The National War Memorial has been built by the Government of India in Delhi, as a tribute to over 22,500 soldiers killed in the major wars post-independence. It is a memorial dedicated to the soldiers of Indian Armed Forces who lost their lives for the security of their motherland in wars and military conflicts after the Independence of India. It’s a place that reminds the sacrifice that these soldiers made for the citizens of the country. Also, it gives due respect to the families of the martyred soldiers, when they see their child’s name on the walls of a National Memorial.
So, let us have an insight to this place full of patriotism and nationalism…
History of National War Memorial-
- The first proposal for a National War Memorial was made in 1960 by the Indian Armed Forces.
- Further, in 2006 a committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee was formed to actions towards the rising demands for the formation of a War Memorial by the veterans and families of soldiers. Ministry of Defense decides the vicinity of India Gate as a location for the memorial but, it was rejected by the Ministry of Urban Development.
- 15 August 2018 was the first deadline for the inauguration of the National War Memorial, but unfortunately, it was not met.
- Finally, the construction of the National War Memorial gets completed on January 1, 2019, and the inauguration took place on February 25, 2019, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the Heads of the Indian Armed Forces and various Ministers of the Government.
The architecture of National War Memorial-
- The memorial is built in an area of 40 acres of land and is spread around the canopy near the India Gate. Granite and sandstone are used as main construction materials for this memorial.
- Yogesh Chandrahasan of WeBe Design Lab, Chennai is the chief architect of the National War Memorial whose design was the winner of the Global Design Competition that was held to invite design proposals for the monument.
- The memorial is similar to the design of a Chakravyuh, that is almost impossible to beat and defeat. The Memorial has four concentric circles and a central pillar, at the bottom of which burns an ‘eternal flame’ representing the immortal soldier. The concentric circles are called:
Amar Chakra(Circle of Immortality)- Glow and aura is created around the Obelisk and Eternal Flame as a sign of purity. The ‘Amar Chakra’ comprises a 15-meter tall obelisk and the eternal flame.
Veerta Chakra(Circle of Bravery)- The theme emphasizes the celebration of bravery and victory. These six battles of Indian Armed Forces, this chakra depicts are – the Indo-China War in 1962, the Indo-Pak Wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Kargil War in 1999, and the Sri Lanka Operations by IPKF.
Tyag Chakra(Circle of Sacrifice)- Names of around 25700 martyred soldiers are inscribed on a wall that is around 1.5 meters high.
Rakshak Chakra(Circle of Protection)- This circle includes 695 trees that are personified as standing soldiers that guard the inner ones.
Another important feature of this memorial is the statues of 21 recipients of India’s Highest military award, the Param Veer Chakra. This section is known as the Param Yodha Sthal.
How to Reach There-
ADDRESS- C – Hexagon, India Gate, New Delhi
PIN Code- 110001
- National War Memorial is about 14.6 km away from the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Thus, can be reached by taxi within 25 minutes via NH 48, the fastest route.
- From New Delhi Railway Station, the destination is about 4.8 km far and can be reached within 15 minutes through a taxi on a normal day, via Copernicus Marg.
- The nearest metro station is Central Secretariat, about 3 kilometers from National War Memorial. This metro station lies on the Yellow and Violet Lines of Delhi Metro. Another nearby metro station that you can opt to travel is Pragati Maidan metro station and it is also almost at a similar distance range as of Barakhamba station.
- Various DTC buses are also available from throughout the city to reach the destination in the cheapest costs of travel.
The National War Memorial is open on all days of the week, the timings for the War Memorial are from 9 am to 6:30 pm. From April, the timings would be 9 am to 7:30 pm.
There is no entry fee for visiting the National War Memorial in Delhi.
You can visit the place with your friends and family members by booking tour packages at hohodelhi.com for 1- or 2-days Delhi Sightseeing by Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) Buses. The place is best viewed in the evening times when it is illuminated with the lights and generates a feeling of nationalism and makes us proud to be Indians. National War Memorial has various other tourist attractions near it like the India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, and the famous street called Rajpath, where the Republic Day parade takes place annually. All these places are also worth visiting for a tourist visiting National War Memorial. Visiting there should be avoided during the hot summer days of April-June to avoid an exhausting itinerary. Cameras are allowed to be taken and the expected time to explore the area is about 45 minutes to 1 hour. So, if you are in Delhi, do visit the place and have a feeling of patriotism in yourself and respect for the Indian Soldiers.