A Tale from the Forgotten City (Anwarul Hoda)

Among the fourteen gates build by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Kashmeri Gate is one of the surviving structures. Facing towards the north, it still reminds of the Seventh City of Delhi. Shah Jahan, who holds the credit of being great city planner, built Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi in 1649. All fourteen gates were made up of hard bricks and encircled in a way to protect the royal city.

Many say that the gate is so christened as it was facing north, towards Kashmir. The ruined, silent historical site has witnessed many sighs. It has seen glorious Mughal days and also blood during the British era. And currently, after large portion being demolished in 1965, the gate is under the protection of Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

However, in early 18th century when the British started settling in Delhi, they found the walled city in poor condition. And while building residence near Kashmeri gate, they started repairing the walls.

At the time of revolt of 1857, a bridge which used to be a charm of the site, got destroyed with a left leaf of the gate. The place was also the gathering point for freedom fighters. And during the revolt, British army used Kashmeri gate to restrict the mutineers from entering the city.  The wall of the gate still carries the mark of assault made by gunpowder.

However, with the establishment of city New Delhi in 1931, the historic walled city gradually lost its importance and so as the gate. And today alone standing, the iron-fenced structure is occupied by a bunch of monkeys with nobody to narrate its story.

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Anwarul Hoda

Anwarul Hoda

Anwarul Hoda is Editorial Assistant at The Companion. He also contributes to Youth Ki Awaz, Reap Benefit and The Citizen