‘A star on the shoulder is better than a million in the sky’ – signifies the underlying zeal of the Indian Army. A life enthused with national service, camaraderie, and valour are the guiding principles of the Indian Army. Notwithstanding a career full of adventures, the Indian Army is often regarded as one of the best organisations in the country.
Amidst such an incredible value system, witnessing a historically fascinating saga of bravery and sacrifice, in the lovely city of Dehradun lies the Indian Military Academy. It is the premier training institution transforming young Gentlemen Cadets (GCs), a term widely used to refer to young minds undergoing training, into Officers of the Indian Army. The motto – ‘Valour and Wisdom’ aptly describes the intricacies with which the ultimate patriots to the country are groomed.
The IMA has been consistently ranked as one of the best military training academies globally. This has been primarily due to a carefully designed course equipping the cadets with impeccable theoretical insights and practical training.
History of IMA
On recommendations of the Chetwode Committee, the Indian Military Academy was established on 01 October, 1932 with an inaugural batch of 40 Gentlemen Cadets. The formal inauguration of the Indian Military Academy took place on 10 December 1932, by H.E the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, Sir Philip Chetwode, Baronet GCB, GCSS, CCMA, DSO. The grand ‘Chetwode Hall’ is one of the key landmarks built to commemorate the visionary behind the institution.
Academy Crest and Insignia
Colours of the Academy are steel-grey and blood-red. Red for blood signifies the ultimate sacrifice and devotion to duty, while Steel-Grey denotes strength and resilience. The crest is composed of two crossed swords signifying the profession of arms, with a flaming torch symbolizing knowledge, superimposed in the middle by the Dharmachakra of Ashoka.
- The Famous ‘Chetwode Building‘
The building that stands out the most among others at IMA, is the Chetwode building, named after Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode, the founder of the Academy. Built in early 1930’s, the Chetwode Building designed by RT Russell, an associate of Edwin Lutyens, is the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Academy against a background of steel-grey and blood-red.
- Kingslay and Collins block
The living quarters for Gentlemen cadets are a group of beautiful buildings with enclosed lawns. They combine the essence of barracks and the permanence and privacy of a hostel building. Today they continue to house the Gentlemen Cadets, however with manifold growth in the Academy they accommodate only one of the five Battalions, with the other four located in the South and Town Campus respectively.
- Khetarpal Auditorium
The Auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,400 was constructed in 1982. The auditorium is named after Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal winner of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC) in 1971, a proud part of the Born to Battle course. The foyer of the auditorium contains a bust of the martyr along with a citation of his heroic deeds. The Khertarpal Auditorium is one of the largest auditoriums of North India.
- Vikram Batra mess
Named after Capt Vikram Batra, PVC hero of Tiger Hill battle part of Kargil war, the mess has impressive entrance and has a bust of Capt Vikram Batra
- War Memorial
The War Memorial of the Indian Military Academy was inaugurated by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on 17 November, 1999. The architectural style of the memorial is in consonance with the original structures of the Academy with the façades replicating the Chetwode Tower. Its pillars and arches of monolithic Dholpur Stone complement the structure. In its Sanctum Santorum is a seven and half foot tall bronze statue of a Gentleman Cadet saluting with a sword. To the rear of the statue is located an amphitheatre and, to its flanks, are designed arches on which are etched names of the valiant alumni who made the supreme sacrifice.
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