A unique book that is not a chronological history of the
development of the city: rather, it relates the ideas that formed
Delhi, ideas that have determined its pattern of urbanisation.
These have often been revealed in the projected images of the city
in literature, architecture and painting. For example, one
recurring idea is imaging it as a capital city. This has been
linked not only to the pragmatic reasons of portraying power
through its layout and architecture, but also to more abstract
ideals about placing the city as a symbol of strength in a
'paradise' - later in British times in a garden. Inevitably, when
implemented ideas change, and often remain unfulfilled. Such ideas
are also explored, as is the post-independence urban disorder that
ensued in the absence of a greater philosophy.
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