With the new age of developments blanketing the City of Nawabs, some of its archaic treasures stand neglected in the obscured corners of history. Amid these emblems from the past is Lucknow's Sher Darwaza, placed at the southern end of Globe Park in Qaisarbagh. Painted white and red, the thick enclosure has a pair of tigers seated on its top, thereby giving it the name of Tiger Gateway. Constructed one hundred and a fifty years ago, Sher Darwaza has been a witness to a range of historical timelines!
Entwining stories of Indian & British martyrs
As per historical records, there was a flourishing colony and a market around this place before the revolt of 1857. Besides, the monument also encapsulated the tombs of a dozen Imams of high repute. What used to be a frequented place decades ago, stands completely deserted now! Traversing into its environs without any prior information, it is hard to imagine if it ever was as occupied, as it is claimed to be in the historical logs today.
Taking a central place in the sepoy mutiny of 1857, Sher Darwaza became a witness to multiple important events. According to the history books, Brigadier General Neil was killed by the revolters behind this gate. Situated close to the structure, there was a stone memorial where the wounded soldier fell, after being attacked. In memory of the martyred general, the officials of the British Army started calling it Neil Gate. Further, the road from Hazratganj leading towards Chhatar Manzil was also named Neil Road.
It is remarkable that the name Sher Darwaza still exists in recognition of the Indian martyrs. It embodies the stories of multiple bravehearts who offered their lives to free their motherland from the strings of slavery and servitude.
Paving our ways towards the future, we must not forget to appreciate the endowments from our past. If we want the upcoming generations to learn of such stories, we have to make sure that these citadels of history remain persevered through repeated conservation and restoration works.