Pilgrimage of many Indians, and foreigners who admire Mahatma Gandhi for his non violent approach to solve problems, the Gandhi Memorial can be found in the Raj Ghat area in Delhi. This is actually situated in a park on the banks of the Yamuna river, which includes other burial sites of Indian rulers, like Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. It also includes the Gandhi museum, with his writings, belongings and photographs depicting the story of his life. The gardens of Raj Ghat deserve some time, and it is pleasant to stroll around the lanes, the lawns and lake of this area where many deceased high-ranking Indian politicians are represented through memorials. After several previous visits, it is time to go back again, this time with a friend. The air quality even seems to be a little better than in the streets of the Indian capital.
As you leave the main Mahatma Gandhi Marg (road) with all its traffic, you enter the park and immediately you feel the welcoming silence. People picknicking on the grass, strolling down the lanes, walking towards the elevation in the park at a short distance. You can walk up the hill, which gives you a preview of the memorial site itself. I chose to walk around, to get a grasp of the area, before going down at the other side. Here, you are requested to leave your shoes, and you walk around the corner and into the inner area of the memorial. As you reach the black marble square memorial where Gandhi was cremated following his assassination in 1948, you inevitably find yourself with Indian families, who visit this site as a pilgrimage and have their pictures taken. To be true, the site is photogenic. On the black marble, there are always flowers, and the colourful saris of the women make for beautiful compositions. On the other site, an eternal flame tries hard to keep his spirit alive.
On my last visit, I notice that there is security at the entrance of the park area. We walk past stones with quotes of the Indian leader, before reaching the memorial site itself. It is not allowed anymore to reach the black marble stone now: people are kept at a distance. People kneel at the frontside, where his last words are written: "Heram", or "Oh, my God". At least, that is what used to be the legend, but his close aide revealed that he never uttered any words after being shot in 1948. We continue our walk, see the memorial sites of Rajiv and his mother Indira Gandhi, both assassinated. The memorials are remarkably simple, a monolith for Indira and a plain platform for Rajiv. There is a score of other former prime ministers with memorials in Raj Ghat. Instead of just watching memorials, we take a close look at the Indians here, and enjoy seeing them in their colourful clothes. Back at the Gandhi memorial, we get in touch with a class of energetic Indian school girls in their blue-and-white uniforms before we exit Raj Ghat again.
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Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Raj Ghat memorials (India). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Raj Ghat memorials. Read more about this site.