Redeveloped Connaught Place Delhi Preserves the Magic of the Yore
The redeveloped Connaught Place in Delhi retains the magic and charm of a bygone era.
Built in 2005 by Tor Russell in collaboration with W H Nicholls, CP is circular and known as the largest commercial hub of its type in the country. The construction of the iconic place started in 1929 and was successfully completed in 1933.
The pearly white commercial complex was designed to be one of the main commercial areas of the imperial Raj and a favourite place for those wishing to have a good time while they did shopping and enjoyed their food.
This famed British Commercial Centre CP -- officially known as Rajiv Chowk-- is the central business district of Lutyens' Delhi and a part of the British planning legacy which remains renamed Rajiv Chowk in use to date.
Several decades have gone by and the CP has undergone many transformations changes and facelifts—both architecturally and in other ways.
While many new brands and structures have come up, several have shut and gone elsewhere for reasons best known to them.
But CP continues to remain the “Heart of Delhi”, like before, and the magic of an era gone by continues to linger in the area.
Today, like before, CP is one of the main financial, commercial and business centres in New Delhi, Delhi, India. It houses the headquarters of numerous noted Indian firms and is a key shopping, nightlife and tourist hotspot in New Delhi.
CP is neatly divided into different blocks- A, B, C and so on, with Cafe Coffee Day in every block. In general, there are three circles- the inner circle and outer circle (typically retail and food outlets, some hotels as well), and the middle circle (largely commercial and financial offices).
Connaught Place Architecture
The place is well-known for its Georgian-style architecture. The imposing scale and architectural character of the area make it special amongst numerous buildings. The building forms two concentric circles with seven roads linking the outer circle and the inner circle.
Connaught Place Redevelopment
The heritage site of CP has now been redeveloped and renovated to restore the legacy and move with the changing times. The veteran architect-designer Ar. Premendra Raj Mehta, DAG Architects is the man behind the redevelopment of this iconic and one of the most visited tourist places in Delhi. Today, the redeveloped landmark of Delhi has become better and more useful for shoppers and visitors. Its magic continues to enthral all.
Who is Ar. Premendra Raj Mehta?
He is the Former President, Council of Architects, India; the Former Member, Research Council of Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee; and member of GATE Committee of Ministry of Education. He is one of the topmost architects and designers of the country.
The Difficulties in Redevelopment
Ar. Premendra Raj Mehta came across different kinds of issues while completing the Delhi project. For instance, the maximum number of the tenants and owners of the area were unidentified. He managed to overcome such issues through smart planning and smarter execution of the plans. He not only created dedicated service corridors but also played with the different levels of the ground in the area, to redevelop the “Heart of Delhi” in the most ingenious and successful way.
• Shopping Paradise
CP is heaven for shoppers from all budget groups. From branded expensive goods to locally made, within-your-budget goods, the place has all kinds of products for everyone. Here, you will find BIG retail showrooms standing next to street vendors selling the pirated, similar-looking stuff though at a HUGELY different price.
CP’s Palika Bazar needs special mention here. Located under the Central Park of CP, it’s one of the favourite shopping spots for Delhiites and people from outside looking for moderately priced clothes and electronic items. Women especially find Palika Bazar very appealing as here they find special galleries for clothes and products exclusively meant for women at a low price.
• Hanuman Mandir
The Hanuman Mandir, located in CP adjacent to Mohan Palace and near Rivoli Cinema Hall, is one of the oldest places of worship in Delhi and is thronged in large numbers by devotees from far and wide, especially on Tuesdays and Saturdays. A darshan of Hanuman Ji here is believed to do miracles and solve all problems of life. An added attraction of the famous temple is the piping hot king-sized bread pakoras and samosas sold by some shops in the surrounding areas. These jumbo-sized samosas and bread pakoras, served with smoking hot aloo ki sabzi with a garnish of different kinds of sweet and sour chutneys, are a BIG hit with the visitors and devoured with gay abandon.
• Indian Coffee House
The 54-year-old Indian Coffee House in CP is known to serve the juiciest and cheapest coffee in town. It's been a great retreat for intellectuals for decades. It has also been a hub for Communist and Socialist movements for long. So, it has played a very vital part in the politics of India.
• Famous Hotels
The Park New Delhi, The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa, Hotel The Royal Plaza, The Connaught New Delhi, Raddison Blue Marina Hotel Connaught Place, Li Meridien Delhi, Shangri-La Eros New Delhi, YMCA International Guest House…CP has no dearth of well-known and comfortable hotels and for the guests with different budgets.