Teen Murti Memorial, Delhi

Teen Murti Memorial, Delhi

A memorial of Mysore, Jodhpur and Hyderabad soldiers of WWI

See also: Compilation of World War Memorials

The Indian Army during World War I contributed a large number of divisions and independent brigades to the European, Mediterranean and the Middle East theatres of war in World War I. Over one million Indian troops served overseas, of whom 62,000 died and another 67,000 were wounded. In total at least 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the war.

Teen Murti Memorial, Teen Murti Chowk, Delhi

Teen Murti Memorial, Teen Murti Chowk, Delhi

Today numerous memorials of the Indian soldiers in World War I dot the Indian landscape. They consists of well known towering memorials of British soldiers to hidden memorials dedicated to unknown regiments.

Closer view of the Teen Murti Memorial

Closer view of the Teen Murti Memorial

Kolkata (then Calcutta) head the list with about a dozen such memorial and plaques. (Also see: WWI Memorials ans plaques in Kolkata).

Delhi, which was the Capital of British during the time of World War I also had its share of memorials. The memorials consist of an interesting mix.

They include the well known India Gate along with the almost obscure plaque, on the walls of health centre, in Mehrauli.

Teen Murti Memorial (google map), located next to the Teen Murti Bhavan, prominent land mark of Delhi, is another World War I memorial. In spite of its prominent location very few people are aware of its historical significance.

The Teen Murti Bhavan (Teen Murti House) was built in 1930 as part of the new imperial capital of India, as the resident of the commander in chief of British Indian Army.

Later it served as the residence of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru in Delhi, India, who stayed here for 16 years until his death on May 27, 1964. Today, Teen Murti houses various institutions including the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML). The house is named after the Teen Murti (literally “three statues”) Memorial, which stands on the road junction in front of its extensive grounds.

Teen Murti Memorial, Teen Murti Chowk , Delhi

The three memorial plaques dedicated to the Lancers of Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur

The triangular obelisk shaped memorial has three life sized statues of three soldiers in the three corners. The sculptures were made by British sculptor Leonard Jennings. The memorial was inaugurated in 8 March 1924 by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Reading.

We are assembled to give to posterity a memorial to preserve and enshrine for future generations the moving story of the gallantry and sacrifice of those members of this brigade who laid down their lives for the empire in company with the representatives of units who fought by their side and who shared with them the privations and dangers of long and arduous campaigns in foreign lands far from their homes…To their deeds this memorial will stand as an enduring testimony.

Viceroy of India, Lord Reading
during the inauguration of Teen Murti Memorial

The Teen Murti Memorial stands in the memory of the fallen cavalry men of the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade. The brigade consisted of cavalry regiments from the states of Mysore, Jodhpur and Hyderabd along with the detachments of Bhavnagar, Kashmir and Kathiwar. They fought in the Saini, Palestine and Syria region during the Great War of 1914 -18 (popularly known as the First World War).

The inscriptions on the base of Teen Murti Memorial

The inscriptions on the base of Teen Murti Memorial

The memorial commemorates the  victorious operation by the Indian soldiers carried out on 23 September 1918 targeted the fortification of the city of Haifa (now in Isreal) which was then controlled by a joint Ottoman, German and Austro-Hungarian force. The Indian soldiers fighting for the Allied Powers, captured Haifa and cleared a crucial route for the Allies. A total of 44 Indian soldiers from the three princely states died during the liberation of Haifa. The Indian Army celebrates 23 September as Haifa Day.

The base of the triangular memorial has three inscriptions. Two of them depicts the event in English and Urdu, while the third contains names of places like Suez Canal. Gaza. Jerusalem, Jordan Valley, Haifa, Damascus and Aleppo.

Names of the fallen soldiers, Teen Murti Memorial, Delhi (L - R: Mysore, Jodhpur and Hyderabad)

Names of the fallen soldiers, Teen Murti Memorial, Delhi (L – R: Mysore, Jodhpur and Hyderabad)

In the middle are the three bronze memorial plaques of the Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur Lanncers. On the top are names of the fallen soldiers of each of the regiment.

The Teen Murti Memorial was in news recently as it was visited by the Isreal Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jan 2018. Prior to that the Indian Military Cemetery in Haifa, Isreal was visited by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There are even proposal to rename the Teen Murti Chowk as Haifa Teen Murti Chowk.

  1. June 30, 2018 at 8:48 PM

    I visited this wonderful place in Delhi. Thank U for the post.

  2. May 21, 2019 at 9:04 PM

    In our school curriculum we had “Monuments of Delhi” as part of Indian History. We were lucky to have a history teacher who encouraged us to explore Delhi and often accompanied us. Thus we were lucky to visit most of the memorials. But plaques were somehow overlooked. There is a great deal of indifference to maintain them irrespective of the city. Probably the reason for this neglect is due to their small size. Most of them are also made of white marble which often become illegible over time. I think we should think of installing fresh plaques with eye catching background like the way they do it in UK.

  3. Shadebard Chhayanat
    September 24, 2020 at 4:58 PM

    The clearest, most orderly and detailed account of the Teen Murti memorial available on the internet

  4. L
    May 7, 2021 at 10:35 PM

    Hi! Do you know who commissioned the memorial?

  5. L
    May 7, 2021 at 11:20 PM

    Great post! Do you know who commissioned the statue?

    • May 8, 2021 at 8:01 AM

      Not very sure, but probably it was the British India government

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