A statue of an army soldier is displayed at the National War Memorial, near India Gate in New Delhi, India.(Arvind Yadav/HT FILE PHOTO)
A statue of an army soldier is displayed at the National War Memorial, near India Gate in New Delhi, India.(Arvind Yadav/HT FILE PHOTO)

‘Chakravyuh’ formation, murals, more than 25,000 names: All you need to know about the National war memorial in 10 points

Promised in the National Democratic Alliance’s 2014 election manifesto, the country’s first war memorial near the India Gate complex will pay homage to over 26,000 soldiers who have sacrificed their lives since 1947.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2019 08:26 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a memorial dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Promised in the National Democratic Alliance’s 2014 election manifesto, the country’s first war memorial near the India Gate complex will pay homage to over 26,000 soldiers who have sacrificed their lives since 1947.

Here’s all you need to know:

1. Drawing inspiration from the ‘Chakravyuh’ formation, the iconic National War Memorial boasts of four thematic concentric circles with a tall ceremonial obelisk at its centre that will bear the eternal flame.

2. The central part of the sprawling complex 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.

3. 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 last year and this February in “record time”.

4. The layout of the memorial located behind the India Gate canopy and across the National Stadium consists of four concentric circles, radially outwards, namely, the ‘Amar Chakra’ or Circle of Immortality, ‘Veerta Chakra or Circle of Bravery, ‘Tyag Chakra’ or Circle of Sacrifice and ‘Rakshak Chakra’ or Circle of Protection, the senior official said.

5. The central obelisk is topped with an Ashokan Capital and the base bears the famous couplet ‘Shaheed ki mazron par...’ by poet Jagdamba Prasad Mishra ‘Hitaishi’.

6. Six bronze murals, made by noted sculptor Ram Sutar, depicting famous battles fought by the Army, Air Force and Navy have been put up in a gallery in the Veerta Chakra zone, he added.

7. Likewise, 16 walls in concentric fashion have been constructed in the ‘Tyag Chakra’ area for paying homage to the over 25,000 battle casualties. 8. The names of soldiers who have made supreme sacrifice have been inscribed in golden letters on granite tablets arranged in a circular pattern which symbolises the ancient Indian war formation ‘Chakravyuh’, the official said.

8. The outermost circle i.e. the ‘Rakshak Chakra’ comprises rows of more than 600 dense trees with each tree representing many soldiers who guard the territorial integrity of the nation round the clock, officials said.

9. Besides, the main complex, a Param Yoddha Sthal has also been built on the northern side of the India Gate’s C-Hexagon area. The park is dotted with bronze busts of the 21 awardees, fifteen posthumously, of the Param Veer Chakra, country’s highest wartime gallantry medal.

10. It also commemorates the soldiers who participated and made supreme sacrifice in the UN Peace Keeping Missions, during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations, counter-insurgency operations and Low Intensity Capital Operation (LICO) The India Gate itself is a war memorial built during the British Raj as the All India War Memorial Arch to honour the soldiers who died in the First World War (1914-1918) and the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919). The landmark has the names of soldiers inscribed on its surface.

(With PTI inputs)

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