Tuesday, January 24, 2012

India Gate

When Thursday 26th of January 2012 comes, India will rise and celebrate its 63rd Republic Day and display the world its strength at arms and diversity in culture. An integral part of the Republic Day Parade is the India Gate where the Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame of the Immortal Soldier) is located. Every year the prime minister along with the Heads of the Armed Forces place a wreath over the tomb. After which they proceed to the Rajpath and the parade commences. The Parade starts from Rashtrapati Bhavan and passes through India Gate to the reach the Red Fort.

 India Gate in the evening. 
Observe the immortal flames of the Amar Jawan Jyoti(Flame of the immortal soldier) 
between the two pillars of the Gate.

The India Gate is a national monument of India. Situated in the center of New Delhi, the India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was built in 1931. Originally known as the All India War Memorial, it is an important landmark in Delhi and commemorates the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the British Indian Empire in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The imposing structure has been built with red and pale sandstone and granite.

Inscriptions on the top of the Gate clearly indicate the gratitude of the British Empire for Indian soldiers who died fighting for the crown during World War 1 in Mesopotamia(Iraq), Gallipoli(Turkey), France, e.t.c. and also the Afghan wars of the 19th century

Until the 1920s, the Agra-Delhi railway line cut right through what is today called Lutyens' Delhi and the site earmarked for the hexagonal All India War Memorial (India Gate), on Kingsway (Rajpath). Eventually the line was shifted to run along the Yamuna river and when that route opened in 1924 construction of the memorial site could begin.

India Gate in the 1930s
Courtesy eBay, Columbia University and Wikipedia

The 42-metre tall India Gate is situated in such a way that many important roads spread out from it.

 Flags of the three wings of the Indian armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) and a member of each force guards the gate and tomb for 24 hours in rotation.

Burning in a shrine under the arch of India Gate since 1971 is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal soldier) which marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The shrine itself is a black marble cenotaph surmounted by a rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier's helmet. Each face of the cenotaph is inscribed in gold with the words "Amar Jawan" (Immortal Warrior).

This cenotaph is placed on a pedestal with four continuously burning torches on its corners. It was unveiled in 1971. After the India-Pakistan war of 1971, the then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi paid homage on behalf of the whole nation on the eve of 23rd republic day (26 January 1972).

Standing behind the gate is an empty canopy made out of sandstone, also designed by Lutyens, and inspired by a 18th century Mahabalipuram pavilion. Until the Independence of India in 1947 it contained the statue of King George V which now stands in the Coronation Park, Delhi.

Empty Canopy which housed the statue of King George the Fifth (the emperor who declared the establishment of New Delhi) till the 1960s.

The statue of King George the Fifth which was housed in the canopy above and is now present in the Coronation Park, Burari, New Delhi.


Begining from February we at Traveler Rohan's blog will start or resume our series over Sikkim, the north eastern Himalayan state of India and cover some of the most beautiful and historical destinations. Read it every Sunday and enjoy your February !

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How you got India Gate picture from 1930 ??? It was build in 1971 after world war to in memories of 90,000 soldiers lost their lives.