Friday, March 20, 2009

India Gate (New Delhi)




The India Gate (Hindi: इंडिया गेट) is one of the largest war memorials in India. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, India Gate was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. It is a prominent landmark in Delhi and commemorates the members of the erstwhile British Indian Army who lost their lives fighting for the Indian Empire in World War I and the Afghan Wars. Originally, a Statue of King George V had stood under the now-vacant canopy in front of the India Gate, and was removed to Coronation Park with other statues. Following India's independence, India Gate became the site of the Indian Army's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, known as the Amar Jawan Jyoti.
Burning in a shrine under the arch of India Gate since 1971 is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal warrior), which marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The shrine itself is a black marble cenotaph with a rifle placed on its barrel, crested by a soldier's helmet. Each face of the cenotaph has inscribed in gold the words "Amar Jawan" (Immortal Warrior). This cenotaph is itself placed on an edifice which has on its four corners four torches that are perpetually kept alive. It was unveiled on January 26, 1972 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in the wake of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Today, it is customary for the President and the Prime Minister, as well as visiting Guests of State, to pay homage at the site on occasions of State ceremonies.

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