Travel / Asia / South Asia / India


The name Delhi, first recorded in the 1st century BC, was applied to a succession of cities built on this site before the present city was founded in 1638 by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. The first was built in the 12th century AD by the Cahaman ruler Prithviraja. It was captured by Muslims in 1193 and became capital of a Muslim empire in India under Qutubuddin Aybak, builder of the Qutb Minar tower. Muslim control ended with the capture and destruction of Delhi in the late 14th century by the Turkish conqueror Tamerlane. Babur, founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, restored Delhi to capital status in 1526, and his son Humayun built a new city here. In 1540 it was seized and destroyed by the Afghan invader Sher Shah, and it was replaced by another new city. Akbar, the son of Humayun, recaptured Delhi but moved his capital to Agra and allowed Delhi to fall into ruins. It was rebuilt in its present form and restored as the Mughal capital by Akbar\'s grandson Shah Jahan in the 1600s. Delhi remained the Mughal capital until 1739, when it was conquered and looted of its treasures, including the famous Peacock Throne, by the Persian ruler Nadir Shah. About 1771, the Marathas gained control and remained in power until British forces seized the city in 1803. Delhi came under British rule after 1857, and in 1911 they decided to make it their capital.
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