How Lutyens Delhi was born

Built at a cost of Rs 13 crore, the capital was inaugurated in 1931

Edwin Landseer Lutyens Edwin Landseer Lutyens

ON DECEMBER 15, 1911, Emperor George V and Queen Mary laid the foundation stone for a new capital right where the Dilli Durbar was organised. A few days ago, at the durbar, the king had announced the change of capital from Calcutta to Delhi. It was widely thought that the durbar grounds would be where the new capital would come up, considering it was where three important British durbars had been held because of its proximity to Civil Lines and other British properties.

Edwin Landseer Lutyens was appointed chief architect, and he was then joined in the endeavour by friend and former colleague Herbert Baker. The architects were asked to pay their respects to the king at Buckingham Palace where he suggested that the new capital could be built on the ridge and not on the durbar ground. Ultimately, Raisina Hill was chosen as the spot, with the main avenue, which we now know as the Central Vista Avenue or the Kartavyapath, facing the Indraprastha or the Old Fort. Built at a cost of Rs13 crore, the new capital was inaugurated in 1931.