Connaught Place - The Financial Centre of New Delhi
Connaught Place or Rajiv Chowk is a commercial, financial and business centre in New Delhi and is one of the largest of its kind. It is abbreviated as CP and there are headquarters of several famous Indian firms. It was formerly the location of the headquarters of the British and Connaught Place is still a matter of pride for the people of city and is considered to be one of the top heritage structures in the city. It was basically developed as a showpiece with a Central Business District for Lutyen’s Delhi.
The Connaught Place has been named after H.R.H. Field Marshal the 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. The construction of the Connaught Place began in the year 1929 and continued till 1933.
Union Minister S.B. Chavan named the Outer Circle Indira Chowk and the Inner Circle Rajiv Chowk after Rajiv Gandhi. At present, it happens to be fourth in the list of the most expensive office destinations in the world and also the fifth highest in terms of market price going by Forbes’s 2013 list.
History of the Connaught Place
The site where Connaught Place has been constructed was actually a ridge that stayed covered with trees and there were many jackals and wild pigs that resided there. The people of Kashmere Gate, Civil Lines region used to visit this place for hunting partridges. There was also a Hanuman Temple that attracted people from the other parts of the Old Delhi but they visited only during Tuesdays and Saturdays and left before sunset as the return journey after sunset was considered very dangerous.
The residents of few villages viz. Raja ka Bazaar, Jaisingh Pura and Madhoganj were evicted so that the area could be cleared for construction purposes and for the development of the nearby areas. These villages were originally situated along the Qutb Road that till today has historic importance as it is the main road that connects Shahjahanabad, Old Delhi (then, the walled city of Delhi) and Qutb Minar located in south Delhi from the times the Mughals. The evicted people were given land in Karol Bagh in West Delhi and during that time, it was just a rocky area covered with trees and bushes. Three structures were not demolished and they were the Jantar Mantar, Hanuman Temple and a Jain Temple in the village of Jaisingh Pura.
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