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Delhi, 100 years of history

As the Capital celebrates its centenary, an exhibition sources maps from the 19th century, images from the royal courts and early 20th century as tribute to its past!

art and culture Updated: Dec 12, 2011 01:07 IST
Damini Purkayastha
Damini Purkayastha
Hindustan Times

Hundred years ago, on December 12, a grand congregation of royalty and British soldiers assembled at the Delhi Durbar as King George V proclaimed Delhi as the new Capital of Imperial India.

Celebrating the centenary, are a series of exhibitions across town and even a special conclave with leaders organised by Hindustan Times. One such event is the exhibition, Delhi: Red Fort To Raisina, curated by Pramod Kapoor of Roli Books. The exhibition, which kicks off at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts on December 15, brings together over four centuries of visual history, from the time of Mughal emperors to more recent images of Lutyens Delhi covered in scaffolding.

"It’s the 100th anniversary of the Capital and we always knew that we wanted to do something, and thought a seminal pictorial exhibition like this has never really been done before. 80% of the exhibition is based on our book Red Fort to Raisina, which launches tonight, and about 20% has been sourced just for the show," says Kapoor, who has spent the last two months putting the exhibition together.

Delhi DurbarThe collection has paintings, watercolours, maps and documents from the British Museum in London, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, France, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, royal houses of Rajasthan, private collections and other museums around the world.

"There are 114 images in the exhibition and most are really rare works which have never been in India before," adds Kapoor.

One of the oldest works in the exhibition dates back 1630s, there’s also an image of emperor Shahjahan as he enters Shahjahanabad when it was declared the Capital in 1648.

One of the most interesting pieces is a 20 metre long panorama of Old Delhi, which was painted in 1840. There’s also an image of the east face of the Red Fort which was painted in 1774 by a Faizabad draughtsman, and some images from the albums of drawings done by Sita Ram for Lord Hastings in 1814-1815.

At the moment, the exhibition is on till December 24, but Kapoor is hopeful that it may travel to other locations at some point in the future. "The exhibition is supported by the Delhi Government and it has works that anyone would be proud to display, so let’s see what happens," he says.

HT Delhi 100 Conclave
As the Capital turns 100, Hindustan Times presents New Delhi 100 Conclave, a platform to solicit, debate and document the views and ideas of eminent stakeholders in the city. Present at the conclave will be dignatories including Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and experts such as AGK Menon and OP Jain, among others.
When: December 15
Where: Shahjahan Hall, Taj Palace Hotel, Sardar Patel Marg, Chanakyapuri
Timings: 6.30pm onwards

Continue the celebration with more cultural events taking place in the city
Red Fort to Raisina Hill
A solo exhibition by artist Vikram Kalra titled ‘Red Fort to Raisina Hill-The making of New Delhi’, displays black and white sketches depicting the transfer of power from the dusty lanes and bylanes of Shahjahanabad to Raisina hill. Sketches of important buildings which existed during the Mughal period and the British period from 1800 to 1911, will also be displayed. “It’s a tribute to the city of my birth. It has been the seat of power for our nation for ages,” says Kalra. The exhibition is on till December 15 at Foyer, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road.

This cultural exposition will commemorate the centenary celebrations of the city being the national capital with an exhibition titled ‘Timeless Delhi’ and a dance recital by Shovana Narayan and other muscial events. The exhibition will showcase the evolution of the Capital from historic Indraprastha around 1,200 BC to a vibrant 21st century metropolis through works by painters of the British East India Company. Opening on December 14 at Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Azad Bhavan Gallery, IP Estate.

Celebrating 100 Years of Delhi
This group comprising artists Alka Raghuvanshi, Aruna Vasudev, Bikash Poddar, Kana Lomror, Ruchi Singhal and Tejinder Kanda, will evoke nostalgic memories about the cultural heritage of the city.

On display will be a collection of 15 Intaglio prints of the beautiful historical heritage sites in Delhi, ‘Virasat’ by Dattaraya Apte and 21 pen and ink drawings on Old Delhi by Vikram Kalra. On till December 23 at The Claridges, Surajkund, Shooting Range Road, Faridabad.

HT Delhi 100 Food Festival
A delectable dish at Rs 100 seems like a treat possible only in the good ol’ days. To resurrect the glorious past and celebrate 100 years of Delhi, Hindustan Times has organised Delhi 100 Food Festival till December 31, where the city’s celebrated cuisines will be served at Rs 100 each. The participating restaurants include 50 restaurants of the city that have created a special dish each, either in main course or starter or dessert. For the entire list of restaurants, log on to: www.hindustantimes/

First Published: Dec 11, 2011 19:01 IST