Imagine if Mahatma Gandhi himself wanted to take you to important places in his life, where would he take you? Mahatma Gandhi made many trips during his lifetime. Like today, even if social media dominated everywhere at that time, he would have earned the title of ‘Most Visited Person’.
If you reach any corner of India, you will feel the existence of Gandhiji. Memorials of his visit, excerpts of his speech, the commemoration of a meeting, the naming of a city route, a building built in his memory, a plan. Traveling all the places he has visited is like an extraordinary challenge for ordinary people like us.
The greatest evidence of Mahatma Gandhi’s almighty presence in India is the Mahatma Gandhi Marg. I guess there would be no city in India where there is no Mahatma Gandhi Road. Maybe a street in a city is popular by the name of another, however, its official name is Mahatma Gandhi Marg.
Gandhi Jayanti and 30 January are festivals celebrated in his memory all over India.
Mahatma Gandhi Samarq Across India
So let’s visit all the places in India that have been related to Gandhiji in some way.
Gujarat is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. He spent his entire childhood here. He also established his ashram here. Naturally, there will be many places related to them in Gujarat.
Porbandar – Birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi
Porbandar is a port city of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Presently it is more popular as the birthplace of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. His ancestral residence is open for public viewing. You can see their huge residence painted in white and green color. You will not only see the room of his birth, but you will also get an experience of how luxurious the residence of the past used to be.
There is a huge Kirti temple near the residence which is dedicated to Gandhiji and Kasturbaji. There is a display gallery where an interesting blend of pictures depicts Gandhiji’s journey from his childhood to the Mahatma wearing a dhoti. These paintings also tell stories of a common lifestyle during Gandhiji’s lifetime.
Kasturba’s ancestral residence is just behind Gandhi-Niwas.
Not many people know that Porbandar was also the village of Sudama, the supreme friend of Shri Krishna.
Gandhi spent his childhood in Rajkot where his father was Diwan. He did his primary education in Rajkot.
From here he went to London to pursue his legal education. From there, he came back for some time before going to South Africa. He finally returned to India in 1915 after spending 21 years in South Africa.
My trip to Rajkot is remaining. Therefore, after visiting there, I will enrich this section further.
Satyagraha Ashram Kochrab
After returning to India from South Africa in 1915, Gandhiji’s first residence came to be the bungalow of Barrister Jivanlal Desai in Kochrab, Ahmedabad. It was a large two-story bungalow with a large courtyard attached to it. It is now called the Satyagraha Ashram. But it is more of a museum. There is also a library full of literature related to Gandhiji.
Sabarmati Ashram is perhaps the most popular and most visited place associated with Gandhiji. This ashram is situated on the banks of the Sabarmati River. At that time this place was located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, but today it has come almost to the center of Ahmedabad city. Each part of this Nirmal Ashram commemorates Gandhiji, where he resided from 1914 to 1930. His personalities are mentioned on the reefs.
Gandhiji’s famous Salt Satyagraha and Dandi Yatra started from here in 1930. The museum located here was built by architect Charles Correa in the 1980s. Bhajans are sung here in the morning and evening, which you should enjoy.
This school was established by Gandhiji in 1920 as a national school. He served as Chancellor here till the end of his life. This Vidyapeeth is located near the Satyagraha Ashram in Kochrab. I was very impressed with the book shop located here. There is a wonderful store of Indian books here.
Places related to Gandhiji in Maharashtra
Magan Gandhi Ashram of Wardha
After the events of 1930, Gandhiji established an ashram in Wardha. He named it on Magan Gandhi, a rural scientist, and best friend. All India Village Industries Association was also established here to promote rural industries and small scale industries.
The Magan Museum located in this complex also has a section of products from Khadi and other rural industries. In a way, you can call it the first entrepreneurship of modern India.
Mani Bhavan of Mumbai
Perhaps none of us can guess Gandhiji’s travels. He also did extensive tours in Mumbai. In Mumbai, the bungalow of Rewashkar Jagjivan Jhaveri became his residence. Here in 1982, he waged the Quit India Movement against the August Kranti Maidan and the movement against the Rowlatt Act. We know this Vastu by the name of Mani Bhavan.
Today Mani Bhawan has become a beautiful museum. There is a precious collection of literature, paintings, and artifacts related to Gandhiji. A gallery of paintings revives his biography.
Aga Khan Palace of Pune
The Aga Khan Palace, that is, the palace was Gandhiji’s prison. He was imprisoned here with Kasturba, his secretary, and colleague Ms. Sarojini Naidu. Kasturba and the secretary also died here. In this group, they have samadhis.
At one time it was a palace built by Aga Khan which has now been converted into a museum dedicated to the Mahatma. It is a huge palace which is also modern. Walking in the garden here, I wondered if prisons used to be like this?
Places associated with Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi
Gandhi Smriti i.e. Birla House Delhi
Gandhiji spent the last 14 days of his life at Birla House, located on Tis Jan Marg, New Delhi. He breathed his last while saying ‘Hey Ram’. This building belonged to the Birla family, which was built by Ghanshyamdas Birla in 1926. Initially, the Birla family was unwilling to relinquish ownership of the building to the museum. Later, in 1973, he abandoned this building. Subsequently, a multimedia museum dedicated to Gandhiji was built here.
The last place related to Gandhiji is his tomb. It is a plain monument surrounded by large grasslands. All of us may not have seen this place directly, but have seen it on Doordarshan when dignitaries come here and offer flowers and garlands at Gandhiji’s tomb. It has become a popular tourist destination in Delhi.
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial located in other places of India
Gandhi Museum in Motihari, Bihar
The Champaran Satyagraha in 1914 was the highest achievement of Gandhiji’s life. He represented the first movement against indigo cultivation by the British government. The same event of 1914 has been celebrated in the Gandhi Museum by pictures. The Gandhi memorial pillar now stands at the place where Gandhiji was presented before the court.
Common knowledge – George Orwell, born by ‘animal farm and 1984’, was born in Motihari.
Gandhi Memorial Mandapam of Kanyakumari
On one side of the Kanyakumari temple situated on the sea, the shore is Gandhiji’s memorial. Gandhiji visited Kanyakumari twice, in 1925 and 1936. This memorial is in memory of his travels. After his death, a part of his bone remains was kept here for public viewing. He was then immersed in the sea.
The architectural feature of this monument, built-in 1958, is that on 2 October, the rays of the sun fall on the exact spot where the bones of Gandhiji were kept. The rays of the sun reach inside through a hole made on the roof. The height of 89 feet of this monument represents the age of 79 years of Gandhiji.
Gandhi Museum of Madurai
Madurai has special significance in the life of Gandhiji. It is the same place where he renounced his clothes forever and took the incarnation of the only dhoti holder for the rest of his life. In the memory of the blood-dyed garments that he wore at the time of Gandhi’s death, his clothes have been saved here. The museum also has an audio-visual library based on the biography of the Mahatma.
His room has been displayed equally in all places related to Sabarmati Ashram, Mani Bhavan, Satyagraha Ashram, Birla Bhavan, etc. A common room where his loom, his standing, his circular glasses, and some books are kept. I am compelled to wonder whether in reality their room used to be like this or were the makers following the same structure in every museum?
I have not visited South Africa yet. I hope to see Gandhiji’s heritage located there soon.
Do you know about other places located in India and related to Gandhiji, which I have missed mentioning, then please tell me?