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Martyr's Memorial

Chandigarh is the first properly planned city of India. Designed by Le Corbusier, the French architect, the city spreads over an area of 56 square kilometres. Chandigarh features its own architectural style, which is well known across the world. The city finds a great location along the foothills of Shivalik Ranges in the north-western part of India. Chandigarh is enclosed with a lot of greenery and forested area. There are thickly cultivated areas covered with banyan and eucalyptus trees. These forests are home to several species of birds and animals.

Chandigarh attracts people from all over India and the world, for its architecture and planning. There are several attractions dotted all around the city. One such attraction is the Martyr's Memorial located towards the right of the Assembly building. The memorial is built to honour all the people who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of India. The memorial is built in the Capitol Complex of Chandigarh, which serves as the seat of the government of Punjab and Haryana.

The entire Capitol Complex provides visitors with a variety of attractions that they would love to see. The architecture of the Martyr's Memorial is worth noting. The construction of the memorial was a concept suggested by Le Corbusier. There is a ramp that leads to the memorial making it easy for visitors to reach the memorial and see its architecture closely, to better understand the essence of freedom and the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters.

Purpose of Martyr's Memorial

The Martyr's Memorial was built in remembrance of the freedom strugglers of India. The monument was inaugurated in the month of August in 2006 by the president of India then, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Azad. The Martyr's Memorial is among one of the largest war memorials in India. It has over 8459 names of martyred soldiers from the Indian army, navy and air force since 1947. The memorial lists the names of the deceased soldiers from Punjab, Union Territory of Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh.

The memorial is an expression of gratefulness to those brave hearts, who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and betterment of the nation. The foundation stone for the memorial was laid in the year 2004, by the then Governor of Punjab and the Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh, Lt. Gen. JFR Jacob (retired). When laying the foundation stone, he named the monument, the ‘Shandar Yaadgar’.


The idea and illustrations of the memorial were provided by Le Corbusier in 1956. But the structure was designed by two students of the Architecture College of Chandigarh. The memorial is built in the form of a square enclosure. One of the sides of the enclosure has been elongated into a ramp, using which people can mount the encircling wall. Inside the arena are proposed symbolic figures of a man, a snake and a lion built among the ruins. Visitors can climb up the ramp to get a better view of the entire Capitol Complex.
The Martyr's Memorial was originally conceptualized to symbolise four elements. The first was the design of the monument. The second was the inscription, which is placed so intelligently on the walls, that it can be seen only when going down the ramp or when entering the square. The inscriptions are not projected to be seen from the walkway. The walls of the memorial have the remaining two elements - one in the form of the chakra, which is also seen on the national flag and the other in the form of the Swastik, which represents the culture of India. There are also inscriptions of a snake and a tiger which represent the birth of a new India.

Visiting the Monument

The Martyr's Memorial is located in Sector 3 in the city of Chandigarh. It is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The memorial is surrounded by beautiful Bougainvillea gardens. Walking past the Bougainvillea gardens, visitors reach the concrete ramp that can be climbed to get a view of the Martyr's Memorial.

The Bougainvillea garden features over fifty varieties of bougainvilleas, and spreads over an area of 20 acres. The bougainvilleas in the garden are shaped in the form of arches, pavilions, arcades and hideaways. The garden also hosts the annual Bougainvillea festival, which attracts a number of visitors. Apart from the bougainvillea plants, the garden also features tracks, which can be used for walking and jogging.

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