India Gate of today proudly stands where once the nondescript ‘Hijde ka Gumbad’ once existed. Till a century ago, that location was where the ‘Hijde Ka Gumbad’ stood, silently nestled at the foothill of Raisina Hills, forlorn, gradually dilapidating and giving way to the winds of time.
In ‘Monuments of Delhi’, published in 1919, surveyor Zafar Hasan recorded the presence of Hijde Ka Gumbad (Dome of Hermaphrodite) in its ruinous stage. “The dome and the arches are brick built. A portion of the dome has fallen, but the building still presents a picturesque appearance. There is no trace of any grave now,” he said and recommended repairs.
Today the precincts of India Gate has a roaring traffic of throngs of thousands, some merry making on its lawns, or boating or simply gazing at the eternal lamp, burning in the memory of martyrs. Little do they know that, there was once tomb of a person deprived, but perhaps important enough to have a dome built to commemorate a life time of memories.
The tomb was silent with its occupier in a deep eternal slumber after busily being amidst the tinkling of dancing bells, the harem, the nuances of advantaged slavery, the silken flowing dresses, the twirling dances, the Attar and Sherbet…..
During the building of the capital city of New Delhi, after 1911, the Britishers’ had acquired land from nearby villages. While they left the places of worships untouched, household dwellings and other structures were razed to make space for the Capital.
Time framed. India Gate under construction.
Established in 1921 and unveiled in 1933.
This took the toll on the old mausoleum called “Hijde ka Gumbad”, and gave rise to a new monument-The India Gate (Delhi).