I first saw the India Gate from the Parliament Building in New Delhi and I thought it was just a short walk away, but I guess I was looking at it from a forced perspective. It was a good few blocks down the street with intersections and heavy traffic so walking would require more than what little endurance I have for walking, so I decided to postpone checking it out until a couple of days later.
The imposing 42-meter high India Gate is an archway in the middle of a crossroad near Connaught Place in New Delhi. It was constructed in 1921 by architect Edwin Lutyens as a war memorial to the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting against the British Army in World War 1. The India Gate is counted to be one of the largest war memorials in the country.
History narrates that after India got its independence, the India Gate became the site of the Amar Jawan Jyoti— Indian Army’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The inscription above the arch reads: “To the dead of the Indian armies who fell and are honoured in France and Flanders, Mesopotamia and Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East and in sacred memory also of those whose names are here recorded and who fell in India on the north west frontier and during the Third Afghan War.”
My buddy Rolly and I just arrived from a long 15-hour bus ride from the Himalayan ranges and we went straight to the India Gate. A handful of tourists were already milling around at past 7 a.m. taking photos and selfie shots with their selfie sticks. I went around taking photos and saw this boy selling colorful bracelets to tourists. He tried to convince me to buy one but I said no. I asked him instead if I can take his photo and give him 10 rupees. He said no and said 20. At a young age he already knows the art of bargaining but I stood my ground and he finally agreed—10 rupees for just one smile. Smart kid.
We didn’t stay long at the India Gate, just a quick stop because we wanted to check out other attractions that New Delhi boasts has to offer.
I read that at night, India Gate is dramatically lit at night along with the water fountains on both sides but I never had time to find that out. Maybe next time.
There are pros and cons when you visit the iconic India Gate in New Delhi early in the morning. One advantage is there are fewer tourists than during the day, but the disadvantage is that’s when the street sweepers clean the roads and you get to sniff all the dust and haze you can inhale.
Visit to the India Gate is free and it’s open all day. For more information visit http://www.delhitourism.travel/india-gate-delhi.