New Delhi: India Gate & Rajpath - KNT Diary

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Sunday, December 2, 2018

New Delhi: India Gate & Rajpath

If you are in Delhi, it is a must to see India Gate & Rajpath located in central Delhi.

The India Gate (originally the All India War Memorial) is a war memorial located astride the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the "ceremonial axis" of New Delhi, formerly called Kingsway. It stands as a memorial to 70,000 soldiers of the British Indian Army who died in between 1914–1921 in the First World War, in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Second Anglo-Afghan War. 

13,300 servicemen's names, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the gate evokes the architectural style of the triumphal arch such as the Arch of Constantine, in Rome, and is often compared to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the Gateway of India in Mumbai.

Following the Bangladesh Liberation war in 1972, a structure consisting of a black marble plinth with a reversed rifle, capped by a war helmet and bounded by four eternal flames, was built beneath the archway. This structure, called Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame of the Immortal Soldier), has since 1971 served as India's tomb of the unknown soldier. 

India Gate is counted amongst the largest war memorials in India and every Republic Day, the Prime Minister visits the gate to pay their tributes to the Amar Jawan Jyoti, following which the Republic Day parade starts. The memorial-gate is also a popular spot for protests by the civil society in New Delhi.

Rajpath (constructed as and formerly named King's Way during the period of the British Raj) is a ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi, India, that runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate, National War Memorial (India) to National Stadium, Delhi. The avenue is lined on both sides by huge lawns, canals and rows of trees.

Considered to be one of the most important roads in India, it is where the annual Republic Day parade takes place on 26 January. Janpath (meaning "People's Way") crosses the road. Rajpath runs in the east-west direction. Roads from Connaught Place, the financial centre of Delhi, run into Rajpath from the north.

After climbing Raisina Hill, Rajpath is flanked by the North and South Blocks of the Secretariat Building. Finally, it ends at the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan. At Vijay Chowk, it crosses Sansad Marg, and the Parliament House of India can be seen to the right when coming from the India Gate.

It is also used for the funeral processions of key political leaders of India. The opening scene of the movie Gandhi starts at Rajpath.

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