“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”, said Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation. This Mahatma (the revered one) was born on October 2nd, which India celebrates as Gandhi Jayanti; the world celebrates this day as the ‘International Day of Non-violence’.
Given the influence he had on India’s freedom struggle, here's an overview of some important places that you must visit to pay a tribute to this great leader.
1. Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, Delhi
Formerly the residence of industrialist B.D. Birla, Gandhi Smriti (then Birla House) was taken over by the Government of India in 1971 and refurbished into a National Memorial for Mahatama Gandhi.
This building played home to Mahatama Gandhi during his stays in the city and was the site of his assassination on 30 January 1948. With a well laid out garden, interactive museum and an eternal flame, this site is a must visit for those wishing to pay tribute to the Mahatama.
No entry fee
10:00 am-5:00 pm (Mondays closed).
The nearest railway station is the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station which is 3 kms away.
2. Raj Ghat, Delhi
Raj Ghat is the place where Gandhiji was cremated. On 2nd October every year, prayers and bhajans are sung to commemorate the ‘Father of the Nation’. You will see ‘Hey Ram’ written on black marble tomb covered with flowers. It is believed that ‘Hey Ram’ were the last words of Mahatma Gandhi.
No entry fee
6:00 am - 7:00 pm
3. Aga Khan Palace, Pune
Housing the ashes of Mahatama Gandhi and samadhi of Kasturba Gandhi, it is a popular place of pilgrimage where scores of people pay their homage to the freedom fighters. Many famous Indian freedom fighters including Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu etc. were imprisoned here during the Quit India Movement in 1942. During such confinement, Kasturba Gandhi breathed her last here.
Rs 2 per person for children
Rs 5 per person for adults
9:00 am-6:00 pm (All days of the week)
The nearest railway station is Pune junction railway station which is 3 kms away.
4. Naval Uprising Memorial, Mumbai
Located in the famous Colaba area of South Mumbai, the Naval Uprising Memorial is a tribute to a relatively lesser known event which accelerated the pace of Indian independence called the the Royal Indian Navy mutiny. However, due to minimal political support, the Royal Indian Navy mutiny hasn't been given it's rightful place in the popular consciousness. What makes this memorial worth visiting is that it is only open on National holidays and the Navy Day on December 4, 2014. So, if you are in Mumbai on 2nd October, do give it a go!
No entry fee.
8:00 am to 8:00 pm (Open to public only on National Holidays and Navy Day)
The nearest railway station is Churchgate railway station which is 4 kms away.
5. Mani Bhavan, Mumbai
Mani Bhavan served as the residence of Mahatama Gandhi during his visits to Bombay between 1917 and 1934. It was here that seeds were sown for landmark freedom struggles in the form of Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi and Khilafat movements. Mani Bhavan stands witness the iconic 'charkha' which later became the symbol of the non-violent Indian independence movement. The library here boasts of a collection of more than 40,000 books related to life of the Mahatama. It also houses the Institute of Research on Gandhian Thought and Rural Development.
No entry fee
9.30 am to 6.00 pm (All days of the week. Closed on 2nd & 4th Saturdays and public holidays)
The nearest railway station is Charni Rd. railway station which is less than a km away.
6. Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad
Located on the banks of Sabarmati river, Sabarmati Ashram was established by Mahatama Gandhi on his return from South Africa. It served as the epicentre for Gandhi's non-violent freedom struggle for Indian independence. The famous Dandi March was initiated here by Gandhi which led to civil disobedience movements across the country. The Ashram now houses a museum called Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay which includes Gandhi's relics, book store, an oil painting gallery, letters and a library.
90-minute guided tours can be organised with prior permission which cover the famous landmarks like Magan Niwas, Hriday Kunj, Udyog Mandir, Teacher's Niwas and other places within the Ashram.
No entry fee.
08:30 am-06:30 pm (All days of week)
The nearest railway station is Ahmedabad Junction railway station which is 2 km away.
Author : Abhay Singh