TUCKED away in a secluded corner, this is the tranquil setting where boxing legend Muhammad Ali will finally be laid to rest.
As his body continues to be prepared in a Louisville funeral home, work is underway at his burial site.
Aliâ€™s family personally chose the idyllic plot on a small high plain in an exclusive area of the historic Cave Hill Cemetery.
They had been planning for his death for the past 10 years.
The area is surrounded by centuries old trees and has immaculate lawns cared for by an army of staff.
The only audible noise is the running of the water in the lake and a fountain as well as the birds.
His headstone is currently being chiseled with sources saying he asked for an inscription of a Martin Luther King quote not one of his own famous lines.
Before his death he told his family he wanted â€œI tried to love somebody. I did try to feed the hungry.
“I did try, in my life, to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanityâ€ on his grave.
A worker at the cemetery told the Mirror: â€œThe family chose this spot. They had a tour of the grounds to see where they wanted Muhammad to be.
â€œIt is such a peaceful place where his family can lay him to rest and pay their respects for years to come.â€
Ali, 74, died on Friday from septic shock due to unspecified natural causes.
The boxer, who suffered from Parkinsonâ€™s disease , spent his final hours surrounded by his family after initially being hospitalised in the Phoenix area four days before.
Security at Cave Hill Cemetery been stepped up with the site expected to be placed in lockdown in the next 24 hours.
It is one Americaâ€™s most beautiful and historic burial grounds.
Set in 296 acres the cemetery was opened in 1848.
It rose to national importance 13 years later when it became the site for the burials of Union soldiers who died in service.
Several famous people are buried at the site including KFC founder Colonel Harlan Sanders, Patty Hill, the primary school teacher who wrote the â€œHappy Birthdayâ€ as well as a British solider who died in the First World War.
On Thursday the Ali family will hold a private ceremony before then â€œinviting the worldâ€ to a public service the following day.
Ministers from several faiths will come together led by California imam and scholar Zaid Shakir.
â€œItâ€™s only fitting that the people have the opportunity to send him off with a very robust commemoration, so we thank the family for that,â€ Mr Shakir said.
The family have announced the pall bearers for the funeral.
Hollywood actor Will Smith who portrayed Ali in the movie ALI and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, will be joined by relatives of the former Olympian to carry the coffin.
The full list is:
John Grady – Muhammad Aliâ€™s cousin
Ibn Ali – Muhammad Aliâ€™s nephew
Komawi Ali – Muhammadâ€™s former brother-in-law
Jerry Ellis – brother of Jimmy Ellis, Ali’s former sparring partner
Jan Wadell – Muhammad Aliâ€™s first cousin
John Ramsey – Muhammad Aliâ€™s family friend
Before Fridayâ€™s service Aliâ€™s coffin will be driven through Louisville passing the areas the former three time heavyweight champion knew well.
Eulogies will be read by his wife Lonnie, former US President Bill Clinton and Hollywood actor Billy Crystal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Abdullah II of Jordan will be among the foreign dignitaries attending.
The Dalai Lama was invited to the memorial but cannot attend.
In addition an Islamic funeral prayer program will be held on Thursday where 18,000 tickets have been allocated for the event.
Family spokesman Bob Gunnell said the family has been working on the details of these public memorials for the past 10 years or so.
â€œEverything that weâ€™re doing here was blessed by Muhammad Ali and requested,â€ he explained.
â€œHe wanted the memorial service to reflect his life and how he lived. And he wanted everyone to be able to attend.
“He was the peopleâ€™s champ, so we wanted the memorial service to reflect that.â€
Gunnell explained how Ali had been involved in planning his own service and before his death had reassured his friends and family he was at ease with talking about his death.
The family spokesman recalled the boxerâ€™s own words during meetings to plan his the funeral.
“It’s okay,â€ Ali would say. â€œWeâ€™re here to do the job the way I want it. It’s fine.”
It was the father-of-nineâ€™s wish to have his memorial service in an arena saying he wanted ordinary fans to attend not just stars and VIPs.
Ali wanted representatives for all religions to have a voice while honouring the traditions of his Muslim faith.
Gunnell said the funeral plans were tweaked in the days leading up to his death.
For several years the family had planned to have Aliâ€™s body lie at the Muhammad Ali Centre but it was changed at the last minute after his wife, Lonnie, became concerned it would cause the centre to be shut down through the number of people attending.
She along with his children decided instead to have his body driven through a miles-long procession through his beloved home town.
The cortege will drive past the centre built in his honour, the street named after him and through the neighbourhood where he grew up, raced bikes and shadowboxed outside his childhood home. – Daily Mirror