Shahjahanabad : Mapping a Mughal City
Delhi’s Shahjahanabad was first founded as an empire’s capital at the glorious height of the Mughal dynasty; from this vantage point, it was also witness to the empire’s decline and eventual extinction. The city would transform profoundly in the aftermath of the Revolt of 1857, with many of its neighbourhoods and buildings obliterated, and many of its inhabitants, including the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, having left, never to return. Fortunately, a mapmaker, working in 1846, painstakingly depicted important buildings, streets, and landmarks, providing a wealth of information about the city as it had evolved up to that time.
Shahjahanabad reproduces this large-scale, beautifully drawn and coloured map, and considers the city as it had stood prior to its mid-nineteenth-century changes. It also examines the city, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, and explores its diverse communities and important landmarks. With a pull-out map included in the book, this is a must-have for anyone interested in cartography and Delhi’s vibrant cultural history.
Swapna Liddle works to raise awareness about the architectural and cultural history of Delhi, and is the author of books, including Connaught Place and the Making of New Delhi and Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of New Delhi.