Friday 19th October 2012, 2.30 pm CR 11, KG Campus
Historians studying urban centres typically research the geography and the hinterland of the city to discover the resources that sustained it. This paper casts a fresh look at the geography of the Delhi region where several Sultanate capitals and other settlements were constructed. In particular it considers the water resources available to the Delhi Sultans and the extent to which they might have influenced the development and location of towns such as Dihli-i kuhna, Kilokhri, Siri, Tughluqabad, Jahanpanah and others. In paying attention to the ecological contexts of Sultanate capitals in the riverine plain it asks historians to evaluate ‘deep(er) structures’ than the strategic and contingent explanations they have otherwise provided for the presence and location of pre-Mughal Delhi’s many cities.