The eternal flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, which has not been extinguished for 50 years, will be put off on Friday, as it will be merged with the flame at the National War Memorial.
The National War Memorial was inaugurated in February 2019 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Official sources said that earlier, there was no war memorial to pay homage to all military personnel who had laid down their lives for the country in various wars and conflicts, which is why the flame was at India Gate. Now that there is a dedicated museum, the flame will be merged with the one at the National War Memorial.
After the National War Memorial was set up, political and military leaders would lay wreaths at the new site, and not at India Gate. Sources said that it was felt that merging the two flames will allow it to be in one place now.
The flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti was established to pay tributes to the soldiers who had died in the 1971 war. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on Republic Day 1972.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate has a cenotaph and a monument to honour all soldiers, on a marble pedestal with a rifle and a soldier helmet on it.
In a ceremony on Friday afternoon, a part of the flame will be taken from India Gate to the flame at the National War Memorial, around 400 meters away. After that, the flame at India Gate will be extinguished.
The National War Memorial, built over a 40-acre area close to India Gate, has names of over 26,000 Indian soldiers who have died in the wars and conflicts of independent India. It has four concentric circles and also has a National War Museum.
The Prime Minister, along with the military leaders, lays a wreath at the war memorial before the Republic Day parade.