The National Military Memorial (NMM), established by the Government of Karnataka, is dedicated to the soldiers who laid down their lives for the country. The memorial sits on 7.5 acres of lush green space in the heart of the city, next to the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park. An initiative of M. K. Chandrasekhar VM, a former pilot in the Indian Air Force, and his son Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an ex-MP (2006) and founder of the Flags of Honour Foundation, the memorial was designed as a space of quite commemoration and reverence to the sacrifice and bravery of the Indian Armed Forces. The Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) was assigned the task of overseeing the project by the state government.
Conceptualised by Bengaluru based architects Mathew and Ghosh, the memorial consists of a series of angled granite plaques etched with the names of 22,000 war heroes, adjacent to a magnificent 65m high flagpole that was proposed to hold the country’s largest flag. A veeragallu (hero stone in Kannada), symbolic of the heroic death of a warrior in battle, was also proposed as a part of the installations on the site. It signifies the strength and conviction of the martyred soldiers. This traditional monolithic obelisk made of granite is around 75’ high and weighs 700 tons. Currently, it is being sculpted with the names of the warriors and is yet to be brought to the memorial site.
The memorial also hosts a Mikoyan MiG 23 BN SM-255 aircraft granted by the Indian Air Force, a Vijayanta tank given by the Indian Army, a resized model of the INS Mysore—one of India's largest and most powerful battleships, an Arjuna battle tank, Tatra-based mobile bridging equipment, and other contributions from DRDO and ISRO. The site also houses an underground motivation hall which showcases models of weapon systems, information on the various missions undertaken by the soldiers, plaques with badges and crests of various units, regiments and squadrons of the Indian Armed Forces, and sculptures of war heroes from Karnataka. This section is not open to the public yet as work is under progress. The entire space and installations were designed keeping in mind the ecology of the site, and necessary decisions and measures were employed to ensure that there was minimal loss of vegetation.
This statue is dedicated to all the men of Bangalore who gave their lives in the Great Wars (World War I and World War II), 1947 Kashmir operations, 1962 Sino-India operations, 1965 & 1971 India-Pakistan wars and the 1999 Kargil conflict. This statue has been relocated from its previous location in Cubbon Park.
These angled granite plaques are engraved with the names of war heroes who gave their lives for the nation. The names have been etched according to the regiment that the soldiers belonged to and the war during which they lost their lives.
Another view of the granite plaques.
The APC BTR60 on display is an early prototype of its kind donated to the memorial park by the Indian army. It is the first in a series of eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APC) and is used to carry the infantry to the battlefield.
This MiG 23 BN SM-255 was granted by the Indian Air Force (IAF). It is mounted on a pole and is exhibited in a nose up, climbing, wings swept back attitude.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has granted scaled models of missiles under development. The missiles displayed are Agni, Akash, Prithvi and Brahmos.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicale (PSLV) was donated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is the third generation launch vehicle of India and is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
The main battle tank on display is an early prototype of the Arjuna MBT donated by the DRDO. These tanks are utilised during battles for close range targets.