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The Sabarmati Ashram is located on the west bank of the Sabarmati river at a distance of 7km from the centre of Ahmedabad in Gujarat State. The Sabarmati Ashram is known by many names like Gandhi Ashram, Harijan Ashram, Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya and Satyagraha Ashram. It was here, the father of nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, generally called Mahatma Gandhi or Gandhiji lived when he was in Ahmadabad.
Spread about in 36 acres of land, the ashram is a pilgrimage for Gandhians and pacifists. The ashram also has been declared as a national monument by the Government of India due to its significance for the Indian independence movement.
The Ashram was set up at its present location by Gandhiji in the year 1917 and he lived here for about twelve years, with his wife Kasturba. The Ashram was originally established at Kochrab on May 25th in May 1915.
The main reason for choosing this place was because of a legend associated with it. Locals believed that the ashram was one of the sites of sage Dadhichi, whose mortal remains were used to sculpt weapons for a righteous war. His main ashram lies in Naimisharanya, near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
It is from here that Mahatma Gandhi began his famous 'Dandi March' to the sea to protest against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. After this incident, the British Government seized the ashram. Gandhi asked the Government to give it back but they were not willing to do this. On July 22, 1933, Gandhiji decided to disband the ashram, but the local citizens decided to preserve it. He also vowed not to return to the ashram until India had gained independence. Although India got independence on 15 August 1947, but before Gandhi could return to the Ashram, he was assassinated on January 30th 1948.
The ashram was full of trees and one can see the three wise monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil) sitting and many more of Gandhiji's teachings at the ashram premises.
The Ashram has a memorial centre known as The Gandhiji Smarak Sangrahalaya- a well furnished designed museum, which houses the belongings of Gandhiji, Hriday Kunj - a small cottage Gandhiji used to live in the Ashram, Upasana Mandir - the prayer ground, Nandini- an old Ashram guest house, where guests from India and abroad are put up, Vinoba Kutir– where Acharya Vinoba Bhave stayed for some period of time, a Sound-and Light (Son et Lumiere) show depicting the life and teachings of Gandhiji etc. There is a library which sells books on and by Gandhiji. It also houses a museum displaying the belongings of Mahatma Gandhi. The ashram still makes handicrafts, handmade paper and spinning wheels.
The Gandhiji Smarak Sangrahalaya designed by the architect Charles Correa and inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru is a worth visit. The museum houses of Gandhi’s life by photographs and paintings. There are more than 6,000 photographs of Gandhiji and his colleagues kept in the museum. Run by a public trust established in 1981 with an aim to house the personal memorabilia of Mahatma Gandhi, it has different units like office, library, two photo galleries and an auditorium. The library houses over 35,000 books on his life, 34,000 letters which were written to/written by Gandhiji includes a letter sent by Gandhiji to Adolf Hitler in 1939 requesting him to pull back from the war, manuscripts of articles, negatives of photographs and films on Gandhiji and freedom struggle, Gandhiji's writing desk and spinning wheel, eight life size colour oil paintings, an exhibition on Gandhiji's life titled 'My life is my message' and 'Gandhiji in Ahmedabad' etc. In summer, the museum is open from 8.30 am to12.00 noon and from 2.30 pm to 7.00 pm and in winter form 8.30 am to 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm to 6.30 pm. Entry to the museum is free.
Upasana Mandir is an open air prayer groun where prayers of different faiths are held every day in morning and evening. Hriday Kunj where Gandhiji lived in the ashram, has Charka used by Gandhi for making cloth, his walking stick and the writing table and the spectacles he used to wear. There are 4 rooms- Gandhi’s, Kasturba’s, Guest and one Kitchen.
Nandini is the guest house of people mostly foreigners who come to visit the place. Many national leaders and famous personalities from abroad stayed here.
Udyog Mandir, A temple of industry which gives importance of self reliance and dignity of labour. It was founded in 1918 during the strike textile workers strike in Ahmedabad.
Somnath Chattralaya, a cluster of rooms occupied by ashramities who forsook family affairs and shared ashram life.
Opening and Closing times - 8.30am-6.30pm