Areas of Delhi
The ‘Kashmere Gate’ also spelled as ‘Kashmiri Gate’ is an ancient Northern Gate situated in Delhi that was a part of the Historic Walled City of ‘Shahjahanabad’, a Mughal Capital City of Delhi that was constructed during the Mughal Era by Emperor Shahjahan and named after him. It lies opposite ‘Delhi Gate’ which is the Southern Gate of the Walled City of Delhi.
Kashmere Gate was constructed in 1835 AD by an English Military Engineer named Robert Smith as a gateway that leads to the famous Red Fort and also links Delhi to Kashmir. In fact, the Gate faces the State of Kashmir from where it derives its name. Today, the surrounding area of this Gate located in North Delhi is also named after it and it has become a significant junction in the City such as the Historic ‘Red Fort’, ‘ISBT’ and the Delhi Junction Railway Station situated in close proximity.
History has that during 1803 AD, when the British first began to settle in Delhi, they found the Walls that surrounded the ‘Walled City of Delhi’ or ‘Shahjahanabad’ which needed a lot of repair especially after the attacks. The British refortified the Walls of the Old City of Delhi and slowly started setting their residential estates in this area which replaced the Mughal Palaces and Homes of the Mughal Nobility.
Kashmere Gate faced continuous attacks during the 1857 Rebellion when Freedom Fighter hauled cannon balls from this Gate and the same was returned by the British Army which caused innumerable damage to the Gate. Even today, this Northern Gate holds a plaque that commemorates that day dated September 14th, 1857. It was also a place where the first freedom patriots were martyred during the fight for Independence.
Post the 1857 ‘Sepoy Mutiny’, the British relocated to Civil Lines and Kashmere Gate was converted into a Commercial centre after which it lost its charm and importance especially after the establishment of ‘New Delhi’ in 1931. Further, a part of the Kashmere Gate was demolished in 1965 to make way for further development and to ease the traffic way; however, ASI realised its importance and since then, it is a protected monument of India.
Kashmere Gate also homes the ancient St. James' Church also known by the name of ‘Skinner’s Church’ that will surely revive the old world era seen in its architecture. It also homes the oldest and one of the largest Inter State Bus Terminal named as the ‘Maharana Pratap Inter State Bus Terminus’ or ‘ISBT’ that operates a fleet of buses between Delhi and States like Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The Old Delhi Railway Station that was constructed in the shape of a Fort stands between Kashmere Gate and Chandni Chowk and these two areas are connected via an over-bridge known as the ‘Kodiya Pul’. The Kashmere Gate Metro Station is situated underground and has two junctions; one is the ‘Red Line 1’ Junction that links Dilshad Garden to Rithala and the other is the ‘Yellow Line 2’ Junction that links Jahangir Puri to Central Secretariat. This area is also linked via the Metro to other places in the City making it the Headquarters of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
Kashmere Gate also homes one of the oldest Post Offices in India known as the ‘GPO’ or ‘General Post Office’ of the Indian Postal Service. It also homes Educational Institutes like the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and the Indraprastha College for Women [established in 1938] which is situated on the Sham Nath Marg situated in close proximity to the Kashmere Gate area.