India Gate: In the memory of fallen heroes
Indian Armed Forces are our pride. We salute their bravery and chivalry. Their contribution to the nation during war and peace time is unparalleled and unmatched. Before independence, Indian Armed forces were part of British India Army. At every place of deployment they fought bravely and displayed gallantry. Our today’s destination stands in the Capital City of Delhi. India Gate is one of the largest war memorials in India.
The Imperial War Graves Commission decided to build a memorial to honour the fallen heroes between 1914 and 1921 on various theatres of World War I and the third Anglo-Afghan war. It commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to design the memorial. Following his architectural style, Sir Lutyens decided to keep it free of religious ornamentations and make the universal design. He designed the memorial in the form of a hexagonal complex housing a 42 metres tall triumphal arch. He also designed a canopy which once housed a statue of King George V with all imperial symbolisms and few gardens around.
On both sides you can see inscription of word INDIA. with dates MCMXIV (1914) and MCMXIX (1919) on either side of it. Just below that, following words are inscribed in block letters.
'TO THE DEAD OF THE INDIAN ARMIES WHO FELL AND ARE HONOURED IN FRANCE AND FLANDERS MESOPOTAMIA AND PERSIA EAST AFRICA GALLIPOLI AND ELSEWHERE IN THE NEAR AND THE FAR-EAST AND IN SACRED MEMORY ALSO OF THOSE WHOSE NAMES ARE HERE RECORDED AND WHO FELL IN INDIA OR THE NORTH-WEST FRONTIER AND DURING THE THIRD AFGHAN WAR'
India Gate honours 13,218 fallen warriors by their names inscribed on the gate.
Honouring the post independence war heros
After the Bangladesh war in 1975, Government of India built Amar Jawan Jyoyi. Reversed L1A1 self-loading rifle capped with war helmet over black marble plinth makes the monument. It has four urns, each with the permanent light from compressed natural gas flames at all four corners of the plinth. It acts as India’s memorial of immortal soldiers. Till recently, on every Republic Day, Vijay Diwas, and Infantry Day, the Prime Minister and the Chiefs of the Armed Forces place wreaths at the Amar Jawan Jyoti.
Recently, Government built a new National War Memorial and Museum around the canopy. Four concentric circles of monument named as Amar Chakra, Veerta Chakra, Tyag Chakra and Rakshak Chakra, are based on the concept of Chakravyuh war formation. It also houses the second Amar Jawan Jyoti at the centre.
Hon President Ram Nath Kovind paid tributes at at Amar Jawan Jyoti at the National War Memorial, independence day and republic day. Following the tradition set by Hon President, Prime Minister paid his tribute at the new Memorial on Republic Day.
If you visit the New Delhi, do not forget to visit and pay tribute to our heroes at these memorials. Let’s all try to be a good citizen worthy for their sacrifices.
This brings to the I am participating in A2Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on ‘I‘ challenge. “I is for the India Gate, New Delhi”. You can find my other posts from this challenge here.