Significance of Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial: Famous Tourist Attraction in Chennai

Madras War Memorial is a memorial dedicated to the servicemen and women who died in India during the First and Second World Wars. It is located in Nandambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, within the Madras War Cemetery. It is a place of remembrance and honour for the sacrifices made by the people of the Commonwealth nations in the defence of freedom and peace. Visit during Chennai Local Sightseeing by cab

Location of Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial is situated at the rear of the Madras War Cemetery, which is about 5 km (3.1 miles) from the airport and 14 km (8.7 miles) from the central railway station. The cemetery is on Mount-Poonamallee Road, passing at the foot of St. Thomas Mount. The memorial can be easily located on the right hand side of the road 1 km (0.62 miles) from St. Thomas Mount.

Timing/Entry Fees Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial is open to the public daily, including Sundays (excluding public holidays) between 08:00 am and 18:00 pm. There is no entry fee for visiting the memorial or the cemetery. However, visitors are requested to respect the sanctity of the place and maintain silence and decorum.

How to Reach Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial

There are many ways to reach Madras War Memorial from different parts of Chennai and nearby areas. Some of the common modes of transport are:

  • By Road: Madras War Memorial is well-connected by road with various parts of the city and nearby towns. There are many buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws that ply to and from the memorial. The memorial road, also known as Kamarajar Salai or Rajaji Salai, runs parallel to the cemetery and has a signboard indicating the direction to the memorial.
  • By Rail: Madras War Memorial can be reached by train from various railway stations in Chennai and nearby areas. The nearest railway station is St. Thomas Mount, which is about 1 km away from the memorial. Other nearby railway stations are Guindy, Pallavaram and Tirusulam. From these stations, one can walk or take an auto-rickshaw or cycle-rickshaw to reach the memorial.
  • By Metro: Madras War Memorial can also be reached by metro from various metro stations in Chennai. The nearest metro station is Alandur, which is about 3 km away from the memorial. Other nearby metro stations are Ekkatuthangal, Ashok Nagar and Vadapalani. From these stations, one can walk or take an auto-rickshaw or cycle-rickshaw to reach the memorial.

Things to Do/Must See Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial offers a solemn and serene experience for visitors who want to pay their respects and learn about the history and heritage of the wars. Some of the things to do and see at the memorial are:

  • Reading the names and inscriptions: Madras War Memorial bears plaques with the names of more than 1000 servicemen and women who died in India during the First World War and whose remains lie in many civil and cantonment cemeteries across India, where it is not possible to maintain their graves in perpetuity The memorial also bears plaques with the names of 856 Commonwealth servicemen who died in India during the Second World War and whose graves are in Madras War Cemetery The names are arranged by regiments, units and ranks, along with their dates of death and ages. The inscriptions also include a verse from Laurence Binyon’s poem “For The Fallen”: “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn; At the going down of the sun and in the morning; We will remember them.”
  • Observing the architecture and design: Madras War Memorial is styled on the lines of a lawn cemetery, with a circular kerb enclosing a flower garden around a central stone pillar The pillar has a bronze wreath on top and four bronze panels on its sides, depicting scenes from both wars. The pillar also has four bronze lamps at its base, symbolizing eternal light. The memorial was designed by G.H.Goldsmith, an architect of United Kingdom’s Imperial War Graves Commission (now Commonwealth War Graves Commission) The memorial was built in 1952 by Indian contractors under British supervision.
  • Attending commemorative events: Madras War Memorial hosts various commemorative events throughout the year, such as Remembrance Day (11 November), Anzac Day (25 April), Victory Day (8 May), etc. These events involve laying wreaths, observing silence, playing bugles, singing hymns and delivering speeches by dignitaries and representatives of various countries and organizations. These events are open to the public and aim to honour the fallen and promote peace and goodwill among nations.

Significance of Madras War Memorial

Madras War Memorial is not only a memorial but also a significant place for Chennai and India. Some of the reasons why Madras War Memorial is important are:

  • It is a historical site that showcases the role and contribution of India and the Commonwealth nations in the First and Second World Wars. It is a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who fought and died for a common cause, despite their differences in race, religion, culture and nationality.
  • It is a cultural site that reflects the diversity and unity of Chennai and India. It is a place where people from different backgrounds and walks of life come together to remember and respect the fallen. It is also a place where people can learn about the history and heritage of the wars and their impact on the society and the world.
  • It is a peace site that promotes the values and ideals of the Commonwealth nations. It is a place where people can reflect on the horrors and futility of war and the need for dialogue and cooperation among nations. It is also a place where people can express their gratitude and solidarity with the veterans and their families.

FAQ’s

Q: Is photography allowed at Madras War Memorial?

A: Yes, photography is allowed at Madras War Memorial for personal use only. However, visitors are requested to be respectful and discreet while taking photographs and not to disturb or offend anyone.

Q: Are there any facilities or amenities at Madras War Memorial?

A: Yes, there are some facilities and amenities at Madras War Memorial, such as toilets, drinking water, benches, parking, etc. There is also a resident manager who lives within the cemetery premises and can assist visitors with any queries or issues.

Q: Are there any other memorials or attractions near Madras War Memorial?

A: Yes, there are some other memorials or attractions near Madras War Memorial, such as St. Thomas Mount, which is a hill with a church and a shrine dedicated to St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ; Guindy National Park, which is a protected area with a variety of flora and fauna; Phoenix Marketcity, which is a shopping mall with many shops, restaurants, cinemas, etc.

Conclusion

Madras War Memorial is one of the most solemn and serene places in Chennai. It is a place of remembrance and honour for the servicemen and women who died in India during the First and Second World Wars. It is also a place of history and heritage for Chennai and India. Madras War Memorial is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to pay tribute to the fallen heroes and learn about the wars that shaped the world.

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