Peek at history: Mutiny Memorial
Have you visited Mutiny Memorial Tower surrounded by lush-green trees in Delhi? It is popularly known as Ajitgarh and was erected by the British in 1863 at Rani Jhansi Road, within the proximity of Kashmiri Gate area in old Delhi. The tower is only 200 m away from the Ashoka Pillar. This 33-metre high tower is made of red sandstone octagonal shaped from outside and it is circular from inside. It is made in Victorian Gothic Style. It has an ornamental façade with a staircase leading to the top. On the tip of this brick spire structure is a crucifix.
Mutiny Memorial was built in memory of British soldiers and natives of the Delhi Field Force killed during the First War of Indian Independence or Sepoy Mutiny in 1857. Around the building, there are several plaques bearing names of 46 officer casualties killed and many more soldiers who died from diseases during the battle. All around the tower, there are many plaques on the walls mentioning the names and ranks of the soldiers who fought for the British in the War of 1857.
The memorial was criticized, especially post-Independence, because it had names of only the British soldiers engraved on the walls. On 15th August 1972, the 25th anniversary of India’s Independence, the Mutiny Memorial was converted into a reminiscent of the Indian Soldiers and then renamed as “Ajitgarh” (Place of the Unvanquished) and declared a protected monument. A new plaque was added to the memorial which mentions that the ’enemy’ as mentioned by the British were actually the freedom fighters and martyrs of India, who fought bravely against the repressive colonial rule in the First War of Indian Independence.
Fix a date for a visit. You would be happy to know that there is no entry fee and it is open all days. Ajitgarh is most conveniently accessible by metro, while Kashmiri Gate being the nearest metro station. Visitors can even reach the monument via local buses or taxis.