This is my tenth year in the capital of India and many parts of the city has changed beyond recognition in a decade. Ever wondered what Delhi was like two centuries ago?

The year is 1807. There is no India Gate or for that matter New Delhi. It has been only a few years that the British wrested control over the city following their victory against the Marathas in the Battle of Delhi (1803) fought just across the Yamuna (spelt Jumnah in the map below) in Patparganj (Putpurgunj) in the map).

There is a new Mughal Emperor, though only titular, Akbar Shah II. His predecessor Shah Alam II had died the previous year (Yes, the same Akbar Shah II who gave Ram Mohun Roy the title of Raja).

The transformation of the Yamuna into a drain is still far into the future and the bend of the river is different that what you’ll see on Google Maps two centuries later. Also note that to the east of the river, there was hardly anything worth plotting on the map.

Delhi map for 1807

(Source: Survey of India)

Categories: Delhi History India