Urban historians may debate over the number, but the city of Delhi has seen the emergence of several capitals – capitals of different dynasties and political rules. In the twentieth century, however, the city was projected onto the global map of modern urban planning and development with the establishment of a majestic edifi ce of colonial power in the Orient – New Delhi, the new Imperial capital of British India. True to typical colonial urban morphology1 the new capital city was juxtaposed yet distinctly set apart from its immediate predecessor, the Mughal capital of India – the walled city of Shahjahanabad – that, together with its surrounding outgrowth, became by default the native ‘Old Delhi’. The history of the planning and development of New Delhi is quite distinct, but spans over only the fi rst three decades of the twentieth century. For the rest of the century, it would be worthwhile exploring the identities and transformations of this capital city as it became more and more, physically and administratively, an integral part of the exploding and impersonal metropolitan Delhi and its region, especially after India’s Independence.