The month of August is a very auspicious one for us Indians, the obvious reason is Independence Day. The day on which the modern nation of India took birth. Every citizen of the nation was a part of the Freedom Struggle but there are some places which are more special to us. Let us take you to some of the places that might give you goosebumps and make you proud as an Indian citizen for sure. The places bearing the memories of some very crucial and significant breakthroughs of Indian freedom struggle.
1. SABARMATI ASHRAM
The ashram came into being on 17 June 1917 on the banks of river Sabarmati in Ahmedabad when Gandhiji decided to relocate from his barrister friends residence. He wanted a large property in order to practice farming, animal husbandry, running a school and meet people. This is that historic place from where Gandhiji led the Dandi March on 12 March 1930 defying the British Salt Law which banned Indian salt to promote and sell British salt. The ashram is now a museum with 7,00,000 visitors per year. The museum exhibits things used by Gandhiji, paintings of him, library with books on life and teachings of Gandhi. The museum remains open every day from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
2. NETAJI BHAWAN
Netaji Bhawan in Kolkata was the residence of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose whose death is still an unsolved mystery. The building was built by netaji’s father in typical bengali style of architecture with huge pillars and porticos. Netaji escaped from house arrest in 1941 and his nephew drove him to Gomoh . From there he took a train and eventually fled to Berlin via Afghanistan and formed the Indian National Army to fight against British with Japanese help. This is known as the ‘Great Escape’ of Indian freedom struggle. The residence is now a museum and a research centre. It houses the car used in ‘Great Escape’, the things used by netaji and the office where the meeting of INC was attended by Jawaharlal Nehru and Gandhiji. The relics of his footprints and the route of escape are also exhibited apart from publications and articles. Museum timings: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM except Monday.
3. JALLIANWALA BAGH
This place is known to all the Indians. A place with tragic history, witness to one of the several examples of barbaric crime committed by the British Indian government. On Baisakhi Day, 13 April 1919, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered his 50 armed men to open fire at the gathering which comprised of around 20,000 unarmed men, women and children. Jallianwala bagh had only one proper entrance blocked by Dyer and his men. People died in firing stampede and by jumping into the well now known as ‘Martyr’s Well’. The official casualites recorded was 376 but many sources claim it was more than 1000. A memorial was constructed later in the premises and you can still see the bullet marks on the walls and the ‘Martyr’s Well’ which is sealed. Museum timings: 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM.
4. CELLULAR JAIL
The jail complex is located in the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar islands constructed between 1896 and 1906. The complex consist of seven three storied wings with a central watch tower. In order to minimize the chances of interaction among the convict, the construction of the Jail was so made that the front portion of each wing was to face the back side of the other wing. The inmates mostly soldiers of freedom struggle were inhumanly tortured upon. Once Mahavir Singh started hunger strike in protect of this behaviour and he was forcefully fed milk which went into the lung causing his death. After this incident Gandhji and Rabindranath Tagore intervened and the prisoners were extradited. Timings: 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM to 4:45 PM except Monday.
5. ALFRED PARK
Alfred Park is the largest park of Allahabad. It was built in memory of Prince Alfred in 1870. It was this place where the brave fighter of freedom struggle Chandra Shekhar Azad shot himself with the last bullet left in a shootout with police killing three policemen holding his pledge true of not getting caught alive. Apart from his memorial there is also a memorial dedicated to Queen Victoria. After independence the park was named after Chandra Shekhar Azad.
6. LUCKNOW RESIDENCY
This place was like a colony built during the reign of Nawab Sadaat Ali Khan II betwwen 1780 and 1800. It is located right in the heart of the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. It was witness to the gory battle between Britishers and Indians during the first revolt in 1857. This was a prolonged battle after which the residency was eventually deserted. Now it lies in ruins with broken walls, shattered roofs and scars made by cannon shells. The who area is decorated with gardens and there is a cemetery nearby with graves of more than 2000 men, women and children. There stands the epitaph of Sir Henry Lawrence on his grave. Lawrence established the Lawrence Military Asylum to educate the children of british soldiers. The main attraction is the light and sound show that takes place in the evening, it is recommended as it narrates the story in a very clear and beautiful way. Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM everyday.
7. RED FORT
Last but not the least comes the most significant venue of present independence day celebration of our country. Red Fort was constructed by emperor Shah Jahan in 1648 and this majestic red sandstone structure served as the residence of the Mughal emperors for 200 years till 1857. It stands as a remainder of the illustrious Mughal Era. The fort was converted to barrack by the British during their reign. From the rampart of this fort Pandit Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India, hoisted the Tricolour on Aug 15, 1947 and the tradition continues till date. Every Indian looks forward to the speech delivered by Indian PM every independence day. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and is visited by thousand every year from over the world. Timings: 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM except Monday.
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