India’s Freedom Struggle that led to our nation become independent after 200 long years, that’s what we celebrate today: on 15th August 2023.
India is known worldwide for the rich tapestry of stories, legends and brave-hearts that shaped it’s destiny. The journey or struggle for independence was a long and pivotal chapter in our nation’s history: marked with countless sacrifices, inspiring leaders and historical landmarks.
This year, TravelSole takes you on a time travel journey through the most important historical places in India tracing the Indian freedom trail that stand as testimonials of our story of freedom.
Grab on your seatbelts and let’s begin!
Table of Contents
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
The golden morning cast by the sun all over Amritsar seems to give a calming vibe throughout the city. Families with kids gather around in the large open space called Jallianwala Bagh – murmuring anxiously with nervous laughter coming from different corners.
The calming vibe slowly starts to turn into a spooky silence as the families clutch each other’s hands and stare endlessly towards the large entrance to the park.
Suddenly, a figure emerges, a General known as Reginald Dyer comes forward, raises his hand towards the sky – and an eerie vibe spreads all upon the crowd.
He speaks with a voice strong enough to display that he ain’t here for negotiations. He declares that the crowd all head back to their homes at once, abandoning the cause that has led them all here in this morning.
But the crowd does not move an inch, united by a common cause – they stand by, scared, but rooted in defiance. Each member of the crowd displays a canvas of determination longing for freedom that knows no bounds.
With just a small signal, Dyer calls in his troops at once and the park entrance is filled with soldiers armed with rifles and bayonets. Before the crowd could register it all, without warning, the gunfire begins.
The sound of guns firing push down the cries of the crowds, the walls are all etched with bullets. The once peaceful garden transforms into a chaotic space of panic, disbelief and bloodshed.
As the gunfire subsides, a haunting silence breaks down with moans of the wounded crowd or the heart-wrenching cries of ones who lost their families – all in a blink of an eye.
It’s soil stained with the blood of innocent lives and it’s large walls now covered with bullet holes, the garden that once stood as a symbol of community, now transforms into a tableau of tragedy that will echo through the annals of history.
A haunting reminder of the tragic massacre of 1919, Jallianwala Bagh becomes the first stop on our journey today through the Historical Places in India.
Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad
After reminiscing the tragic events of Jallianwala, the next spot on our freedom trail through the historical places in India is a calming one.
The Sabarmati Ashram served as the nucleus of many movements and experiments that at the end resulted in some way or the other – in India’s Independence.
The ashram is a testament to the ideals and principles of Mahatma Gandhi and his journey to freedom. You will find modest living quarters untouched with the modern transformations, shaded by ancient trees. The place exudes an aura of simplicity and purpose.
You can almost feel the presence of Gandhi as you walk along the pathways reminiscing how these quarters started the pivotal events that led to a self-reliant India.
The Sabarmati River that flows nearby has stored many tales of countless discussions, debates and decisions that were made to shape up our history.
As you move forward, stopping by to look at the emblem of self-sufficiency (the spinning wheel), we reach the Hriday Kunj.
Hriday Kunj was the living quarters of Gandhi and his wife Kasturba. As you enter these rooms, you will see how they are remained almost frozen in time without any interference or transformation. You get an intimate glimpse of how the daily life happened around the area that time.
As you go towards the ashram’s prayer grounds, you can envision the gathered community all sitting together in unity, sharing a common purpose.
The calmness of the space takes you back to the origin of non-violence and satyagraha being honed and refined here.
Dandi Beach, Gujarat
After Sabarmati Ashram, we move forward towards the next big spot in our list of Historical Places in India’s Freedom Struggle. Let’s hit the button and time travel to see what all ensued at the Dandi Beach in Gujarat.
We see a gathering crowd once more, a diverse assembly of men, women and children, all adorning very simple Indian attire.
The year is 1930, and the gathering here is to answer Mahatma Gandhi’s call for a historic Salt March. Gandhi appears draped in a simple white loincloth with his round spectacles, his presence commanding respect and admiration.
The crowd is filled with a spark of defiance that refuses to be quenched. All their eyes are fixated on their destination – the Dharasana Salt Works, a symbol of British Oppression.
As the historical salt march begins, Mahatma’s resonant voice rises above the soundscape and urges fellow marchers to at all times maintain discipline and adhere to the set principles of non-violence.
After walking for almost 240 miles, the 24-days march ends as the marchers reach their destination. The first glimpse they have is of the sprawling expanse of the salt pans stretched almost endlessly, a stark reminder of the injustice that they’ve all come to challenge.
The British authorities arise with equal determination to attempt and block the marcher’s path with all means necessary.
Without ever losing his calm, the Mahatma along with his followers approach the barbed wire barrier. As if in slow-motion the Mahatma places his hands on the cold wire symbolically claiming the salt that rightfully belongs to the people.
The Mahatma’s act of civil disobedience declares a new era defined by unity, courage and an unshakable commitment to justice.
The marchers are then allowed into the salt works to collect their own salt, a moment of triumph and a testament to the power of peaceful protest is created.
And thus, on the shores of Dandi Beach, history is created. The simple act of claiming the salt, bending the barbed wire becomes a defining chapter in India’s freedom struggle.
Cellular Jail, Andaman Islands
A voyage across the sea brings us to another very important and also tragic destination in our list of the Historical Places in India: Cellular Jail in Andaman. A jail where the valiant freedom fighters endured unimaginable pains and hardships.
As we enter through the weathered gates the first thing that strikes us is the palpable sense of isolation that still hangs in the air.
As the sunlight tries to reach the narrow corridors, it struggles to fully spread it’s prowess to the haunting darkness.
As we move forward we witness the solitary confinement cells which tightens our hearts to even imagine how the countless souls endured unimaginable solitude within these claustrophobic walls that seem to close in and around you.
It is indeed a place of horror. A place filled with echoes of pain, struggles, cries for help. And amidst all this you see the cell of Veer Savarkar, who etched his poems on the prison walls with thorns as a desperate attempt to keep his spirit alive in a time and a world devoid of freedom.
The heart of the jail is at Central tower, standing tall as a silent witness to the anguish and defiance that once thrived within its confines.
As you reach the top of the Cellular Jail, you gaze out over the large expanse of the Andaman Sea, its serene beauty and calmness contrasting sharply with the torment that prevailed these walls once.
The Cellular Jail is one of the most essential elements of India’s freedom struggle and consists of stories of suffering, sacrifices and unyielding determination that seems to come alive all around you.
It stands to be a living testament to the indomitable human spirit of our freedom fighters that refused to be broken – even in the face of the darkest of times.
Gowalia Tank Maidan
Coming back up within the national borders of India, we reach Mumbai. The next stop for our Indian freedom trail through the historical places in India being: the Quit India Movement Memorials in Gowalia Tank Maidan and Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya.
The air here is thick with history and a sense of solemnity envelopes you right at the entrance.
You see well-manicured lawns and as you walk along the path you witness the larger-than-life bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi, with his arm outstretched and frozen in mid-air, seemingly addressing a passionate gathering.
You immediately go back to how his determination might have fueled the Quit India Movement. So much so that you almost hear his voice ringing in the air, urging the mass gatherers to rise against the British tyranny.
You see various panels depicting the stages of the movement and the vivid artworks that depict the masses flooding the streets with placards and banners with raised voices demanding a full and final end to the British rule.
You can even hear the voices of the iconic front leaders of this movement in the central courtyard. As you witness the interactive installation and put on the provided headphones. Their impassioned words resonate with the same fervor that once ignited the hearts of the people.
Further, you see a wall of archival documents and newspaper clippings painting a vivid description of the media frenzy that surrounded the movement. Headlines are capitalized on the words of “arrests, demonstrations and tension”.
You can also catch a short film, displayed in black-and-white unveiling a footage of historical milestones of this movement. The images flicker and dance while narrating the story of a nation united in its quest for freedom.
The Quit India Movement Memorial is not merely a collection of artifacts, news clippings and audiobooks, but a living testament to the passionate spirits of the people who refused to bow down anymore.
Jhansi Fort, Uttar Pradesh
As we travel back once more to the time of rebellion and uprising coming from places like Meerut and Delhi, we witness a day unfolding like normal. We find ourselves in another very prominent historical places in India.
The Jhansi Fort stands at the heart of the city as a symbol of power and authority. The Union Jack flutters in the wind as a constant reminder of the British Rule.
The bustling streets of Jhansi come alive with a flurry of varied activities: traders setting up their stalls, children running through narrow alleyways and everything going on like it normally would.
But the seemingly ordinary morning had no idea about the storm that brew underneath the surface!
The news of unrest coming from different cities within colonized India spreads like wildfire among the Indian sepoys stationed within the city.
The tales of the recent uprisings ignites the souls of the sepoys in the fort which fester grievances against the East India Company’s policies and treatment of Indian soldiers.
As evening strikes, a group of sepoys gather in secret beneath the shadow of the Jhansi Fort with resonating voices shared with frustration and determination to finally rise up against the Britishers.
Suddenly, the sepoys surge forwards, raising their weapons, their cries echoing throughout the city.
The bustling streets of Jhansi transform into a battleground, a clash of wills and ideologies. The sepoys, driven with desire for freedom, engage in a fierce battle against the well-trained British forces. The sounds of gunshots, the clash of swords and the cries all form into a cacophony that reverberates through time infinity.
Amidst the turmoil, emerges from the shadows – Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. A warrior queen with a fierce spirit and a heart burning with patriotism. She assumes a leadership role in the uprising and takes charge of the city’s defenses against the Britishers.
The battle rages on for days and weeks. Despite her valiant efforts, the inevitable comes to pass. The city falls apart to the British in the end but the legacy of Rani Laxmibai lives on, her bravery and sacrifice etched into the annals of history.
Her unwavering spirit and fearless leadership inspires generations, her name forever synonymous with the struggle for India’s freedom.
As we come back to the future, we carry a profound appreciation for the indomitable spirit that courses through the veins of a nation forever marked with it’s freedom struggle.
Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh
The fields of Chauri Chaura bear witness to the significant turning point in India’s freedom struggle. That is why it needed to be in our list of the best historical places in India.
Ready? Let’s head back to 1922! In the small quaint town of Chauri Chaura, lies a small and humble police station – a symbol of authority which has long been a source of frustration for the locals.
After a while, a crowd begins to gather, their numbers growing steadily as the news spreads all over town. Men and Women, young and old, everyone stand shoulder to shoulder with rising voices in unison. The tension in the air is a mixture of anger and resolve.
Seeing the horde of crowds almost as if surrounding the police station premises, a group of police officers emerge with stern faces. A few harsh words are exchanged, accusations fly off and a standoff reaches a boiling point.
A protestor could not take any longer and snaps as he raises his hand in defiance to strike a police officer. This small moment hangs suspended in time, and within a heartbeat – chaos erupts!
The gathering turns into a frenzy with anger fueling the actions. The police find themselves outnumbered and overwhelmed by the sheer force of the crowd and their emotions.
Flames leap from a discarded torch, and soon, the police station in engulfed with fire. As the fire rages on, the crowd watches with a mix of awe and trepidation. What began as an expression of frustration quickly escalated into an act of rebellion which cannot be undone.
The events that happened in Chauri Chaura and its consequences were felt throughout the nation, echoing in our nation’s history as a turning point in India’s struggle for independence.
Red Fort, Delhi
August 15th, 1947, the air is charged with anticipation as a sea of people gather inside the courtyard of the Red Fort. The aroma of street food mingles with the natural scent of freshly bloomed marigold flowers, lending an air of festivity across the entire nation.
Every face is alive with hope, eyes fixed on the ramparts of the fort as people wait for history to unfold.
The enters a solitary figure, bathed in the glow of dimly lit fort. The figure is Jawaharlal Nehru, the very first Prime Minister of a Free India.
“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.” ~ Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
With a gentle tug, Nehru unfurls our Tiranga with its vibrant saffron, white and green all dancing proudly against the ink-blue sky. A collective gasp escapes the entire crowd, a spontaneous eruption of joy and emotion ensues. Some faces are covered with large smiles, while some with tears glistening through eyes for they have all waited so, so long for this day.
Then comes the Jana Gana Mana, India’s national anthem which resonates with every heartbeat of every citizen looking now towards the Golden Bird, who is now free to fly high!
And that is when, in the heart of Delhi’s Red Fort, history is made. Till this day and till the end of time, the echoes of that historic night acts as a reminder of the sacrifices, struggles and an unbreakable spirit which led India to reach this moment of triumph and victory.
As the journey ends
As our time travel journey ends and we come back to the present with so much to think about, so much to feel and so much more to learn about our freedom struggle, we realize that these historical places in India are not merely bricks and mortar, but living testaments to the unbreakable spirit of a nation.
This is a small tribute to the rich and deep history of our freedom struggle, it includes 8 historical places in India that played a prominent role in India’s freedom struggle.
Each site connected with the 200 years every Indian fought for freedom tells a tale of courage, sacrifice and unwavering determination which led India from the darkness of oppression to the radiant light of independence.
As travel lovers, we stand in awe of the legacies left behind and get inspired to carry forward those values that shaped our nation’s destiny.
Share this blog with every Indian out there. Happy Independence Day, People! 🇮🇳