After having a sumptuous, lavish dinner at Bollywood themed restaurant Mirch Masala, we started discussing the options of next day’s sightseeing in Ahmedabad. As our flight was in the late afternoon we decided to utilise the morning time by visiting Sabarmati Ashram.
Sabarmati Ashram is the place where Mahatma Gandhi spent almost 13 years of his life from 1917 to 1930. This residence of Mahatma Gandhi is located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad on the banks of River Sabarmati. This place was the centre of Indian freedom struggle. There is a mythological story related to this place that it was once the site of Dadhichi Rishi’s Ashram. As per Hindu mythology Dadhichi Rishi is the sage who donated his bones to allow the Gods to make weapons to fight with the demons. The reason behind Mahatma Gandhi shifting his base to Sabarmati was that he wanted to do some experiments in farming, cow breeding & Khadi. Another legend behind choosing this place is that it’s located between a jail & a cemetery because Gandhiji was of the opinion that every Satyagrahi’s destination is one of this.
When we entered this place the above reasons were pretty clear to us. It’s a kind of holy place where peace & simplicity live together. At the entrance of the Ashram Museum we were greeted by Three Wise Monkeys sculpture giving the message “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.
The museum has various galleries like “My Life is my Message” gallery, Painting gallery, Archives gallery, Gandhi in Ahmedabad gallery etc. There is a book store too selling books related to Mahatma Gandhiji & souvenirs like miniature Charkha. Moving through these galleries takes you into a different era. I felt like watching the man called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi becoming Mahatma Gandhi who in turn inspired generations to generations all over the world. It was like the Indian independence movement happening in front of us like a movie. Gandhi in Ahmedabad gallery is having different important events of Gandhiji’s life while he stayed in Ahmedabad. The Sabarmati Ashram is also of historic importance as Gandhiji started the famous Dandi March from here in 1930. This place was also witness to Champaran & Swadeshi movement. There are statues, black & white photos of Mahatma Gandhi & Kasturba.
Few of the major events of Indian Freedom Struggle are also constructed in miniature scenes. There are thousands of letters & documents of Gandhiji kept in this museum. The best part of the museum is that you can capture all these photos, statues in your own camera. So after taking many photos we moved towards the other ashram sites.
While going towards the Hriday Kunj ( Mahtma’s Residence) & other sites there is a big statue of the Mahatma himself in sitting position. It seems that The Saint of Sabarmati is still present in the Ashram. We walked towards the newly developed Sabarmati river front. The front side of Hriday Kunj offers panoramic view of beautiful Sabarmati River Front from a vantage height. All of us stood there watching the beauty of Sabarmati River & Hriday Kunj. Magan Niwas of Mahatma’s nephew & true follower Maganji can be seen on right side.
Hriday Kunj literally means the abode of heart. It’s truly the heart of Sabarmati Ashram. This is the actual residence of Mahatma & Kasturba Gandhi. This house is having various rooms like visitor’s room, Bapu’s room, Kasturba’s room, and kitchen. Various articles used by Gandhiji in his daily life are displayed here including a charkha & spectacles. The place where Mahatma Gandhi used to sit & use Charkha for spinning can be seen here. Hriday Kunj is the main attraction of Sabarmati Ashram. I felt a kind of calmness in this place. We also visited Vinoba Kutir, a humble hut where Vinoba Bhave stayed many times. There are other places like Upasana Mandir, Udyog Mandir, and Teacher’s Niwas inside the ashram premises.
After paying tribute to The Mahatma one more time we left for Ahmedabad Airport for our journey back to Mumbai. Every Indian must visit this holy place at least once in his life.