Dilli-o-Delhi

Few cities have a history that goes back as far in time as Delhi. Quite apart from the catchy "Seven Cities" categorization, there is much evidence to show that from the neolithic times, this part of India was inhabited (there are significant remains even in JNU, for instance!).

Delhi has had three main advantages. Location, location and location. And these have ensured that there has been an essentially uninterrupted sequence of kingdoms and fiefdoms that have been located here, ranging from Qila Rai Pithora in the south to Tughlakabad, Shahjehanabad, Siri, Jahanpanah, and so on...

And traces of this continuous chain remain, as a large number of monuments in various states of disrepair that dot our fair city. Cataloguing them has been an arduous task, one that has been carried out several times, most recently by INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. Their Delhi: The Built Heritage—A Listing, by Ratish Nanda, Narayani Gupta and O P Jain is a major effort where "they have listed to over 1200 buildings that are of archaeological, historical and architectural importance. We have surveyed the many ‘pasts’ of Delhi’s long history and found buildings that are part of that multi-faceted story: the co-existence of diverse sacred centres, educational institutions and administrative structures, homes and palaces, political strongholds, markets, pleasure gardens, memories of war and monuments to peace. This publication contains a varied sample of the multiple layers of Delhi’s ancient history, material evidence of the richness of life and human creativity. However, as listing is a continuous process, we hope to build upon this effort."

In our Institutional Lists, under INTACH. Rs 3000 for the set of two books.

A good companion to the INTACH book is Monuments of Delhi by Maulvi Zafar Hasan and J A Page from Aryan Books International. The reissue of the 1920 edition, this listing of the monuments is made all the more valuable by the annotation of many of the calligraphic inscriptions that are on the various buildings. A legacy of the colonial times, "the present work is a compilation of monuments on the basis of their location by the archaeological officers of Delhi. The list includes more than 1200 monuments and covers the well known as well as the least known. This is perhaps the only book that gives a list of monuments extant at the beginning of this century, many of which are non-existent today or are in the most dilapidated condition. Such an exhaustive study was not compiled before, nor is likely to be compiled in future. It meticulously gives all the particulars of the monument including its history, architecture and events associated with it."

In our Art and Architecture and History Sections. In 3 volumes, Rs 3450. ISBN
9788173051142

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