Country’s first and unique effort – Shaurya Smarak

Will establish live bond between martyrs and citizens

Bhopal, October 11, 2016 (Muslim Saleem):   The Government of Madhya Pradesh has developed Shaurya Smarak, a War Memorial in the prominent locality of Arera Hills in Bhopal. Shaurya Smarak, Bhopal is intended to provide a precinct for paying tribute and homage to all those who lay down their lives in service of the Nation’s security. This is a tribute to personnel from Madhya Pradesh in all the Armed Forces. The Smarak has been built on a 12.67 acres (approx. 51,250 sqm) campus at a cost of Rs 41.00 crores. The built up area of the project is approximately 8,000 sqm.  The concept for the design of Shaurya Smarak being interpreted as a shrine has taken reference from the historical edifices of traditional Indian Temples like those at Ellora, Khajuraho and Modhera. The sanctity of the temple axis is represented in the memorial with the final place for paying homage to those departed in War.  What is paramount is that the memorial be perceived in a manner that it firstly concerns the feelings of an individual and the entire community and appropriately responds to it.  The memorial being located in a city that is endowed with natural water bodies and huge expanse of undulating greens, the addition of the memorial is an act of enhancement of these natural attributes in the city of Bhopal. The programme dives into the site rather than rising out of it to remain in harmony with its immediate context. The Memorial has been envisaged as a journey through the various experiences of Life, War, Death and the liberation of the Spirit (Victory over Death), all exhibited through an extremely non-archetypal design.

The forms, volumes and textures conceived in each of these zones depict, metaphorically, various aspects of this journey. Designed as a quasi-subterranean structure that is more submerged than visible on ground, it is intended to influence the mind and soul of the visitor by being contemplative in spirit and could possibly initiate a silent dialogue between the visitor and the departed. This emotional engagement of the viewer allows the individual’s mentation to take precedence. Life: The arrival of life on earth is symbolised by a public square – the amphitheater of life (ups and downs of life) which are defined by the hard and soft textures of earth – represented by earthen brick steps, grass and water.