Barely 3 decades old, the city that now carries the ‘Gurgaon’ brand has given itself a lot to boast about. From the never-ending list of shopping malls housing the world luxurious brands like Chanel and Vuitton to high end car showrooms like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, this city has grown so much in such a short time that we barely ever gave time to relish the change.
On the lands where we now only see sky high apartments and office buildings, there existed a different story. Yes, we know what Gurgaon has become but we hardly know how it became what it is now.
Let us rewind to the times when there was no DLF or jammed roads. Before Gurgaon had any of the fancy eateries or brands, it had blue cows. Believe it or not, it used to be a farming village whose name was derived from the Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’ where it is written to be the ancestral village of Guru Dronacharya. It had various wild animals, similar to cows, known for their strange bluish tint.
The oldest construction in Gurgaon is the Sheetla Mata mandir in Old Gurgaon dedicated to the wife of Guru Dronacharya. Many people from nearby villages used to come to Gurgaon to visit the temple.
What really brought a turning point to Gurgaon’s history is the opening up of Maruti Suzuki plant in 1983. The reason for choosing Gurgaon for the company was its proximity to Delhi and much cheaper land rates. Subsequently, many automobile manufactures set up their plants in Gurgaon and then came the advent of private developers.
DLF and Ansal changed the face of Gurgaon, converting it from a land of car manufacturers to a land becoming home of lakhs of people. From the 1990s, there was a boom in the construction activity. When General Electronics wanted to setup an operation in India, it was approached by DLF.
The company was impressed by the plans DLF held for the city. After GE, a wave of MNCs setup their call centers and operations in Gurgaon- American express, EXL, IBM, Microsoft, Infosys, Ericsson, Oracle, Bank of America, American Airlines, The Coca-Cola company, Nokia, Sapient, and Airtel, Hero Honda, etc.
Slowly malls began to sprout up in the infamous MG Road. The construction of the ship building which you can now view from the Cyber Hub balcony was also one of the first buildings to come up. While people of Gurgaon were enjoying the company of shopping malls, the plan of metro was on the paper. The city started to get its own identity and was given the name ‘millennium city’.
New areas and sectors began to come up. Sohna Road underwent rapid residential construction and is now well connected to the rest of Gurgaon. The coming up of the Ambience Mall just near the Gurgaon-Delhi toll attracted huge crowd from Delhi as well as other regions in the NCR.
Gradually, DLF started working towards the dream of constructing a Cyber City. Rapid Metro came up and enormous efforts were put up to build up the Cyber Park. Tourism from the neighboring regions boosted with the coming up of Kingdom of Dreams and everyone’s favorite- Cyber Hub.
Jump on to today, what you have in front of you is barely a timeline of 30 years. To what the city has grown into in such a short time, it is remarkable to even think of it. So, while you enjoy your night under the lights of Cyber City, remember Gurgaon as a place with an extraordinary history.