HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY!
I was alone at the time of my visit to India Gate. Vini had been very keen on accompanying me as she is extremely attached to this monument. But she had been working the whole day while I had completed my visit to Baha’i Temple and came to Rajiv Chowk Metro at 3 pm.
I had lunch at 4 pm at McDonald’s in Central Park. I had originally planned to visit Jantar Mantar but I found that I had no energy for three more hours of sightseeing. That’s when I decided to take a rickshaw to India Gate. The Sardar who was driving the rickshaw was very nice and told me that I cannot get too close to India Gate due to tight security.
|In front of India Gate|
It was terrifically cold and I could feel the bite through my sweater and jacket. I hung around there for about half-an-hour as there was a chance that Vini might join me. In fact, an old security guard sounded worried when he asked me whether I was waiting for someone. He also kindly advised me that I should go home as it was so cold. I had a cup of hot tea, clicked some pictures, requested someone to take a picture of me in front of the monument and left. I took another rickshaw back to the hotel as I was too cold to bother looking for a metro station.
A bit of history on India Gate thanks to Wikipedia.org:
|Amar Jawan Jyoti & |
the Canopy behind it
After Independence, the India Gate came to be symbolized as Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal soldier).
Amar Jawan Jyoti
Burning in a shrine under the arch of India Gate since 1971 is the Amar Jawan Jyoti that marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The shrine itself is a black marble cenotaph surmounted by a rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier's helmet. This cenotaph is placed on a pedestal with four continuously burning torches on its corners.
On every Republic Day, January 26, the Prime Minister pays homage to the country's fallen soldiers along with Heads of Armed Forces, before joining the annual parade at the Rajpath. The flags represent the 3 branches of the Indian armed forces - Army, Navy and Air Force.
Standing behind the gate is an empty canopy made out of sandstone, inspired by an 18th century Mahabalipuram pavilion.
|India Gate. Doesn't it look gorgeous?|