Delhi completes 100 years today

Delhi completes 100 years today

The ceremony was attended by 562 princes from across the country. Most notable among them were the Begum of Bhopal, who had come dressed in a burqa, and Maharaja Yadvindra Singh of Patiala, who came with his huge entourage of ladies.

It took 20 long years to build “New Delhi”, and 130 million rupees were spent on the construction of various buildings under the supervision of Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker who designed the capital.

During the 20 years, the British government in India managed its affairs from buildings that were far less grand in north Delhi, which was known as ‘Temporary Delhi’.
The chief architect, Lutyens, who carried out the imperial project of constructing buildings, liked the Viceregal House, now known as Rashtrapati Bhavan, the most.

Rashtrapati Bhavan, one of his magnificent creations, was close to his heart and he felt an emotional attachment towards it.

Many other princes also expressed their desire to build their palaces in the new seat of power and the viceroy agreeing to their demands, alloted them plots.

These princes’ residences were occupied for only two-three weeks in a year, when the maharajas came to New Delhi in February for the meeting of the Chambers of Princes and ‘Delhi Week’.

Lutyens was commissioned by the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Gaekwad of Baroda to build their palaces in the capital, who gave Hyderabad House and Baroda House.

He also built India Gate, the structure almost synonymous with the identity of Delhi. The foundation stone of India was laid in 1921 and inaugurated in 1931. It was named All-India War Memorial. It stands as a symbol, which is dedicated to nearly 70,000 Indian soldiers, who achieved martyrdom during the First World War at the North-West Frontier and in the third Afghan War of 1919.

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