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Rajghat

Rajghat

A memorial dedicated to the ‘Father of the Nation’, Mahatma Gandhi, Rajghat in Delhi is a serene and elegant place and reflects simplicity in its structure, just like Gandhiji. It is built on the banks of River Yamuna which marks the place where Mahama Gandhi was cremated after his assassination. Along with the Gandhi memorial, the Rajghat premises also comprises cremation spots aka samadhis of several other popular leaders of the country. A place ideal for history buffs, travel enthusiasts, and wanderers, Rajghat is one of the must-visit places of attractions in Delhi.

Today, Raj Ghat is visited by numerous tourists from across the country and even by foreigners due to its historical and national importance and is one of the top places to visit in Delhi. The memorial is kept in an immaculate state decorated with flowers every day. It witnesses visitors which includes the delegates, notables, and VIPs from other countries who wish to pay tribute to the deceased soul of Gandhi ji. Apart from the memorial, there is a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi which showcases his life and his struggle for independence. A prayer ceremony is hosted every Friday and on the occasion of Gandhiji’s birth and death anniversary as well.

History

One of the most influential leaders and freedom fighters of our country, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated on 30th January 1948. His body was cremated according to Hindu rituals at a spot near the Yamuna river where his last rites were performed and his body was consummated to flames. That spot is now known as Raj Ghat which is a simple memorial built to preserve the legacy of Gandhiji’s philosophy and practice of living a modest life. Formerly, the Raj Ghat Gate was an old gate that was situated in the walled city of Delhi known as Shahjahanbad during the rule of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. The gate opened towards the west bank of River Yamuna at a place called Raj Ghat. When the memorial for Gandhiji was built later, it came to be known as the Raj Ghat.

Over the course of years, many samadhis of several influential and notable leaders of India were built in the Raj Ghat area, which also include the former presidents and prime ministers of India. Recently, the samadhi of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, known as Rashtriya Smriti Sthal is the newest addition to the area built in 2018.

Architecture

The memorial of Gandhiji at Raj Ghat is a simple structure made as a square platform using black marble. It was designed by the architect Vanu G. Bhuta while keeping in mind the policy of the leader to have a simple living and high thinking. The plain and simple structure has the words ‘Hey Ram’ which means ‘Oh Ram’ inscribed on it, since these were the last words that were uttered from his mouth when Gandhiji was shot and he died in the arms of his followers. On top of the marble platform, you will see an eternal flame enclosed in a glass frame which burns non-stop all through the day and night, celebrating the eternity of the ideologies of the long deceased loved leader.

There is a footpath made of stones which advances towards the memorial and is located within a walled compound. Both sides of the stone pathway have luscious green lawns which makes the compound look even more serene. The landscape design for the memorial was created by Alick Percy – Lancaster, who was the last British national to hold the position of Superintendent of Horticulture Operations under the Govt. of India. The memorial is surrounded by a beautiful and green garden where you can find trees and plants, some of which have been labeled and planted by famous dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II, Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, the President of USA Dwight D. Eisenhower, and several others.

Raj Ghat Timings and Entry Fees

Timings – 6:30am to 6pm Monday to Sunday

Entry Fees - Free

Things to Remember :

  • Mandatory for visitors to take off their footwear before paying tribute.
  • Commemorative ceremony is held each Friday (the day he was assassinated) at 5:30 pm
  • Visitors can donate generously in the donation boxes that are placed near the Samadhi.
Gandhi Memorial Museum at Raj Ghat

One of the best museums in Delhi, the National Gandhi Museum or Gandhi Memorial Museum at Raj Ghat showcases the life and philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi through a beautiful assortment of sculptures, pictures, films, books, and other memorabilia associated with his life. The museum houses an exquisite collection of over 35,000 books and documents linked to the work and life of Gandhiji, some of which have been penned down by himself.

The museum also showcases 23 models of charkhas (spinning wheels) that he used to use long with a few of his personal belongings such as his dhoti, walking stick, shawl, a few of his teeth, and even one of the bullets that struck his body when was assassinated. For more in-depth detail in his life, there is an audio-visual section at the museum premises where films about Gandhiji and his life and work are shown in an auditorium with a seating capacity of 75 people.

  • Film Show Timings – 4pm to 5pm, every Saturday and Sunday
  • Film Show Fees – Free
Other Memorials Near Raj Ghat

Apart from the main Gandhi Memorial, there are other memorials of some of the most famous and notable leaders of our country including some presidents and prime ministers in the proximity of Raj Ghat. Some of the most significant memorials include:

  • Vijay Ghat (Lal Bahadur Shastri)
  • Shantivan (Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru)
  • Shakti Sthal (Indira Gandhi)
  • Veer Bhoomi (Rajiv Gandhi)
  • Karma Bhumi (Shankar Dayal Sharma)
  • Rashtriya Smriti Sthal (Atal Bihari Vajpayee)

Furthermore, the area is also home to several other memorials such of Devi Lal, Jagjivan Ram, Choudhary Charan Singh, Giani Zail Singh, I.K Gujral, and Chandra Shekhar.

Best Time to Visit

You can visit Raj Ghat at any time of the year of month as it is open all days. If you wish to avoid the scorching heat, then visit during the winter months. Fridays are the best days to visit as a special prayer ceremony is held every Friday which you can be a part of.

Places to Visit Near Raj Ghat
  • Red Fort Also known as Lal Qila, Red Fort is one of the most prominent and significant historical structure in India which is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a grand fort completely built out of red sandstone and was constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as his royal residence in 1648. Today, the fort is used as the site from where the prime minister addresses the nation on Independence and Republic Day. The walls of the fort are 2km in length while the height varies from 18m to 33m.
  • Shankar's International Dolls Museum A museum showcasing dolls from around the world made from different materials and representing culture from across the world. The museum exhibits dolls wearing different clothes from distinct regions of India and some parts of foreign countries as well.
  • Agrasen Ki Baoli – It is a stunning stepwell which was once a water reservoir and is a fine specimen of the splendid architecture and ancient engineering skills. One of the oldest monuments and best-preserved commodity of history, the dark walls of the stepwell and the history associated with it attracts several tourists towards it every year.
  • Jama Masjid Located in Old Delhi, Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India and one of the last monuments built by Shah Jahan. Built in 1656, the mosque has three large gates, four grand towers on each side, and two 40m high minarets built using red sandstone and white marble. The minarets consists of five storeys all of them made of red sandstone except the fourth one which is made of marble. The outdoor courtyard can hold over 25000 people at once and is a sight to see during the month of Ramadan and Eid.
  • Jantar Mantar It is an astronomical observatory and equinoctial sundial dating back to 18th century. The main aim to build this was to assemble the astronomical tables and to accurately predict the movements of the celestial bodies. The complex has 13 astronomical instruments of which four are primary - Samrat Yantra, Jayaprakash Yantra, Rama Yantra, and Misra Yantra.
  • India Gate It is an arch gate made of white marble, India Gate is a tribute to the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War of 1919. The imposing structure has names of over 13000 soldiers inscribed on it and has a small structure called Amar Jawan Jyoti which is a marble pedestal with a cenotaph on top. The structure is enclosed by permanently burning flames fueled by CNG on all sides.
  • Chandni Chowk One of the oldest markets located in Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk is a shopping paradise where you can find things to buy such as clothes, footwear, accessories, electronics, stationary, spices, and many more at very cheap rates. The market has several narrow lanes filled with shops on both sides and the aroma of delcious street food continously wafts the lanes making it a surreal experince.
How to Reach
  • By Metro – The nearest metro station to Raj Ghat is the Delhi Metro station on the Violet Line, around 800m away. Other stations are Indraprastha Metro station and Chandni Chowk metro station at 2km and 3km away respectively.
  • By Bus – Bus number 331, 334, 412, 770,793, 753, 949 can take you to Raj Ghat which you can get from different areas in the city bus stops.
Rajghat

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