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How Did the Old City of Delhi Change Under the British Rule? - Social Science

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Answer in Brief

How did the Old City of Delhi change under the British rule?

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The Old City of Delhi was constructed as a walled city with 14 gates, adjoining a fort-palace complex, with the river Jamuna flowing near it. The city was characterised by mosques, havelis, crowded mohallas, narrow and winding lanes and bylanes and water channels. The British gained control of Delhi in 1803. Before the revolt of 1857, the British adjusted themselves to the Mughal culture of the Old City by living in the Walled City, enjoying Urdu/Persian culture and poetry, and participating in local festivals. The Delhi College was established in 1792, which led to a great intellectual flowering in the sciences as well as the humanities.

However, after the revolt, they embarked on a mission to rid the city of its Mughal past. They razed several palaces, closed down gardens and built barracks for troops in their place. For security reasons, the area around the Red Fort was completely cleared of gardens, pavilions and mosques. Mosques in particular were either destroyed or put to other uses. 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. The sprawling Civil Lines area came up in the North of the city. This was the place where the British began living. The Delhi College was turned into a school, and shut down in 1877. The British constructed a new city, known as New Delhi, South of the Old City. Built as a complete contrast to the Old City, New Delhi became the centre of power. The Old City, meanwhile, was pushed into neglect

Concept: The Making of New Delhi
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