Depending on the source of information, today’s Delhi stands on the remnants of eleven capital cities or made up of the seven principal ones created by different rulers. Although there remains nothing more than splendid ruins or magnificent modern skyline of these historic cities, the legacy left behind makes up the story of Delhi. And as urban legend goes, “any man or king who creates a new city in Delhi will no be able to last his rule” what happens in the city of djinns will continue to be a mystery.That was pretty much the summary of my post. I couldn’t write a better line after that. And if I can sense it right, you’re thinking no different.
Visiting Delhi for the first time was as exciting as visiting any place I could possibly think of (in the world). The Mughals, their monuments, the people, the food, the city itself. From the rich aura of the past to the ambiance of the present, everything about this city has an appeal. One that has eluded five Delhi Sultanates,the Mughal Dynasty and finally the English Colonials before abdicating the occupations and giving it back to the people.
From the fabled seven cities (of Quila Rai Pithora, Mehrauli, Siri, Tughlakabad, Firozabad, Shergarh and Shahjehabanad) to the modern amalgamated National Capital Region (of Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad), Delhi remains one of the oldest existing cities in the world with over 22.2 million residents.
Built and destroyed 11 times, a history 5000 years and yet the city prospers beyond expectation. From where I reside in this bhool bhoolaiya (Gurgaon) it looks a city that is just taking shape. The uber-efficient Delhi Metro, the bustling malls, the eight lane expressway and the westernized attire make Gurgaon a new city midst all that history. I live in a bubble. And sooner or later, this bubble will consume the legacy…
With the twelve or so weekends that I’ll get to enjoy this city (a lil’ over three months stay), I have decided to embark on a slow (yet steady) project of learning and experiencing the seven bygone cities along with living the modern one first hand.
Behold! the city where the splendor of ruins meets the sparkling city lights.