On Monday 26th Feb 2019, Ho’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National War Memorial. The National War Memorial is spread over 40 acres at the India Gate complex in the heart of the national capital. The Memorial has five concentric circles, a central stone obelisk, an eternal flame, and six bronze murals depicting famous battles fought by the Indian Army, Air Force, and the Navy. It has been built at a cost of approximately Rs.176 crore.
The National War Memorial at India Gate is built in memory of the heroes of Indian forces; to honor around 26,000 soldiers who laid their lives in war and operations since India got independence. This is India’s first National War memorial dedicated to all the soldiers who served during the India-China war of 1962, India-Pak war in 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Kargil war in 1999 and Indian Peacekeeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka.
Design and Layout
The Memorial comprises of a 15.5metre tall tower, with an eternal flame and 16 circular walls of honour on which around names of 26,000 soldiers have been written in gold on the walls. The pattern of the walls symbolizes “Chakravyuth”.
The layout of the Memorial comprises of four concentric circles, namely,
- the “Amar Chakra” or Circle of Immortality,
- the “Veerta Chakra” or Circle of Bravery,
- the “Tyag Chakra” or Circle of Sacrifice, and
- the “Rakshak Chakra” or Circle of Protection.
The statues of 21 awardees of Pram Veer Chakra have also been installed in the Memorial. These include the country’s highest gallantry award receivers namely, Subedar Major (Hony Capt), Bana Singh (Retired), Subedar Major Yogendra Singh Yadav, and Subedar Sanjay Kumar.
The names of around 26,000 heroes along with their rank and regiments have also been inscribed in the 16 walls of the memorial.
1960s: The proposal for the National War Memorial was first made.
2012: Defence Minister AK Antony said Memorial would be built at India Gate and that time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit opposed the choice of the site at that time.
2015: GoI Cabinet gave in the principal amount of Rs.500 crore for the project in October.
2016: International completion was held to decide the design of the Memorial.
2017: The design by Yogesh Chadrahasan of WeBe Design Ltd. was selected in March which was selected by a jury led by architect and planner Christopher Benninger.
Few Famous War Memorials Around the world
- USS Arizona Memorial: The Memorial was built in 1962, located in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii. It was built in the memory of sailor and marines who were perished aboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Memorial is visited by more than two million people every year.
- Monument to the Women of World War II: The Memorial is located on Whitehall, London, sculpted by John w. Mills which was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in July 2005. It stands 22 feet high. The 17 different items of clothing on the monument symbolize different jobs women had during the war.
- Marine Corps War Memorial: It is sited at the entrance to the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington Ridge Park, Arlington, Virginia. The memorial was built after World War II and was constructed in the memory of the United States Marine Corps who died in the defense of the US since 1775.
- Memorial of the Deportation: It is a memorial in Paris, France, dedicated to those who got deported from Vichy France to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. It was designed by a French architect, Georges-Henri Pingusson. It was inaugurated by Charles de Gaulle in 1962.
So, next time when you visit national capital. Don’t forget to visit our National War Memorial to tribute to our soldiers who fought for us