All-India War Memorial Arch

All-India War Memorial Arch (India Gate)

Completed in 1931

Rajpath, New Delhi

The All-India War Memorial Arch, popularly known as India Gate, is one of Lutyens' great war memorials, an area of work for which he is much celebrated. It straddles and marks the beginning of the great ceremonial road, bordered by broad lawns, fountains and trees, that leads for nearly one and a half miles to Lutyens' Viceroy's House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan), passing Sir Howard Baker's Secretariats on the way. Rising from its base of Bharatpur stone to a coffered arch with stylised imperial suns at the top (see picture below) and a dentilled cornice above them, it is massive, at 30' wide and nearly 140' high, and commemorates "60,000 Indian losses in the First World War and ... 13,516 British officers and men whose bones lay scattered across the mountains and defiles of the North West Frontier" (Davies 234; some sources give a higher total). Commentary continues below.