Shakti Sthal which means ‘Place of Power and Strength’ is the Memorial site of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the first lady and only Prime Minister of India named after her strong determination and positive attitude towards the betterment of her Country. It is situated southeast of Red Fort between the banks of Yamuna River and Mahatma Gandhi Marg known as the main Ring Road very close to Raj Ghat which is the Memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi Ji and north of Vir Bhoomi which is the Memorial site of Rajiv Gandhi, who was the son of Smt. Indira Gandhi.
Indira Gandhi was the first child and daughter born to Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India and Kamala Kaul Nehru who later became their only child after the immediate demise of their second child who was a son. She led India through three successful terms that had seen immense development and growth in the economy and infrastructure of the country. She was well known as an eminent statesperson of India and the entire globe.
Post declaration of Independence of India during the Indo-Pak partition in 1947, many Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistan fled to India while Muslims from India fled to Pakistan. This was probably the beginning of an unseen cold war between these two countries that is partly exaggerated by the Political leaders and somehow seems to have affected the unity of Hindus and Muslims who live in India and Pakistan itself but fortunately the civilians of both the countries seem to still share that special bond with each other.
Similarly owning to certain reasons left better unknown to all, many riots were seen in Delhi and especially from June 1984 onwards after the Anti-Sikh riots shocked the nation when over 3000 Soldiers, 4 Officers and numerous unaccountable innocent civilians lost their lives after the Indian Army opened fire to commence Operation Blue Star when they received confirmed news that the Sikh group led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had occupied the Golden Temple. Many blamed the Government for not taking steps and action to stop these brutalities and on the unfortunate day of 31st October 1984, which also happened to be the year falling under the third term year of Smt. Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India that her own two Sikh Bodyguards assassinated her by gunning 31 bullets on her body while she was taking a walk past the wicket gate guarded by these very two bodyguards. She died on the way to the Hospital succumbing to the bullet injuries.
The last rituals and rites of Smt. Indira Gandhi were conducted at the Shakti Sthal Memorial ground and her cremation was completed on the place where a monolith stone of grey-reddish colour stand erect today and the site was covered by a marble platform in her honour. The night before her assassination, Smt. Indira Gandhi had given a speech which reads ‘I do not mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today, every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation’. The Memorial ground is covered in immense greenery and dotted with shady trees that create a serene ambience around this area.
Shakti Sthal is opened on all days to all hence, entry is free and best visited between 0500 hours and 1930 hours from the months of April to September and between 0530 hours and 1900 hours from the months of October to March. Parking facilities are also available for visitors travelling by their own vehicle and tourists can also hire local taxis or auto rickshaws and alternatively use the Metro Rail facility with Kashmiri Gate Metro Station as the nearest link to commute to this place.
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