|Monuments in Delhi|
INDIA GATE : A Tribute to our Soldiers
About India Gate
India Gate is a famous landmark of the capital city, New Delhi. This beautiful monument was designed by Edwin Lutyens. He was a member of the Imperial War Graves Commission and has designed more than sixty was graves across Europe. Constructing India Gate was one of the projects of IWGC. The foundation of this Delhi monument was laid in the year 1921 by Duke of Connaught who happened to be visiting India at that time and it was inaugurated 10 years later in 1931 by Lord Irwin. This significant landmark in Delhi commemorates the soldiers of the erstwhile British Indian Army who sacrificed their lives during fighting to save the Indian Empire in the World War I and third Afghan War.
Architecture of India Gate
India Gate is based on the concept of Arch de Triomphe in Paris or Arch of Constantine in Rome. Engraved on its walls are the names of 13218 Indian military personnel who died in wars. Further details about them can be known from the website of the memorial.
The memorial spans 30 feet and is 138 feet tall. On top, and on both sides, are the words ‘INDIA GATE’ inscribed. On one side of “INDIA GATE” is written “MCMXIV” on the left and “MCMXIX” on the right.
Memorial does have inscriptions but the designer has taken care not inscribe any religious or culturally explicit inscription or symbol. It purely is a war memorial of the deal soldiers.
Amar Jawan Jyoti
An addition to the India Gate monument was done in the form of Amar Jawan Jyoti after the Bangladesh War of 1971 in remembrance of all those who died in the war. The most important fact about India Gate is continuously lit flame which is burning since the year 1971. Amar Jawan Jyoti represents the flame of all the immortal braveheart warriors. This marks the shrine as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is made of pure black marble at its plinth and designed with a rifle placed downside up on its barrel, crested by a soldier’s helmet. The words- “Amar Jawan” (Immortal Warrior) is purely inscribed in gold on each face of the cenotaph that is also placed on an edifice. This edifice has four torches on all its four corners, these torches are always kept alive.
This patriotic shrine of the India Gate in Delhi was for the first time uncovered on January 26, 1972 by the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi. Since then, it become custom in the Indian history for the Prime Minister to pay tribute at the site on Republic Day. Even while any of the guests visit the state, they usually come here to visit this beautiful patriotic monument in Delhi and pay homage to all the jawans at the site. Every evening India is illuminated with brilliant lights which further magnifies its glory.
General public is not allowed to take their vehicles till the monument. This is now reached on foot. It is also disability friendly and people can visit here on their wheelchairs as well. The parks around this monument are full of people in evenings with many a children playing, people sitting with their families and many vendors of ice-cream, balloons, toys and pop-corn all around. People come here for leisurely evening walks and morning jogs.
On one side of India Gate is Rashtrapati Bhawan and on the other side, bout 150 meters away, is the Canopy. This canopy was built in the year 1936 as tribute to King George V by Charles Sargent Jagger. Originally, the canopy also had the statue of King George V and it remained erected till 1968, the year when it was removed. The design of the Canopy drew inspiration from a 6th century pavillion of Mahabalipuram. The Canopy is 73 feet tall cupola and it stands on the four Delhi Order columns.
Metro Connectivity and Location
India Gate is right opposite to the Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhawan on Raisina Hills, connected by Rajpath, the venue of famous Republic Day Parade.
Udyog Bhawan Station on Yellow Line and Central Secretriat Station on Yellow and Violet Lines are two closest Metro Stations to India. One has to alight on these stations and take road commutation to reach there.