Come August and the fervor of patriotism seems to reach its crescendo in India. With the lively colors of the National Flag adorning the streets, TV channels airing movies to commemorate those who freed us from the chains of British Raj, and patriotic merchandise popping up on shop counters and car dashboards, you can’t ignore the ecstatic atmosphere all around. From schools and government organizations to state capitals and corporate offices, special programs are lined up everywhere to celebrate this biggest moment from India’s past. Naturally, the grandest of celebrations are reserved for Delhi, the national capital of the country, with the Red Fort taking center stage in the milieu of events.
This year, as India stands at the cusp of its 72nd Independence Day, the capital city is once again getting decked up to mark the event in a memorable manner. So, what are your plans for the day? Sleep for the whole day? Finish all the pending work? Or simply browse through the social media for hours on end? Do something different this year, my friend. If you are in the national capital, you have a lot to indulge yourself in, right from joining the revelries to exploring the hotspots for enjoying a day away from the mundane office routine. In other words, Delhi is the place to be on this eventful day even though you will have to undergo beefed-up security measures when you step out into the city.
In this blog, we talk about some of the interesting and unusual things to do in Delhi this Independence Day. Read on and plan your day!
THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY RELIVE AND CELEBRATE THE PROUD HERITAGE OF THE COUNTRY’S FREEDOM
What can be a better way to celebrate the country’s tryst with freedom than by visiting historic places related to the independence struggle and attending events that mark the occasion in a glorified manner? Here are our top picks for a walk down the memory lane on this Independence Day.
Attend the Independence Day Parade at the Fort
Red Fort has been an integral part of the country’s struggle for freedom. Way back in 1857, the fighters of India’s first war of independence made the fort one of their nerve centers for carrying out their revolutionary activities. Today, it is the iconic location where the Prime Minister of the country unfurls the National Flag and addresses the nation on every Independence Day morning, marking the beginning of the celebrations throughout the country. What follows is a spectacular parade that includes a grand march past by the armed forces and the paramilitary forces, colorful performances by school children, and performances by students representing the National Cadet Corps among several other programs. You sure have watched all these on the TV several times, sitting on your couch. This year, let’s watch it sitting on the parade grounds, feeling the soaring enthusiasm and listening to the cheering crowd!
Fab Suggestions: You won’t need passes to attend the ceremony at the Red Fort, but make sure to reach the venue early as the seats get filled up on a first-come, first-serve basis. Though the front rows are kept reserved for the politicians and the VIPs, attending the parade and watching the vibrant ceremony is definitely an experience in itself. Remember, the place is going to be pretty packed, so be prepared to brave the crowds. And don’t forget to carry your ID cards!
Indulge in kite flying at India Gate
India Gate has forever been the preferred spot of Delhites to relax and spend some jolly good moments with family and friends. How about heading to this very location for a kite flying session on Independence Day? After all, August 15 is all about freedom and there is no better way to express it, symbolically, than with a kite that flies freely in the sky. It sounds like one of the most unusual things to do in Delhi, doesn’t it? But the very novelty of it makes it all the more interesting.
And do you know the real reason behind flying kites on Independence Day? History has it that in the year 1927, freedom fighters protested against the Simon Commission by flying kites with the words ‘Simon, Go Back’ written on them. Today, as kites of every color, size, and shape fill the sky over the India Gate, it will remind you of those days. What’s more, the scene will always remain etched as a lovely memory of Independence Day celebration in your mind.
Suggestions: There are several kite clubs dotted across the city and some of them even conduct competitions on Independence Day. You can choose kites with any theme, from Bollywood to Super Heroes, but we suggest you go for one with a theme related to the country’s freedom struggle. Also, how about writing a message on your kite?
Pay Homage at Raj Ghat
The freedom we enjoy today is the result of the sacrifices made by countless fighters who gave their all to make this country a free land. One of the ways to celebrate this day and honor the sacrifices of those selfless souls is to visit the Raj Ghat and pay your homage. It is the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. A simple black marble platform marks the memorial that remains surrounded by a lovely park and the River Yamuna flowing nearby. Hey Ram, the last words uttered by Gandhiji are inscribed on the memorial. An eternal flame burns near the marble platform. The location of the memorial assumes significance since it was the very spot where Gandhiji’s last rites were performed after his death in 1948.
Suggestions: Though Raj Ghat remains open on public holidays, it is filled with security personnel and police on August 15 as the Prime Minister and many other ministers pay a visit here. You can also expect traffic restrictions in the area. So, it is better that you do your homework and check the timings before heading out to this part of the city.
ENJOY THE INDEPENDENCE DAY IN YOUR OWN WAY
The greatest advantage of being born in a free country is that you are your own master and you can spend your free time in any way you please. So, if you are interested in celebrating Independence Day by having a good time with your friends and family, there’s no one stopping you. Here are a few fun-filled things to do in Delhi on this day.
Organize a Marathon Movie Date
One of the favorite things to do in Delhi for youngsters is to catch up on good movies at the many multiplexes in the city. How about giving your movie-watching experience a twist this Independence Day? Ditch the latest releases and blockbusters; instead opt for binge-watching a few patriotic movies with your friends in the comfort of your own house. It is one of those days in the year when various TV channels come up with patriotic movies for their viewers. You can watch those movies or prepare your own playlist. Trust us, you will be spoilt for choice. All you need to do is arrange for some snacks so that the back-to-back movie watching sessions won’t leave you and your friends famished. In that sense, you can even order in a few dishes and get going with all the fun!
Suggestions: There are plenty of movies that tell the story of India’s freedom fighters and patriotic leaders. Our suggestions include Gandhi, Shaheed, Mangal Pandey, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, and Rang De Basanti. You don’t have to limit your playlist to movies related to freedom struggle alone. You can even use this free day to binge-watch some of the latest series. Sacred Games, an Indian television series starring Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui is taking Netflix by storm these days. It has only eight episodes, making it an ideal pick to start and finish in just one day!
Go for Some Retail Therapy
Who doesn’t love a good sale? Independence Day provides the perfect excuse to indulge in some retail therapy, to your heart’s content. This is the time of the year when several malls and stores offer special discounts and sales to mark the occasion. The best part is that most of these stores provide the offers not just on that particular day but for the whole week or the fortnight. So, if you can’t wait till Independence Day to get hold of the deals, you can mark it as one of the things to do in Delhi this weekend as well. Do we hear you jumping up in glee?
Suggestions: Several online stores also run great deals and offers on that day. You can check out a few of such sites too, just to make sure that you get the best of all deals.
Try Out A Few Special Dishes
Wondering about the things to do in Delhi at night on Independence Day? We suggest that you try out an Independence Day specialty at one of the cool restaurants in the city. There are many restaurants in Delhi that come up with special menus on this day to offer their patrons a good time through the means of food. You can check on the internet about the restaurants near your hotel and go for a sumptuous dinner with friends and family to mark the occasion. End the day on a sweet note by having ice-creams at one of the many popular ice-cream parlours in Delhi. It will be fun to enjoy scoops of ice-cream representing the tri-color.
Suggestions: If you would rather stay back at home and make your own meal, how about trying your hands at tri-colour biriyani or tri-colour pasta? Check the internet for recipes; these are not as difficult as you think. And don’t forget to post the pictures of your freedom-themed dinner on your Instagram and Facebook!
Delhi exudes a certain charm on Independence Day which is hard to find on other days of the year. So, if you are in Delhi on this occasion, make the most of your visit and create loads of memories. You can even shop for a few Independence Day special souvenirs to take home with you. However, you need to plan your trip in advance and book a room in one of the best hotels in Delhi because it’s pretty hard to find accommodation in the city during this season.