Connaught Place (Popularly referred to as CP) was built in 1933. Actual construction started in 1929 and completed in 1933. Going by the history books, it was named after the Duke of Connaught, a member of the British royal family, this market was designed by Robert Tor Russell in collaboration with WH Nicholls.
At the time of British Raj, they thought of a market in the shape of a horseshoe would prove lucky for both shoppers and shopkeepers.
Connaught Place acts as an entry point to the whole of Lutyens’ Delhi. Being the Central Business District of Delhi, Connaught Place portrays a vibrant character with office and shopping related activities.
The inner core of Connaught Place is laid out as two giant rings of white colonnaded, two storied, colonial building blocks with radial roads converging from all directions towards its center. With this concentric arrangement, the place offers an inner and outer circle of predominantly retail, office and recreational functions to the lakhs of commuters who move around this unique round-about in the city. In fact, the unified architectural vocabulary of both these circles and the unchanged scale of the built form of this inner core against the chaotic transformations of the physical setting all around it allow Connaught Place to retain its distinct identity and conspicuous imageability across all its visitors and users. In fact, the memory of Connaught Place as a unique destination within the capital city of Delhi remains firmly embedded within anyone who would have chanced to experience and engage with this place. Connaught Place was imagined as an urban gateway into the British city of colonial New Delhi and positioned strategically at the mouth of the formally laid out geometric pattern of this city facing the native settlement of Shahjahanabad further north. Today’s Connaught Place in contemporary Delhi not only occupies the central core of the city but has grown to represent its heart as well. In every way, this huge bowl of urbanity with white rimmed edges and a green centre could easily qualify to be amongst some of the great living spaces in urban history.