Telangana Martyrs Memorial also called as Gun Park is a monument built for 369 students who died during 1969 agitation for a separate Telangana state. Telangana Martyrs Memorial day would be observed on 2 June every year in all the districts of Telangana State. It is situated near the Public Gardens, Hyderabad.
The monument, also called 'Gun Park' because of government use of guns against demonstrators, is symbolic for Telangana agitation, and a focus for political activity highlighting issues relating to the Telangana region. Four decades after installation, it still awaits a formal inauguration and, its creator, his dues!
The monument was designed and built by Aekka Yadagiri Rao, a "nationally acclaimed sculptor," and former JNTU Professor of Sculpture. The Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (mayor Lakshminarayana) commissioned for the monument, chosen from a number of possible sculptors, including Khairuddin Siddique, R B Raju, and Chawla.
Honorable Chief Minister Sri. K. Chandrashekar Rao decided to observe Telangana Martyrs Memorial Day on 2 June every year in all the districts of Telangana State. On this occasion, there will be an official programme in every district headquarters which include paying floral tributes at the designated sites of Martyrs Memorials besides other programmes in a befitting manner.
The memorial is 25 feet (7.6 m) high, and incorporates five separate sections.
Base is black polished granite, which has nine bullet impressions (small holes) on four sides to represent the 360 odd (9x4) students, who scarified their life's for the cause in 1969. To represent 9 districts of Telangana, there were nine bullet impressions on each side. The reason for choosing black colored granite was to express mourning to the heroes. Originally, Telangana consisted of only 9 districts and Ranga Reddy district was formed much later. So, when sculptor designed the memorial, he considered 9 districts.
The mythological sun-arch above the base was inspired from Sanchi Stupas. The plaques embossed in it on four sides represent the greatness of the cause. Normally this type of plaque is placed on the head of the gods like Balaji, which means that they are "Puja Arhulu". Here the sculptor wrote few lines below the plaque and paid respects to Telangana martyrs. He wanted to convey that even the martyrs were up there on highest level for their sacrifices.
Above the sun-arch, nine strips or columns were carved denoting nine districts of Telangana. The specialty of this art piece is one can spot these nine strips from any side view. The meaning conveyed through it was nine districts of Telangana were united and nobody can disintegrate them.
Next is the trapezium structure that has a dharma chakra, representing tolerance and truth, on four sides. The red granite represents sacrifice and the chakra for peace and love. The meaning conveyed through this was that Telangana youths sacrificed their lives while fighting for dharma, rights and justice.
At the top sculptor kept white lily flower to symbolize the freshness of youth and immortality of the soul. Normally flowers are kept near memorials. Yadagiri Roa said, "Fresh flowers were placed at the martyrs statue regularly. I realized that instead of depending on others, why not make a flower myself and keep at the statue forever. Therefore, I carved a white lily flower and placed it on top of the memorial".1969 movement symbolic structure gun park in hyderabad.