When one thinks of a great leader, India’s Mahatma Gandhi easily comes to mind. Being an advocate of non-violent resistance, he is an icon of peace. Dressed in simple garb who lived in a modest lifestyle, Gandhi continued to be an inspiration to many even after his death. Revered by many, it is only fitting that a memorial area was erected in his honor. The Raj Ghat was then erected to commemorate the great leader.
The Raj Ghat is a memorial for the great soul, Mahatma Gandhi. It is located along the Ring Road where one can easily view the Yamuna River. Raj Ghat was also the location where Mahatma Gandhi’s body was cremated on January 31, 1948. India is indeed famous for grand memorials such as the Taj Mahal. Although Raj Ghat may not be as grand as the mentioned memorial, Raj Ghat is still a wonderful symbolism of simplicity, a true reflection of Mahatma Gandhi’s life.
When one visits the Raj Ghat, one can immediately see a square platform in black stone with low walls on its perimeter. The walls then have inscriptions of different quotations written by Gandhi. On the side of the platform is an eternal flame that burns unceasingly. Since it is a hallowed and respected site, visitors have to remove their shoes before entering. Around the area is a wide manicured lawn with well-pruned shrubs and trees planted around each other with ample space to walk around in between.
Tourists and locals love to visit the Raj Ghat as it is customary to circumambulate around the Raj Ghat. Circumambulation is an ancient rite of walking around a sacred object three times. It is a form of paying homage and offering prayers for the sacred place. Many world leaders have visited the Raj Ghat to lay a wreath and pay their respects to the venerated leader, Mahatma Gandhi. Visiting this site is truly a spiritual experience as one can really feel the immense contribution that the great leader has left behind. It is a serene and peaceful place truly echoing Gandhi’s non-violent way of social protest.
One can also pay a visit to the National Gandhi Museum nearby. The museum exhibits Gandhi’s personal artifacts and important photographs that chronicle his remarkable life. It is also a library where visitors can read more about his works. The library has a great collection of books about Gandhi and his movement. Entrance to the Museum and Library is free and is open every day except Monday from 9:30 AM to 5:30PM.