Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Ladhak & Kashmir 2010 - Day 12 - Kargil War Memorial
We reached the Kargil war memorial, with the tiger hill in the backdrop. I remember being told the memorial was in Dras.
The memorial, made of pink sandstone (my guess) was spaced out over land that was an acre or two.
Not superimposing, simple but elegant, I thought.
Slabs with informative inscriptions on them are made of the same pink stone and set into the pillars in a way that makes them non intrusive.
The words OP VIJAY (operation Vijay) in golden letters can be read on the central piece of the memorial. The wall at the back of this has the names of our warriors inscribed in gold.
I managed to climb on top of a short wall at the back and got a few nice pictures of the memorial in a sort of birds eye view. A soldier in uniform came towards me, asking me to get down.
A small museum was to the right of the memorial as you faced it. There was photographs of soldiers in operation; a kalash, perhaps symbolic of the one that holds ashes of the dead in a silvery mandap, with Ashoka pillars on two sides at the front and a lamp before it and flowers in a tray; some inspirational quotes on plaques here and there, a picture of the then prime minister AB Vajpayee giving a speech, three dimensional moulds of the hilly landscape with little signs identifying the various peaks, hillocks; a shahid kalash, sayings from the Geetha, Bible, Grath Sahib and the Quran about war and martyrdom - these were to be found in the museum.
I took pictures of the Tiger hill and another hill where the war was actually fought, and then we moved on.
And by the way, Kargil Divas, or Vijay Divas, the day of conclusive victory in the war falls on the 26th of July. I was delighted to see this because my birthday falls on that day.
At last, a reason to celebrate my birthday, I thought, somewhat sadly.