Delhi, apart from being a prominent cosmopolitan city has also been witness to an eventful and prolific history. Evidence of this is exists in the numerous historical buildings present today in the architectural ruins that dot Delhi’s urbanscape. The pluralistic culture of Delhi city is a product of its complex history, and has produced a variety of traditions. It is manifested in the varied expressions of tangible and intangible, natural and man made, heritage. Many efforts have been made already to record and conserve this extraordinary legacy.
In sheer volume and variety of its historical legacy, it rivals other acknowledged World Heritage cities like Rome and Edinburgh. But unlike Rome, only a few of its historic monuments are highlighted in the public domain: consequently it does not contribute to its urban identity. Some monuments like the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Red Fort are so exceptional that they have already been inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. Others like Jama Masjid, Hauz Khas, Tughlakabad and Purana Qila, Khirki and Begumpur Masjids, are in the tourist circuit. The remaining majority however, though of comparable significance, lie in the interstices of the modern city, neglected and forgotten. Few people therefore, whether visitors or residents, are able to appreciate the extent of Delhi’s actual architectural heritage
It is in the light of the changing attitudes towards architectural heritage, that the INTACH Delhi Chapter has taken up the task to have Delhi inscribed in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Cities.