This heritage walk weaves its trail through the neighbourhood of Kashmiri Gate. Our first stop is Nicholson’s Cemetery, where the British hero John Nicholson is buried. He was an important figure in the British success in putting down the rebellion. At Kashmiri gate, our next stop, the destruction by cannon balls could clearly be seen. Some of the battlements too are missing from the top of the gate. The breach of Kashmiri Gate by the British forces was the turning point in their favour. It was exciting for everybody to climb atop the roof and look as far as St. James Church while the modern metro rail line works like city wall demarcating the city controlled by the rebels and the ridge where the British were camped. Moving ahead, we passed the Bengali Club (estb.1925) walked towards a market setup by Lala Sultan Singh. In the same complex, there stands an 18th century mosque called the Lal Masjid or Fakhrul Masajid. It was built by Khaniz i Fatima in the memory of her husband. Next spot was my personal favorite as I am an alumnus of Hindu College, it was fascinating to see and explain history of the same. Built by nationalists, the old Hindu college building stands near its rival, St. Stephens College. It came up in response to latter which was a British venture to promote western education. Both these buildings are now offices of MCD and Election Commission respectively. St. James Church, our next spot is Delhi’s oldest church which was built in thanksgiving by a mercenary, James Skinner. His regiment was the Skinner’s Horse which still is part of the Indian army. Later Skinner was interred in this church and the churchyard has his family burial ground. Moving on to to the Indraprastha University campus which consists of the Delhi College attacked by mutineers in 1857 and Dara Shukoh’s library, later converted into the house of the British resident, David Ochterlony. Just outside the University campus is the Telegraph Memorial and remains of the British Magazine. We concluded our walk at the Lothian road cemetery and closely looked at ruins of graves pertaining to time period of early 1800’s. It is amazing that more than 200 years have past and history still lives with us through these big and small ruins.
(posted by Chhavi Sharma & photos by Pushpa, team members, Delhi Heritage Walks)