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September 06, 2011
New Delhi during its formative years
A hundred years ago, the British monarch King George V anointed himself the Emperor of India and announced the shifting of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi.
Till the 1910s, Delhi meant the Mughal built Shahjahanabad. But it was outside the Walled City where the British planned to build their new capital from scratch.
Chief architect Edwin Lutyens' layout of the new city consisted of hexagonal lines, to connect New Delhi to Safdarjung Tomb, Purana Quila, Connaught Place and Jama Masjid.
At the apex of the new city was the Government House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan), joined by North and South blocks and a grand vista culminating at the All-India War Memorial (now India Gate).
Commissioned much later after the layout of New Delhi was planned, the Parliament House (then called Council House) got a secondary location compared to the Government House and Secretariat.
The British chose Raisina Hill as the base on which the Government House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan) would be built, so it could tower above the Capital.
The new Capital also had a place where the inhabitants could have all the trappings of the good life. Like London, New Delhi got its own Piccadilly Circus in Connaught Place.
On February 10, 1931, the then Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin formally inaugurated New Delhi, after nearly 20 years, the grand new capital was finally complete.
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