Ahmedabad is closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi, the hero of Indian freedom struggle and later known as “The Father of the Nation”. When Gandhi ji came back to India in 1915, he decided to get settled in Ahmedabad. He established his first ashram in Kocharab Bangalow in 1915 which was finally shifted to Sabarmati Ashram in 1917. Every year thousands of tourists across the world come here to visit the ashram. It not only depicts the simple lifestyle of Gandhi ji, but also symbolises nonviolence, swadeshi, unity of nation and equality among human beings, these were the principles taught and followed by Gandhi ji
The ashram is located on the ashram road, in the heart of the city. It was a barren land next to the Sabarmati river. Gandhi ji wanted to practice ashram life completely and for that he established a gaushala also next to the ashram.
Gandhi ji came back to India from South Africa in 1915, he set up his first ashram in Kocharab Bangalow in Ahmedabad, it was the property of Barrister Jivanlal Desai, With due course of time on 17 June 1917 the ashram was shifted to its present location.
Since then for the next 13 years, ashram was official residence of Gandhi ji, he spent most of his time in ashram and it became the main center of Indian freedom struggle. Many national leaders used to visit ashram to meet Gandhi ji and prepare strategies to strengthen the freedom movement. Gandhi ji stayed here from 1917 to 1930. In 1930 Gandhi ji left ashram and took pledge that he will return back to ashram only when India will achieve freedom. The country got free on 15 August 1947, Gandhi ji was busy in settling the communal riots spread across the country, during which he was assassinated on 30 January 1948. Hence, he never returned back. During freedom movement on 22 July 1933 the ashram was disbanded by Gandhi ji, but some local people preserved it in the honour of Gandhi ji and a symbol of his ideology.
In honour of Mahatma Gandhi on 10 May 1963, a museum was established in the campus of ashram. It depicts the various events related to his life, contribution in freedom struggle and his principles of life. It has many galleries and a library. It is housed in an open building with large halls with big windows and open corridors. One of them is Gandhi in Ahmedabad gallery, it is related to Gandhi ji’s life in Ahmedabad, he lived here for about 15 years from 1915 to 1930. It displays the documents related to major events in his life during this period. There is another gallery named My life is my message it depicts the life of Gandhi ji, It displays about 250 photographs related to various phases of Gandhi ji’s life. There is a painting gallery containing 8 pictures of Gandhi ji painted in different posses. There is an Archives and library, it houses about 34,111 letters from or to Gandhi ji, 1371 manuscripts of various articles written by Gandhi ji, 210 films related to the life of Gandhi ji in Engish, Hindi and Gujarati, a diary of Gandhi ji maintaining the record of addresses for the purpose of correspondence, about 50,000 books related to freedom movement of India and about 6,000 photo negatives.
Segments of Ashram
The ashram campus is huge, it is spread over many acres, located next to the river Sabarmati, the ambiance of the ashram has a soothing effect. The ashram comprises of various apartments. All the apartments are preserved in the best possible manner, the ashram has witnessed the most prestigious story related to India i.e. The story of independence struggle. The most important of them are documented here.
Magan Niwas was the residence of Maganlal Gandhi, he was a follower, manager and nephew of Gandhi ji. He re-designed charkha (a spinning wheel) which later became an important tool of Swadeshi movement and freedom struggle.
Hariday Kunj It is the chamber of Gandhi ji and Kasturba ji in the ashram. The apartment has 6 rooms, one each for Gandhi ji, Kasturba ji, a kitchen, a guest room, a storeroom and a secretariate. The original charkha and writting desk of Gandhi ji has been preserved here.
Vinoba- Mira Kutia It was the residence of Vinoba Bhave, a follower of Gandhi ji. He was best known for his Boodan movement or land gift movement in 1951 at Pochampally village in Telangana region of India. He stayed here from 1918 to 1921. Later a British girl named Madeleine Slade, Gandhi ji called her Mira, stayed here from 1925 to 1933. She was associated with Gandhi ji and helped him in day to day activities of the ashram and was a true follower of Gandhi ji.
Nandini It was the official guest house of the ashram during freedom movement many prominent national leaders stayed here, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore, Rajendra Prashad, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad were some of them.
Udyog Mandir It was founded in 1918 during a historic strike of mill workers in Ahmedabad. Gandhi ji lived here for some time. It was a symbol of self-reliance and dignity of labour. It spread the message of ‘Swaraj through Khadi’ in the country.
How to reach:- By Air:- Ahmedabad Airport is well connected with all the national and International airports. If you are travelling to any part of Gujarat, check the flight to Ahmedabad, it offers the cheapest tickets from Delhi and Mumbai.
By Road:- Ahmedabad is the metropolitan city of Gujarat. It is well connected to all the parts of Gujarat through highways. In addition to this excellent bus service of all kinds i.e. Normal, sleeper, Volvo are available here.
By train:- It is the major junction of the region, It is well connected to all the parts of the country through railways.
Places to visit outside city or nearby:- Sun temple at Modhera(100 KM), Rani-ki-vav in Patan (130 Km), Lotha, a Harrapa port city (65 Km).
Minimum Duration of visit:- Minimum stay of 3 days and 2 nights is required if you want to explore the region completely. The tour comprises of Ahmedabad local, Modhera and Patan. The tour can be clubbed with visit to some other places in Gujarat also.