Capital to successive empires and the independent Indian republic, Delhi is finally coming into its own as the nation’s first city in the twenty-first century. In so doing, it has left behind once and future contenders for the title – Bombay, Madras, Calcutta. How did this small settlement, founded in the lee of an ancient range of hills in eighth century by a Tomar Rajput chief called Suraj Pal, become one of the world’s great cities, home to nearly twenty million people, witness to the rise and fall of empires and dynasts and eccentrics as magnificent and notable as the Tomar Chauhans, the Mamluks, the Khiljis, the Tughlaks, the Sayyids, the Lodis, the Mughals, the Nehrus, the Gandhis and dozens of others too numerous to count. Drawing upon her unparalleled knowledge of the city she has spent most of her life in, Malvika Singh gives us a book that reveals the pith and essence of Delhi through the memorable people who lived (and live) in it, its great buildings, its extraordinary food, its unforgettable music and the centuries of blood and history that have seeped into every square inch of its soil.
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