Majestically standing in the heart of the national capital, the India Gate is abuzz with people from dawn to dusk. A photographer has beautifully captured the bustle around the monument that houses the Amar Jawan Jyoti — a tribute to the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the country.
It is fiercely guarded by all three services of the armed forces — the Army, Air Force and Navy on rotating duty around the clock.
“Peering up at the Amar Jawan Jyoti from behind velvet ropes, or taking an exterior picture of one side of India Gate is as close as anyone can normally get,” says Delhi-based photographer Aditya Kapoor. Which is why he couldn’t believe his luck when he actually got permission to climb to the very top of India Gate.
Commissioned to shoot a coffee table book for the Ministry Of Defense, Kapoor wanted access to shoot different sects of army music bands from a clear vantage point. “I was informed by the Commanding Officer that I could climb up on top of India Gate to get the aerial view I was looking for,” he says, also remembering feeling overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the view.
“There are over 300 steps that takes you right to the top of India Gate which offers a majestic view of Rashtrapati Bhawan on one side and the green pastures surrounding the canopy behind,” says Kapoor. “At the top of the monument, there are two levels of giant circular halls, and smaller cells with arches similar to the main architecture along the stairwells. Meanwhile, an underground gas pipeline is connected to the Amar Jawan Jyoti to ensure it remains lit 24/7!”
Kapoor climbed India Gate at different times of the day and night to document the structure in various settings — from “being infested with hundreds of visitors, and ice cream vendors” to the still after a thunderstorm. “Once during the day, I managed to capture the entire shadow of ‘the Gate’ in the foreground, with Rashtrapati Bhawan in the background — it’s quite an unusual sight,” he says.
Kapoor said the entire experience left him feeling much closer to the Capital, almost like a secret no one else has. He is eshmile on Instagram.
A view of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the background from atop India Gate.