Exploring the Past in Delhi’s Present (Case Study: Civil Lines)

The project focuses on understanding the past in Delhi’s present by attempting to create an archive of the various parks, places and buildings/ monuments located in Delhi which have historical and/or environmental significance especially in their names. Some of these places are rapidly being lost, both in the physical sense as well as in the memory of the people of Delhi. To initiate this work, we have decided to focus on the Civil Lines Zone, which is one among the 12 Municipal Zones of Delhi.

The following research proposal will focus only on the Civil Lines Zone. The Civil Lines is a noted residential area and sub-division of North Delhi District in the National Capital Territory (NCT), India. It is one of the 12 Zones under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The name Civil Lines is a relic of British times, when the city of Delhi was organized into separate areas where the British military and civilian buildings were located. Areas where the British personnel lived were demarcated as Civil Lines.

Objectives of the Project:

  • Identify parks, places and buildings in and around the Civil Lines Zone of Delhi which have historical importance and/or environmental implications in their names
  • To explore the archives of history to trace the origin of the names of the above-identified parks, places and buildings
  • To create a pictorial archive and to plot the identified parks, places and buildings on a map along with relevant information
  • To publish a Handbook of the archive thus created

This research project was awarded to the students Amulya Hans and Alishah Ali of Indraprastha College for Women (University of Delhi) under the Mentorship of Dr. Meenakshi Khanna (Department of History, University of Delhi) and Dr. Govind Singh as part of the Centenary Undergraduate Research Grant Scheme of Indraprastha College for Women.

Click  here to Read the Letter of Award of this Research Project.

The initial findings of this research project were presented during a Conference presentation at OP Jindal Global University, Haryana, India.

What’s in a Name? Environmental and Historical Archive of Civil Lines, Delhi

Amulya Hans and Alishah Ali (Mentored by Dr. Meenakshi Khanna and Dr. Govind Singh).

The Final Report of this Project was submitted to Indraprastha College for Women, which provided the funding support for this project.

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