Raj Ghat Memorial Delhi
Raj Ghat of Delhi is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Indian nation. The memorial is in the form of a black marble stone platform which is laid right on the spot of the cremation of Gandhi ji. The stone platform is just beneath the open sky without any claddings on the top or any sides. There is an eternal flame burning at all through the day and night, throughout the year.
Meaning of the nomenclature:
"Raj Ghat" literally mean the "Royal Steps", aptly suits the ultimate resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. The Raj Ghat enjoys the status of a shrine to the Indians and foreigners around the world too.
Timing to visit the memorial - Raj Ghat Delhi:
From sunrise to sunset, the memorial is open for visitors.
The design of the platform:
Located at the bank of the River Yamuna, Raj Ghat is on the Ring Road of Delhi, which is also known as Mahatma Gandhi Road. The memorial of the black platform was originally designed by Vanu G. Bhuta. It was crafted to depict the simplicity of Gandhi ji and his even simpler lifestyle. The slab is also surrounded by red soil, as none of Gandhi ji's ashrams had a lawn that would reflect the English style. The epitaph reads: Hey Ram - the last words uttered by the great political leader, Mahatma Gandhi, before he breathed his last.
However, the design of the slab had gone through a number of changes, though with the basic design remaining the same, under the instructions of Jawaharlal Nehru. At present, the greenery around the memorial complements the serenity of the memorial. The grass and plants and trees in the area are well maintained.
Raj Ghat ? Mecca to all political leaders across the world:
According to the New York Times, November 2010, "Today, the Rajghat attracts about 10,000 visitors a day and it is a requisite stop for visiting foreign leaders, regardless of political ideology." In recent years is has almost become a custom for any foreign dignitaries to visit Raj Ghat, and lay wreaths or flowers on the black marble stone platform. It is also mandatory to remove one's footwear before stepping in to a certain vicinity of the black platform that marks the last resting spot of the great Mahatma Gandhi.
Customs followed at the Raj Ghat New Delhi:
It is customary for all the visitors to circumambulate the memorial three times, with footwear removed. Every Friday, a commemorative session is held in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. Apart from these regular sessions, special prayer sessions are held on the birth and death anniversaries of this great soul.
There is a special autonomous body that is set up for the supervision of the affairs of Raj Ghat, called the Raj Ghat Samadhi Committee. This committee was formed by the 1951, Act of Parliament for the management and regulation of Raj Ghat Delhi.
Ways to reach Raj Ghat Delhi:
The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The old Delhi Railways station is the closest to the spot, and Kashmiri Gate is the closest Metro Station. While there are a number of local buses that one can avail to reach Raj Ghat, autos are also a good option to consider for the purpose.
Other places of tourist interest in the vicinity of Raj Ghat Delhi:
Among other places of interest near Raj Ghat are: National Gandhi Museum, which has a collection of photographs and trivia about Gandhi ji; Shakti Sthal, the cremation spot of Indira Gandhi; Vijay Ghat, the cremation place of Lal Bahadur Sashtri; Veer Bhoomi, the last resting place of Rajiv Gandhi.