Most colleges in the Delhi University are part of a rich historical tradition by the virtue of being part of the freedom movement and in setting tone for various cultural and intellectual developments post-independence. With a gamut of historical coordinates around the colleges, it becomes inevitable for one to visit them to better understand aesthetics of various colleges and the environment they create. Here is a list of five major historical sites worth visiting around DU colleges:
1. Khooni Jheel
The jheel gets its name for the war of independence in 1857 when, first, the fleeing British were murdered at the spot and, later, Indian mutineers and their horses were killed in the area. It is believed that corpses and carcasses made a bloody pool at the spot leaving a stench that drove anyone who tried coming close to the area. In the present day, the spot has a pond which rejuvenates itself with rain water. Khooni Jheel is located in the Kamla Nehru Ridge which is adjacent to North Campus.
2. Flagstaff Tower
The structure, originally a single tower, marks an intersection in the Kamla Nehru Ridge and was built in 1828. It sheltered families of many British officials who housed in the adjoining Civil Lines area during the Siege of Delhi in 1857. The tower is one roomed and has been declared a ‘protected monument’ by the Archaeological Survey of India.
3. Delhi War Cemetry
The cemetery, controlled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was built in 1951 and has over 1000 graves of soldiers who died in the First and the Second World War. It is located near Airforce station Naraina and is accessible from Dhaula Kuan.
4. Nizamuddin Basti
The area is one of the oldest in Delhi and houses the Nizamuddin Auliya dargah. Humayun’s Tomb, Chausath Khamba, Mirza Galib’s tomb and Lal Mahal are other prominent structures in the area. The basti can be accessed from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium metro station on the violet line.
5. Vice Chancellor’s Office
The erstwhile Vice-Regal Lodge, which was the residence of the Viceroy before the building of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, houses a huge ball room (now a convocation hall), legislative assembly building (Academic Council) and a museum. The lodge also has a chamber where Bhagat Singh was kept before being taken to the gallows in Lahore for hanging. The office is surrounded by the VC lawns and is located in the North Campus area.