Rajpath which means King’s Way is a ceremonial avenue used during Republic Day every year. It is centrally located in Delhi and stretches in the direction from east to west and from Rashtrapati Bhavan through Vijay Chowk and India Gate. It is easily accessible from any corner of the Capital City by local taxis and auto rickshaws and Metro rail with Central Secretariat as the nearest Metro Station.
The area that was constructed around Rajpath was of a significant reason that British Architect, Edwin Lutyens, had deliberately and beautifully planned to serve as a surrounding view for the Viceroy’s Palace now Rashtrapati Bhavan. The buildings that dot the periphery of Rajpath were also designed by Lutyens and Baker.
Central Delhi was the result of a great vision and 20 years of hard work of Lutyens along with Herbert Baker who assisted in designing a few of the buildings in central Delhi. Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens was born on 29th March 1869 in London and however grew up in Thursley. He studied at South Kensington School of Art in London between 1885 and 1887 and majored in Architecture. He finished College and joined as an architect with Ernest George and Harold Ainsworth Peto where he was introduced to Sir Herbert Baker who was also a skilled architect born on 9th June 1862. In 1912, Baker came to Delhi and assisted Lutyens in designing the Old Secretariat building, Parliament House and Bungalows for the members of the Parliament.
Lutyens was known as one of the leading British architects of the 20th Century AD. He was known to be extremely creative and adapted many styles of designing that sees a blend of traditional and western techniques which one can see in New Delhi. He also designed numerous homes in the typical English country style.
Lutyens had planned the New city of Delhi to be constructed with wide roads and avenues lined with shady green trees and low lying shrubs located in the south western portion of the walled Mughal city of Shahjahanabad of Old Delhi. He envisioned that the intersection point of the new city and the old city of Delhi should be linked with a grand shopping complex where Indian traders of the old and new city can jointly participate to sell products and commodities and hence, his vision was realised that gave rise to a ‘D’ shaped market active even today. He was awarded the title of the ‘Greatest British Architect’ and also received numerous accolades and recognition for his immense contribution to designing New Delhi for which the city was earlier named after him and in his honour as ‘Lutyens Delhi’.
Raj path is fringed by a row of trees, huge lawns and small pools on either side forming the most important stretch of road leading across India Gate through which the Annual Republic Day Parades and Celebrations depicting various cultural events, dances and music from all the states of India are held every 26th of January and it also runs directly towards Raisina Hills which is the administrative centre of the central government of India. It crosses through Janpath Road that leads to Connaught Place in central Delhi and at Vijay Chowk it crosses Sansad Marg or Road flanked with the Parliament House on its right hand side.
Raj path is also flanked by the north and south blocks, also called as the Secretariat buildings, on either side with the north block that homes the offices of the Home and Finance Ministers and the south block that homes the offices of the Defence and External Affairs Ministers. It also houses numerous offices of the Prime Minister seen in the Secretariat Building.
Rajpath terminates at the Presidential Palace or the Rashtrapati Bhavan and this avenue has also seen funeral processions of various Indian Political Leaders. Vijay Chowk is also famous for hosting the special ceremony named ‘Beating Retreat’ organised every year on 29th January by the Defence personnel that is attended by the President of India and the Head of all States. The evenings around the Raj path lawns are always seen crowded with many visitors and tourists who come to enjoy a stunning view of the genius design of Lutyens that quietly nestles at the top of Raisina Hills in New Delhi.