In news–Recently, in a historic move, the flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate in Delhi was merged with the eternal flame at the National War Memorial, which is 400 meters away on the other side of India Gate.
About Amar Jawan Jyoti-
- 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 then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had inaugurated it on Republic Day 1972, after India defeated Pakistan in December 1971.
- The key elements of the Amar Jawan Jyoti included a black marble plinth, a cenotaph, which acted as a tomb of the unknown soldier.
- The plinth had an inverted L1A1 self-loading rifle with a bayonet, on top of which was a soldier’s war helmet.
- The installation had four urns on it, with four burners.
- On normal days one of the four burners were kept alive, but on important days like the Republic Day, all four burners were lit.
- These burners were what is called the eternal flame, and it was never allowed to be extinguished.
- Since 1972, when it was inaugurated, it used to be kept alive with the help of cylinders of liquified petroleum gas, or LPG (changed to piped natural gas, or PNG 2006).
- The India Gate, also known as All India War Memorial earlier, was built by the British in 1931 in memory of the British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives between 1914-1921.
- As it was a memorial for the Indian soldiers killed in wars, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was established underneath it by the government in 1972 after the massive victory of India over Pakistan.
The National War Memorial-
- It was built in the India Gate complex by the Union government and was inaugurated in 2019.
- 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.
- It has the names of all the Indian defence personnel who have lost their lives in different operations from the 1947-48 war with Pakistan to the Galwan valley clash with Chinese troops.
- The names of troops who lost lives in the counter-terrorist operations are also included on the walls of the memorial.
- The architecture of the memorial is based on four concentric circles, the 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 honor based on the Chakravyuh.
- The walls have independent granite tablets for each of the soldiers who have died for the country since Independence and a tablet is added every time a soldier is killed in the line of duty.
- 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