Tawang War Memorial

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2013

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Visiting Tawang was a dream come true. The drive from Bhalukpong to Tawang was wow. Dense forests, fog, water falls, flaura, Nag Devata Mandir and so on. We stopped at Bomdilla for the night and then drove to Tawang the next day. The Tawang War Memorial is dedicated to those brave officers who lost their lives in Kameng Sector during Indo China War of 1962. U see the Memorial.

We reached Tawang by 3ish. In hindsight it is better to spend the night at Dirang than Bomdilla. It is not as cold, distance to Tawang shorter and has more hotels - may be cheaper too. In Tawang the Army has its offices in a area - as I was walking around saw this stone image of Ganesha. Loved it. It is made of Orissa stone. Ganesha is invoked before the commencement of any good action (in this case Tawang War Memorial), remover of obstacles and master of knowledge and achievement. Hence offerings to Ganesha before we embark on this virtual tour.

In the same complex is this image of Field Marshall K M Cariappa (28/1/1899 to 15/5/1993). Sir is an unforgettable name in the Indian Army. Among the many firsts, he was the first Indian General Officer. On 15/1/1949 he was appointed as the First Commander-In-Chief of the Indian Army. He is regarded as the Father of Indian Army. In view of his exemplary services to the nation he was appointed Field Marshal in 1986. Your karmas shall forever inspire us Sir.

As I walked around was this image of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Was very happy to see image and more with the citation that you shall read in next picture. One of the regiments that guards the border with Tibet is the Maratha Infantry so saw another image of Shivaji Maharaj on way to border. To read about Shivaji life Click here

Image of Shivaji Maharaj dedicated to the People of Arunachal Pradesh by former Governor and Chief of India Army J J Singh. Read Shivaji and the Rebirth of a Nation Click here

An overview of the Tawang War Memorial. Pic taken about 6.30 am. Weather in Tawang changes very fast from foggy to sunny. Flags that you see represent the regiments who fought during the Indo China War of 1962. Memorial made per Buddhist tradition as you shall read later.

As you walk up the steps is this citation to The Unsung Heroes of India. Hats off to them. May their families be happy, prosperous and proud of the Ultimate Sacrifice made for Bharat Mata.

This tells you that the memorial is in the form of a chorten which venerates the departed in Buddhist tradition. It signifies the eternal spirit and has been blessed by the monks of Tawang.

A side brighter view of the Memorial. It was dedicated to the Nation by Lt Gen HRS Kalkat, GOC-In-C Eastern Command on 2 Nov 1999 and renovated in October 2012 on the completion of 50 years of the Supreme Sacrifice of Gallant Heroes. Bharat Mata ki Jai ho.

A closer view of the chorten. There is a Buddha image in the centre. On either side of entrance is Mana Prayer Wheel. To see pics of the Raniket War Memorial in Kumaon, Uttaranchal. Click here

A close up of the lower view of the chorten - to give you an idea of the Buddhist design.

This memorial is dedicated to the 2,420 Jawans, JCO''s, Officers who laid down their lives in the Kameng sector during the 1962 war. Nobody believed we had killed so many Chinese at Rezang La. Read what two soldiers Ramchandra Yadav and Nihal Singh who survived that battle had to say. Click here

Inside the memorial is a room dedicated to Subedar Joginder Singh. On 23/10/1962 the Chinese opened a heavy attack on the Bumla axis with the intent to break through in Tawang. Chinese came in 3 waves of about 200 each. Subedarji n team mowed down the first wave, second wave too but lost half of their men. They could not withstand the third attack and attained martyrdom. There is a memorial dedicated to Subedarji whose pics we shall upload separately. What will it take to face up to China Click here

U see Tawang Monastery - distant view. It is an imp seat of Mahayana Buddhism. It was founded during the 17th century by Mera Lama Lodre Gyaltso. It is Asia''s second largest monastery. To read about Indo Chinese War of 1962 - link has a precis of a book by D R Mankekar titled The Guilty Men of 1962. Click here