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THE HISTORIC CITY OF DELHI
A tale of power and passion
Delhi is located on the bank of river Yamuna, at the rocky tip of a branch of the Aravali ranges on the eastern edge of the plains of Punjab and Haryana. Popular tradition holds that this was the site of the Pandavas' capital Hastinapur. The earliest historical record in its precincts is an Ashokan rock edict from 3rd century BCE. Strategic location and rich tradition have made Delhi the natural capital city for a string of dynasties - Rajputs from the 8th to 12th centuries, the Ghulams, Khiljis, Tughlaks, Lodis, and finally the Mughals well into the 18th century.
There were periods when the city was deserted by the rulers, only to be rebuilt by some successor.
For about 150 years before Independence, it was a sort of city-state ruled by the diminished Mughals. One moment of glory during the colonial era came when the last Mughal king Bahadur Shah Zafar, briefly lead as the symbolic head of the uprising of 1857. Even the British fell for Delhi eventually, shifting their imperial capital from Calcutta to Delhi between 1912 -1931. The New Delhi they built became the capital of Independent India in 1947. The panorama of history over 2500 years is on view in the large number of monumental architectural masterpieces spread over the whole of Delhi.