This chapter examines the political history of the Ridge. For the past millennium Delhi has, above all, served as a political capital, and the Ridge has played a central – though under-appreciated – role in Delhi's political fortunes. The chapter is divided into three broad sections. The first focuses on military interventions on the Ridge, from Timur's brutal raid of the medieval city to the great anti-colonial Uprising of 1857. The second section looks at iconic state-sponsored architecture on the Ridge, including the current seat of government on Raisina Hill. The final section tells the story of public services provided on the Ridge, from deforestation in the name of public safety to reforestation in the name of a world-class city.

Below is an outline of the chapter sections, along with the time periods and places covered in this chapter. (N.B. Some shifting and reorganization occurred between the production of this image and the final publication of the book.)