The government has put out the eternal flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti underneath India Gate and merged it with the one instituted at the National War Memorial in 2019 a few hundred meters away.
What was the Amar Jawan Jyoti and why was it constructed?
- The eternal flame at the Amar Jawan Jyoti underneath India Gate in central Delhi was an iconic symbol of the nation’s tributes to the soldiers who have died for the country in various wars and conflicts since Independence.
- Established in 1972, it was to mark India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 War, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.
- The key elements of the Amar Jawan Jyoti included a black marble plinth, a cenotaph, which acted as a tomb of the unknown soldier.
- For 50 years the eternal flame had been burning underneath India Gate, without being extinguished. But recently, the flame was finally put off, as it was merged with another eternal flame at the National War Memorial.
What is the National War Memorial and when was it made?
- The National War Memorial, which is around 400 meters from India Gate was inaugurated by PM in February 2019, in an area of around 40 acres.
- It was built to commemorate all the soldiers who have laid down their lives in the various battles, wars, operations and conflicts of Independent India.
- There are many independent memorials for such soldiers, but no memorial existed commemorating them all at the national level.
- The architecture of the memorial is based on four concentric circles.
- Largest is the Raksha Chakra or the Circle of Protection which is marked by a row of trees, each of which represent soldiers, who protect the country.
- The Tyag Chakra, the Circle of Sacrifice, has circular concentric walls of honour based on the Chakravyuh.
- This Veerta Chakra, the Circle of Bravery, has a covered gallery with six bronze crafted murals depicting the battles and actions of our Armed Forces.
- The final is the Amar Chakra, the Circle of Immortality, which has an obelisk, and the Eternal Flame. The flame from the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate will be merged with this flame, which has been kept burning since 2019 when the memorial was unveiled. The flame is a symbol of the immortality of the spirit of the fallen soldiers, and a mark that the country will not forget their sacrifice.
- Busts of the 21 soldiers who have been conferred with the highest gallantry award of the country, Param Vir Chakra, are also installed at the memorial.
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