Rekindling Patriotism at India Gate
Situated on Rajpath right opposite Rashtrapati Bhavan (the official residence of the President of India), it was built in honour of the 90,000 soldiers who died in various wars. It has a very patriotic feel to it, which makes it worth a visit.
The words inscribed on it, says it all –
“To the dead of the Indian armies who fell 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 recorded and who fell in India or the north-west frontier and during the Third Afghan war.”
Earlier it was possible to drive around the gate, but due to terrorist threats, the roads were cordoned off. Now you have to pay entry of Rs 30, park your car at a distance, and walk towards India Gate.
This imposing structure is surrounded by lush green lawns, so you walk on it to take pictures of India Gate. Guarded by two soldiers on both sides, the walls of India Gate has names of soldiers engraved on it. It was simply amazing to read all the names which appear to be written in the same font size from top to bottom. Under the arch of India Gate is Amar Jawan Jyoti, meaning the flame of the immortal warrior, which was placed here in 1971 after the India-Pakistan War by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It was in the memory of the unknown soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Indo-Pak war. This black marble structure has fire perpetually lit at its four corners.
History of India Gate
This magnificent gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who is also credited of designing the layout plan of New Delhi. The whole structure is built from sandstone and is 42m in height. The foundation stone for India Gate was laid in 1921 by the Duke of Connaught and it was completed in 1931. India Gate holds great significance in our history. It also resembles the war memorial – Arc de Triomphe of Paris – to some extent.
Enough of the history, let’s talk about the lighter side. India Gate has become like a picnic spot, as I was told by a friend, with families and children coming there to relax and play. There are hawkers selling icecreams, peanuts and masala papad (a popular crispy bread in India). A small boat club close by makes this a good outing place for weekends.
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