Gandhi Jayanti is a day celebrated on 2nd October across the nation in the honour of the birthday of the ‘Father of Nation’ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He is popularly known as Mahatama Gandhi or Bapu. Born on 2nd October 1869, he led the independence movement against the British. He is an iconic figure in India and across the world.
Gandhi was a visionary who practiced and preached lessons of non-violence. He was instrumental in challenging the British imposed salt tax with the Dandi Salt March in 1930. He also called for the British to Quit India in 1942.
On this day, the power of non-violence and the philosophy of ‘Satyagraha’are celebrated. His philosophy of non-violence and truth is popularly called Gandhigiri and he himself is lovingly called ‘Bapu’, ‘Gandhiji’ by all, across the country.
On this memorable day, people all across the nation hold various prayer meetings and community functions to pay homage to him. Art lovers hold exhibitions to reflect the principles that were followed by Gandhi. In some states, even awards are given to various non-violence projects in order to honour the great man. Special speeches are addressed in his name about his life and work so as to educate children so that they can follow the footsteps of Gandhi’s ideas and beliefs. This way, people honour and pay tribute to the legendary man for his contribution in India’s freedom struggle.
There are some must-visit places associated with Gandhi and his principles. These places remains very close to Mahatama Gandhi’s heart.
Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad
Known to be his birth place, Sabarmati Ashram is located at the bank of Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad. While the ashram was home for him for almost 12 years, both the historic movements, the Dandi March and the Salt Satyagraha, started at Sabarmati Ashram. Currently, the ashram serves as a source of inspiration and guidance, and stands as a monument to Gandhi’s life mission and a testimony to others who have fought a similar struggle. Travellers can go through a quick recap of India’s pre-Independence by taking Ashram tours and reading about him at the library.
Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum, Mumbai
Located in Gamdevi, Mumbai, Mani Bhavan is where Gandhiji initiated Satyagraha against Rowlatt Act and propagated the causes of Swadeshi, Khadi and Hindu-Muslim Unity. The two-story building served as Gandhiji’s Bombay headquarters for about seventeen years and withstood some the historical events (1917-1934). The museum houses over 50,000 books by and on Gandhiji along with his images. It also showcases the room Gandhi used during his stay, along with two of his spinning wheels, a book and a still preserved floor- bed.
Gandhi Smriti (Raj Ghat), New Delhi
Formed in September 1984, Gandhi Smriti is the place where he spent his last days from September 9, 1947 to January 30, 1948. The house treasures many memories of the last 144 days of his life and one can see the room where Gandhiji lived and the prayer-ground where mass congregation was held. This was the place where Gandhiji fell by the assassin’s bullets.
National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi
The National Gandhi Museum showcases a very rich collection of original relics, books, journals and documents, photographs, audio-visual materials, exhibitions, art pieces and other memorabilia closely connected with Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba and Indian Freedom Struggle. The Museum was named ‘Gandhi Memorial Museum’ and is developing into a Resource Centre for the Gandhian and Allied Studies and Research.
Aga Khan Palace, Pune
After the launch of Quit India Movement, Aga Khan Palace served as the prison for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife Kasturba and Secretary Mahadevbhai Desai. Located near river Mula, the picturesque palace is a memorial to Gandhiji and his life. Inside the Aga Khan Palace, one can find shops to buy pure Khadi and cotton garments and handmade textiles. The iconic movie ‘Gandhi’, based on his life by Sir Richard Attenborough was also shot in parts at this palace.
On October 2, 1869 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in the city of Porbandar. The site of Gandhi’s birth, now known as Kirti Mandir, is converted into a small museum with an exhibit of old photographs, some of his very few possessions and a library of books either by him or relating to Gandhian philosophy and practice.
Constitutional Hill, South Africa
Known as the icon of democracy, the Constitutional Hill in South Africa is almost as old as the city of Johannesburg. Currently functioning as a living museum, a multitude of renowned names like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela among others were kept as prisoners at the Old Fort, the Women’s Jail and Number Four at the Constitutional Hill. One can also visit the Gandhi Square, located at the Central Business District of Johannesburg.