Posted 20 January 2023 in Culture and Heritage

An ode to India's freedom: 8 historical monuments to visit during Republic Day

India is celebrating its 74th Republic Day. We are all pumped to see what’s in store for us during the parade this year. But what exactly is Republic Day, and why is it so important? We will get to all that in this blog.

In a nutshell, Republic Day is the day when India's constitution came into effect, making us an independent nation. Since then, Republic Day has been a national holiday in India, and we celebrate it with enthusiasm and patriotism. It's a day to celebrate our democracy and all that it stands for. On this day, we reflect on the rights and freedoms that we enjoy as citizens of India. We also remember and pay tribute to the leaders who fought for our independence. If you are wondering how we celebrate Republic Day, well, there are many ways. Some people like to watch parades and fireworks, while others prefer to spend time with family and friends. Some people even travel to different places to get a taste of the diversity that our country has to offer.

So, whether you're looking for things to do on Republic Day or places to visit during the long weekend, we've got you covered. Keep reading to learn more about the places you can visit during the weekend of Republic Day.

1. Red Fort

The most prominent historical monument displaying Indian power is the Red Fort in Delhi. The Red Fort, also known as the Qila-e-Shahjahanabad and the Qila-e-Mubarak, has remarkable architecture that was designed by Ustad Hamid and Ustad Ahmed. The construction took a decade between 1639 and 1648. However, there were additional inclusions until the 19th century. Inside the fort, you can explore the market, which sells various ornaments and trinkets associated with India. Within the enclosure, there are also various sites to explore. Two of the most conspicuous buildings are the Diwan-i-Khas (Shah Mahal) and the Rang Mahal (Imtiyaz Mahal).

Interesting facts about the Red Fort

  • Red Fort was originally white in colour when it was initially built
  • Red Fort has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007
  • The Koh-i-Noor diamond belonged to the royal throne of Shah Jahan
  • The fort has an octagonal shape if seen from above
  • The Red Fort was called "Qila-e-Mubarak"
  • On Independence Day, the Prime Minister hoists the national flag from Lahori Gate

Things to do around Red Fort

  • Walk around the market of Chandni Chowk
  • Visit the Jama Masjid
  • Consume delectable street food from Paratha wali gali
  • Explore Asia's largest spice market at Khari Baoli

Visiting hours and entrance fee

Red Fort is open from 9.30 PM to 4.30 PM. The entrance fee for Indians is INR 35, and for foreigners, it is INR 500.

Getting there

Cabs and autos are two ways to get to the Red Fort, however, the best way is by taking the Delhi metro. Exit at Lal Quila station, which is on the violet metro line.


2. Gateway of India

The stunning historical monument worth marvelling at is the Gateway of India. It is located in Mumbai and was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. The then Governor of Bombay, Sir George Sydenham Clarke, laid down the monument's first foundation in March 1911, and the monument's construction was completed in the year 1924. Perhaps the architectural design of the Gateway of India is something to look forward to. It was designed by architect George Wittet in Indo-Saracenic style.

Interesting facts about the Gateway of India

  • The design of the Gateway of India took three years to get sanctioned on March 31, 1911
  • The arch of the gate is 26 metres (85 feet) in height
  • The design of the Gateway of India is inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
  • The last British ship left India from the Gateway of India in 1947

Things to do around the Gateway of India

  • Shop around the Colaba Causeway and markets
  • Take a ferry to Elephanta Island
  • Soak in the beauty of the city from Marine Drive

Visiting hours and entrance fee

There is no entry fee or visiting hours for the Gateway of India.

Getting there

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Station or Churchgate are the closest train stops to get to the Gateway of India. Alternatively, you can take cabs or autos to get there.


3. Aga Khan Palace

Another significant structure that holds significance for Indian independence is the Aga Khan Palace. It is one of the best places to travel around for your Republic Day. This impressive structure was commissioned to be built by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III in 1892. What is so interesting about Aga Khan Palace is that several freedom fighters, like Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba, were placed under arrest here. Today, you can visit the palace and explore the photo gallery and museum, which contain significant images of the freedom struggle movement, Gandhi's personal items, the dining table, and a letter from Gandhi on the death of his secretary, Mahadeo bhai.

Interesting facts about Aga Khan Palace

  • Mahatma Gandhi’s wife, Kasturba Gandhi, is preserved here
  • Around 1942, the palace served as a prison, capturing all freedom fighters
  • Aga Khan Palace has a mix of Islamic and Italian styles of architecture
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s secretary, Mahadeo Bhai, is also buried here

Things to do around Aga Khan Palace

  • Explore the palace grounds and admire the architecture
  • Skim through the archived photographs of the freedom fighters in the museum
  • Witness the personal belongings of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Lay down and enjoy a picnic on the lawns of this palace
  • Inside, the souvineer shop sells local handloom textiles

Visiting hour and entrance fee

The entrance fee to get inside is INR 15 for Indians, and for foreigners, it is INR 200. Aga Khan Palace is open from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.

Getting there

The best way to get to the Aga Khan Palace is by calling a cab or taking an auto. Buses are also an option; although they may be a cheaper means of transport, they take a much longer route.


4. Jhansi Fort

Located in a historical place, the Jhansi Fort played a pivotal role in India's first war of independence. Lakshmi Bai, the queen of Jhansi, was one of the most crucial figures in the fight for India's freedom. The Jhansi Fort is situated atop Bangara Hill and is one of the most important historical sites in India. The fort served as a stronghold for the Chandela Kings in Balwant Nagar from the 11th through the 17th centuries. The Fort of Jhansi is spread across 15 acres and has 10 gates. Every year, the Jhansi Mahotsav is held here.

Interesting facts about Jhansi Fort

  • The original name of Jhansi was Balwant Nagar; it was changed after the newly buit fort
  • Jhansi was attacked by commanders of King Parmal of Mahoba, Alha-Udal
  • It is believed that Jhansi has an undocumented history that only lives through native stories

Things to do around Jhansi Fort

  • Get a panoramic view of the city from Major Dhyanchand Hill
  • Take a picture at the fort where Lakshmi Bai jumped on a horse with her adopted son

Visiting hours and entrance fee for Jhansi Fort

The entry fee to Jhansi Fort is INR 25 for Indians and INR 300 for foreigners. The fort is open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day.  

Getting there

Jhansi Fort is close to the main road; thus, autos and other forms of rickshaws are the best way to get to the entrance of the fort.


5. Cellular Jail National Memorial

The Cellular Jail in India is one of the most famous historical places associated with the freedom movements. It once served as a British prison and now acts as a memorial to the political dissidents it once held. More importantly, the construction of the jail began in 1896 and was completed in 1906. The jail played an important role in the freedom movements by being the site where the Indian prisoners exchanged books, debated, and shared ideas.  

Interesting facts about the Cellular Jail National Memorial

  • It took around ten years to complete the construction of this jail, from 1896 to 1906
  • There are around 698 cells, each measuring about 15 by 8 feet
  • Since this jail was once used as a "colonial prison,"  it is referred to as "Black Water Jail" or "Kala Pani"
  • During World War II, Japanese troops took over the jail in 1942

Things to do around the Cellular Jail National Memorial

  • Explore the Naval Marine Museum Samudrika
  • Soak in the scenic view of the sea from the Marina Park
  • Stroll around the tranquil beaches in Port Blair

Visiting hours and entrance fee for the Cellular Jail National Memorial

The entry fee for the jail is INR 30 for both adults and children. For photography, it costs an additional INR 200, and INR 1000 for videography. It is open from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM.

How to reach the Cellular Jail National Memorial

Cellular Jail is located around 15 kilometres from the city centre of Port Blair. You can get there by car, scooter, or even rickshaw in around 30 minutes.


6. Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar is one of the most important historical places in India. It is one of the best sites to visit during the week of Republic Day. The garden, which covers an area of 26,000 square meters, was the site of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919. Today, the garden is a national monument and a place of pilgrimage for Indians and foreign visitors alike. The walls of the garden are pockmarked with bullet holes, and memorial plaques recount the events of the massacre. Tour guides at the Jallianwala Bagh provide visitors with an understanding of the history and importance of the site. We can say that, exploring Jallianwala Bagh during the week of Republic Day may just ignite the love for India and the freedom fighters.

Interesting facts about Jallianwala Bagh

  • The bullet holes are still visible, serving as a constant reminder of the betrayal
  • It has a museum where displays, through pictures and documentaries, showcase how the massacre occurred
  • Much of the people jumped on the dry well in order to escape the massacre

Things to do around Jallianwala Bagh

  • See the bullet marks etched on a red brick wall at Jallianwala Bagh
  • Walk around the Martyr’s Well, where many jumped in order to escape
  • Head inside the Martyr’s Gallery and Museum to see pictures and documentaries of the tragic event
  • Attend the one-hour Light and Sound Show
  • Explore the markets surrounding Jallianwala Bagh
  • Watch the magnificent beauty of the Golden Temple

Visiting hours and entrance fee for Jallianwala Bagh

Jallianwala Bagh is open every day from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM. There is no fee for Jallianwala Bagh; it is open to all tourists.  

How to reach Jallianwala Bagh

Located in the heart of Amritsar, close to the Golden Temple. Getting here is possible on foot, since no vehicles are allowed inside the complex. However, autos are the best way to get close to the entrance of the Jallianwala Bagh.


7. Gandhi Smriti

One of the best places you can explore during Republic Day is Gandhi Smriti. It is a famous attraction dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. He spent most of his life here until the time he was assassinated on the 30th of January, 1948. Gandhi Smriti was formally known as Birla Bhavan or Birla House. Today, the grounds of Gandhi’s former home have been turned into a museum.

Interesting facts about Gandhi Smriti

  • Martyr's Column stands on the site where Gandhi was assassinated
  • Mahatma Gandhi lived here for over 12 years
  • The famous Dandi March began with Gandhi Smriti

Things to do around Gandhi Smriti

  • Visit the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum
  • Explore the house of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Watch the solar system at Nehru Planetarium
  • Walk around the scenic Lodhi Garden
  • Go for dinner at Khan Market  

Visiting hours and entrance fee of Gandhi Smriti

The Gandhi Smriti is open from 10:00 AM to 5:30 a.m., Tuesday through Sunday. There is no entrance fee for Gandhi Smriti.  

How to get to Gandhi Smriti

Cabs and autos are the best ways to get to Gandhi Smriti. However, there are also metro stations close to the attraction. Get down at Lok Kalyan Marg on the yellow metro line. It is a 10 minute walk from there.


8. Sabarmati Ashram

The Sabarmati Ashram, located on the banks of the Sabarmati River, was the home of Mahatma Gandhi for over 12 years (1917–1930) before shifting to Sevagram Ashram. It was also a laboratory for his social experiments. This historical place had a tertiary school that focused on manual labor, agriculture, and literacy to further his goal of self-sufficiency for the nation. On March 12, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi started his Dandi March from the ashram as part of the Salt Satyagraha. After Gandhi shifted to Sevagram Ashram, the locals preserved this ashram. Today, a large section of the ashram is converted into a museum called Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay.

Interesting facts about Sabarmati Ashram

  • Dandi March began from the Sabarmati Ashram on March 12, 1930
  • Gandhi pledged that he will only return to the ashram after India gets independence
  • Along with 78 others, Gandhi protested against the British Salt Law

Things to do around Sabarmati Ashram

  • Take a picture of the Dandi Bridge
  • Go to the Birds Point and take pictures of birds
  • Soak in the beauty of Sabarmati Riverfront from Ashram Side

Visiting hours and entrance fee for Sabarmati Ashram

The Sabarmati Ashram is open from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM every day. There is no entrance fee for Sabarmati Ashram.

How to get to Sabarmati Ashram

Cabs and autos are two ways to get to Sabarmati Ashram. There are also bus options, where several buses stop right in front of the ashram.



Republic Day is so much more than just a one-day celebration, it's a time to appreciate all that our country has to offer, and to reflect on the progress we've made as a nation. So, if you're looking for a way to celebrate Republic Day in one of these historical monuments around India, you won't be disappointed.

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