National War Memoria - Things to know about it (National War Memorial in New Delhi India)

National War Memorial to be dedicated to soldiers - Spread over 40 acres, the National War Memorial will be dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

Delhi’s National War Memorial now open: photos and other details

National War Memorial (India) : The National War Memorial is a monument constructed by the Government of India in the vicinity of the India Gate, New Delhi, to honour its Armed Forces.

A War Museum will be also constructed in the adjoining Princess Park area. The proposed National War Memorial (NWM) and the War Museum will be connected by a subway. The War Memorial and Museum are expected to cost ?500 crore (US$ 70 million).

The memorial will be made around the existing chhatri (canopy) near India Gate. The memorial wall will be flushed with the ground and in harmony with existing aesthetics. Names of martyrs killed in wars in 1947–48, 1961 (Goa), 1962 (China), 1965, 1971, 1987 (Siachen), 1987-88 (Sri Lanka), 1999 (Kargil), and other operations such as Operation Rakshak, will be inscribed on the memorial walls..

The Princess Park, is a 14-acres area north of India Gate, with barrack-type accommodation, built during World War II, which since 1947 has served as family accommodation for mid level armed forces officers posted in Service Headquarters in New Delhi.

Where is the National War Memorial? : New Delhi’s National War Memorial sprawls over 40 acres of land near India Gate, east of the Amar Jawan Jyoti.

What happens to Amar Jawan Jyoti? : Ever since it was constructed in 1972, the Amara Jawan Jyoti at India Gate has been the site for wreath-laying ceremonies on important days. That will now change and all official wreath-laying ceremonies will take place at the obelisk at the National War Memorial. The obelisk too will have an eternal flame. However, the Amar Jawan Jyoti will remain as a memorial to India’s fallen soldiers.

The project has been executed at a cost of Rs 176 crore and its design was selected through a global competition.

The complex is a commemoration of the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers since Independence with the names of 25,942 martyrs etched in stone forever.

Main structure : The main structure has been built in the form of four chakras, each signifying different values of the armed forces, with the eternal flame and obelisk located in the inner-most chakra (also called Amar Chakra).

In pic: A wall carrying the names of soldiers who have laid down their lives for country since Independence at the National War Memorial near India Gate in New Delhi.

Obelisk : The obelisk stands at a height of 15.5 metres and is visible even from a distance as one enters the complex.

Veerta Chakra : Surrounding it is Veerta Chakra with six bronze murals depicting different battle actions. Each mural weighs between 600kg and 1,000kg.

Tyag Chakra : Tyag Chakra which surrounds it has been made entirely of granite bricks, each bearing the name of a fallen soldier since Independence.

Names on walls : While at present 25,942 names exist on these walls, there is scope to add more names.

Rakshak Chakra : The final chakra — Rakshak Chakra — surrounds the other three and consists of over 600 trees that will act as a wall and represent the soldiers whoprotect the country.

Future ceremonies : The memorial will also serve as the place for future ceremonies for armed forces, while the general public can pay their respects to the fallen through interactive electronic panels that will soon be set up.

Param Vir Chakra awardees : Adjacent to the main complex lies a tribute to the 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees with each recipient honoured by a bronze bust surrounded by a lush green patch, complete with pathways and informative plaques on the courage they displayed during battle.

Entry : The entry to the National War Memorial complex is free for all, but the main area and Param Yodha Sthal will have timing restrictions and will also play host to retreat ceremonies every evening.

Other features : The memorial will also have other features, such as artificial lighting in the evenings, and a walking plaza.

Architecture and Design : The Chief Architect of the National War Memorial is Ar. Yogesh Chandrahasan of WeBe Design Lab, Chennai. WeBe Design Lab was chosen for the conceptualization of the architectural design and for coordinating the construction of the project.

A global design competition was conducted and the result was announced in early April 2017 and Chennai-based Architects, WeBe Design Lab’s proposal was declared the winner for the National War memorial.

The chennai-based Architect Yogesh Chandrahasan who designed the project said, “The whole concept is based on the thought that the war memorial should be a place where we don’t mourn death, but celebrate the life of the soldiers and pay respect to the sacrifices made by them.”

What does the National War Memorial have? : The complex comprises busts of war heroes, and a precinct of four chakras, with each one signifying different values of the armed forces.

The Amar Chakra (Circle of Immortality) is the innermost circle. It has a 15.5m tall granite obelisk with an eternal flame to pay homage to the heroes who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Then comes the Veerta Chakra (Circle of Bravery), a gallery depicting scenes from the battles Indian forces have fought.

Nearby is the Tyag Chakra (Circle of Sacrifice) made of granite bricks with names of 25,942 heroes, their rank and regiment, etched in gold. Besides soldiers who were killed in wars of 1947, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999, the names of heroes who died while on Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka are also inscribed at the Tyag Chakra.

This structure is fringed by 600 trees that act as a wall representing the soldiers who protect the country, and hence called the Rakshak Chakra (Circle of Protection).

Next to the main memorial lies the Param Yodha Sthal, a site that pays homage to the Param Vir Chakra Awardees with bronze busts dedicated to each one of them. The lush garden and pathways along the busts have plaques with stories of their valour.

Not India’s first war memorial  : The National War Memorial may be the grandest, but it isn’t the first war memorial in India. Pune Cantonment has the National War Memorial Southern Command, dedicated to martyrs of wars fought after Independence, built through citizen’s contributions. Chandigarh has a war memorial with names of  8,459 martyrs etched on it. Tawang, Bhopal, Visakhapatnam, Darjeeling and Drass are some of the other places where you can pay homage to India’s fallen soldiers. Not to forget the most famous of them all: India Gate in New Delhi, which is a tribute to 70,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army, who fell during various campaigns before Independence.

Responsibility : The National War memorial and Museum has been designated as Special Project. The task to ensure its "timely execution" has been allocated to a special project division, which is under Chief administrative Officer, Ministry of Defence. The task has also been entrusted with Military Engineer Services.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the National War Memorial near India Gate in New Delhi on Monday in a ceremonial function to commemorate its opening. The National War Memorial is a tribute to the soldiers who laid down their lives defending the nation post-independence during various wars and battles fought by the Indian Army.

The memorial pays tribute to those killed in the India-China War in 1962, India-Pak wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka and the Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999. It also commemorates those who died in the UN peacekeeping missions and during counter-insurgency operations.

It is made in the India Gate complex and spread over 40 acres in the heart of Delhi and was executed at a cost of Rs 176 crore. Its vision was laid down by Modi in 2014, who had promised the nation a state-of-the-art monument honouring the sacrifice and valour of the country's armed forces. Modi will address ex-servicemen on the occasion.

Amar Jawan Jyoti to retain its significance : Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Lt Gen PJS Pannu said, "Amar Jawan Jyoti is an inseparable part of our history. So much emotions are attached to it. And, it is located beneath the India Gate which itself is a war memorial, built during the British-era. So, if any old regiments wish to commemorate their important days and mark an event and pay respect, they can still do it there as well."

However, the central part of the memorial has been built in a sunken plot as the design had to respect the heritage look of the India Gate's Central Vista, officials said. The names of 25,942 battle casualties have been inscribed across 16 walls that consist of granite pieces bearing the name, rank and regiment of the fallen heroes, the officials said, adding that it was built between February 2018 and February 2019 in "record time".



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