Today, 2nd October, is Mahatma Gandhi’s 143rd birthday. Have been contemplating for the past few days to pay my tribute to the ‘Father of our Nation’ but couldn’t come up with anything good enough to do justice to the great man. I skipped through his autobiography ‘The Story of my Experiments with Truth’ ( I’ve read it before) for inspiration. I’ve always admired how candid he has been about his faults and failures in the book but I still couldn’t think of anything special. On a whim, I decided to visit his Ashram, on the banks of the Sabarmati river.
The ashram was built in 1917 on the banks of the Sabarmati river. Initially it’s name was ‘Satyagrah Ashram” but later came to be called the “Sabarmati Ashram”. It was home to Mahatma Gandhi from 1917 to 1930. ‘Khadi’ was born here and it served as the main center for freedom struggle. It was from here that Gandhiji launched his famous “Dandi march” on 12th March,1930. He walked 241kms to the port town of Dandi to break the ‘Salt Law’. On the same day, Gandhiji vowed never to return to Ashram till India attained Independence. Although India achieved Independence in 1947, he was assassinated in 1948 and thus never returned to the Ashram.
When I reached the Ashram, it was teeming with people, both from India and other countries. All there to try and understand the Mahatma that he was. The place itself is well preserved. It is fascinating to imagine the part History played here. How Gandhiji would have gone about doing his daily work around the Ashram, how he would have met leaders and people in his room and planned strategies for the Independence movement. Just thinking about it all makes you feel like a part of the history.
the front view of Gandhiji’s cottage at the Ashram
the rear side of the cottage
the central courtyard inside the cottage
Bapu’s room(office) where he met leaders, politicians, British officials and people
Ashram Rules- the topmost row has the rules handwritten by Gandhiji in Gujarati. The subsequent ones are typed in Gujarati, Hindi and English
Some more buildings of the Ashram-
A few things belonging to Bapu-
this one is a replica
The other part of the Ashram is the new building that houses a museum dedicated to the life of Mohandas Gandhi.
Picture of Bapu and Kasturba
A photograph of Gandhiji’s signatures in all the major languages of India
Hand-written notes by Gandhiji
Picture of Mahatma Gandhi with Rabindranath Tagore
A beautiful message by Mahatma Gandhi
And to close this post with-