Calcutta had become the epicenter of the nationalist movements since the late nineteenth century led to the Partition of Bengal by then Viceroy of British India Lord Curzon.
This created massive political and religious upsurge including political assassinations of British officials in Calcutta. The anti-colonial sentiments amongst public leading to complete boycott of British goods forced the colonial government to reunite the Bengal partition and immediate shift of the capital to New Delhi. During the early s, a proposal was made to the British administration to shift the capital of the British Indian Empire, as India was officially named, from Calcutta on the east coast, to Delhi.
Large parts of New Delhi were planned by Edwin Lutyens , who first visited Delhi in , and Herbert Baker , both leading 20th-century British architects. The original plan called for its construction in Tughlaqabad, inside the Tughlaqabad fort , but this was given up because of the Delhi-Calcutta trunk line that passed through the fort. Construction really began after World War I and was completed by The city that was later dubbed " Lutyens' Delhi " was inaugurated in ceremonies beginning on 10 February by Lord Irwin , the Viceroy.
Soon Lutyens started considering other places. Brodie and Lutyens as members, submitted reports for both North and South sites. However, it was rejected by the Viceroy when the cost of acquiring the necessary properties was found to be too high.
The central axis of New Delhi, which today faces east at India Gate , was previously meant to be a north-south axis linking the Viceroy's House at one end with Paharganj at the other. Eventually, owing to space constraints and the presence of a large number of heritage sites in the North side, the committee settled on the South site. The reason for this choice was that the hill lay directly opposite the Dinapanah citadel, which was also considered the site of Indraprastha , the ancient region of Delhi.
Subsequently, the foundation stone was shifted from the site of Delhi Durbar of —, where the Coronation Pillar stood, and embedded in the walls of the forecourt of the Secretariat. The Secretariat building, the two blocks of which flank the Rashtrapati Bhawan and houses ministries of the Government of India, and the Parliament House , both designed by Baker, are located at the Sansad Marg and run parallel to the Rajpath. In the south, land up to Safdarjung's Tomb was acquired to create what is today known as Lutyens' Bungalow Zone.
The last stumbling block was the Agra -Delhi railway line that cut right through the site earmarked for the hexagonal All-India War Memorial India Gate and Kingsway Rajpath , which was a problem because the Old Delhi Railway Station served the entire city at that time.
The line was shifted to run along the Yamuna river , and it began operating in The New Delhi Railway Station opened in with a single platform at Ajmeri Gate near Paharganj and was completed in time for the city's inauguration in Most of the government offices of the new capital moved here from the 'Old secretariat' in Old Delhi the building now houses the Delhi Legislative Assembly , a decade before the new capital was inaugurated in Many employees were brought into the new capital from distant parts of India, including the Bengal Presidency and Madras Presidency.
Subsequently, housing for them was developed around Gole Market area in the s. After India gained independence in , a limited autonomy was conferred to New Delhi and was administered by a Chief Commissioner appointed by the Government of India.
In , Delhi was converted into a union territory and eventually the Chief Commissioner was replaced by a Lieutenant Governor. The actual enforcement of the legislation came in The first major extension of New Delhi outside of Lutyens' Delhi came in the s when the Central Public Works Department CPWD developed a large area of land southwest of Lutyens' Delhi to create the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri , where land was allotted for embassies, chanceries, high commissions and residences of ambassadors, around a wide central vista, Shanti Path.
New Delhi and surrounding areas were once a part of the Aravali Range ; all that is left of those mountains is the Delhi Ridge , which is also called the Lungs of Delhi. While New Delhi lies on the floodplains of the Yamuna River , it is essentially a landlocked city. East of the river is the urban area of Shahdara. New Delhi falls under the seismic zone-IV , making it vulnerable to earthquakes.
There was a spike in the number of earthquakes between and , most notable being a 5. The area's version of a humid subtropical climate is noticeably different from many other cities with this climate classification in that it features long and very hot summers, relatively dry and mild winters, a monsoonal period, and dust storms.
Summers are long, extending from early April to October, with the monsoon season occurring in the middle of the summer. Winter starts in November and peaks in January. New Delhi's highest temperature ever recorded is