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Dara Shikoh Library
Dara Shikoh Library
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Dara Shikoh Library

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Dara Shikoh Library
Located in the grounds of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, near the General Post Office, is the Dara Shikoh Library of the Department of Archaeology, Delhi Administration. The building is of immense historical importance as it was built by Shah Jahan's liberal intellectual son and chosen successor, Dara Shikoh, and was later used as a residency by Sir David Ochterlony, the first British Resident of Delhi. Dara Shikoh was murdered by his brother Aurangzeb in 1659 and his property along with this library passed through several hands before the British finally took it from Marathas in 1803.


Dara Shikoh Library


Sir Ochterlony renovated the original building of Dara Shikoh and added the pillars and the verandah to the older structure. The present library was one of the rooms used by Dara Shikoh. If one looks carefully one can differentiate between the architectural designs of the interior (Mughal) and exterior (British) of the building. This task can be a bit time consuming because the building was damaged to a great extent during the 1857 war and robbed of its precious books. However, one can still imagine the grandeur and opulence in which the first British Resident lived in Delhi, by looking the majestic building. The building also characterized the nature of its first occupant, Sir Ochterlony. He was one of the only British officers who fully adopted the Mughal culture, customs, traditions and lifestyle.


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