Gleaming and vocal visit to past

On the occasion of 71st year of independence, discover the glorious history and visit the fascinating past of India through the light and sound shows conducted at various forts in the country

The forts of India have played an important role in the struggle of freedom and their story is charted out through the light and sound shows in a very artistic manner. The tales of history, etched in the walls of these forts, are interestingly narrated through the mix of light and sound effects. The dramatic interplay is sure to turn back the clock and take the spectators on a tour to the historical land of India highlighting the episodes of its past.

On this Independence Day, visit the architectural marvels of the country and explore the glorious heritage through the intriguing shows that are sure to leave the visitors awestruck.

GOLCONDA FORT, TELANGANA

Hyderabad never misses an opportunity to amuse the tourists with everything from food to architecture. The glorious past of the city is visible in the gigantic Golconda Fort built by Qutub Shahi kings during 16th century. The audio-visual extravaganza depicts the interesting story behind the grand fort. The splendid past with an interplay of audio-visual effects is worth watching. The rulers, kings and officials come in action with the scintillating illuminations on the walls.

The palace was originally called ‘Golla Konda’ in Telugu meaning shepherd’s hill. It is believed that a shepherd boy found an idol on hill called Magalavaram. The boy gave it to the then king, Kakatiya who built a mud fort around it. The Qutub Shahi rulers transformed the mud fort into a marvellous palace. However, after the invasion of Mughals, the architectural marvel turned into ruins. The Qutub Shahi rulers built the fort for defense with an acoustical system in which the sound of the clap at the fort’s main gate or grand portico was heard at the citadel on the 300ft high granite hill. The light and sound show is sure to amuse the visitors with an engrossing tale of the past.

JHANSI FORT, UTTAR PRADESH

On the Bangira hilltop in Uttar Pradesh stands the beautiful fortress known as Jhansi ka Kila. The fort witnessed the first revolution of Indian independence and played an important part in the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. It was a spectator to the famous escape of Jhansi ki Rani on the horse with infant tied on her back during the British attack.

The history of Jhansi comes alive during the light and sound show at the fort. The story dubbed in the voice of veteran actor Om Puri elaborates the valour of Rani Laxmibai and the scenes from the revolt of 1857.

PURANA QILA, NEW DELHI

The dramatic tale, ‘Ishq-e-Dilli’ unfolds on the walls of Humayun gate of the Old Fort bringing to life the period of anarchy and the rise and fall of dynasties over centuries. Romanticising the city, the one hour experience recreates many episodes from Delhi’s 5,000-year-old history. Starting with the fall of Prithviraj Chauhan and discussing the Sufi heritage of Delhi with songs dedicated to Amir Khusrau and Nizamuddin Aulia, the laser and light beam projections transfer you to the Mughal era and end with Pt Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech and the resultant celebrations. The drama is a pragmatic mix of lighting effects and intense soundtrack making the whole experience unforgettable.

Purana Qila offers a chance to walk back in time and watch the legends like Prithviraj Chauhan, Razia Sultan, Humayun and Bahadur Shah Zafar during the show. The realistic scenes, like Humayun tripping down the stairs of his library, are a major highlight of the spectacle. The colourful show uses pillars, alcoves and gates to emphasise the majestic and imperial past of the city. Random forays of Mahabharata and Indraprastha and kathak dance sequences are intermixed with historical line up of the show.

CELLULAR JAIL, PORT BLAIR, ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS

The silent witness to the story of freedom fighters, the Cellular Jail is called so because it is made up of individual cells for confinement. Originally the building had a central tower with seven puce-coloured buildings. Today, only three out of seven are intact and the jail has been declared a National Memorial. Started in 1989, the show depicts the plight of freedom fighters and atrocities of Britishers. What fascinates the tourist is the voice of veteran actor Om Puri and an old banyan tree and gallows describing the story of confined martyrs with stunning light and sound effects. The story of independence struggle echoes in both Hindi and English in the honeycomb-like corridors of the jail.

Text: Kritika Dhawan

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