History of Ancient Delhi (Mahabharta Era)

According to the Handbook of Delhi (before 1857), compiled by Fredrick Cooper (Punjab Civil Services - East India Company), and re-printed in 1865, the origin of ancient Delhi is involved in obscurity. The following extracts from Tod's Rajasthan give us nearly all that is known regarding it...--


"Vyasu, the author of the grand Epic the Mahabharat, was son of Santana (or the race of Heri,) soveriegn of Delhi, by Yojnaganda, a fisherman's daughter, consequently illegitimate. He became the spiritual father or preceptor of his nieces and daughters of Vichihavira, the son and successor of Santana. Vichihavira had no male offspring. Of his three daughters, one was named Pandea, and Vyasu being the sole remaining male branch of the house of Santana, took his niece and spiritual daughter Pandea or wife, and became father of Pandu, afterwards sovereign of Inderprestha. Arrian gives the story thus: "He (Hercules) had a daughter when he was advanced in years, and being unable to find a husband worthy of her, he married her himself, that he might supply the throne of India with monarchs. Her name was PAndea, and he caused the whole province in which she was born to receive its name from her." This is the very legen contained in the Poorans of Vyasu (who was Hiri-cul-es or cheif of the race of Heri) and his spiritual daughter Pandea, from whom the grand race, the Pandua, and from whom Delhi and its dependencies were designated the PAndua sovereignty. Her issue ruled for thirty-one generations in direct descents, or from 120 to 610 BC, when the military minister, connected by blood, was chosen by the chiefs who rebelled against the last Pandua King, represented as "neglectful of all the cares of government," and whose deposition and death introduced a new dynasty.Two other dynaties succeeded in like manner by the unsurpation of these military ministers, until Vicramaditya, when the Pandua sovereignty and era of Yoodishtra were both overthrown. Indraprastha remained without a sovereign, supreme power being removed from the north to the southern parts of India, till the fourth, or, according to some authorities, the eighth century after Vicrama, when the throne of Yoodishtra was once more occupied by the Tuar tribe of Rajpoots, claiming descent from the Pandus. To this anceitn capital thus re-founded, the new appellation of Delhi was given, and the dynasty of the founder Annundpal, lasted to the twelfth century, when he abdicted in favor of his grandson Pirthwiraja, the last imperial Parpoot sovereign of India, whose defeat and death introduced the Mahomedans. Ferishta, in the intro"


The following abstract is from Wikipedia

About 30 Emperors belonging to the House of Yushisthir ruled collectively for 1,770 years, 11 months and 10 days: The following is the list of Rulers and Years of Reign (Year, month, day)

  1. Yudhisthir 36 Years 8 Months 25 Days
  2. Parikshita 60 Years 0 Months 0 Days
  3. Janamejaya 84 Years 7 Months 23 Days
  4. Ashwamedha 82 Years 8 Months 22 Days
  5. Rama II 88 Years 2 Months 8 Days
  6. Chhatra Mala 81 Years 11 Months 27 Days
  7. Chitraratha 75 Years 3 Months 18 Days
  8. Dushtashailya 75 Years 10 Months 24 Days
  9. Ugrasena 78 Years 7 Months 21 Days
  10. Shurasena 78 Years 7 Months 21 Days
  11. Bhuvanapati 69 Years 5 Months 5 Days
  12. Ranajita 65 Years 10 Months 4 Days
  13. Rikshaka 64 Years 7 Months 4 Days
  14. Sukhdeva 62 Years 0 Months 24 Days
  15. Naraharideva 51 Years 10 Months 2 Days
  16. Suchiratha 42 Years 11 Months 2 Days
  17. Shurasena II 58 Years 10 Months 8 Days
  18. Parvatasena 55 Years 8 Months 10 Days
  19. Medhavi 52 Years 10 Months 10 Days
  20. Sonachira 50 Years 8 Months 21 Days
  21. Bhimadeva 47 Years 9 Months 20 Days
  22. Nriharideva 45 Years 11 Months 23 Days
  23. Purnamala 44 Years 8 Months 7 Days
  24. Karadavi 44 Years 10 Months 8 Days
  25. Alammika 50 Years 11 Months 8 Days
  26. Udayapala 38 Years 9 Months 0 Days
  27. Duvanamala 40 Years 10 Months 26 Days
  28. Damata 32 Years 0 Months 0 Days
  29. Shimpala 58 Years 5 Months 8 Days
  30. Kshemaka 48 Years 11 Months 21 Days


Vishwa, the prime minister of Kshemak, killed Kshemak and took over the kingdom. Fourteen generations of Vishwa ruled for 500 years, 3 Month and 17 days as follows:

King/Queen Years Month Days

  1. Vishwa 17 3 29
  2. Purseni 42 8 21
  3. Veerseni 52 10 7
  4. Anangshayi 47 8 23
  5. Harijit 35 9 17
  6. Paramseni 44 2 23
  7. Sukhpatal 30 2 21
  8. Kadrut 42 9 24
  9. Sajj 32 2 14
  10. Amarchud 27 3 16
  11. Amipal 22 11 25
  12. Dashrath 25 4 12
  13. Veersaal 31 8 11
  14. Veersaalsen 47 0 14

Veersaalsen was killed by his prime minister Veermaha whose 16 generations ruled for 445 years, 5 months and 3 days as follows: King/Queen Years Month Days

  1. Raja Veermaha 35 10 8
  2. Ajitsingh 27 7 19
  3. Sarvadatta 28 3 10
  4. Bhuwanpati 15 4 10
  5. Veersen 21 2 13
  6. Mahipal 40 8 7
  7. Shatrushaal 26 4 3
  8. Sanghraj 17 2 10
  9. Tejpal 28 11 10
  10. Manikchand 37 7 21
  11. Kamseni 42 5 10
  12. Shatrumardan 8 11 13
  13. Jeevanlok 28 9 17
  14. Harirao 26 10 29
  15. Veersen II 35 2 20
  16. Adityaketu 23 11 13


Evolution of Modern Delhi

Delhi, as we see in it's present form started as Lal Kot in 736 AD, when Tomara rulers established this fortress in area called "Dhilli". Later, Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the last hindu king built a thirteen-gated fort called Quila Rai Pithora.

In 1192, Muhammad Ghori attacked Dhilli and defeated Chauhans and ruled till 1206, when Qutub-ud-din Aybak of Slave Dynasty started a 84 year Slave rule in the region. During this period, the area of Lal Kot and Qila Rai Pithora (present day: Mehrauli) was developed and monuments like Qutub Minar and Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque were erected. In 1290, Slave Dynasty was overthrown by Khiljis and the begining of 14th century saw another neighbouring township coming up by the name of Siri. Khiljis ruled till 1320, and were defeated by Tughlaqs, who took away the capital to another adjacent vacant land and established a neighbouring fortification called Tughlaqabad. As the city grew, small fortifications were done in nearby vacant land and fortifications like Jahanpanah (by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq), Feroz Shah Kotla (by Firuz Shah Tughlaq), Dinpanah (by Humayun) and Shahjahanabad (by Shah Jahan) came up. Finally, the British established Lutyen's Delhi, containing the Presidential Palace (Rashtrapati Bhawan) and the India Gate. Today, the 7 ancient cities form the combined city of "Delhi", the capital of Republic of India.

The following abstract is from Wikipedia

The modern city contains the remnants of several successive ancient cities including:

  1. The first instance of the region being capitalised was in the Ancient Era, during the time of the Mahabharata War, when the five Pandava brothers built an immense and highly sophisticated fortress called Indraprastha and ruled the country from there.
  2. 'Dhilli' was founded by Tomara ruler, Anangpal according to Vibudh Shridhar and other later authors.
  3. Lal Kot built by the Tomar was renamed Qila Rai Pithora after Prithvi Raj Chauhan. It was a thirteen-gated fort in Delhi. Prithviraj, a Chauhan king was the second last Hindu king of Delhi.
  4. Siri, built by Alauddin Khilji in 1303;
  5. Tughluqabad, built by Ghiyasuddin Tughluq (1321-1325);
  6. Jahanpanah, built by Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325-1351);
  7. Feroz Shah Kotla, built by Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351-1388);
  8. Purana Qila, built by Sher Shah Suri and Dinpanah built by Humayun, both in the area near the speculated site of the legendary Indraprastha (1538-1545); and
  9. Shahjahanabad, the walled city built by Shah Jahan from 1638 to 1649, containing the Lal Qila and the Chandni Chowk. It was the capital of the Mughal Empire during Shah Jahan's reign. It is presently referred to as "Old Delhi".
  10. Lutyens' Delhi or New Delhi, the city built by the British on the south-west
  11. Modern Delhi, often still referred to as 'Nai Dilli' (New Delhi) which includes all of the above.
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