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Book launch: ‘Maps of Delhi’ chronicles cartographic history of Delhi

India: If you are a maps enthusiast or a research scholar in architecture, then chances are that you might want to make a little space on your book shelf, as a new book – ‘Maps of Delhi’ launched last week at a glittering ceremony at the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) at Lodhi Road, New Delhi.

Authored by Italian architecture scholar, Pilar Maria Guerrieri, the book is the first organized collection of city maps that wonderfully illustrates cartographic history of the capital.

Holding a PhD in architectural design and composition, and various other related fields, Pilar has conducted an extensive research on European and Indian cultures, development of mega cities, and the effects of cultural exchange with primary focus on Delhi’s pre- and post-independence times.

Her book studies 61 maps of Delhi from the onset of the 19th century to till its proposed master plan of 2021. In a nutshell, it presents a study of how the city has developed over time. Pilar describes that how each map elaborates on the idiosyncrasies, aesthetic details and the evolution of planning and architecture through the tumultuous history of the capital.

Explaining as to what was the main focus of her work, Pilar said, “The main effort was to show how maps can show the development of the city and so how Delhi have developed as city of cities.”

Going through this book, you would find that some of the old maps of this book are a beautiful work of art. The first few maps of the book are done in beautiful picture-style format and they are wonderful to look at.

Talking about the challenges she had to face while writing ‘Maps of Delhi’, she said, “To be a lot of patient. In the beginning, the feeling was that you can’t make it. It’s impossible. Then slowly-slowly you discover there is some beauty of having patience. Because having patience makes you think much more deeper.”