Memorials of the Brave 1
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India Gate

The "All India War Memorial" (India Gate) was built in New Delhi to honour the 60,000 officers and soldiers who fell during the Great War of 1914-18. The Memorial also records the names of 13,516 British and Indian officers who died fighting on the North-West frontier in the Afghan War of 1919.

The foundation stone of this war memorial was laid on February 2, 1921 by Field Marshal His Royal Highness Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught and Stratheam. The memorial was unveiled on February 12, 1932. The arch, which rises to a height of 42 meters, is surmounted by a stone bowl which was to be filled with oil with the plan to place an 'eternal flame' to burn in the dome on top of the arch. This was, however, never done.

Amar Jawan Jyoti

The Amar Jawan Jyoti (Eternal Flame of the Immortal Soldier) is located under the main arch of India Gate just behind the three flags of the army, air force and navy which can be seen in the foreground. This structure was placed here in 1972 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to honour the soldiers who had died in the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

This black marble structure has four fires perpetually lit at its four corners. The rifle atop the structure is capped by the army hat (used during World War II). The annual Republic Day parade which takes place on the Central Vista commences with the Prime Minister laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Wreaths are also placed here on special occasions by national and international leaders, own and visiting Service Chiefs, delegations from abroad and ex-servicemen.

Tawang Memorial, Arunachal Pradesh.

The Tawang Memorial is dedicated to the 2420 martyrs killed in the Kameng sector during the 1962 Indo-China war. It was inaugurated on Nov 18, 1999, by GOC Eastern Command, Lt. Gen. H.R.S. Kalkat. It is nestled among the picturesque snow-capped peaks overlooking the imposing Tawang-Chu valley in Tawang.

At the entrance, a plaque saying "A nation that does not honour its dead warriors will perish" lends an air of seriousness to the place. The war memorial was the first real attempt by the Army to honour those who died fighting a vastly superior and well-prepared enemy.

More about the memorial here. Also see The 1962 India-China war site@Bharat-Rakshak

13 Kumaon Memorial, Chushul, Ladakh.

(pic: Lest We Forget by Amarinder Singh, Sainik Samachar & The 1962 India-China war site)

The memorial not only reminds people of the glory and brave acts of the heroes of 1962, but will touch the hearts of every visitor as at the base of the memorial it is written:

"How can a Man die Better than facing Fearful Odds, For the Ashes of His Fathers and the Temples of His Gods."

To the sacred memory of the Heroes of Rezang-La, 114 Martyrs of 13 Kumaon who fought to the Last Man, Last Round, Against Hordes of Chinese on 18 November 1962.

Built by All Ranks 13th Battalion, The Kumaon Regiment

The memorial marks the site where the 114 martyrs of 13 Kumaon Regiment were cremated.

Kohima War Memorial & Cemetery, Nagaland.

The World War II Kohima War Memorial was built for the Indian and Allied soldiers of the war who died fighting the Japanese during the three-month long "Battle of Kohima" that ended in April 1944. Two tall crosses stand out at the lowest and highest points. At the base of the upper cross there is an inscription which says:

"Here, around the tennis court of the deputy commissioner lie men who fought in the battle of Kohima in which they and their comrades finally halted the invasion of India by the forces of Japan in April 1944."

To one side of this memorial cross, and often missed by visitors, there is a tree with a small plaque on it. The plaque says: "This flowering cherry tree is of historical interest. The original tree was used as a sniper's post by the Japanese and was destroyed in the fighting which raged round the tennis court and marked the limit of the Japanese advance into India. The present tree is from a branch from the old one." More about the famous cherry tree here.

And at the base of the lower cross, an inscription reads:

"When you go home, Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow, We gave our today."


This piece is believed to have been written from the battlefield by a young British officer in a chit to his friend in the headquarters.

Kohima War Cemetery

Between the two crosses and overlooking Kohima lies the Kohima War Cemetery. The cemetery is serene and beautiful. Roses bloom in season, the grass is always billiard-table smooth. Stretching all the way across this gently rising hill are stone markers with shining bronze plaques. Each commemorates the name of a single man who gave his life for freedom. The cemetery contains 330 Indian, 1100 British and five Canadian burials. There is also an Indian Cremation Memorial which commemorates by name over 900 other Indian Gurkhas who were cremated.

Read more about the Battle of Kohima here.

Imphal War Cemetery, Manipur.

The World War II Imphal War Cemetery contains the graves of the Indian and Allied soldiers who died fighting the Japanese during the siege of Imphal in 1944. Of all the battles on the Eastern frontier of India, the siege of Imphal and its relief in the summer of 1944 rank next only in importance to the Battle of Kohima.

Strategically vital for the maintenance of all Allied operations in Burma, Imphal with its airfields was a main objective when the Japanese made their thrust towards India in the spring of 1944. There was severe fighting in the surrounding hills and on the outskirts of the plain; and the enemy succeeded in cutting and holding for over three months a long section of the Imphal-Kohima road. The Indian IV Corps fiercely held their ground, inflicting heavy punishment on the Japanese, who were forced to withdraw.

The site of the cemetery is open and flat, with a pleasant view of the distant hills on its eastern side. There were originally some 950 burials in the cemetery, but the graves from two smaller cemeteries in Imphal and from isolated positions in the region round about were moved into this cemetery by the Army Graves Service after hostilities had ceased.

Ajitgarh or Mutiny Memorial, New Delhi.

(pic: Medha Malik Kudaisya)

The Mutiny Memorial was built by the British in 1863 to honour the soldiers of the Delhi Field Force who were killed in the fierce battle to recapture Delhi during the Great Indian Mutiny-Revolt of 1857. Almost 60 Victoria Crosses were won before the revolt was finally put down with massive British reinforcements.

The memorial is an octagonal tapering tower of red sandstone rising from a two-tiered platform and provided with a staircase on the interior. The names of different units, officers and the number of the British and Indian officers and ranks who were killed in the mutiny are inscribed on different slabs around the tower.

After Indian Independence in 1947, the site was converted into a memorial for those martyrs who rose against colonial rule in 1857 during "The First Indian War of Independence". In 1972, on the 25th anniversary of India's Independence, the memorial was renamed Ajitgarh.

National Martyrs Memorial, Bangladesh


Located at Savar, 35 km from Dhaka city, the memorial is dedicated to the sacred memory of the millions of unknown martyrs of the 1971 war of liberation.

Designed by architect Moinul Hossain, it is a concrete monument based on fourteen walls tapering at the top. Only simple geometry has followed to develop this magnificent form. All these walls are gradually increasing in height one after another and giving effect of this monument. The top most pick of this structure is 147 ft from ground.

In July 2002, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf became the first Pakistani army ruler to visit Bangladesh since the 1971 war. While paying homage at the memorial, Musharraf described the events of 1971 as "unfortunate" and the excesses "regrettable".

Left-wing groups of Bangladesh, however, want a formal apology from Pakistan and compensation for the estimated three million people killed and nearly 300,000 women raped by the Pakistani Army and their local henchmen, comprising mainly fundamentalist groups, during the nine-month liberation war.