Remembering Nehru

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The 51st anniversary of the passing of one of India’s most significant leaders is to be remembered this month. Jawaharial Nehru – a founder of contemporary India and close friend of Mahatma Gandhi.

Nehru was the country’s first Prime Minister (August 1947 to May 1964.) We remember him for the momentous influence he had upon India’s society – particularly the independence movement. This blog will take you on a small tour of the places that formed the backdrop for key points in this national jewel’s life.

Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 in Allahabad.  Allahabad is one of the largest cities in Uttar Pradesh – it is just bursting with mythology.  Hindu folklore tells how Lord Brahma (God of the Trinity) chose the spot as his own as it possess’ three of the holiest rivers in India.  Today this spot wears the crown as one of the most pilgrimaged sites.

Whilst in Allahabad there are a few other spot that are must-sees. Among them is: Anand Bhavan – this is the site of the Nehru family shrine, a beautiful piece of architecture, which dates, back generations and has seen many prominent politicians.  Khusru Bagh is a majestic garden, enclosed by colossal walls containing four Mughal tombs. The tombs belong to great leaders, including Prince Khusro. This garden also saw the struggle for India’s independence and is one of Allahabad’s most adored tourist destinations.

In 1916 Nehru met Mahatma Gandhi a pivotal point in his life as the iconic ambassador of peace became Nehru’s mentor.  Their paths crossed for the first time at the yearly gathering of the Indian National Congress Party in Lucknow.

Lucknow is dotted with British Raj era infrastructure, if you are a history aficionado Lucknow should factor quite highly on your travel itinerary as it boasts a number of historical sites, including the Residency, a place surrounded by ruins and gardens that offer a glimpse into India’s dramatic past, including the First War of Independence. Whilst there, be sure to visit the museum in the Residency complex, which showcases pieces recovered from the war evacuation.  If history isn’t your raison d’être don’t dismiss Lucknow – this city is also one of the main patrons of the arts, music, dance and food. It radiates with culture!

Nehru was elected as General Secretary of the Congress party in 1923 in New Delhi.  New Delhi is generally the top of the list for the majority of India’s tourists and with good reason – the hustle and bustle of the capital make it an assault on the senses in the most unique and intriguing way.  It’s the perfect place to start an adventure, discover cryptic corners filled with art, music, and historic secrets from the locals.

While you’re here take a peek into the 16th century with a visit to Humayun’s Tomb – its Persian and Mughal elements were strong influences for the iconic Taj Mahal.

If you are foodie the next thing on your list should be the Manor Hotel, which overlooks the luxurious green grasslands.  Here you can expect to be served with traditional, authentic foods.  Don’t leave without trying one of the all time local favourites – Vial (South Indian vegetable curry).

To mark the anniversary of the Prime Minister’s death, a special floral tribute takes place in New Delhi every year, where the locals recite quotes from the leader in Shantivan.  A beautiful and moving display – a sight that is well worth tying in with your visit. Make sure you get flights from London to New Delhi this month so you don’t miss out on the festivities!