India Gate – the “calling card” of New Delhi

India Gate is a monument in honor of the Indian soldiers who fell in the battles of the First World War and the Anglo-Afghan Wars, situated in New Delhi. It was opened in 1931, being constructed upon the project of Edwin Lutyens. At the foot of this arch made of Bharatpur stone, the eternal fire is burning. According to the architect’s plan, the fire was supposed to be located at the very top of this structure, in a special niche, but this idea never found its realization. A statue to the British King George V used to stand in front of the monument, but it was removed to another place after India gained its independence.

The triumphal arch of the India gate resembles its “Parisian sister” from the Champs-Elysees as far as architecture is concerned. The scale and the significance for the city are also similar. This arch which is 48 meters high is situated at the main street of New Delhi named Rajpath, which is also known as “The way of kings”. New Delhi is in fact one of the districts of Delhi which is the official capital of India. At present New Delhi is the political, economic and cultural center of this country. It is justifiably considered to be one of the richest cities. So it’s not surprising that the main gate of India is situated here.

There is a rather spacious park around the India gate. It is usually very crowded, both with tourists and natives. If you do not carry your camera with you, do not worry. There are lots of Indians willing to offer you to make a photo of you with this grand structure on the background, for a small fee, of course. The structure is surrounded with beautiful lawns which are very popular among locals, who come here to rest, or to have a picnic. It should be highlighted that the entrance to this monument is absolutely free. At night the arch, as well as the fountains situated nearby, are illuminated.

All over these gates there are inscriptions with more than nine thousand names of the soldiers who fought under the English banner and were killed in battle.  The monument is surrounded with a fence of a low chain. The Indians treat this monument with great respect and the police watch the arch very carefully, whistling each time someone tries to sit on it. It is also worth mentioning that the Gate is situated in a very busy place that once used to be the crossing of all roads of this great capital, but later the city’s authorities considered it necessary to reduce traffic in this area due to increasing terrorist threats.

In 1971, when the Third Indian-Pakistan war came to an end, Indira Gandhi opened a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier close to the India Gate. Ever since that time, each head of a foreign state that comes to India on an official visit, lays a wreath onto it. Apart from that, colorful parades are held each year near the India Gate. It happens on January 26th, when the day of India’s independence is celebrated.

Visiting New Delhi it is just impossible to miss this great landmark which is very important and even sacred to the Indian people. Seeing this site will capture your imagination and give you a lot of unforgettable impressions.

  • Jayantk

    i salute those soldiers who spend their life for the Nation