The Sabarmati Ashram
The Sabarmati Ashram was home to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , the Mahatma, father of the nation, an iconic historic figure who needs no introduction anywhere in the world.
The life of Gandhiji can be traced in Gujarat with places that form The Gandhi Circuit. Porbandar (place where Gandhiji was born) to Kochrab Ashram (place where he returned to India from his visit to South Africa) are all open to visitors.
We visited The Sabarmati Ashram situated in Ahmedabad, which served as the nerve centre of India’s freedom movement.
The Sabarmati Ashram
The Sabarmati Ashram is a witness to many important historical events connected with the Independence movement of India. It was also from here that Gandhiji launched the famous Dandi March. A place where guests from around the world visited to follow the Gandhian path of non-violence.
There is a certain sense of positive vibe in the air that surrounds this place. Squirrels run across the lawn. And the beautiful river Sabarmati flows at the side. The place is as simple as the man who had once inhabited it.
Gandhiji once said “This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for truth and develop fearlessness, for on one side are the iron bolts of the foreigners, and on the other the thunderbolts of Mother Nature.”
Pictorial presentation and written documents are displayed at the museum today. And those who appreciate history can easily spend few hours leisurely browsing. There is a painting gallery which has several large size paintings of Gandhiji. And they are totally extraordinary.
This is not the first time I have traced places where Gandhiji has lived. My visit to the Aga Khan Palace (in Pune) where Gandhiji was imprisoned had similar beautiful experience. A sense of simplicity and honesty still lingers around these places. And the sites are very well maintained by Gandhiji’s followers.
Hriday Kunj is a modest dwelling inside The Sabarmati Ashram where Gandhiji and his wife Kasturba lived. There are other small rooms with details of visitors who lived there. The Charkha used to spin khadi and the writing table Gandhiji used for writing letters are also some of the items kept.
I think the most touching moment for me at this Ashram was seeing a black and white picture of Gandhiji at Aga Khan Palace in Poona – sitting with legs folded in front of his wife’s ashes. The emotions are all loud and clear in the picture.
This is certainly a great place to get a deeper insight into the life of Gandhiji and the legacy that still remains.
1) The Ashram’s open area has many Kutirs (huts) around. And the place is kept very clean.
2) The Ashram has River Sabarmati flowing along its edge and a view worth visiting during sunset time.
3) Manav Sadhna is a NGO based in the Ashram which teaches, nurtures and nourishes the underprivileged children. You can volunteer here to teach.
4) The Ashram also houses a good book store.
5) There are various stay options in Ahmedabad with basic amenities. OYO Hotels are also quite popular here.
(some of these pictures are taken from phone)
Simple dwellings where great leaders lived when they visited The Mahatma
Few of my favourite quotes at the Ashram:
Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this, ever in flesh and blood, walked upon this earth.
The power and creative suffering must be evident to any one of my age; for the generation into which I happen to have been born, has not only been Hitler’s generation in the West and Stalin’s in Russia; it has also been Gandhi’s in india; and it can already be forecast with some confidence that Gandhi’s effect on human history is going to be greater and more lasting than either Stalin’s or Hitler’s.
To sum up my trip, I would definitely recommend The Sabarmati Ashram as one of the popular tourist spot to visit in the city of Ahmedabad.