Yamuna River

The Yamuna – uncertain river

It is no accident that many cities of Delhi have been located along the river for centuries. Between the high ground of the Delhi Ridge and the river Yamuna, the site provided for water and military security to its rulers. On it were forts ranging from the 14th century AD, but are now a little distant since the river has changed its course. Early Mogul kings extended channels from the river to flow through them, and to keep them cool in the hot summer months. Early records show trade and commerce, fishing and festivities on the river. New Delhi, as built by the British however left the riverside for more imperial location on a nearby hill, and quickly the river fell from the imagination of the cities rulers. It was this what independent India inherited, both physically but also as an idea of the river’s relationship to the emergent nation.

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