The Kargil War Memorial which is located in the Ladakh region close to Drass is also known as Drass War Memorial.
It is a memorial which was built in the honor of our Braveheart’s soldiers those who laid down their life while protecting our Motherland during the Kargil War between India and Pakistan in 1999.
The Kargil War memorial is in Drass which is in the Kargil district of Ladakh also known as “Gateway of Ladakh”.
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The Kargil War Memorial Purpose
The Kargil War Memorial was constructed in 09 November 2004, in memory of Indian soldiers who made supreme sacrifice during Operation VIJAY in 1999.
The Kargil War Memorial serves as a tribute to the brave soldiers of the Indian Army who fought fearlessly against Pakistan Army to protect Nation’s Sovereignty and Integrity.
The Memorial also honor the sacrifices made by the Indian Army during the War.
Key Features of The Kargil War Memorial
The Kargil War Memorial features various sections which pay Homage to the Braveheart’s Soldiers as it includes Vijay Path, Cenotaph, Wall of Fame, Huts of Remembrance (Capt. Manoj Pandey PVC Gallery), Veer Bhoomi, National Flag, Amar Jawan Jyoti, Zojila War Memorial, MiG-21, Helipad and Down Memory Lane.
Some of the Key Features of The Kargil War Memorial are:
The Road from main gate leading to cenotaph is aptly called Vijay Path.
The Road is lined with 20 National Flags on both side and eight busts of Posthumous Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra Awardees.
The central feature of the memorial is a cenotaph which embowers the eternal flame “Amar Jawan Jyoti” at its base.
The Cenotaph is carved out of pink sandstone and It is surrounded by four minarets.
The Cenotaph also has an inscription of extract of poem “पुष्प की अभिलाषा- Pushp Ki Abhilasa” written by renowned poet Makhanial Chaturvedi in the Year 1921.
Wall of Fame
The Wall of Fame is in background of Cenotaph it is a brass wall engraved with names of 559 Braveheart’s who laid down their lives during OPERATION VIJAY.
It holds names of 33 Officers, 23 Junior Commissioned Officers, 501 Other Ranks and 02 Civilians.
The Wall has formation signs of 8 Mountain Division & 3 Infantry Division on top.
Extract of Poem ”शहीदों की चिताओ पर” by famous poet Jagadamba Prasad Mishra written in the Year 1916, is aptly inscribed in the centre of the wall.
The Wall also has inscription Beneath this earth young warriors sleep on top of the frame as a befitting tribute to the acts selfless & unparalleled valour beyond the call of duty.
Giant Indian Flag
One of the best thing to see is the Giant Indian Flag Proudly Flies.
The length of the Pole is 100 Ft. the flag size is 37*25ft which is presented by Flag Foundation of India on 26 July 2012 on the occasion of 13th Vijay Diwas.
Huts of Remembrance
Hut of Remembrance was inaugurated by Gen VP Malik, PVSM, AVSM (Retd.) on 25 July 2009, It was subsequently named as Capt. Manoj Kumar Pandey PVC Gallery.
It Houses photos from the battle zone & write–ups on units which participated in Operation VIJAY in 1999.
The Capt. Manoj Pandey Gallery holds models of Four pivotal battles at Tololing, Tiger Hill, PT 4875 & Khalubar Ridge.
The hut also displays captured Pakistani Flag Weapons & Documents.
The Photography and Videography is strictly Prohibited.
Veer Bhoomi was constructed to the west to the memorial to honour the Braveheart’s who have made the supreme sacrifice in all operations other than Operations VIJAY.
The Epitaphs bear testimony to the sacrifices made by the Indian Soldiers in these operations since 1947.
Zojila War Memorial
The memorial was built in the year 2021 next to Veer Bhoomi.
The memorial has inscriptions of details of Operations BISON & it pays tribute to the various units which participated in the operation to includes ‘7th Light Cavalry” which created history by successfully inducting & Operations its M5 Stuart Light Tanks at an altitude of 11500 Feet.
Indian Air Force played a major role by launching Operation SAFED SAGAR in support of ground operations.
A MIG-21 from 17 squadron (Golden Arrows) located at Bathinda was presented to the memorial in year 2013 to commemorate contribution of IAF & as a tribute to Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja, VRC (Posthumous) who led the Squadron during Operation VIJAY.
The Helipad at Kargil War Memorial was utilized during Operation VIJAY post capture of Tololing heights for logistics replenishment, casualty evacuation as well as reconnaissance missions.
A renovated helipad was inaugurated on 26 Dec 2003 by Col VN Thapar (Retd.) Father of Capt. Vijayant Thapar, VRC (Posthumous) The Helipad was later enlarged and resurfaced in the year 2021.
Down Memory Lane
Down Memory Lane is an underground gallery created on the occasion of 20th Kargil Vijay Diwas in Year 2019.
A miniature model depicting the entire area of Operation & models of seven important battles are places in the gallery.
Two captured Pakistani shelters are also part of the exhibition.
Why The Kargil War Memorial was Built in Drass?
The Kargil War Memorial was constructed in this region as this location is just below the Tololing and it also provides view of some of the peaks where Pakistan Army intruded in Kargil War 1999.
Second reason is as in past many bloodiest battles were fought in Drass Sector.
The peaks that can be seen from this point is Tololing, Tiger Hill and Pt 4875 which is also known as Batra Top.
Reason of The Kargil War 1999
During 1998-1999 Pakistan Army breached this mutual trust and deceitfully intruded 10-12 Km across Line of Control and occupied winter vacated posts in Muskoh Valley, Marpola Ridgeline in Drass, Kaksar area of Kargil and Batalik, Chorbatia and Turtuk sectors spread over a frontage of approximately 150 Km, Aim of Pakistan Army was to sever the road link between Kashmir to Ladakh and Siachen Glacier.
Indian Armed Forces displayed unprecedented grit and resolve to defeat the enemy in these challenging conditions.
Indian Army responded to the challenge promptly and surprised the enemy with speed & ferocity of operations Indian Army mobilized close to 30000 troops which involved 41 infantry units, 21 Artillery units, 7 Engineer units and 15 various other units.
Batra Top (Point 4875)
It is because of Indian Army Valour and sacrifice that all the battles on various location were won there were battle like Battle of Tololing, Battle of Tiger Hill, Batalik Sector, Battles in Chorbatia, Turtuk Sector in one such Battle on 05 July 1999 attack was launched on Pt 4875 by 13 JAK RIF, 17 JAT & 2 NAGA which secured the complex on 10 July 1999 The battle is famous for valour and sacrifice of Capt. Vikram Batra, PVC Pt 4875 was later named as Batra Top.
Operation Vijay 1999
During Operation Vijay 559 brave soldiers made the supreme sacrifice in highest tradition of the Indian Army. 1536 soldiers were also wounded.
This memorial is the testimony of all the brave hearts who gave up their today for our tomorrow.
Books on Kargil War
There are multiple books were written on Kargil War which tell you insights depth of the War and tells you about military accounts, personal experiences and some of them are focusing on courage and valour of our Soldiers.
These books collectively provide complete comprehensive knowledge on The Kargil War.
- Kargil From Surprise to Victory by General V.P Malik.
- THE KARGIL VICTORY by Colonel S.C. TYAGI
Today let us honor the noble and the brave, The Soldiers who dedicated their lives and sacrifices they made, Some came back with battle scars, others in flag rapped coffins, Even though their body may have left their spirit will never be forgotten.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there any Dress Code to Enter The Kargil War Memorial?
As such there is no dress code but it is place of remembrance to pay respect you are given entry when you are wearing proper clothes, no chappals, sandals are allowed, no shorts the clothes are need to be presentable.
Can we walk anywhere inside The Kargil War Memorial?
No you can only walk in pathways constructed crossing any restricted area and walking on grass is not allowed.
Is the Photography allowed inside the museum of The Kargil War Memorial?
Photography and Videography is not allowed inside Hut of Remembrance.
Is their any Souvenirs Shop in The Kargil War Memorial?
Yes there is a Souvenirs shop inside the memorial.
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