Certain places especially of historical significance fill you up with a feeling of pride, grandness and patriotism as soon as you step in. Chandrashekhar Azad Park in Allahabad is definitely one of them. Join us as we take you through a worthy tribute to an epic martyr…
WORDS BY- AMOG
Over the years, the city of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh has gained much popularity from all over for its friendly, helpful people, great food and the ‘triveni sangam’, the ‘confluence’ of two of India’s most important rivers namely the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the invisible or mythical Saraswati. Around this sangam is also where the world famous Kumbh Mela is held every three years. It is considered to be largest peaceful, religious gathering in the world with over 100 million people visiting the mela every time it is held. Allahabad has been called by many names in the past including Illahabad, Prayag and since October 2018, it is officially been renamed Prayagraj. Right in the heart of this very lively city, is a park dedicated to a national hero, Chandrashekhar Azad.
In 1870, Prince Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha visited Allahabad during the British reign. To commemorate this
visit, a massive park of about 133 acres was built in the center of the city’s English quarters, called Civil Lines.At that time, it was named Alfred Park wherein old cantonments were converted into a park when, after the Rebellion of 1857, new areas were developed for the troops.It is the biggest park of Allahabad in terms of area covered and is also popularly called Company Bagh today. The park is situated in the neighborhood of Georgetown and is surrounded by Tagoretown, Civil Lines and the University of Allahabad.
In the year 1931, something unique occurred that added epic pages in the history of this park. Chandrashekhar Azad, Sukhdev and a few other revolutionaries were returning from Anand Bhawan and crossing this park to go back their base. British policemen suddenly surrounded them from all sides in the park. A fierce gunfight ensued.
Azad got wounded but he enabled Sukhdev and others a safe escape. He even killed three policemen and wounded several more.After a long shootout, Azad was left with one last bullet. He had pledged that he would never be captured alive. And he wasn’t. Azad shot himself dead with his last bullet. On the 27th of February 1931, Azad, at the age of just 24, became a martyr. His colt revolver is still exhibited in the Allahabad Museum. A memorial statue stands tall in the park giving a proud reminder of the price of freedom revolutionaries were willing to pay for freedom.
Another landmark in the park is the Allahabad Public Library, which is also known as the Thornhill Mayne Memorial. A building designed by Richard Roskell Bayne in the Scottish Baronial style with sandstone and granite turrets, and cloisters of arches in 1864, it is the largest library to be found in the state.
Once home to the legislative assembly at the time when Allahabad was the capital of the United Provinces, these premises became the Allahabad Public Library when library dating back to the 1860s was shifted to this building in 1879 and the legislative council’s meetings moved to Mayo Hall. The park also has a Victoria Memorial, a music college called Prayag Sangit Samiti and the Madan Mohan Malaviya Stadium with a cricket ground.The park also has huge Statues of King George – V and Queen Victoria. There’s an imposing white marble canopy dedicated to Queen Victoria. The canopy represents the typical British style of Architecture as it flourished during that period. This colonial landmark attracts a great number of tourists each year. The neatly laid out park lies peacefully in a corner of the city and is worth a visit if you want a moment of quiet in the bustling city.
In the year 1931, something unique occurred that added epic pages in the history of this park. Chandrashekhar Azad, Sukhdev and a few other revolutionaries were returning from Anand Bhawan and crossing this park to go back their base. British policemen suddenly surrounded them from all sides in the park. A fierce gunfight ensued. Azad got wounded but he enabled Sukhdev and others a safe escape.