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Raj Ghat

 

Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Originally it was the name of a historic ghat of Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad) on the banks of Yamuna river. Close to it, and east of Daryaganj was “Raj Ghat Gate” of the walled city, opening at Raj Ghat on Yamuna River. Later the memorial area was also called Raj ghat. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, Antyesti (Antim Sanskar) on 31 January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns perpetually at one end. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi in India on Ring Road officially known as Mahatma Gandhi Road. A stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial. All guests must remove their shoes before entering the Raj Ghat walls.
 
The memorial has the epitaph He Ram, (literally 'O' Ram', but also translated to 'O God'), believed to be the last words uttered by Gandhi. The memorial was designed by Vanu G. Bhuta. It was originally designed to reflect the simplicity of Mahatma Gandhi's life. The design that won the government of India invitational competition had the black marble slab surrounded by red earth as none of Gandhiji's ashram residences had any "English lawn". The memorial has gone through a number of design changes since then, a few at the behest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India.
 
Today, the Rajghat attracts about 10,000 visitors a day and is a requisite stop for visiting foreign leaders, regardless of political ideology.
— The New York Times, November 2010
 
In recent years, it has become customary for foreign dignitaries visiting India to pay their respects to Gandhi at the Raj Ghat by laying flowers or wreaths on the platform. As a sign of respect, visitors are required to remove footwear before approaching the memorial. A commemorative ceremony is held every Friday. Prayer sessions are held at the Raj Ghat on Gandhi's birth and death anniversaries.
 
Several other samādhis or cremation spots of other famous leaders can be found in the vicinity of Raj Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna. The landscaping and planting of these memorials was performed by Alick Percy-Lancaster, the last Englishman to hold the post of Superintendent of Horticultural Operations, Government of India.
Jawaharlal Nehru's samadhi is to the north of the Raj Ghat and is known as the Shantivan or Shanti Vana meaning the forest of peace. The area has a beautiful park adorned with trees planted by visiting dignitaries and heads of state. His grandson Sanjay Gandhi's samadhi is adjacent to it.
 
Name Title Memorial name Meaning Feature
Mahatma Gandhi Father of the Nation Raj Ghat Royal Steps Black marble platform
Jawaharlal Nehru Prime Minister of India Shantivan Garden of Peace A large plinth covered with a lawn
Lal Bahadur Shastri Prime Minister of India Vijay Ghat Victory Platform The victory alluded to in the name of the memorial is India's performance under his leadership in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
Sanjay Gandhi Member of Parliament Located adjacent to Shantivan
Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India Shakti Sthal Place of Power A huge greyish-red monolithic stone
Jagjivan Ram Deputy Prime Minister of India Samta Sthal Place of Equality
Choudhary Charan Singh Prime Minister of India Kisan Ghat Farmer’s Platform
Rajiv Gandhi Prime Minister of India Veer Bhumi Land of Brave A large lotus in full bloom carved out of stone surrounded by 46 small lotuses to signify the years he lived; rocks from all the states of India are spread around.[4]
Giani Zail Singh President of India Ekta Sthal Place of Unity
Shankar Dayal Sharma[5] President of India Karma Bhumi Land of Duty Located near Vijay Ghat.
Devi Lal Deputy Prime Minister of India Located near Kisan Ghat.

 

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