Kashmere Gate (Delhi)

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Kashmere Gate, Delhi, c1858
Kashmere Gate, Delhi, c1865

The Kashmere Gate (or Kashmiri Gate and other variants; Hindi: कश्मीरी गेट Urdu: باب کشمیری) کشمیدی گیٹ)‎ is a gate located in Delhi, it is the northern gate to the historic walled city of Delhi. Built by Military Engineer Robert Smith in 1835, the gate is so named because it used to start a road that led to Kashmir.

Today it is also the name surrounding locality in North Delhi, in the Old Delhi area, and an important road junction as the Red Fort, ISBT and Delhi Junction railway station lie in its vicinity.

History[edit]

Plaque at Kashmiri Gate, commemorating the September 14, 1857 attack on it by British Army during Indian Rebellion of 1857
Kashmiri Gate, in 2008

It was the area around the North gate of the walled city of the Delhi, leading to the Laal Quila, the Red Fort of Delhi, the gate was facing towards Kashmir, so it was named as Kashmiri Gate, spelled Kashmere Gate under British Raj. The monument can still be seen. The southern gate to the walled city, is called Delhi Gate.

When the British first started settling in Delhi in 1803, they found the walls of Old Delhi city, Shahjahanabad lacking repairs, especially after the siege by Maratha Holkar in 1804, subsequently they reinforced the city's walls. They gradually set up their residential estates in Kashmere Gate area, which once housed Mughal palaces and the homes of nobility.[1] The gate next gained national attention during the Mutiny of 1857. Indian soldiers fired volleys of cannonballs from this gate at the British and used the area to assemble for strategizing fighting and resistance.

The British had used the gate to prevent the mutineers from entering the city. Evidence of the struggles are visible today in damage to the existing walls (the damage is presumably cannonball related). Kashmere Gate was the scene of an important assault by the British Army during Indian rebellion of 1857, during which on the morning of September 14, 1857 the bridge and the left leaf of the Gate were destroyed using gunpowder, starting the final assault on the rebels towards the end of Siege of Delhi.[2]

After 1857, the British moved to Civil Lines, and Kashmere Gate became the fashionable and commercial centre of Delhi, a status it lost only after the creation of New Delhi in 1931. In, 1965, a section of the Kashmere Gate was demolished to allow faster movement of vehicular traffic, since then it has become a protected monument by ASI.[1]

In early 1910s, employees of the Government of India Press settled around Kashmere Gate, it included a sizable Bengali community, and community Durga Puja organized by Delhi Durga Puja Samiti they started in 1910, is today the oldest in Delhi.[3] The present building of Delhi State Election Commission’s Office on Lothian Road near Kashmiri Gate was built 1890 to 1891. The two-storey building housed the St. Stephen's College, Delhi from 1891 till 1941, when it shifted to its present campus.[4]

St. James' Church[edit]

St. James' Church or Skinner's Church, Kashmere Gate, Delhi

St. James Church also known as Skinner's Church, was commissioned by Colonel James Skinner (1778–1841), a distinguished Anglo-Indian military officer, famous for the cavalry regiment Skinner’s Horse. It was designed by Major Robert Smith and built between 1826-36.[5]

ISBT[edit]

The Maharana Pratap Inter-state bus terminus or ISBT is the oldest and one of the biggest Inter State Bus Terminals in India, operating bus services between Delhi and 7 states, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand states. It opened in 1976.[6] Also nearby is Majnu Ka Tilla, known for its Tibetan refugee settlement and also the Majnu ka Tila Gurudwara built by Baghel Singh in 1783, to mark the tilla or mound where a Sufi nicknamed Majnu met Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. here in July 1505.[7]

Renovation[edit]

It is undergoing renovation at the cost of Rs 125 crore.[6]

Railway station[edit]

The Old Delhi Railway Station of Delhi, i.e. the Delhi Junction Railway station, built like a fort, stands here, with two opposite sides namely Kashmere Gate & Chandni Chowk. The two localities are linked by an elevated pedestrian bridge called Kodiya Pul.

Metro Station[edit]

The Kashmere Gate station of the Delhi Metro, lies on both the Red (Dilshad Garden - Rithala) and Yellow Lines (Jahangir Puri - HUDA City Center). It is a transfer station between the Red Line on the highest upper level and the Yellow Line on the lowest level.[8] Kashmere Gate also serves as the Headquarters for the Delhi Metro.

GPO[edit]

The place also has the General Post Office of Indian Postal Service, which is one of the oldest in the country.

Indraprastha University[edit]

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (formerly known as Indraprastha University), a state university of New Delhi, is also located in Kashmere Gate. It is housed in the building which was formerly Delhi College of Engineering (DCE). The University has shifted to bigger campus in Dwarka and now the campus is handed over to Ambedkar University Delhi.

Also close by at Sham Nath Marg, is the Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, established in 1938.

Museum: Dara Shikoh Library[edit]

A library established by the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh still exists in Kasmhere Gate, and is being run as an archaeological museum by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Historic sites[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Delhi city guide, by Eicher Goodearth Limited, Delhi Tourism. Published by Eicher Goodearth Limited, 1998. ISBN 81-900601-2-0. Page 216.
  2. ^ Nivedita Khandekar (September 30, 2012). "A gate in the city wall". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  3. ^ "How community pujas came about". India Today. September 25, 2009. 
  4. ^ "College to poll office, a 123-year-old quiet journey". Hindustan Times. May 12, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  5. ^ No.3. Skinner's Church, Delhi. British Library'.
  6. ^ a b [1]
  7. ^ "A Gurdwara steeped in history". The Times of India. Mar 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Station Information". 

External links[edit]