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Battle damage to the Kashmiri Gate in Delhi (Siege of Delhi in 1857)

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December 31, 1856
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Mirza Firuz Shah
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Scenery and Places
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Bahadur Shah II 1837–1857

Battle damage to the Kashmiri Gate in Delhi (Siege of Delhi in 1857)

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Battle damage to the Kashmiri Gate in Delhi, 1857. Date: 8 June – 21 September 1857 Location: Delhi, Mughal Empire Result: Decisive British-EIC victory Fall of the Mughal Empire Delhi was the capital of the Mughal Empire, which had been reduced to insignificance over the preceding century. The Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, who was eighty-two, had been informed by the East India Company that the title would die with him. 


At the time, Delhi was not a major centre of Company administration although Company officials controlled the city's finances and courts. They and their families lived in the "Civil Lines" to the north of the city. There were no units of the British Army or "European" units of the East India Company forces at Delhi. Three Bengal Native Infantry regiments (the 38th, 54th and 74th) were stationed in barracks 2 miles (3.2 km) north-west of the city. They provided guards, working parties and other details to a "Main Guard" building just inside the walls near the Kashmiri Gate on the northern circuit of walls, the arsenal in the city and other buildings. By coincidence, when the regiments paraded early in the morning of 11 May, their officers read out to them the General Order announcing the execution of sepoy Mangal Pandey, who had attempted to start a rebellion near Barrackpur earlier in the year, and the disbandment of his regiment (the 34th Bengal Native Infantry). 


This produced much muttering in the ranks.:96 Kashmiri Gate, Delhi 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 the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the gate is so named because it was at the start of a road that led to Kashmir. Now 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. History 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 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 the Kashmere Gate area, which once housed Mughal palaces and the homes of nobility. The gate next gained national attention during the War of Independence 1857. Hindustani 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 is 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 14 September 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. 


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


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

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