India Gate is the national monument of India. Situated in the heart of New Delhi, India it was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Originally known as All India War Memorial, it is a prominent landmark in Delhi and commemorates the soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives while fighting for the British Indian Empire, or more correctly the British Raj in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. It is composed of red sand stone and granite that rises in stages into a huge moulding. On top of the arch, INDIA is written on both sides. Names of over 70,000 Indian soldiers are inscribed on the walls of the monument in whose memory it has been built.
Originally, a Statue of King George V had stood under the now-vacant canopy in front of the India Gate, and was removed to Coronation Park with other statues. Following India’s independence, India Gate became the site of the Indian Army’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, known as the Amar Jawan Jyoti, literally meaning “The flame of the Immortal Soldier”.
On the occasion of State Ceremonies, it is customary for the President and the Prime Minister, as well as visiting Guests of State, to pay homage at the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Though, the most elaborate ceremony at India Gate is held on Republic Day, 26 January, when the Prime Minister pays homage to the soldiers along with Heads of Armed Forces, before joining the annual parade at the Rajpath.