Location : New Delhi, India
Year of Construction : 1921
Architect : Edwin Lutyens
Nature of the Building : All India War Memorial
Best time to Visit : Throughout the Year
Height : 42m
HISTORY OF INDIA GATE
Situated on the celebrated Rajpath in New Delhi, India Gate, originally known as the All India War Memorial, is a famous monument built as a mark of respect towards the Indian soldiers killed during World War I and the Afghan Wars. Constructed during the times of British Raj in India, the foundation stone of the structure was laid on 10 February 1921 by the duke of Connaught and was completed in the year 1931. The names of hundreds of soldiers can be seen inscribed on its giant walls while the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the flame of the immortal warrior lights underneath, burning constantly since the year 1971. Etched on top of the structure is a line which states ‘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.’
The India Gate was built in 1931 and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. This 42 m high stone arch of victory, universally known as The India Gate, stands at the eastern end of Rajpath, New Delhi. It was previously officially known as The All India War Memorial. The names of the 90,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in the First World War, Afghan campaign of 1919 and the North-West Frontier operations are inscribed on the walls of this grand structure.
In the year 1971, an eternal flame or Amar Jawan Jyoti, was lit under the arch of the India Gate to honor the brave unknown, soldiers. The flame is flanked by uniformed soldiers, who stand guard over the flame. Near the flame, a shining rifle with a helmet on it, is placed on a high pedestal, as a tribute to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the battle. The best time to visit India Gate is after sunset, when the structure is floodlit and the atmosphere becomes pleasant.
During the evenings people come here for perambulation and children can be seen playing on the beautiful green lawns and around the trees that surround the structure. Visitors can enjoy boating in the water bodies alongside the lawns. Fountains located nearby are also illuminated with colored lights to add further resplendence to the ambience. The fair-like festive environment, is enhanced by numerous hawkers selling ice cream, street food, toys and balloons.
Just a few meters away from The India Gate, there is a beautiful canopy or domed kiosk, with a roof of red sandstone, under which the marble statue of Sir George V once stood. The canopy was also designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was built in 1936. The statue has been removed from beneath the canopy to the Coronation Memorial Park in North Delhi. The emptiness of the canopy is symbolic of the British retreat from India. The visitor can stand on the other side of the canopy and can view the entire Rajpath Avenue at a stretch, which is indeed a wonderful sight.