Gujarat is not only the birth place of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but has also been the site of many important activities of the much revered Indian patriot and politician, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi. Follow the Gandhi Circuit through museums and memorials to know more about the Father of the Nation.
The ‘haveli’ where Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on Oct 2, 1869, is one of the most popular attractions in Gujarat. The room where he was born has been preserved as it is, and has a stark look. A part of the house has now been converted into a museum and called the Kirti Mandir. Open from 9am to 12pm and again from 3pm to 6pm. Porbandar is connected by rail with Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Rajkot while by road it is connected to major cities of the state.
A must-visit on any trip to Ahmedabad is the Gandhi Ashram on the banks of the Sabarmati River. Home to Gandhi from 1917 and 1930, it was one of the key places from where the struggle for Indian Independence took shape. It was from here in March 12, 1930, that Gandhi launched the Dandi March to protest against the British Salt Law in India. The cottage where Gandhi lived, Hriday Kunj (gandhiashramsabarmati.org), tops the list of attractions within the complex. The Charles Correa-designed museum contains three galleries–the Gandhi in Ahmedabad Gallery, the Painting Gallery and the My Life is My Message Gallery–and houses the Ashram’s library. The Museum is open daily from 8.30am to 6.30pm. There’s no admission fee.
It was here that Gandhi spend his childhood as his father was appointed as the Diwan of the Rajkot state. The family residence, now known as ‘Kaba Gandhi No Delo’, now hosts a small museum offering a look into various events in Gandhi’s life through pictures. Gandhi returned to Rajkot in 1939 to establish the Rashtriyashala to instil the tenets of Swaraj (self-rule) in the minds of the people as a key step towards the country’s fight for Independence. Today, the school imparts educational and vocational training. Interestingly, it was this Rashtriyashala that encouraged local weavers to master the art of single ‘ikat’ weaving that is now a popular buy in Rajkot. Also located in An important railway junction on the Western Railway, Rajkot is also connected by air with Mumbai.
Located near Surat, this seaside town is from where Gandhi began his famous Salt Satyagraha (Dandi March) in protest against the British Salt Law imposed on India. Gandhi had walked down to Dandi from Ahmedabad, with a large group of volunteers following in his wake, and plucked a handful of saline mud and seawater, symbolising the production of salt in defiance of the British law. A memorial statue marks the event. Dandi is about 30km by road from Surat.
Getting there: There are nine airports in Gujarat, including Ahmedabad, Porbandar and Surat. Carriers like Indigo, SpiceJet, Air India and Jet Airways ply frequently to these airports from different parts of the country