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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Jaswantgarh War Memorial, Nuranang, Arunachal Pradesh

A great pit stop enroute to Tawang would be the Jaswantgarh war memorial located at Nuranang, about 25 kms from Tawang. This war memorial, set in scenic terrain just below the Sela pass commemorates the bravery of the martyred Indian soldiers of the 1962 Indo-China war. 

The famous BRO sign board
This war memorial stands in memory of rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, Mahavir Chakra Awardee (Posthumous) of the 4th Battalion of Garhwal Rifles Infantry Regiment. Jaswant showed his valor by fighting and holding the invading Chinese back for 72 hours all alone during the 1962 India-China war and remained at his post at an altitude of about 10,000 feet before succumbing to an enemy bullet during that bloody winter war. The post that he held to repulse the Chinese troops has been renamed Jaswant Garh in recognition of his valor and sacrifice.

At Jaswantgarh War Memorial

This temple-like Jaswantgarh memorial has a garlanded bronze bust of Jaswant Singh, a portrait of the war hero and his belongings including the Army uniform, cap, watch and belt. The Garhwal Rifles are today deployed on India’s western borders, but the unit makes it a point to keep at least half a dozen personnel here to take care of Rawat as if he were alive. He is served bed tea at 4:30 am, breakfast at 9 am and dinner at 7 pm. Five Army soldiers are at his service round the clock. There are no chores to be done. Life couldn’t be more comfortable for ‘Baba’ Jaswant Singh Rawat, but for the fact that he is no more.

Jaswantgarh Fort
These soldiers not only serve Baba. They render yeoman service for travelers along the hazardous portion of mountain terrain. Besides coming to rescue of travelers in trouble, they run a snack store where they serve tea, coffee and delicious samosas and pakoras to refresh the tired tourists, charging a nominal price that goes to upkeep of the war memorial. It is quite a special moment to encounter such a heroic saga of someone who has made the supreme sacrifice to protect our motherland.



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