Raj Ghat and associated memorials

Raj Ghat and associated memorials

Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January, 1948. 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, India. A stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial. Two museums dedicated to Gandhi are located near by. The memorial has the epitaph "Hē Ram," (literally 'O' Ram', but also translated to 'O God'), believed to be the last words uttered by Gandhi. 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, to mark the day Gandhi died. Prayer sessions are held at the Raj Ghat on Gandhi's birth and death anniversaries.

Raj Ghat loosely translates to "King Court" (where King alludes to the importance of the place). Several other "samadhis" 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 Sydney Percy-Lancaster, the Secretary of the Agri Horticultural Society of India, and 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.

Other samadhis in the vicinity are (mentioned in the chronological order of death):

External links

* [http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040819/delhi.htm News item on "Veer Bhumi"]
* [http://www.webindia123.com/city/delhi/interest4.htm?cat=Tourism%20 Places of interest in Delhi]
* [http://www.tribuneindia.com/1999/99dec29/nation.htm Cremation of Shankar Dayal Sharma at Vijay Ghat]

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