India’s 72nd Independence Day sees the country burgeoning with transformations at the cusp of a significant digital revolution. Today’s cosmopolitan India gets everything done instantaneously online. We’re a generation that looks forward and is impatient for growth. A day of as great magnitude as Independence Day, however, is best spent looking back at and reveling in our country’s rich historical and cultural magnificence that celebrate our ancestors’ undying spirit to see India revel in freedom, glory and dignity once again. Take a look at 5 monuments you should consider visiting this Independence Day!
Aga Khan Palace: Built in 1892 by Imam Shah Sultan Muhammad Shah AgaKhan III, this majestic building was donated to India after Independence in reverence to Gandhiji and his philosophies. The palace served as a prison for Gandhiji and his wife Kasturba Gandhi, and fellow freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu. Apart from being a monument of national importance, the Aga Khan palace is also a famous tourist attraction in Pune. Surrounded by endless gardens, the palace sees visitors from all over the world who come to pay their respects to the samadhis of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi. Tourists can also pay a visit to the Gandhi Memorial Society which conducts a special public function on all National holidays, including Independence Day. The green surroundings and the taste of rich history make the Aga Khan Palace a good spot to visit for education and relaxation.
Fort of Jhansi: One of the main centers of the Sepoy Mutiny, the imposing Fort of Jhansi is a true homage to the relentless spirit of Rani of Jhansi who gave her life battling the Britishers. Layered with secret passages, hidden trails, sprawling gardens and a temple of Lord Shiva, the palace itself is an intriguing tourist destination. A visit to the museum providing details into the history of Bundelkhand and a special sound and light show in the evening should make for an extremely memorable Independence Day.
Jallianwala Bagh: This public garden in Amritsar is infamous for the gruesome massacre of unarmed men, women and children by the British armed forces. Although the events of almost a century ago still rattle in the memory of every Indian, and formed one of the many breaking points of the fight for independence, today, it is a memorial garden that honors the memory of the innocent lives lost on that April morning. Visitors here can experience the memorial set up in the shape of an eternal flame, and can take their time to stroll around the lush green expanse as they let a little bit of somber history provide perspective to their lives. Local restaurants and eateries abound the surrounding areas that give you a taste of some delicious Punjabi cuisine.
Cellular Jail: With Kala Pani as its moniker, it’s not hard to imagine the kind of horrors the Indian inmates of this British jail would have experienced. Mostly used to exile political prisoners, this jail in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is now a national memorial that houses the history of the gruesome incarcerations that it was home to, as well as the histories of various freedom fighters. The Cellular Jail is a must visit for anyone wishing to pay their respects to the heroes of our freedom struggle.
Red Fort: A visit to the Red Fort in New Delhi on Independence Day will treat you to some of the most enchanting sights imaginable. Feel your heart soar with pride, gratitude and reflection as you watch India’s Prime Minister hoist our national Flag atop this magnificent monument. Once you take in its architectural beauty, take some time out to wander down Chandni Chowk for some delicious food, and the interesting sights and sounds of a Dilli Bazaar.
Setting aside your daily schedule and taking time out to travel to these, and many more places of national importance could be your way of granting your mind and soul some freedom. These visits can be a reflection on how far we have come as a nation and how far we still have to travel together as one India. Happy Independence Day!