Advantages It's a real gathering point and well worth a visit
Disadvantages You'll get more out of your visit if you've done a bit of reading beforehand
India Gate has the rare distinction of being one of the few attractions in Delhi that benefits from being visible from a great distance, rather than being crowded in by surrounding buildings. If you stand outside the Presidential Palace at the far end of Rajpath with the government buildings around you, you can look straight down this regal artery and see the 42m-high India Gate standing proudly in the distance, looking a little like an Asian Arc de Triomphe. And like the Arc de Triomphe, the India Gate also sits effectively at the middle of a giant roundabout.As befits a monument to the noble dead of the First World War, the architect Edwin Lutyens laid out the streets of this area of New Delhi to give sufficient prominence to the sacrifice of those it commemorates. It was originally known as the All India War Memorial but is now widely referred to as India Gate.
The construction of the India gate took about 10 years from the laying of the foundation stone in 1921 to its completion and its dedication by the Viceroy, Lord Irwin in 1931. It was intended to honour tens of thousands of Indian soldiers killed fighting for the Allies in the First World War and in the later Afghan wars. Although many of the dead are unnamed, there are approximately 13500 names inscribed on the memorial and above them all the word 'India' is carved into both sides at the top of the archway.In the 1970s an 'eternal flame' was added under the arch to honour the dead of the 1971 Indo-Pak war and this is guarded by soldiers. These days you cannot walk through the gate although I'm sure on earlier visits I was able to do so. There's a rather elegant covered podium behind the gate which looks a little like the Albert Memorial in London and was originally designed to hold a statue of the King but the statue was removed after Independence.
To visit the gate, you'll probably need a taxi or an auto rickshaw as the Metro system doesn't go very close and this is a bit of a walk from anywhere else. I've been several times and each time I'm a bit dumbstruck by this giant yellowy-pink arch standing proudly, surrounded by uncharacteristically neat and manicured lawns.Getting across the road is your first challenge and sometimes there's nothing for it but to put your head down and charge through the traffic.
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