The map of India is dotted with multiple sights and spots that remind us of the History of Freedom Movement. Countless names who devoted their lives to achieving freedom have been forgotten in the pages of history. Their legacy has remained: their homes, the institutions, and places that retell their legend. Some of the places offer tourists an opportunity to visit chapters from the history of Freedom Movement. On the occasion of 76 years of Independent India, let us visit 6 such places.
Cellular Jail, Andamans
The Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands tops the list of places related to India's history of Freedom Movement that draws thousands of tourists. The Cellular Jail reminds us of the solitary confinement that the heroes of the National Freedom Movement were made to suffer. There were no dormitories. There was a total of 696 cells, each cell measuring 4.5 by 2.7 meters in size with a ventilator located at a height of 3 metres. Hence the place is named Cellular Jail. The Japanese launched an invasion of the Andaman Islands in March 1942, capturing the Cellular Jail and all prison personnel.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose visited Cellular Jail as Head of the Provisional Government of India on 29th December 1943 and appointed INA General AD Loganathan as the Islands' governor. Cellular Jail was declared a National Memorial by the then Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai on 11 February 1979. The structure is one of the most historically prominent buildings in India. Apart from guided tours, a sound-and-light show is also run in the evenings narrating and showcasing the trials and tribulations of the inmates to the tourists.
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
Jallianwala Bagh is a must-visit destination in Punjab, for it represents a major turning point in India's history of freedom movement. Located near the Golden Temple, it is the site where General Dyer ordered the killing of thousands who had assembled for a peaceful protest against the Rowlatt Act in 1919. As many as 1600 rounds were fired and the firing stopped only when the British ran out of ammunition. Many people jumped into the well in the park to escape the bullets. The ‘Martyrs Well' is surrounded by the Martyr's memorial, a large structure with a sign giving a figure of “120” as the number of bodies that were recovered from the well. The garden has walls ridden with bullet holes that remind us of the tragedy that we have all read about in our history lessons. A memorial was built and placed in honor of all the people who perished in the massacre that occurred at Jallianwala Bagh. A portrait of Udham Singh is on display in the gallery. One of the seven urns containing his ashes is kept in the museum.
Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram, Gandhinagar
The Sabarmati Ashram (also known as Harijan Ashram) was home to Mohandas Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and served as one of the main centers of the Indian freedom movement. The Sabarmati Ashram was Gandhiji's workplace for social activism. The ashram is the place where Satyagraha, Civil Disobedience Movement, and Swadeshi Movement had gathered momentum.
Situated on the banks of the Sabarmati River, the ashram is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Ahmedabad. Gandhiji's Dandi March to disobey the Salt Act implemented by the British began at the ashram in 1930. The Ashram is presently involved in a number of activities that serves to both preserve the history of Gandhi and the freedom struggle and also to promote and educate people about the great philosophies, values, and teachings of Gandhi. The ashram now has a museum, the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. Various personal letters and images of Gandhi are displayed in this museum.
Netaji Bhawan, kolkata
India gained its independence in the year 1947. Netaji Bose wasn't there at the time, no one ever came to know what happened to the first soldier of the last war of India's Freedom Movement. His residence in Kolkata, painted in yellow and green, reminds us of the daring heroics and the sacrifice a Bengali lad undertook to free the motherland. Netaji Bhawan is a heritage building serving as the headquarters of Netaji Research Bureau. This is the place where he was put under house arrest. He escaped thereby from Gomoh and eventually to Berlin in 1941.
The car that was used in the mission to “smuggle” Subhas Chandra out of Kolkata is the biggest attraction of this place. The house is now a museum open to the public. Several artifacts at this museum have been maintained and displayed in their original condition. They include personal artifacts and furniture and display articles, documents, and photographs that chronologically showcase Netaji's life. Visitors can thus follow his life from when Netaji was a student at Cambridge to his days as a Swaraj Leader.
Viceregal Lodge, Shimla
The Viceregal Lodge is located on the Observatory Hills of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. It was formerly the residence of the British Viceroy of India. It houses some of the most ancient articles and photographs going back to the times of British rule in India. The Viceregal Lodge, a splendid English Renaissance architecture, is not just a tourist attraction, but also a historically significant place.
Viceregal Lodge was the summer residence of Lord Dufferin, the Viceroy of British India. The Shimla Conference convened by Lord Wavell in 1945 to approve the Wavell Plan for Indian Self-Government was hosted at this estate. The plans were rejected by the Muslim representatives and eventually, the fateful partition of India was discussed at this venue. Only a few of the staterooms can be visited currently as part of a tour as the building has been transformed into an advanced university complex. Also known as Rashtrapati Niwas, this colossal landmark in Shimla houses a museum exhibiting some stories of the Indian freedom movement.
India Gate, New Delhi
At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, commemorating the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later. It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, on the occasion of Republic Day, in 1972. The eternal flame burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.
Four urns surround the structure with permanently burning flames fueled by CNG and each face of the cenotaph has the words “Amar Jawan” inscribed in gold. India Gate is considered the world's largest global war heritage. Presenting an imposing architectural beauty, it captivates every tourist. The word INDIA is inscribed at the top of the arches on both sides flanked by the dates 1914 on the left and 1919 on the right. The sight is all the more alluring in the evening when the memorial and the surrounding area are lit up with innumerable lights.
There are innumerable places that are associated with India's Freedom Movement. How many do you know of?
An honest SCORPIO who is crazy about movies, and overly passionate about travel.
Believes in immortalizing the moment, either by way of the photograph or literal documentation of the journey.