Tuesday 3 July 2012


Raj Ghat ("King's River Bank") is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. 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.

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. It is a truly wonderful monument to a great man, and was one of the highlights of our 2004 trip to India.

This post is part of Julie's Taphophile Tragics meme.


  1. Wow! I have never seen photos of this before. I am a big admirer of Ghandi... I think this is a really fitting memorial. Thanks for sharing this :)

  2. This is interesting to see his grave. You never see it in a magazine or paper. Don't know why. Thanks for showing.

  3. I noticed that most of the people are just on top of that ledge! Who are allowed to go to the area just like where the woman in green sari is?

  4. I had it in my head that he was cremated on a byre on a raft and floated down the Indus River. HOw wrong is that mental image.

    This is incredibly moving. I have lost my admiration for admirable people from the past. One by one they are revealed to have feet of clay. So laying down admiration, only leads me to disappointment later on.

    My guess is that people line up along the viaduct because that gives an excellent overview of the entire site which is perhaps more moving that touching black marble.

    India is a beautiful country which is also ugly.

  5. And perhaps an eternal flame is meant to burn perpetually ... just sayin' ...

  6. The fresh bright flowers on the black marble are beautiful. I would have preferred the red earth to that synthetic grass, though. Nice shots of Gandhi's memorial, Nick.

  7. what a landscaping....
    those flowers are very colorful!


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