Raj Ghat and associated memorials

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Raj Ghat, Delhi
Mahatma Gandhi on Rumours
An Inscription at Raj Ghat

Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in 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.[1][2] 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 (last rites) 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. The materials used in the memorial, especially in the recesses, raise a few questions about the nature of Gandhian architecture in India. There is a difference between the architecture of Rajghat and a Gandhian low-cost housing architecture. Unlike the hard material faces of some portions of Rajghat, a Gandhian low-cost housing architecture has a decidedly perishable character. In this sense the event of the construction of the Raghat Memorial belongs within a more hard-modernist Gandhian architectural history in India, at a distinct remove from a Gandhian low-cost architectural history of perishable materials.[3]

Other memorials in the Raj Ghat area[edit]

Raj Ghat loosely translates to Royal Steps (with "royal" alluding to the importance of the place and "steps" referencing the bank of Yamuna River).[4] Several other samadhis or cremation spots of other famous leaders can be found in the vicinity of Raj Ghat. 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.

Jawaharlal Nehru's samadhi is to the north of the Raj Ghat and is known as the Shantivan meaning the "garden of peace". Adjacent to Nehru's memorial is Ekta Sthal, the site where Zail Singh, 7th 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.

List of memorials in the Raj Ghat area
Name Title Year of death Memorial name Meaning Area
(acres)[5]
Feature
Mahatma Gandhi Father of the Nation 1948 Raj Ghat Royal Platform 5.1 Blue marble platform
Jawaharlal Nehru Prime Minister of India 1964 Shantivan Garden of Peace 52.6 A large plinth covered with a lawn
Lal Bahadur Shastri Prime Minister of India 1966 Vijay Ghat Victory Platform 40 The victory alluded to in the name of the memorial is India's performance under his leadership in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India 1984 Shakti Sthal Place of Strength 45 A huge greyish-red monolithic stone
Jagjivan Ram Deputy Prime Minister of India 1986 Samta Sthal Place of Equality 12.5
Charan Singh Prime Minister of India 1987 Kisan Ghat Farmer's Platform 19
Rajiv Gandhi Prime Minister of India 1991 Veer Bhumi Land of Brave 15 A large lotus in full bloom carved out of stone surrounded by 46 small lotuses to signify the years he lived; rocks from all the states of India are spread around.[6]
Zail Singh President of India 1994 Ekta Sthal Place of Unity 22.56
Morarji Desai Prime Minister of India 1995 [7][8]
Shankar Dayal Sharma[9] President of India 1999 Karma Bhumi Land of Duty Located near Vijay Ghat.
Devi Lal Deputy Prime Minister of India 2001 Sangharsh Sthal Place of Struggle Located near Kisan Ghat.
Chandra Shekhar Prime Minister of India 2007 Jannayak Sthal[10] Place of People's Leader
Inder Kumar Gujral Prime Minister of India 2012 Smriti Sthal Place of Remembrance
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Prime Minister of India 2018 Sadaiv Atal Immortal Forever 1.5 Located near Vijay Ghat and Raj Ghat, New Delhi

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fanshawe, p. 67
  2. ^ 1863 Atlas Map of Delhi
  3. ^ Maddipati, Venugopal. "Gandhi and Architecture: A Time for Low-Cost Housing: The Philosophy of Finitude". Retrieved 22 August 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Maddipati, Venugopal. "When Landscape Became King: A Short Note on the Ascendancy of the Immediate Present as the Sovereign of Rajghat". LA Journal of Landscape Architecture, India. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  5. ^ "No space for 'samadhis', VVIPs to share memorial place in Delhi". Rediff.com. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  6. ^ "'Rajiv' to bloom at Veer Bhumi". The Tribune Trust. 18 August 2004. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  7. ^ "Former Prime Minister Desai Cremated in India". AP NEWS. 12 April 1995. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Crematoriums and samadhi sthals or memorials of famous people in India and the world". India Today. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Tearful farewell to S.D. Sharma". The Tribune. The Tribune Trust. 28 December 1999. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  10. ^ "Former PM Chandrashekhar's samadhi to be called Jannayak Sthal". The Times of India. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Venugopal Maddipati (2020). Gandhi and Architecture: A Time for Low-Cost Housing. ISBN 9780367199456

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°38′26″N 77°14′58″E / 28.640550°N 77.249433°E / 28.640550; 77.249433