We both left home early in the morning, kept driving till evening taking short breaks in between and finally reached Ahemdabad in the evening, we checked in room to freshen up, had a early dinner so that we could hit the bed as soon as possible. While I was watching T.V. my husband went and checked for next day’s route plan and places to cover during the day. He came and asked me, “There is no need to start early in the morning since we have to just travel 300 kms. to reach our next destination”
“It means I can get up late in the morning ! Hurray !”
” I was just wondering that it would be nice if we do some sight scene before leaving for Bhuj. Do you want to visit Sabarmati Ashram? It is close by.”
” That’s wonderful idea ! I would definitely like to go there.” After all it was an offer I couldn’t refuse !
” Let’s get up at seven.” We both were tired, slept within no time.
Next day we were at Sabarmati Ashram also known as Gandhi Ashram, Harijan Ashram, or Satyagraha Ashram. The moment we entered the ashram, located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad,Gujarat, on the banks of the River Sabarmati, four miles from the town hall, we found ourselves in a world of tranquility. The environment was very peaceful and soul soothing. This was one of the residences of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, generally called Mahatma Gandhi, who lived there for about twelve years along with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi.
For people interested in knowing about the freedom struggle of India, this is just the perfect place. Infact, I would call it a storehouse of useful piece of information. This Ashram has a lot of significance for people keen to know about great freedom fighter Gandhiji who lived here for quite a long time from 1917 to 1930.
Upon returning from South Africa on January 9, 1915, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was in search for a place to settle himself along with a small group of relatives and associates happened to be with him during the African struggle. His political views still unformed, Gandhi chose Ahmedabad in the West Indian state of Gujarat for three reasons, ” being a Gujarati, I’ll serve my country best through the use of the Gujarati language. As Ahmedabad was the center of the handloom in early days, the work of spinning wheel (charkha) could be done in a better way, I believed. Being the capital of Gujarat its wealthy persons will also make a larger contribution, I hoped,” in his own words.
Set up in year 1915, this place was the focal point of freedom struggle of India.This is in close vincity to the Saint Dadheechi’s temple as well as from Jail and a crematorium. Gandhi remarked once, “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, thunderbolts of mother nature.” the ashram became a hub of activities in 1917.
Gandhiji had steered and guided the independence struggle from this Ashram. It also played an instrumental role in Gandhiji ‘s life for society upliftment. He stayed in the ashram for many years before he finally proceeded for a march to Dandi to break the salt law on 12 March 1930. Before starting the march to Dandi, Gandhiji declared that he will not return to the ashram before the independence of the country.
The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya is run by a public trust established in 1951. The museum’s new premises came up in 1963 which exhibits the life of Mahatma Gandhi through his personal memorabilia. It gives us a valuable insight into the vivid and historic events of Gandhiji’s life. There are books, manuscripts of his articles and photocopies of the letters written by him, photographs of Gandhiji with his wife Kasturba and other ashram associates, life size oil paintings and actual relics like his writing desk and spinning wheel.
.Open for all from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm everyday.
Away from the mad rush of the city, Sabarmati ashram served as a great retreat for both of us. It was an enriching experience, we left happily for our next destination.