“War means not killing but defeating the opposition or rivals”

To represent thus wars in an urban platform is a challenge in itself. The design philosophy is about Linking war to five principle elements of universe (Pancha Bhootas) and illustrating them in the Proposed War Memorial

India till today has fought five major wars. The names of Martyrs in these wars shall be represented in the five elements of Universe. All the five senses shall be evoked while experiencing the memorial.

While the central axis has been the existing spine of National Capital Delhi, as conceived by Sir Edwin Lutyens. It continued with the later on developments of Budha Jayanti park and Akshardham Temple in the same line. The War Memorial is placed in tangential to this Axis. Memorial geometry and built-form has been derived from site context. The Central Axis, India gate, Golden ratio, Ashoka Chakra and Vitruvius’ man and their correlation has been embodied in the geometry- in relation to site context with reference to memorial and museum.

War timeline has been represented in angles of Ashoka chakra. (The Ashoka Chakra in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag) The wheel denotes motion – the cycle of birth and death of Warriors. The length of the memorial denotes number of days spent on battlefield.

The memorial is placed above and below ground level wherein one experiences the 25000 soldier’s names as per their hierarchy. Represented in true sense:

  • Air force (air/light): Air-force officer names punched as voids in roof to allow light and depicts their names on wall during day and illuminated outside during night
  • Navy (water): Naval Officers’ names shall be floated in water (pool)
  • Army (earth/ground): Army soldiers who lost their life in the battles shall be engraved on stone-wall laid on ground.

Memorial is designed to appear like a mark on ground as a dark memory for loss of brave soldiers, a sacrifice to safeguard the country during wars. Memorial as an urban form acts like landscape element – a mound on ground and connects all lawns around the India Gate, where in visitors can meander around. Visitors shall experience the proposed memorial and ceremony space through underground connection between War Memorial and War Museum in northeast angle (19degrees 47 minutes) 1947.


Year                    2016
Project               War Memorial
Status                 International Competition
Design                Ketham Santosh Kumar
Model                 Sulaiman, Zebunisa, Radhika, Shivani, Rasha, Ameen