying proudly on Indian Soil, but with Independence followed the unfortunate Partition. The rift between the two most important religious clans of India, Hindus and Muslims had much before the Independence. The British Rule had further aggravated this situation and taken advantage of this rift.
The Partition was announced as a part of the Indian Independence Act 1947. As a result of this Partition over 12.5 million people were displaced. Millions of people lost their lives with the Partition. The Partition was not as peaceful as it was expected. It took lives, destroyed household, properties and left a wound which could not be healed.
Delhi and the rest of India had a major economical setback with so many wars and so many dynasties taking away the Indian wealth. With invasions like Persians, Afghans, Britishers and so on, Indian wealth has been plundered again and again. Delhi after Independence saw a lot of reforms for the betterment of the country as a whole. There were several changes made in the administrative, judicial, social, political arrangements too.
The city got converted into a Union Territory in the year 1956. The Chief Commissioner of Delhi was replaced by the Lt. Governor. Delhi has seen good as well as bad times. But it has taken time for Delhi to recover from the previous problems. Delhi is advancing at a great speed. But to recover from the past bruises, it will still take time. Delhi after Independence is looking forward to a great future and is working hard to achieve it.