Dark Tourism, also known as grief tourism, involves people taking a keen curiosity in visiting places that are historically linked to death and tragedy. Also, places that are reminders of human sufferings and bloodshed are subsets of Dark Tourism. Though this concept sounds a bit weird, it is fast catching up with the trends. And in India, with such a long history, Dark Tourism automatically finds its spot.
It is sheer curiosity that pushes people to tread the road less travelled to seek answers. Travel, by far, has always been related to journey and exploring beautiful places; but with this type of tourism finding its ground, it only explains how the human mind cannot be tamed.
If you are also an avid traveller and have been irked for some time for not getting the opportunity to visit some unusual places, this is the time. Take a detour from your regular plans, and visit these spots in India to experience how these places withstood the test of time.
Dark Tourism in India and places to visit
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
Even after so many years of the horrifying incident at the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, the very mention of it evokes anger and helplessness. It was one of the saddest events that took place during the struggle for India’s Independence. On April 13, 1919, the Jallianwala Bagh gardens witnessed the massacre of thousands of unarmed people, including women and children, when the British Army opened fires at them on General Dyer’s orders. If you visit this place now, you will still see bullet holes in the walls and the well, in which hundreds of people jumped in to save themselves. The very sight of the place will not obviously evoke a sense of happiness, but will let you introspect and understand the real value of freedom.
Popularly known as Kala Pani, Cellular Jail was a colonial prison in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It was especially used by the British to exile political prisoners. In fact, the remote archipelago was considered to be the best place to punish independence activists. Sending the prisoners to Kala Pani, not only isolated the activists from the mainland, but the overseas journey to the archipelago also resulted in their social exclusion.Described as “a place of exclusion and isolation within a more broadly constituted remote penal space”, Cellular Jail has withstood a lot of sufferings and its walls bear testimony to that. Now, the complex serves as a National Memorial monument.
Bhuj suddenly went on to become famous in 2001, but it was not for a good reason at all. It was during this time that a massive earth quake hit it. This natural calamity was of such intensity that lakhs of people lost their lives, and thousands were rendered homeless. Bhuj was located just 20 km from the epicentre, but the devastation it faced cannot be described in words. You must be wondering what happened to this place? If human mind is known for curiosity, it is also known for finding out ways from a difficult situation. Visit Bhuj to see for yourself how people have stood the test of time and how the place still has that air of mystery.
Gandhi Smriti, Delhi
Gandhi Smriti is the place, where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated and where he spent the last 144 days of his life. Originally, it was the house of Indian business tycoons, the Birla family, it is now home to Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum. The museum houses a number of articles that are associated with Gandhi’s life and death. Visitors can also visit the preserved room where Gandhi used to live.
If you have always been curious to know about the lifestyle of India’s famous freedom fighter, visit this place and get all your queries answered.
Skeleton Lake, Uttarakhand
Roopkund Lake, popularly known as Skeleton Lake, sits at around 16500 ft above the sea level. The skeletons first came into notice in 1942, when very harsh summer caused the ice to melt. A British forest guard noticed a huge number of human skeletons lying chaotically and floating along the edges of the lake. At first, it was believed that the skeletons were the remains of those Japanese soldiers, who were killed during war, but this theory was deemed faulty in 2004, when it was discovered that the skeleton remains date back to 850 AD.
However, since then, a number of theories have come forth to explain this incident, but people are still curious to find answers.
When you visit this place during summers, these remains will still be there to fill you with eeriness.