Location of Raj Ghat
Raj Ghat is located on the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi 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 footwear before entering the Raj Ghat walls.
History of Raj Ghat
Raj Ghat was the name of a historic Ghat of Old Delhi which was known in medieval India as 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.
Complex in Raj Ghat
Raj Ghat has the epitaph of Mahatma Gandhi. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, on 31st January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burning perpetually at one end. Raj Ghat loosely translates to King's Bank, where King alludes to the importance of the place and Bank as in on the bank of river Yamuna. Several other cremation spots of other famous leaders can be found in the vicinity of Raj Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna River. 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. The epitaph of Jawaharlal Nehru is to the north of the Raj Ghat and is known as the Shantivan or Shanti Vana meaning the "forest of peace". Adjacent to Nehru's memorial is “Ekta sthal”, the site where K. R. Narayanan, tenth President of India, was cremated with full state honours in the year 2005. Raj Ghat area has a park adorned with trees planted by visiting dignitaries and heads of state.
Visiting Raj Ghat
Raj Ghat has become customary for foreign dignitaries visiting India to pay their respects to Mahatma 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 Mahatma Gandhi died. Prayer sessions are held at the Raj Ghat on Gandhi's birth and death anniversaries.
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