How was colonial India divided for administrative purposes?
Colonial India was divided into 3 "Presidencies" for administrative purposes. Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were the 3 Presidencies which rose in importance under East India Company.
Trace the eight cities that existed before New Delhi between 736 AD and the 17th Century.
The Indian capital city of New Delhi has a long history, and has served as the capital city of several empires.
1. "Dilli" was the Tomar Rajput capital from c.736 onwards
2. Lal Kot was built in 1060 AD by the Tomar ruler and later it was conquered by Prithviraj Chauhan and renamed "Qila Rai Pithora"
3. Siri-- A new seven-gated fort was built in 1303 by Alauddin Khilji.
4. Tughluqabad' was built by Sultan Ghiyas ud-Din Tughluq between 1320 and 1325.
5. Jahanpanah was built by Muhammad Tughluq between 1325 and 1351. He tried to unite the fortifications of Dilli, Siri, and Tughluqabad.
6. Firozabad-- Firoz Shah Kotla, built by Firoz Shah Tughluq between 1351-88 survives as a series of ruins with his carefully installed Ashoka pillar.
7. Dinpanah was built by Humayun between 1533 and 1538, with additions by Sher Shah.
8. Shahjahanabad the most splendid capital was built by Shah Jahan from 1638 to 1649. It contains the Lal Qila and the Chandni Chowk. It was the capital of the Mughal Empire during Shah Jahan's reign. It is presently referred to as "Old Delhi".
Give a brief description of Shahjahanabad.
Shahjahanabad built by Shah Jahan consisted of a fort-palace complex and the city adjoining it. To the west of Red Fort lay the Walled City with 14 gates.
It was a well planned city with canals that brought fresh drinking water to all homes. The city also had excellent drainage system. Wells also provided water to the households.
Chandni Chowk was the major street in the walled city. It runs through the middle of the walled city. A canal ran through the middle of the street as part of the water supply scheme. Chandni Chowk was broad enough for royal processions to pass by.
Jama Masjid in Shahjahanabad was one of the largest and grandest mosques in India.
During Shah Jahan's time the city was an important centre of Sufi culture. It had several dargahs, khanqahs and idgahs. Open squares, winding lanes, quiet cul-de-sacs and water channels made it an opulent and beautiful city.
When did the British gain control of Delhi?
In 1803, the British gained control of Delhi after defeating the Marathas.
What did the British do to demolish Delhi's past?
The British wanted Delhi to forget its Mughal past. The area around the Fort was completely cleared of gardens, pavilions and mosques. No worship was allowed in the Jama Masjid for five years.
One-third of the city was demolished, and its canals were filled up. In the 1870s, the western walls of Shahjahanabad were broken to establish the railway and to allow the city to expand beyond the walls. After 1911 Delhi became the capital of British India.
In 1911 a grand Durbar was held by the British in Delhi, why?
In 1911, when King George V was crowned in England, a Durbar was held in Delhi to celebrate the occasion and it was decided to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi.
Give a brief description of Kingsway.
Kingsway was a two-mile avenue in New Delhi. The government complex was situated on this avenue. The avenue is now called Rajpath.
At the end of Kingsway was the Viceroy's Palace (Rashtrapati Bhavan). The Secretariat buildings were situated on either sides of the avenue. The architecture of these buildings were taken from different periods of India's imperial history, but the overall look was Classical Greece.
Give a brief description of the Viceroy's Palace.
The Viceroy's Palace was situated at the end of the Kingsway. The central dome of the Viceroy's Palace was copied from the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi, and the red sandstone and carved screens or jails were borrowed from Mughal architecture.
The Viceroy's Palace was higher than Shah Jahan's Jama Masjid as the British wanted to assert their power.
What were havelis?
The Mughal aristocracy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries lived in havelis. There were at least a hundred havelis in North India. A haveli housed many families. A beautiful gateway led to an open courtyard, surrounded by public rooms meant for visitors and business, used exclusively by males.
The inner courtyard with its pavilions and rooms were meant for the women of the household. Rooms in the havelis had multiple uses and there was very little furniture. Some havelis had quarters for the cart drivers, tent pitchers, torchbearers, accountants, clerks and household servants.
Describe a colonial bungalow during the early 20th century.
The British colonial bungalow was meant for one nuclear family. It was a large single storeyed structure with a pitched roof. It was usually set in one or two acres of open ground. It had separate living and dining rooms and bedrooms, and a wide veranda running in the front, and sometimes on three sides. Kitchens, stables and servants, quarters were in a separate space from the main house. The house was run by dozens of servants.