Rajpath from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose statue to the Rashtrapati Bhawan and the Central Vista lawns to be renamed Kartavyapath by Government of India.
What is ‘Kartavyapath’?
- Karavya Path (formerly known as Rajpath and earlier Kingsway) is a ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi, India, that runs from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hill through Vijay Chowk and India Gate, National War Memorial to National Stadium, Delhi.
- The avenue is lined on both sides by huge lawns, canals and rows of trees. Considered to be one of the most important roads in India, it is where the annual Republic Day parade takes place on 26 January. Janpath (meaning “People’s Way”) crosses the road.
- Kartavya Path runs in east-west direction. Roads from Connaught Place, the financial centre of Delhi, run into Kartavya Path from north.
- In 1911 the British Imperial Government and the Viceregal administration determined that the capital of the British Indian Empire should be moved from Calcutta to Delhi. Accordingly, construction in that year began on the district of New Delhi, which would serve as the purpose-built administrative capital of the Indian Empire.
- The British Raj duly turned to Sir Edwin Lutyens to construct the new city. Lutyens conceived of a modern imperial city centred around a “ceremonial axis“, such axis being the large boulevard now called the Rajpath. Lutyens wanted a panoramic view of the city of Delhi from the viceregal palace. Consequently, the view from Raisina Hill runs unhindered across Rajpath and the India Gate, and is obstructed only by the National Stadium.
- Most of the buildings surrounding the Rajpath were designed by Lutyens and the second architect of the project, Sir Herbert Baker. The importance of such buildings in the government of India ensures the road’s importance.
- Name —
- When built the road was named King’s Way, or Kingsway, in honour of the Emperor of India George V, who had visited Delhi during the Durbar of 1911, and where the Emperor formally proclaimed the decision to move the capital.
- The name was similar to Kingsway in London, which had been opened in 1905, and which was also a custom-built arterial road, and which had been named in honour of George V’s father, Edward VII (as King of the United Kingdom).
- Following the independence of India the road was given its Hindi name, ‘Rajpath‘, in place of its English designation. This represents a mere translation more than a substantial renaming, since ‘Rajpath’ in Hindi is broadly analogous in meaning to ‘King’s Way’.
- Under the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, the road has been referred to as ‘Central Vista Avenue’ in the media and government documents. And, its formal name of ‘Rajpath’ has now been changed to ‘Kartavyapath’.