Rajpath is a Hindi term meaning “king’s way” and is considered to be one of the most important roads in the entire country. It is a ceremonial boulevard that runs from the Rashtrapati Bhavan located on the Raisina Hill and passes through the India Gate and Vijay Chowk and upto the National Stadium, Delhi. It is a well maintained avenue that is lined by canals, lush green lawns and trees on both the sides. This is the place where the annual Republic Day parade takes place on the 26th January each year. Janpath meaning People’s Way crosses the Rajpath and this road runs in the east to west direction and from the north, it is joined by a road from the Connaught Place, the financial centre of the capital city.
After crossing the Raisina Hill, there is the Secretariat Building with its North and South Blocks on both the sides of the Rajpath. It ends at the gate of the President’s Residence or Rashtrapati Bhavan. As you come from the India Gate, you can see the Parliament House of India on the right. The Rajpath crosses the Sansad Marg at the Vijay Chowk.
Rajpath is the road that is used during the parade of Republic Day on 26th January as already mentioned. The celebration includes display and showcase of the country’s rich cultural diversity and also her military might. Rajpath is also used for funeral processions of important political leaders of the country as well.
History of the Rajpath
Rajpath is one of the most important roads of the country and of course, New Delhi and the entire city surround the Rajpath from all the sides. The city’s plan was made by Edwin Lutyens, a British architect. Rajpath then was known as King’s way or Kingsway by the English people and was given the central importance of the plan. Lutyens basically wanted a panoramic view of the city Delhi from the palace of the Viceroy. Today, it is only the National Stadium that hinders the beautiful view of the Rajpath and the India Gate from the Raisina Hill.
Almost all the buildings that surround the Rajpath have been designed by Lutyens and there are few that were designed by Herbert Baker, another British architect.
Republic Day is the annual event that is celebrated on the Rajpath. Republic Day is celebrated with much zeal in India as this is the date on which the constitution of India came into force in the year 1950. The Rajpath is the main site where the Republic Day is celebrated in the country, though it is celebrated in other cities of the country as well. It starts from the Raisina Hill and along the Rajpath and past the India Gate.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti lies at one end of the Rajpath which is a flame burning continuously under the shrine of the India Gate since 1971. It was built to commemorate the death of thousands of Indian soldiers in the defense of the country. It is also known as the ‘tomb of Indian unknown soldiers’. The India Gate is the war memorial arch of India in honor of all those soldiers who lost their lives during the World War II and the Afghan War.
The President places a wreath at the eternal flame to pay respect to the martyrs and that is followed by a grand parade comprising of army contingents, weaponry and tanks, folk dances and school children from different parts of the country. This celebration continues for 3 days.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Rajpath is definitely during the Republic Day celebrations that take place for 3 days starting from 26th January till 29th January. The Beating Retreat which marks the end of the celebrations takes place on 29th January at the Vijay Chowk.
You can visit at any time of the year to drive through the Rajpath as it is this road that takes you to the India Gate and the Amar Jyoti Jawan.
How to Reach
To reach the Rajpath, you can fly down to the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. There are local buses that you can avail from various parts of the city to reach this place, or hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or even take the metro rail. Central Secretariat is the nearest metro station and being the most important road, it is well connected to rest of the city. From Central Secretariat you can walk or can take auto rickshaw and reach the place.
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