Delhi, the heart of India has a symbol dedicated to martyrs who laid down their lives for the country in the form of India Gate. This monument is regarded as the heritage of India and is located on Raj Path in New Delhi. India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and was built in 1931 and initially named as ‘All India War Memorial’. Inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and constructed in red sandstone and granite, India Gate stands 42 m tall. Each year on Republic Day (26th January) The President of India and all other top political leaders along with other dignitaries pay their obeisance at India Gate.
During World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War, about 90,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army lost their lives while protecting the superiority of the mighty British Empire. India Gate was built to honor these soldiers. One can also see the name of these soldiers inscribed on the walls of India Gate. Before independence there was a statue of King George V just in front of India Gate which was removed after independence.
After independence a few modifications have been made to India Gate. With these changes India Gate has become a site for Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives at the time of freedom struggle. Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of immortal warriors) was built much later to honor India soldiers who lost their lives in 1971 war with Pakistan. The Amar Jawan Jyoti is made up of black marble and has a gun and a soldier’s cap on top of it.
Though historical importance is still attached to the monument, but India Gate has also become a picnic spot for many Delhities, because of its surrounding lawns, fountains and the view of Rashtrapati Bhawan. Go to India Gate on Saturday or Sunday evening to see a number of families enjoying food and the weather at India Gate. Children enjoy themselves a lot there and you can find many vendors of ice-creams, fruit chaat, cold drinks etc nearby.
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