India Gate, originally known as the All India War Memorial was erected in 1931 in the heart of Delhi to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in World War I and Third Anglo-Afghan War. India at that time was under the British rule and Indian soldiers were used extensively in the war effort. About 90,000 Indian soldiers died and every single name is engraved in the memorial. After independence, it also became the site of the Indian Army’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, symbol of India’s freedom movement.
There is a beautiful domed sandstone canopy behind the gate. The visitor can stand on both sides of the canopy and can see the entire Rajpath Avenue (the most important road in India that ultimately leads to the Presidents Palace and the Parliament Houses of India) at a stretch, which I used to find quite fascinating as a child and still do. India Gate is cordoned and viewers are not allowed very close to the moment hence the inscriptions of the soldiers and their battalions that lost their lives are not visible.
This monument is a great piece of not just India but for any nation that fought in the Great War. The place has become a sort of national monument and democratic protests are common on the spot for instance there were huge protests and candle lit vigils here after the recent gang rape of a 23-year old student in Delhi.
Hence a visit to Delhi would not be complete without visiting this historical monument and witness real history. I have fond memories of this place. As a child my family used to visit this place and sit on the lawn and eat peanuts, ice cream and other Indian street snacks sold here.
I would recommend a grief stop at this place if you’re in Delhi. While you are there, you might consider visiting other tourist attractions near the India Gate such as the Parliament House, the National Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art.
Pictures of India Gate