Raj Ghat and associated memorials

Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhiin Delhi, India. Originally it was the name of a historic ghat of Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad). Close to it, and east of Daryaganj was Raj Ghat Gate of the walled city, opening at Raj Ghat to the west bank of the 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, Antyeshti (Antim Sanskar) on 31 January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns at one end. Located on Delhi’s Ring Road, officially known as Mahatma Gandhi Road, a stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial.

Raj Ghat loosely translates to King’s Bank (with “king” alluding to the importance of the place and “bank” referencing Yamuna River). Several other samādhis or cremation spots of other famous leaders can be found in the vicinity of Raj Ghat. The landscaping and planting of these revered 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 Vanameaning 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 2005.

The Raj Ghat area has a park adorned with trees planted by visiting dignitaries and heads of state.

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