The War Memorial, Darjeeling, stands as a reminiscence of the Gorkha martyrs of Darjeeling, who sacrificed their lives for their country in the wars and operations that have taken place since independence.
Location of War Memorial
It is 5 km from Darjeeling Town and located within the Batasia Loop, which is found just below the Ghoom monastery. War Memorial stands at the center of Batasia loop, a gigantic railway loop, where the Darjeeling Toy train makes a 360-degree turn. Built to honor the freedom struggle and the various wars fought post-independence, the War Memorial coincides with a very important hairpin turn the Darjeeling toy train makes.
History of war memorial Darjeeling
This memorial was constructed by the District Sainik Board, Darjeeling, to commemorate the brave Gorkha soldiers, who sacrificed their lives to protect the sovereignty of the nation since independence. The Gorkha Regiment has been a strong force in the Indian Army where numerous Gorkha soldiers from Darjeeling hills serve the nation. There have been over 75 soldiers who have gallantly died in wars and operations following India's independence. The Zila Sainik Board of Darjeeling initiated a move to commemorate the lives of such brave souls. As a result, a War Memorial Committee was formed and the objective of the committee was to look into the proposal and also find a suitable site for the memorial. In 1984, the Batasia Loop was chosen as a suitable site.
The War Memorial was completed and inaugurated on 18th April 1995. It comprises of a large raised platform which is oval in shape with a length of 37-foot and a maximum width of 24-foot. There is a triangular shape granite cenotaph in the middle which is 30-foot high. At the base of the cenotaph, there is Roll of Honor with names of those who died along with the dates of their death. Next to the cenotaph and on the platform is a 9-foot high bronze statue of a Gorkha soldier.
The Cenotaph and the statue of the Gorkha soldier here are particularly notable. This Gorkha soldier has been created by the renowned sculptor Gautama Pal of Krishna Nagar. At the approach to the site, a curved steel girder bridge has been constructed which is 37-foot long, 8-foot wide and 16-foot above the railway tracks. The entire War Memorial area spanning across the Batasia Loop is some 50,000 square feet with lovely gardens having both seasonal and perennial flowers, shrubs and trees all around.
How to reach the War Memorial
War Memorial is located at a distance of 5 km from the town and situated within the Batasia Loop. People can drive up there and also hire a taxi which will take 20 minutes from the city. One can also take a toy train ride to reach there which stops at Batasia Loop station.
Best time to visit War Memorial
The best time to visit War Memorial is from March to May and from October to November. During this time the weather remains pleasant and the sky remains clear.
Places to visit near the War Memorial
War Memorial is located within the Batasia Loop which is itself a famous tourist attraction. Darjeeling is dotted with a plethora of famous tourist places and one can visit the Ranka Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, Institute of Tibetology, etc.
War Memorial Timings: 5:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.
War Memorial Entry Fees: INR 5 per person