India has been a land of architectural marvels because it has deep roots in its history, culture and religion. India Gate is one of the examples of Indian architectural marvel. It is the world's largest war memorial which was built in the 21st century. Here, we are giving some interesting facts about India Gate, which will enhance the general awareness of the readers on the architectural glory of India.
"The stirring tales of individual heroism will live for ever in the annals of this country." -Chelmsford
1. The foundation stone of India's largest war graves and memorials to soldiers killed in the First World War was laid down on 10 February 1921 by the Duke of Connaught.
2. Sir Edwin Lutyens was the chief designer. It was inaugurated on February 12, 1931 by Viceroy Lord Irwin.
3. The entire arch stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge moulding. It has the names of Indian soldiers inscribed on its walls, who gave up their lives in the Afghan Wars and World War I.
4. It is 42 meters high and bears some resemblance to the 'Arc de Triomphe', situated in Paris.
5. After independence, this war memorial was dedicated to the Indian Army's tomb of the unknown soldiers.
6. Amar Jawan Jyoti was added as another memorial, which is burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971. It was unveiled on January 26, 1972 by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It has a black marble cenotaph with a rifle placed on its barrel, crested by a soldier's helmet.
7. The structure is inspired by the 18th century Mahabalipuram pavilion and had statue of King George V until 1947.
8. The cornices of India Gate are adorned with the inscription of sun, which symbolized the British Imperial Colony. The word INDIA is inscribed at the top of the arches on both sides flacked by the dates MCMXIV (1914 left) and MCMXIX (1919 right) Below this the following passage is inscribed – “TO THE DEAD OF THE INDIAN ARMIES WHO FELL AND ARE 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 HERE RECORDED AND WHO FELL IN INDIA OR THE NORTH-WEST FRONTIER AND DURING THE THIRD AFGHAN WAR”.
9. Flags of the three Armed Forces of India are another patriotic attraction.
10. It is the venue for hoisting the Indian Flag on Republic Day parade which was previously hoisted at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
11. It is also a popular picnic spot for the people who gathered to have a nice time in the lush green lawns and boating areas.
India Gate is one of the major tourist attractions and has millions of tourists visited from across the globe every year. It has historic and national importance as well as a symbol of patriotic soldiers who lost their lives to keep up the prestige of the country.