New Delhi, the national capital of India is home to many monuments of historical and cultural importance, each depicting a history of its own. The latest jewel in the crown of New Delhi is The National War Memorial.
The National War Memorial is aptly located behind The India Gate at Rajpath New Delhi. It is a sprawling area of 40 acres (Source - Wikipedia) in memory of the fallen heroes of The Armed Forces during the various wars in the line of duty and other military operations. Since no vehicles are allowed towards India Gate beyond a certain point, one needs to walk that distance to The National Memorial. Also, one needs to have ample time in hand to come and visit this place patiently.
It is made up of 4 Concentric circles. Each of these circles has a different name such as Amar Chakra, Veerta Chakra, Tyaag Chakra and Rakshak Chakra.
The Amar Chakra consists of a 15.5 m tall granite obelisk that has an eternal flame similar to the one at India Gate. It is believed that every day one family member of a martyr is invited to place a wreath at this flame as a homage to the Brave hearts.
There is Veerta Chakra which is a gallery where one section consists of bronze murals depicting the key wars such as the Battle of Longewala, Battle of Gangasagar, and Battle of Thithwal and also Operation Meghdoot and Operation Trident. Another section consists of a wall frame depicting the Kargil War of 1999. It also has a Souvenir shop located here. A gentle warning that one needs to wait in queue for their turn to enter in this shop.
The Tyaag Chakra has been created in the lines of Chakravyuh . The names of the brave hearts who gave their lives as a supreme sacrifice in the line of duty are inscribed in gold on granite bricks in this area. The granite bricks also contain the names of the ranks and regiments of these brave hearts.
The Rakshak Chakra refers to the hundreds of trees that surround the memorial, each of these being a representative of the soldiers protecting our country and the citizens therein.
Param Yodha Sthal
Alongside the Main Memorial is the Param Yodha Sthal. This area is dedicated to the Param Vir Chakra Awardees and has bronze busts of each one of them, along with a plaque that depicts story of their valor.
As is symbolic to New Delhi, the entire area of the memorial is covered with greenery in the form of various plants and trees. Despite the greenery and the beautiful fountains at various points, one look at the unending circles of granite bricks and there is a sense of an overwhelming grief for a brief moment when one thinks of the huge number of brave hearts who have sacrificed their lives for the nation.
Having said that, this place resonates courage and valor more than grief. The descriptions of the various battles fought and won by our Armed Forces makes one aware of their achievements and feel proud of them for keeping our country safe and secure.
It is a must visit when in New Delhi and not to be missed.