Here is the list of some important places that played a pivotal role in the freedom movement and without which the history of the Indian independence movement would be incomplete.
Cellular Jail, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Formerly known as Kala Pani, the Cellular Jail is located in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It used to be a majestic prison, reminding us of the price our freedom fighters paid. Some of India’s foremost freedom fighters such as Veer Savarkar and Batukeshwar Dutt were imprisoned here. This huge prison happened to be a torture chamber for Indian freedom fighters who were imprisoned here. Currently, this prison complex serves as a national memorial monument. It is among the most visited attractions in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In one place, several mannequins are exhibited, showing how prisoners used to be tortured here and what punishment was inflicted on them. A visit to this prison will surely give you goosebumps and you shouldn’t miss seeing the wonderful light and sound show.
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
Currently, Jallianwala Bagh is a famous public garden in Amritsar. The garden also houses a memorial of national importance established by the Government of India in 1951 to commemorate the massacre caused by British forces. This massacre took place on April 13, 1919, when a peaceful crowd of demonstrators, including defenseless women and children, was fired upon by the hordes of the British Indian Army. This massacre occurred on the occasion of the Baisakhi and according to British official records, 379 people were killed and around 1,100 injured. However, the actual numbers are much higher than those reported. Several traces of the bullets can still be seen here. Visit this place to recreate those memories and struggles.
Jhansi Rani ka Qila (Palace of Jhansi Rani) in Bangira, Uttar Pradesh
Strategically located on Bangara Hill, the fort has 10 gates and covers 20 hectares. The fort was a stronghold of the Chandela kings of Balwant Nagar and Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi from the 11th to the 17th centuries, who led the 1857 rebellion against the British there.
As the British advanced on their fort, Rani Lakshmi Bai attempted to flee and capture Gwalior Fort. But before she could reach it, she succumbed to battle with the British forces, who took her Jhansi Fortress from her. The fort withstood heavy bombardment by British forces for 17 days before collapsing. (This structure is recognized by the ASI as a monument)
Chauri Chaura is a small town in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh. It is famous for the Chauri Chaura incident, where police first killed several peaceful protesters and later an angry mob set fire to an entire police station, killing 22 police officers. After the incident in Jallianwala Bagh, Mahatma Gandhi called for a nationwide non-cooperation movement. Their aim was to resist British rule in India through non-violence and satyagraha. However, after the Chauri Chaura incident, Gandhi called the movement because he thought the movement had lost its non-violent nature. Gandhi was criticized for canceling the movement, and many leaders who supported Gandhi now lost faith in him.
Kakori is a small town in the Lucknow district of Uttar Pradesh. This place is famous for the Kakori conspiracy that took place on August 9, 1925. Indian revolutionaries needed money to carry out their activities and gain people’s support for the Hindustan Republican Association. They looted the train with bags of money belonging to the British government treasury. They looted about INR 8,000 but accidentally killed a passenger making it a murder case. This incident shocked the British government as it was the first case in history when British property was looted. A massive manhunt was ordered and nearly 40 revolutionaries were arrested over time. After the almost two-year trial, the main defendants Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqullah Khan were sentenced to death. The remaining conspirators were sentenced to life imprisonment of varying lengths.