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A gate in the city wall

delhi Updated: Sep 30, 2012 02:06 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

For scores of Delhiites, especially the Generation Next, the name Kashmere Gate has come to represent one of the busiest Metro stations. Several others associate the name with the inter-state bus terminus (ISBT).

Unfortunately, not many know about the origins of the name.

Kashmere Gate was one of the 14 gates of the city wall of Shahjahanabad. Needless to add, the name is derived from the fact that it opened north and started a road through it leading towards Kashmir.

Incidentally, it was a September many monsoons ago that changed the face of Delhi.

"On the 14th September 1857, the British force stormed Delhi. It was after sunrise on that day that the undermentioned party advancing from Ludlow Castle in the face of a heavy fire and crossing this bridge, which had been almost totally destroyed loaded powder bags against and blew in the right leaf of this gate thus opening a way for the assault column," reads the memorial plaque at the gate. Soon after, the Mughal rule gave way to the British Raj.

With increasing population, change was inevitable. But after Independence, it was far more rapid.

"Earlier, traffic passed through the arches of the Kashmere Gate. Gokhale Marg started from opposite Ritz cinema and went right up to Mori Gate roundabout. There was no ISBT, it was St Stephen's cricket ground then," said Sameer Anand, whose family is in the area since the early 1970s.