Visit India Gate, India’s national monument, which is dedicated to fallen soldiers. Admire its impressive design, watch military parades and marching bands, and enjoy picnics and games on the grassy lawns. India Gate is a 138-foot- (42-metre) tall archway honouring the tens of thousands of Indian soldiers who died serving in the British Army in World War I. Look for the inscriptions of the names of more than 13,000 soldiers who died in the Afghan War of 1919. Mounted under the arch is the Amar Jawan Jyoti, an eternal flame commemorating unknown soldiers who lost their lives in various wars.
Visit the India Gate at nightfall to see the monument and the surrounding fountains beautifully lit. At night, the lawns fill up with picnicking families and groups of friends playing cricket or Frisbee. Bring your own picnic or purchase local street food from the many vendors that circulate the area. Try some fruit chaat (sweet fruit and potatoes) or bhelpuri (savoury rice and vegetables).
The India Gate leads directly onto Rajpath ( King’s Way), a ceremonial boulevard lined with lawns, ornamental pools and rows of trees. Take a leisurely stroll from the India Gate to the opposite end of the boulevard, where you will arrive at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of India’s president. At certain times throughout the year, you can visit the residence’s picturesque Mughal Gardens, featuring pools, fountains and cultivated flowers. Refer to the residence’s official website for details.
From the India Gate and Rajpath, observe one of New Delhi’s biggest celebrations, Republic Day, which takes place in January. Listen to a 21-gun salute, then watch performances by the marching bands of India’s military regiments, including a camel-mounted regiment, during the Republic Day Parade. Two days later, marching bands bring the celebrations to a close with the Beating Retreat ceremony.
Located in central New Delhi, the India Gate is easily accessible by public transportation, and just a short walk from the nearest metro station. Admission to the gate and grounds is free.