About the Book :
Shahjahanabad was inhabited in the seventeenth century as the capital city of the Mughal Empire, in the geographical region of Delhi. This work focuses on the structure of the city, its subsequent growth and the numerous functions if came to assume in a period of two hundred years. This study examines the theoretical formulations applied to understand Indian cities which have obfuscated their real form rather than reveal their true images. In order to project a clearer image of Shahjahanabad, historical evidences that may be gleaned from numerous sources have been highlighted here. The society that evolved in contemporary India was a consequence of the natural process of assimilation at the cultural level and a conscious act of state policy. The urban spaces created by this society were analogous to its development. The experience of inhabiting Shahjahanabad was not a ubiquitous feature duplicated in the other capital cities of Asia and the "Islamic World". The fortunes of Shahjahanabad were not linked solely with the centripetal tendencies of the Empire, but had an identity outside it. That is why the city retained its prominence and economic viability even after the Mughal rulers had lost their de facto powers. On the other hand, the cross-section of society who had contributed towards the inhabiting of its urbanspace, had many things in common and had created a distinct, urban culture. A conjunction of several factors inhibited the growth of the city in the late eighteenth century. The officials of the English East India Company assumed power over Shahjahanabad in 1803 and reinforced the peace process that had already begun. Certain dichotomies of this period were translated in the urban fabric of urban life and space even before the show of cultural belligerence by the British.