Location of Flagstaff Tower
It is located in Kamla Nehru Ridge near the North Campus of Delhi University in Delhi. The Kamla Nehru Ridge or Northern Ridge is a forested region in North Delhi and a section of the larger Delhi Ridge. The Flagstaff Tower is a significant monument centred here. Flag Staff Tower is located at a distance of 400 yards North of Cheuburg Mosque. Walking past the Chauburg mosque through ridge forest, the paths meet at flagstaff tower, built in the year1828.
History of Flagstaff Tower
This colonial tower was built in 1828 to serve the primary purpose of a signal tower as it was built on higher elevation than surrounding areas. It later became a place of refuge for women and children of British officials at the time of the Sepoy Mutiny (the revolt of 1857). Flagstaff Tower played an important role during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, when Delhi was captured by the rebellious English forces. On the morning of 11th May 1857, when the sepoys started hunting for and killing European personnel and Christian Indians the Cantonment, Civil Lines and the city of Delhi, the survivors started fleeing towards the Tower.
Structure of the Flagstaff Tower
The inside of the tower, which is locked, is a circular room which has the capacity to hold a crowd of around hundred people. It resembles a mini-fort but does not seem like a very safe place to hide in during a rebellion. In recent times some facets of the tower have been ruined due to people having scribbled on its walls. Before forestation started in 1910, the area where the tower was built was the highest point on the ridge and was mostly barren and covered with low-lying shrub.
Stories Related to the Flagstaff Tower
Several rumours are often heard surrounding this place, especially with the ‘Khooni Jheel’ (Bloody Lake) in the vicinity. It is said that dead bodies of soldiers were dumped in it during the uprising. And therefore, some also consider this place to be haunted.
The Flagstaff Tower is a notable place to visit for those seeking heritage along with some fresh air in North Delhi.
Visiting Information Flagstaff Tower
The easiest way to reach this tower is to follow the straight path from the gate which is exactly opposite to the gate of the Delhi University Vice Chancellor’s office. It is about a kilometre from the metro station. Entry is allowed between sunrise and sunset. The entrance to the gate is crowded by several fast food stalls. Then follow the slightly upward sloping, clean and green path, to find the monument straight ahead. The tower is at the centre of a circular path which has exits along four roads.
It is advised to explore the ridge too by taking any of the narrower streets on either side of the main path. The fragrance of flowers and plants inside is almost overwhelming. The ridge is home to monkeys and a number of bird species. The Mutiny Memorial related to this site is also nearby. The Flagstaff Tower is a notable place to visit for those seeking heritage along with some fresh air in North Delhi.