Right in the middle of New Delhi is a wide and expansive boulevard that extends from Rashtrapani Bhavan, the Presidential House, all the way to the India Gate. Rajpath means King’s Way when directly translated. The Rajpath of New Delhi then appears to be like a pathway from the majestic India Gate to the Presidential House. Sir Edwin Lutyens, the British architect who did most of the urban planning of New Delhi, envisioned the Rajpath to be part of a wonderful view from the Rashtrapani Bhavan. Indeed, the boulevard lined with trees is a sight to behold. Several important buildings that were also designed by Lutyens were erected along the path.
Today, visitors continue to be mesmerized by how Lutyens cleverly planned Central New Delhi. There is a beautiful scene to see from any point along the Rajpath. Its wide expanse provides a welcoming feel which is further reinforced by the beautiful gardens, spacious manicured lawns and tranquil ponds. During night, flickers of light on the street line up as if they were showing the way to the India Gate making it a mesmerizing sight. Also at night, the garden around it is flocked with crowds trying to enjoy what the wide space has to offer. Family picnics and gatherings are commonly enjoyed in the wide open lawns around the Rajpath.
Many important government buildings can be seen along the Rajpath. Strategically positioned near the Rajpath are three significant institutions — the National Museum, the National Archives, and IGNCA that are all located at the intersection of Rajpath and Janpath. If only it was not blocked by the National Stadium, Purana Qila or the Old Fort could also have been visible from the Rajpath.
The Rajpath is also a ceremonial boulevard. January 26 of every year is when India celebrates its Republic Day making the Rajpath a busy boulevard to visit. The Rajpath becomes the venue to showcase the best of India as a grand parade displays the military strength of India. Columns of Indian soldiers march the street as tanks, armored vehicles and enormous trucks carrying latest weaponry are paraded to the public. Huge, colorful floats bedecked with various decorations demonstrate creativity and India’s cultural heritage. Various cultural performances also show India’s best talents. The Rajpath is also the place where funeral processions of deceased political leaders take place.
The Rajpath is also a venue for entertaining and sports activities. In 2011, India’s top motorsport talents exhibitive their exciting stunts on bike and four-wheels. A Formula1 race car zoomed through the famed boulevard before an awe-stricken crowd. Visitors should then check out events and performances of the city during their time of visit.
Rajpath is indeed one of the favorite destinations of tourists in New Delhi as they can immerse into the breathtaking avenue, be surrounded with the superb colonial architecture and observe how the people of India go about in their day to day activities. Since the Rajpath is a boulevard, it is open all day, all night. The Rajpath is a major thoroughfare making it easily accessible by various modes of transportation in the city. Indeed, the Rajpath’s strategic location and well-conceptualized functional boulevard is a testament to Sir Edwin Lutyens’ architectural ingenuity.