Discover India - Rajghat



A memorial to the
Father of the Nation
 

Rajghat in Delhi is the place where Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known to the world as Mahatma Gandhi, was cremated. Great leaders from across the world pay homage to the Mahatma when they visit India.

The mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi were cremated on this spot, at Rajghat, on 31 January 1948. He was assassinated on 30 January 1948 by Nathuram Godse. 30 January is remembered as Martyr's Day. On Martyr's Day, the custom is that the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and the three Service Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force, go to Rajghat, lay wreaths on the gorgeously decorated memorial.

Rajghat, or King Court, is situated on the banks of the River Yamuna. The memorial is a black marble platform. It is open to the sky. The words 'Hey, Ram', which were his dying words, are inscribed on the platform. At one end of the platform is the eternal flame burning in a copper urn. At the other end is a rectangular decorative marble stool on which burns incense.

Vanu G. Bhuta is the person who designed the memorial. This extremely simple design was chosen as it reflected the simplicity of Mahatma Gandhi's life. The black marble memorial always has flowers on it, either strewn in a pattern, or flower garlands draped to form some beautiful motif or design. The whole area is surrounded by a wall, which forms a compound around it. There is a stone footpath from the gate to the enclosed area where the memorial stands. There are extensive well-maintained grounds around the memorial. It is set in a garden with fountains, green lawns and a variety of exotic trees. Visitors take off their footwear before entering Rajghat as a mark of respect.

A commemorative ceremony is held here every Friday, the day he was assassinated. Prayers are held in remembrance of the Mahatma on his birth (2 October) and death (30 January) anniversaries. Apart from ordinary people and tourists, it has become an essential point of call for all visiting dignitaries to pay their homage to the Father of the Nation. Foreign dignitaries usually come to Rajghat to pay their respects to the Mahatma. They lay flower wreaths on the memorial.

Museums 

Near the memorial are two museums dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. These are Gandhi Memorial Museum and Gandhi Smriti Museum. Gandhi Memorial Museum houses most of Gandhi's belongings and photographs from his life. Gandhi Smriti Museum is the home turned museum where he spent his last days. There is also a beautiful Zinat-ul Masjid (Most Beautiful of Mosques) overlooking the Rajghat. 

Go back