Delhi is the largest city and the second most populous metropolis in India and the eighth-most populous metropolis in the world. The Indian capital city of Delhi has a long history, including a history as the capital of several empires. Delhi is known to have been continuously inhabited since at least the 6th century BC, though human habitation is believed to have existed for several millennia BC.
Delhi is generally considered close to a 5000-year-old city, per the ancient Indian text ‘Maharashtra.’ It is widely believed to have been the site of Indraprastha, the legendary capital of the Pandavas during the times of Maharashtra, founded around 3500 BC. But the archaeological evidence to support the claim is inconclusive and scarce.
The excavated ceramic pottery and layers of the ancient city seem to match what the verses of the Mahabharata indicate. More possible evidence in its favor is the existence of a village named Indraprastha, very close to the Puran Qila, that was destroyed by the British during the construction of the Lutyens’ Delhi.
Delhi was built, destroyed, and rebuilt several times, particularly during the medieval era, as outsiders who successfully invaded the Indian subcontinent would ransack the existing capital in Delhi. Those who came to conquer and stay would be so impressed by the city’s strategic location as the capital city of some empire or the other, all through with minor random breaks in between, making Delhi one of the longest serving capitals and the oldest occupied cities in the world.