Revisiting sites of 1857 through a heritage walk in Kashmiri Gate, 11 Nov12

January 11, 2013 in 1857,Delhi Heritage Walks,DHW,Heritage Walks,Kashmiri Gate,Kashmiri Gate Heritage Walks | Comments (0)

For a walk leader, it is good to see a large group come out in chilly winter mornings to join us on these heritage walks. Our heritage trail in Kashmiri Gate focuses on some sites connected to the events of 1857 rebellion. The walk starts at Nicholson’s Cemetery, the most important burial being that of British General John Nicholson. He is one of the most well known heroes of 1857 ‘mutiny’ for the British. There are many graves of Europeans & especially children here. Some Indians also find space here, the most well known being Master Ramachandra of Delhi College fame.  The next stop on our heritage trail is Kashmiri Gate which was an important landmark of the rebellion & site of the battle which gave British forces a distinctive edge over the rebels. On 14th September, 1857 it was attacked by British Army trying to recapture the city. Next on our way was the heritage building of Bengali Club which was once the hub for the Bengali community. Not many people know of it or participate in its activities now. Passing through the busy roads we reached Lala Sultan Singh’s market which is called Bada Bazar which is market for car parts. A small but charming mosque, called Fakhr ul Masajid & sometimes the Lal Masjid stands on the upper storey of this market. Close by are the old buildings of St. Stephen College and Hindu College. Former started by British missionaries to spread Western English education while the later was a result of wealthy Indian merchants’ and bankers’ efforts who wanted to defy this idea of Western education. Today both are most popular colleges of Delhi University & remain rivals while these old buildings are government offices. A few more steps ahead led us to the first church of the city: St. James Church, built by James Skinner and which was used as a canteen and a field hospital by the Indian rebels during the period of revolt. We then visited the bungalow of British resident William Frazer which is now the building of Northern Railways Office. After moving through the campus shared by two institutes Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology & Ambedkar University, Delhi we got a chance to see the blending of Mughal and British architecture in the Archaeological Museum which was once the library of Shah Jahan’s eldest son, Dara Shukoh and residence of Ali Mardan Khan who was an important Mughal noble under Shahjahan. This building has also housed the first British resident, David Ochterlony. Finally, we made our way to Telegraph Memorial and the Delhi Magazine both reminders of the British sacrifices during 1857. Thanks to all for joining us on the heritage walk and making it a memorable experience to be cherished forever. Hope to see you in our upcoming walks as well.

(posted by Niti Deoliya & Kavita Singh, team members, Delhi Heritage Walks)

1857 Uprising: Kashmiri Gate Heritage Walk

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