Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Originally it was the name of a historic ghat of Old Delhi (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. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation, Antyesti (Antim Sanskar) on 31 January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns perpetually at one end. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi in India 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 shoes before entering the Raj Ghat walls.
About Raj Ghat
Then President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Lyudmila Putina lay a wreath at Raj Ghat during a state visit on 3 October 2000.
“Today, the Rajghat attracts about 10,000 visitors a day and is a requisite stop for visiting foreign leaders, regardless of political ideology.”— The New York Times, November 2010
The memorial has the epitaph Hē Ram, (literally ‘O’ Ram’, but also translated to ‘O God’), believed to be the last words uttered by Gandhi. The memorial was designed by Vanu G. Bhuta. It was originally designed to reflect the simplicity of Mahatma Gandhi’s life. The design that won the government of India invitational competition had the black marble slab surrounded by red earth as none of Gandhiji’s ashram residences had any “English lawn”. The memorial has gone through a number of design changes since then, a few at the behest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India.
In recent years, it has become customary for foreign dignitaries visiting India to pay their respects to 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. Prayer sessions are held at the Raj Ghat on Gandhi’s birth and death anniversaries.