"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom" - Jawaharlal Nehru
India achieved its independence from the British Empire on 15th August 1947, a day that is annually celebrated in India as Independence Day. Beginning from the Paik Rebellion in 1817 to the passage of Indian Independence Act in 1947, the Indian independence movement involved a variety of approaches, the most prominent being political outfits, philosophies, revolutionary stances and other movements with the objective of ending the British rule in India.
The efforts of these movements yielded results by passing of the Indian Independence Act 1947, thereby creating the independent dominions of India and Pakistan. India retained its dominion status until 26 January 1950, when it adopted the Constitution of India, culminating in formation of the Republic of India.
Given the rich history and variety of information available regarding the Indian independence, here's an overview of some important places that you must visit, this Independence Day.
1. Red Fort, Delhi
The Red Fort is the largest and the most iconic monument in Delhi, located by the banks of Yamuna. Constructed using red sand-stones in 1648 in erstwhile Shahjahanbad, the Red Fort has been witness to numerous landmark events that have shaped Indian history. This includes its' being a symbolic power of the mighty Mughal empire displaying the excellent craftsmanship and creativity of the Mughals, housing of the famous peacock throne, incessant campaigns by Nadir Shah, conquest by the Marathas, Sikhs and the Britishers, the 1857 Rebellion against the Company rule and the Red Fort Trials.
On 15th August 1947, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate. This event has become a tradition and every year on this day, the national flag is raised along with a nationally-broadcast speech given by the incumbent Prime Minister.
Boasting of the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with a fusion of Persian, European and Indian architecture, the Red Fort attracts huge crowds throughout the year. The Lahori Gate leads to Chatta Chowk where tourists can access a shopping arcade. During the evenings, one can witness a sound and light show detailing the history of the fort.
Rs 15 per person for Indians Rs 250 per person for foreign tourists Rs 25 per camcorder.
Audio tour in Hindi/English Rs 60/100.
Light and Sound Show:
Rs 80 per person for adults on weekdays and Rs 60 on weekends.
Rs 30 per person for children on weekdays and Rs 20 on weekends.
7:30am - 8:30pm (Light and Sound Show).
The nearest railway station is Chandni Chowk metro station less than a km away.
2. Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML), Delhi
Overlooking the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library was established in 1964 after the death of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru to preserve and reconstruct India's independence movement. It is located within the Teen Murti House complex and initially served as the residence of Commander-in-Chief of the British military and subsequently as the residence of Jawaharlal Nehru. From its humble beginnings, NMML has expanded to include a planetarium (called Nehru Planetarium) and Centre for Contemporary Studies. Apart from Nehruvian history, it also plays host to a variety of precious manuscripts, photographs, letters by freedom fighters and academic references to Social Sciences.
There are no charges for the library and museum.
For the planetarium, Rs 50 per person (above 12 years of age) and Rs 30 for child between 4 - 12 years.
10am-5pm (Mondays Closed).
The nearest railway station is Race Course metro station which is 2 kms away.
3. Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, Delhi
Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS) is a museum dedicated to Mahatama Gandhi located at 5 Tees January Marg, near the famous Connaught Place. It consists of two parts; Gandhi Smriti and International Centre of Gandhian Studies and Research. Formerly the residence of industrialist B.D. Birla, Gandhi Smriti (then Birla House) was taken over by the Government of India in 1971 and refurbished into a National Memorial for Mahatama Gandhi, accessible to public from 15 August, 1973. The Memorial broadly classifies Gandhi's life into three aspects- Visual, Educative and Service.
This building played home to Mahatama Gandhi during his stays in the city and was the site of his assassination on 30 January 1948. With a well laid out garden, interactive museum and an eternal flame, this site is a must visit for those wishing to pay tribute to the Mahatama.
The International Centre of Gandhian Studies and Research offers a variety of facilities for academic research on life of Mahatama Gandhi including library facilities, in-house publications, etc. A multimedia show is held between 1:00 pm to 1:30pm.
10am-5pm (Mondays closed).
The nearest railway station is the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station which is 3 kms away.
4. Rashtrapati Niwas, Shimla
Built in the intriguing Jacobethan style in 1888, the Viceregal Lodge was constructed as an official residence for the various Governor Generals and Viceroys of British India in the summer capital. By the end of the Second World War, sensing the political turmoil in India, the then Viceroy, Lord Wavell held the Shimla Conference in the Lodge, which included prominent leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Liaqat Ali Khan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah etc. but failed to contain the simmering demands for partition. A similar outcome was experienced at a tripartite conference at the lodge in the summer of 1946, sealing the fate for the partition of India. After independence, the lodge passed into the hands of the President of India and was rechristened as Rashtrapati Niwas. The estate was converted into the Indian Institute of Advanced Study Society under the Ministry of Education in 1964 and parts of it were allocated to Himachal Pradesh University and Himachal Pradesh High Court.
Rs 10 per person
9am-7pm (All days of the week).
The nearest railway station is Shimla train station which is 1 km. away.
5. 1857 Memorial Museum, Residency, Lucknow
Lucknow was one of the major centres of the Great Rebellion of 1857, also called the First War of Independence. The residency complex houses the ruins that have been preserved intact from the 1857 rebellion and are a constant reminder of the events that ensued. The museum offers a wide range of visual account of the uprising in the form of photographs and paintings of the sites and persons. It also has a collection of artifacts from that era including guns, swords, medals, etc. The museum consists of a ground floor and a basement. The ground floor is accessible from the southern side and a room adjacent to the entrance opens into the galleries at the ground floor and spiral stairs lead into the galleries at the basement.
Rs 5 per person for Indians above 15 years of age.
Rs 100 per person for foreigners.
10am-5pm (Mondays closed)
The nearest railway station is Lucknow Charbagh railway station which is 2 km. away.
6. Chandrasekhar Azad Park, Allahabad
Also called Alfred Park or Company Bagh, the Chandrasekhar Azad Park is the largest public park in Allahabad. The park was the site of a gun battle between the revolutionary freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad and the British police forces which culminated in Azad attaining martyrdom by taking his own life than being captured alive. A statue commemorating this event is erected at the exact spot where he fell.
Apart from this, the park also consists of the National Museum which contains the original .32 bore Colt pistol of Chandrashekhar Azad and the 'Gandhi Smrithi Vahan' and the Central Library which houses many a rare manuscript.
No entry fee
5am-11pm (All days of the week).
The nearest railway station to Company Garden is Allahabad junction railway station which is 2 kms away.
7. Aga Khan Palace, Pune
The Aga Khan Palace was built in 1892 by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III which has often been termed as one of the greatest buildings in India. Many famous Indian freedom fighters including Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, Mahadeobhai Desai, Sarojini Naidu etc. were imprisoned here during the Quit India movement in 1942. During such confinement, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadeobhai Desai breathed their last here. Housing the ashes of Mahatama Gandhi and samadhis of Mahadeobhai Desai and Kasturba Gandhi it is a popular place of pilgrimage where scores of people pay their homage to the freedom fighters. Mahatama Gandhi Museum and Picture Gallery was inaugurated within the Palace premises on 15 August, 1972. The year 1980 saw the administration of the museum, samadhis and the palace campus being transferred to Gandhi National Memorial Society along with establishment of National Institute for the development of women.
Rs 2 per person for children
Rs 5 per person for adults
9am-6pm (All days of the week).
The nearest railway station is Pune junction railway station which is 3 kms away.
8. Naval Uprising Memorial, Mumbai
Located in the famous Colaba area of South Mumbai, the Naval Uprising Memorial is a tribute to a relatively lesser known event which accelerated the pace of Indian independence called the the Royal Indian Navy mutiny. In February 1946, the Indian sailors of the Royal Indian Navy revolted against the British Empire owing to discriminatory practices meted out to them on basis of their race and protested against the resulting poor living and food conditions. The Indian independence movement, which was further emboldened by heroics of the Indian National Army under Subhash Chandra Bose helped to spread this revolt from Bombay to Karachi, along the coast to Calcutta involving 78 ships, more than 20,000 men and units from the Royal Indian Air Force and police forces. The success of the British Empire is largely credited to its navy and seafaring capabilities. Therefore when the same navy revolted against the Empire, it proved to be a serious crisis. However, due to minimal political support, the Royal Indian Navy mutiny hasn't been given it's rightful place in the popular consciousness.
No entry fee.
Open to public on National Holidays 26 Jan, 15 Aug, 02 Oct.
Navy Day: 04 Dec from 8 AM to 8 PM.
The nearest railway station is Churchgate railway station which is 4 kms away.
9. Mani Bhavan, Mumbai
The Library is open on all weekdays, from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm.
It is closed on 2nd & 4th Saturdays and public holidays.
The nearest railway station is Charni railway station which is less than a km away.
10. Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad
Located on the banks of Sabarmati river, Sabarmati Ashram was established by Mahatama Gandhi on his return from South Africa where he stayed from 1917 to 1930. It served as the epicentre for Gandhi's non-violent freedom struggle for Indian independence. The famous Dandi March was initiated from here by Gandhi which led to wide scale civil disobedience movements across the country. The Ashram now houses a museum called Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay which includes Gandhi's relics, book store, an oil painting gallery, letters and a library. The principles set fourth by the ashram for its members include non-violence, truth, swadeshi, tolerance, selflessness etc. 90-minute guided tours can be organised with prior permission which cover the famous landarks like Magan Niwas, Hriday Kunj, Udyog Mandir, Teacher's Niwas and other places within the Ashram.
No entry fee.
08:30am-06:30pm (All days of week).
The nearest railway station isAhmedabad Junction railway station which is 2 km away.
11. Netaji Bhawan, Kokata
Netaji Bhawan is located on Elgin Road, Kolkata and is the ancestral house of the revolutionary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. It consists of a museum, archives and a library, administered by Netaji Research Bureau. The heroics of Netaji extend far beyond the boundries of India. His acts of valour for India's liberation are recognised even by Japan and Germany. He was instrumental in creation of the Indian National Army which played an important role in fanning the Indian independence movement across the country. Netaji was put under house arrest in this building before he made his daring escape to Berlin in 1941. The museum details the chronology of events in Netaji's life and is extremely popular with tourists. Major attractions include the actual getaway car, his writings on the freedom struggle and his footprints. In 2007, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe also visited the Bhawan.
Rs. 5 per adult.
Rs. 2 per children under 12 years.
11am-04:30pm (Mondays closed).
The nearest railway station is Sealdah railway station which is 3 kms away.
12. Cellular Jail, Port Blair
The Cellular Jail was an erstwhile prison constructed by the British in 1906 in the Andaman archipelago. The jail was primarily meant for Indian political prisoners which could serve the dual purpose of separating them from the mainland and at the same time, break their will by sending them overseas which was considered a social taboo for the fear of losing one's caste. Another notable feature was that no single cell could have communication with the other, thereby ensuring solitary confinement for all the prisoners. After the Japanese invasion of the islands, the prison housed the British prisoners before being recaptured by the British.
The Jail has been declared as a National Memorial and a plaque bears the names of the imprisoned Indian freedom fighters and includes Damodar Savarkar, Barindra Kumar Ghosh, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi among others. It houses a museum that has an exhibition of the instruments of torture used by the British on the hundreds of Indian freedom fighters. In addition to the museum, an art gallery and a photo gallery are also situated. A 'Sound & Light Show' is held every evening, which details the history of these godforsaken gallows.
Rs. 5 per person.
Rs. 10 camera charges.
Rs. 50 video camera charges.
9am- 5pm (Mondays closed).
The nearest airport is Veer Savarkar International Airport which is 3 kms away.