During the British Raj’s history, the Indian (Sepoy) Mutiny was a significant event. This mutiny is referred to as India’s First War of Independence. Before we give you the snippets of the tour, here is some context about the Mutiny which has made its mark in each place of your visit during this guided tour.
Indian Mutiny, also called Sepoy Mutiny, widespread but unsuccessful rebellion against British rule in India in 1857–58. Begun in Meerut by Indian troops (sepoys) in the service of the British East India Company, it spread to Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, and Lucknow. In India it is often called the First War of Independence and other similar names. Read here for the Background of the mutiny, the rebellion, and the aftermath of the mutiny here.
What you will see in the tour of British Raj's Delhi
You will be driven to North Delhi which was the scene of action during 1857 Mutiny (as the British called it) or First War of India’s Independence (as Indians call it).
In North Delhi we will visit St. James Church, Kashmiri Gate, Nicholson Cemetery and Mutiny Memorial and learn about the turmoil of 1857 when India was fighting for its freedom and the British East India Company had almost lost it. We will continue the narrative to 1911 when the capital of British India was shifted to Delhi and finally to Lutyens’ Delhi where the main buildings of the new capital city were built.
We will discuss this fascinating story of British Raj through stories associated with these sites and some of the prominent Englishmen associated with that story – namely, James Skinner, John Nicholson, Edwin Lutyens and Lord Mountbatten.
This experience will be conducted by a subject expert who will keep you engaged in interesting conversations.
New Delhi Tour
Significance of each place of the tour
Significance of St. James Church
St. James' (also known as Skinner's Church) is an Anglican church in Delhi, India, built in 1836 by Colonel James Skinner. It is one of the oldest churches in the city, and part of the Church of North India Diocese of Delhi.
It was the church the Viceroy of India, attended until the Cathedral Church of the Redemption, near Gurudwara Rakab Ganj, was built in 1931.
The church houses several tombs. One houses the remains of the British Commissioners of Delhi, William Fraser, near the large Memorial Cross erected in memory of the victims of 1857 revolt. At the rear is the tomb of Thomas Metcalfe, who lived in Delhi from 1813 to 1853, serving as Agent to Governor General of India and a Commissioner.
Colonel James Skinner's grave at St. James' Church, near Kashmiri Gate, Delhi
Skinner died at Hansi on 4 December 1841 at the age of 64, and was first buried there. Later he was disinterred, and buried in Skinner's Church on 19 January 1842 in a vault of white marble immediately below the Communion Table. North of the church lies the family plot, Skinner family, where many of his fourteen wives and many children, are buried, the burial in this place was that of a lady who died in England, but wished that her ashes be interred here. (Wikipedia)
Significance of Kashmiri Gate
The Kashmere Gate or Kashmiri Gate 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 of the 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.
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.
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.
Significance of Nicholson Cemetery
As cliché as it may sound the most peaceful place in India's capital is Nicholson Christian Cemetery, the final resting place for hundreds of Christians, both of British and Indian origin, who passed away during the British Colonial rule of the country.
Located right across the street from the Metro station and around the corner from the historic Kashmiri Gate the cemetery is a somber refuge from the hustle and bustle of the sprawling urban giant that is the capital city of Delhi. Somehow when you step through its gates the cacophony of sounds characteristic of the afternoon rush in Old Delhi fade away to a placid silence.
The graveyard has an almost preternatural beauty to it. Marble Victorian and gothic revival-style headstones rise up from overgrown shrubs and brambles while peacocks walk the grounds making their haunting calls.
Significance of Mutiny Memorial
The Mutiny Memorial is a memorial situated in front of Old Telegraph Building, Kashmiri Gate, New Delhi. Also known as Ajitgarh, it was built in memory of all those who had fought in the Delhi Field Force, British and Indian, during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Erected by the Public Works Department at government expense in 1863 the memorial was hastily designed and constructed. It received much public criticism on completion. In 1972, the 25th anniversary of India's Independence, the Indian Government renamed the monument 'Ajitgarh' ('Place of the Unvanquished') and erected a plaque stating that the 'enemy' mentioned on the memorials were 'immortal martyrs for Indian freedom'.
Significance of Lutyens’ Delhi
When the British Raj decided to move it's capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1931, the Raj brought in British architect Edwin Lutyens (1869–1944) to design and build administrative buildings and other green spaces in the city.
Lutyens team of architects were hired to design and build out the city's central administrative area, with the instruction to retain and develop most of the city's green spaces.
It all began with the magnificent Rashtrapati Bhawan (formerly known as Viceroy's House), at the top of Raisina Hill.
The Rajpath, also known as King's Way, connects India Gate to Rashtrapati Bhawan, while Janpath, which crosses it at a right angle, connects South End Road (renamed as Rajesh Pilot Marg) with Connaught Place.
Currently, Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, and stays in the official house of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The Secretariat Building, which house various ministries of the Government of India including the Prime Minister's Office, is beside the Rashtrapati Bhawan and was designed by Herbert Baker (one of the architects lead by Edwin Lutyens).
India Gate Is a war memorial located besides the Rajpath. It is memorial dedicated to the 82,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who died during the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afgan War. Some 13,300 servicemen's names have been attributed on this magnificent architectural marvel. (Wikipedia)
British Raj Tour of Delhi
Google map of the tour
What is included in the tour
- A private air-conditioned vehicle
- Service of an English speaking expert guide on private basis
- Complimentary mineral water for consumption during the tour
What is not included in the tour
- Entrance Fee
- Camera Fee
- Any other item not mentioned under ‘Inclusions’
Cost of the tour
- INR 7491 (Adult - 12+ years old)
- INR 3745 (Children - 5 to 11 years old)
Things to know about the guided tour
- You will be collected from and dropped off at your hotel (within 15km radius of Connaught Palace in the heart of Delhi)
- Duration of the trip is 4 hours (from pickup to drop off)
- Best time to do this experience is between 9AM and 5PM
- Earliest start time: 9AM IST
- Latest start time: 2PM IST