Women’s Day Special: Visit these destinations in India to get inspired by Indian women who made history
International Women’s Day, celebrated across the globe on March 8, is an important day to recognise and celebrate Sheroes throughout history who took bold steps and broke barriers to make a difference in the society and pave the way for future generations. And while they say, destinations always have stories to tell, Booking.com, the leading travel platform, has curated a list of destinations one can visit to get inspired by women who defied expectations and broke stereotypes in Indian history.
From Kangathei, a beautiful village in Manipur where the only boxer to win eight World Championship medals - Mary Kom’s journey began, to Kumta (Karnataka) where Chennabhairadevi, the Pepper Queen of India ruled for 54 Years - the longest reign by any Indian woman ruler, here is a list of destinations you can visit to be inspired by the Indian Sheroes.
Pathanamthitta (Kerala) - Birthplace of Fathima Beevi, the first woman judge of the Supreme Court of India
Fathima Beevi created history in 1986 when she became the first woman to be appointed as a Supreme Court judge in India, and while 1986 was a remarkable year for women of the Indian jurisdiction, her efforts to break women-centric stereotypes started when she decided to study law, a male-dominated field at that time. Fathima was born in 1927 in Pathanamthitta, the erstwhile state of Travancore (now Kerala), and completed her schooling from there, spending a sizeable amount of her early years in Pathanamthitta. One can visit the town and be in the presence of the icon’s heritage, and also enjoy the destination through its vast unending stretches of forests, rivers and rural landscapes.
Kumta (Karnataka) where Chennabhairadevi, The Pepper Queen of India ruled for 54 Years, the longest reign by any Indian woman ruler
The town of Kumta has been etched in history for being the station for a fort erected by Rani Chennabhairadevi, the queen of Gerusoppa who ruled for 54 years — the longest reign by any Indian woman ruler. The Mirjan Fort, located at the banks of the river Aghanashini, is known for its architectural excellence and was the location of the many battles that were fought in the 16th and 17th century. Queen Chennabhairadevi’s kingdom was known for pepper, and the Portuguese gave the epithet ‘Rani, the Pepper queen’. One can visit the Mirjan fort, located near the temple town of Gokarna, to experience the fierceness of Queen Chennabhairadevi that was built by her
Dehradun (Uttarakhand) - the birthplace of Chandramukhi Basu: India's First Female Graduate
Born in 1860, Chandramukhi Basu hailed from Dehradun and went on to create history when she became one of the first Indian female graduates during the British Empire. She passed the First Arts examination from Dehradun Native Christian School in 1880 and was the first woman to pass Master of Arts from the University of Calcutta in 1884. Chandramukhi started her career as a lecturer in Bethune College, she went on to become the principal, thus becoming the first female head of an undergraduate academic establishment in South Asia. She retired in 1891 and spent the rest of her life in Dehradun, the winter capital of Uttrakhand. Dehradun today has an inspiring story to narrate, where India’s first female graduate breathed her first and last
Karnal (Haryana) - birthplace of Kalpana Chawla: first Indian woman in space
The first woman of Indian origin to go to space, Kalpana Chawla is a pride to many Indians even today, after more than 18 years of her death. She was born in Karnal (Haryana), which was also the birthplace of her dreams. One can visit Karnal when it is safe to do so, where there are numerous institutions such as hospitals in her name. One can also visit the Kalpana Chawla Planetarium in Jyotisar, Kurukshetra, located at approx. 45 km. from Karnal. Surrounded by sprawling green fields, the planetarium is ideal for those who seek to escape from the hustle-bustle of big cities. The planetarium offers a blend of peaceful surroundings and astronomy shows one can watch and only be inspired by Kalpana’s life.
Kangathei (Manipur) - where Mary Kom, the only woman boxer to win a medal in each of the first seven World Championships, was born
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, also known as Mary Kom, is an inspiration for women across the world, being the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the first seven World Championships and the only boxer (irrespective of gender) to win eight World Championship medals. Mary Kom’s journey started at Kangathei, a small yet beautiful village in Manipur, located at 46.7 km. (approx.) from Imphal. When in Manipur, drive to Kangathei where the farms and lanes echo the stories of Mary Kom’s struggles, determination and success.
Nakuri (Uttarakhand) - where Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to reach Mount Everest was born
Bachendri Pal created history in 1984 when she became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Her contributions to women empowerment have been commendable, where she led expeditions in 1993, 1994 and 1997 with a team consisting of only women in Indo-Nepalese Women's Mount Everest Expedition, The Great Indian Women's Rafting Voyage and First Indian Women Trans-Himalayan Expedition. Pal hailed from Nakuri village of Uttarkashi district, known to be a quaint holy town located next to the sacred river Bhagirathi in Uttarakhand. Once can plan a trip to Uttarkashi, when it is safe to do so, and visit the Nakuri village to experience Bachendri Pal’s glory