At almost every nook and corner of the country, one still finds a dilapidated yet endearing structure or a building with historical significance. We get Gen Y to revisit some famous places which helped spark the era which gifted us the freedom we enjoy today and discover what it means to them
Fortifying the first step taken for the liberties we enjoy
Rohi Chinnari is pursuing her final year in Christian Medical College and enjoys visiting the Vellore Fort along with her friends as it’s down the road from their campus! She thinks of the fort as not only a great work of architecture but also finds it serene and calm. “The first thing that comes to mind when you see how well-protected it is. It was definitely one of the safest fortresses,” she exclaims.
The famous Vellore Fort that was a part and parcel of Arcot was built by the Vijayanagara Kings in the 16th century. It holds plenty of importance in Indian history. Later owned by the Bijapur Sultans, Marathas and the Carnatic Nawabs, the British took control of it in the 18th century. An interesting fact about the fort is that Tipu Sultan and Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, the last Sri Lankan king were held as prisoners there.
The first significant and violent military rebellion occurred at the fort in 1806, as a protest against the East India Company. In the early hours of July 10, 1806, Indian sepoys who were present at the fort attacked the barracks, resulting in the death of 15 officers and 100 English soldiers. Also, their houses were ransacked. The mutiny was shut down by noon.
What ‘the king of the world’ left behind after him
Mansi More is pursuing an MA in Applied Psychology from Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi. What she likes the most about the capital city is it’s history. “The city is full of stories from the past. It just takes you to that time,” she says. Her favorite place is Red Fort. “The fort looks so beautiful on Independence Day. I always try my best to attend the function every year,” she adds.
Built by the mighty Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the Lal Quila, better known as the Red Fort (thanks to the British), housed the creme de la creme of their dynasty till the First War of Independence broke out in 1857. The fort was made of red sandstone.
This fort which took ten years (from 1638) to construct, was also called the Qila-e-Mubarak or ‘the Blessed Fort’.
This is where the Father of our Nation dwelled
When Vijay Bapodara visited the karmabhoomi of Gandhiji, he was shown a demo of how the charkha works and tried to work on it too. The student of Nirma University, Ahmedabad, says that it’s easy to see why Gandhiji chose this place as “it is by the river and there’s a lot of green cover.”
Sabarmati Ashram was one of the most famous residences of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It was at this place that Mahatama Gandhi began the famous Dandi Salt March in 1930.
In today’s date, the ashram receives more than seven lakh visitors in a year from all over the world. The visitors come to see the charkha used by Gandhi to make Khadi and his writing table, among many other historically-important objects. The ashram is where Gandhiji spent most of his life. There is a song which says “Sabarmati ke sant tune kar diya kamal,” (Oh Sabarmati’s saint, you have performed a miracle) which is apt for the ashram.
The ashram’s policy included helping the research on Gandhian thought to reach the masses.
The place which jailed Indians but not their spirits
Cellular Jail tells us a heart-touching story of our past with the help of a light and sound show, which often gives Abhimanyu Singh goosebumps. This is the most prominent landmark of Port Blair. It shows us the grim circumstances which our independence fighters faced. “This definitely is the best part of Port Blair, touching, yet wonderful” says Singh who works at Ericsson, Jaipur.
The Cellular Jail, commonly known as Kala Pani, was a prison used by India’s colonial intruders, the British. It is often remembered as a place where atrocities by the British were meted out to Indian prisoners. Prisoners were made to work for hours at a grinding mill.
The jail was a three-storey building with several wings. It had 696 cells of the size of 13.5 feet by seven feet. The only ventilation was a three by one feet window situated high on the wall.