Popular Places that Honour India’s Heroes

The stories of valiant fighters laying down their lives for our country will forever be etched in our history books. We celebrate their triumphs and the result of their sacrifices every year on Independence Day and Republic Day. In a struggle for self-rule, thousands of lives were lost. Some names are remembered; many others are not. Not just the struggle for independence, several soldiers have laid their lives in subsequent wars that were fought to keep our country away from harm’s way.

The actions and lives of these heroes are commemorated each year on Martyrs’ Day. We observe this day on January 30th each year to mark the monumental loss of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of our nation, who was assassinated on this day in 1948. Across the country, you can find monuments and sites that honour martyrs. Here are a few that you must visit to know more about their contribution.

Gandhi Smriti

In New Delhi, on Tees January Road, you will find Gandhi Smriti – a museum established in Mahatma Gandhi’s memory. A former abode of the Birla family, it is also the place where Mahatma Gandhi was shot. Gandhi Smriti offers a glimpse into the life of the ‘Father of the nation’ – from the room in which he stayed to various possessions. While here, visitors can also tour the grounds of the building. A monument called the Martyrs Column had been erected in the precise spot of Gandhi’s assassination.

Within a few kilometres from here are other memorials you can drive to. The Climate Control in your Ford Figo will keep you comfortable, and its compact size will be perfect for zipping through Delhi traffic.

Cellular Jail

While the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are famous as a tropical beach paradise, the capital city of Port Blair is home to a memorial with a hauntingly dark history – Cellular Jail. What is now a museum and monument dedicated to the struggles of India’s freedom fighters, was once a colonial prison where the British used to hold political prisoners. Also known as Kala Pani, it is believed that thousands of revolutionaries were imprisoned here, including Barindra Ghose, Batukeshwar Dutt, and Trailokyanath Chakravarty, among others.

Netaji Bhavan

Built in 1909, this memorial in Kolkata honours the life of one of India’s most famous nationalists- Subhas Chandra Bose. This house, which belonged to his brother, is the place from where the former leader of the Indian National Congress escaped house-arrest in 1941. Today, it serves as a research center and a museum where visitors can view artefacts, documents and personal belongings, all of which offer an insight into the life of a prominent Indian freedom fighter.

While in Kolkata, you can visit other famous historical places like Jorasanko Thakur Bari – home of Rabindranath Tagore and Belur Math, which was established by Swami Vivekanand.

India Gate

Standing tall in India’s capital city, New Delhi, is perhaps the nation’s most prominent monument, India Gate. It was opened in 1931 to honour more than 70,000 soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was built after India attained independence, where an eternal flame burns day and night under an arch in memory of the soldiers who laid down their lives during the Indo-Pakistan War in December 1971.

Whether a curious history buff or a patriotic Indian, a visit to India Gate is a must. Here, you will find the names of our national heroes inscribed on the walls. The formidable sight is sure to ignite some patriotic pride.

National War Memorial

At a short walk from India Gate is the National War Memorial, a monument built to honour the Indian Armed Forces. The memorial has been built in the memory of soldiers who lost their lives during the armed conflicts since India’s independence. Names of all martyrs are etched on the walls are inscribed on the memorial walls.
The innermost structure of the National War Memorial complex is called the Amar Chakra, or Circle of Immortality, that celebrates the sacrifices of brave soldiers who attained immortality in service of our nation.

Shaheed Smarak

In Patna, Bihar, visit Shaheed Smarak – which was built to commemorate the life of seven young men who sacrificed their lives in the Quit India Movement in 1942. These young men were shot at by the British while trying to unfurl the Indian flag. This Martyr’s Memorial leaves you inspired as it throws light on the gravity of India’s freedom struggle and the participation of the youth.

Make your trip to Patna more interesting with a drive on Gandhi Setu, the third-longest river bridge in India which connects Patna in the south to Hajipur in the north over the river Ganga. Set the Cruise Control on your Ford EcoSport and enjoy the drive. You can also pay a visit to other historical sites such as the Patna Museum built during and Golghar, a stupa styled granary that was opened in 1786.

Jallianwala Bagh

Located in the heart of Amritsar, Jallianwala Bagh stood witness a turning point in India’s independence struggle. An estimated 400 unarmed protesters were massacred by British troops at this site in April 1913. The garden was surrounded by high walls on all sides with narrow paths leading in and out of a central arcade. All exits were blocked by the troops who opened-fire at anybody trying to exit the complex. People had gathered at the garden to peacefully protest oppressive British policies. The gathering also included several Sikh devotees who were visiting the sacred Golden Temple complex, located a few paces away, on annual harvest festival Baisakhi.

A memorial has been built as a tribute to all those who lost their lives or were injured during the massacre. No trip to Amritsar is complete without an homage to the sacrifices of brave men and women at Jallianwala Bagh.

In addition to these, there are many other memorials dedicated to India’s freedom struggle that you can visit to understand the country’s hard-fought win for independence better. With 2020 offering many long weekends, all you need to do is draw up a few plans, hop into your Ford car and #DiscoverMore of India’s glorious history.