A new landmark in the capital of India, the National War Memorial has recently been inaugurated near India Gate by honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is built to honour the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the nation since independence.
In this post, we are sharing with you 8 facts about this outstanding piece of architecture. We feel that this knowledge will bring you closer to India’s first War Memorial. Have a look:
Armed forces proposed National War Memorial way back in 1960. But it was only in the year 2006 that the Defence Ministry ultimately took the decision to construct it after the persistent demand from the armed forces and armed forces veterans. However, the final proposal to build it was passed in 2015. Eventually, the construction work of the War Memorial finished recently and it was inaugurated on 25 February 2019 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The conceptualization of the architectural design and the task of coordinating for the construction of the project was given to Chennai-based architectural firm- WeBe Design Lab. The firm was selected for this project after it got chosen among 427 submissions in a global design competition that was conducted in early April 2017. The chief architect of this project was Yogesh Chandrahasan.
Approximately 175 crores have been spent in the construction work of the memorial.
Sprawled over an area of 40 acres, New Delhi’s National War Memorial is located near India Gate Complex, east of the Amar Jawan Jyoti.
The main idea behind this War Memorial, according to the architect was not to mourn the death of the soldiers but celebrate the life of the soldiers and pay respect to the sacrifices made by them. An eternal flame just like Amar Jawan Jyoti has also been placed at the memorial. All official wreath-laying ceremonies of martyrs will now take place here instead of the Amar Jawan Jyoti.
The complex has several structures. The outermost circle- Rakshak Chakra (Circle of Protection)- of this memorial is fringed by 600 trees with each tree signifying the soldier who protects the territorial integrity of our nation.
The two circles inside this are named as Tyag Chakra (Circle of Sacrifice). These circles are to represent soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the China and Pakistan wars as well as during Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka.
The Amar Chakra (Circle of Immortality) is the innermost circle. It contains a 15.5 m tall granite obelisk that bears the names of 25,942 heroes, their ID numbers and regiment names of the fallen soldier, etched in gold.
Then comes the Veerta Chakra, (Circle of Bravery), which is a covered gallery depicting the battles Indian armed forces have fought.
Next to the National War Memorial lies the landscaped garden- Param Yodha Sthal, which is for paying tribute to the Param Vir Chakra recipients. It has bronze busts of 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.
No, there is no entry charge to the memorial. However, there will be fixed timings for entry to Param Yodha Sthal and the central area.
Although The National War Memorial is the grandest, it is not the first war memorial of our country. Chandigarh has a war memorial with names of 8,459 fallen soldiers engraved on it. Pune Cantonment also has the National War Memorial Southern Command, which was built to pay homage to martyrs of wars fought after Independence. It was constructed through citizen’s contributions. Even, Bhopal, Tawang, Darjeeling, Drass and Visakhapatnam also have memorials dedicated to martyrs.
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