|Gandhi Memorial Museum, Gandhi Smarak Sangralaya|
|Established||10 May 1963 (memorial museum)|
|Location||Sabarmati, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India|
|Architect||Charles Correa (memorial museum)|
Sabarmati Ashram (also known as Gandhi Ashram) is located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, adjoining the Ashram Road, on the banks of the River Sabarmati, 4 miles (6.4 km) from the town hall. This was one of the many residences of Mahatma Gandhi who lived at Sabarmati (Gujarat) and Sevagram (Wardha, Maharashtra) when he was not travelling across India or in prison. He lived in Sabarmati or Wardha for a total of twelve years with his wife Kasturba Gandhi and followers, including Vinoba Bhave. The Bhagavad Gita was recited here daily as part of the Ashram schedule.
It was from here that Gandhi led the Dandi March, also known as the Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930. In recognition of the significant influence that this march had on the Indian independence movement, the Indian government has established the ashram as a national monument.
Gandhiji's India ashram was originally established at the Kocharab Bungalow of Jivanlal Desai, a barrister, and friend of Gandhi, on 25 May 1915. At that time the ashram was called the Satyagraha Ashram. But Gandhi wanted to carry out various activities such as farming and animal husbandry, in addition to other pursuits which called for the need of a much larger area of usable land. So two years later, on 17 June 1917, the ashram was relocated to an area of thirty-six acres on the banks of the river Sabarmati, and it came to be known as the Sabarmati Ashram.
It is believed that this is one of the ancient ashram sites of Dadhichi Rishi who had donated his bones for a righteous war. His main ashram lies in Naimisharanya, near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The Sabarmati ashram is sited between a prison and a crematorium, and Gandhi believed that a satyagrahi has invariably to go to either place. Mohandas Gandhi 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."
While at the ashram, Gandhi formed a tertiary school that focused on manual labor, agriculture, and literacy, in order to advance his efforts for the nation's self-sufficiency. It was also from here that on 12 March 1930, Gandhi marched to Dandi, 241 miles from the ashram, with 78 companions in protest at the British Salt Law, which increased the taxes on Indian salt in an effort to promote sales of British salt in India. It was this march and the subsequent illegal production of salt (Gandhi boiled up some salty mud in seawater) that spurred hundreds of thousands across India to join in the illegal production, buying, or selling of salt. This mass act of civil disobedience in turn led to the imprisoning of some 60,000 by the British Raj over the following three weeks. Subsequently, the government seized the ashram. Gandhi later asked the Government to give it back but they were unwilling. By 22 July 1933, he had already decided to disband the ashram, which had become a deserted place after the detention of so many. Then local citizens decided to preserve it. On 12 March 1930, Gandhi vowed that he would not return to the ashram until India had gained independence and Gandhi did not come back to Sabarmati ashram. Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948.
The ashram now has a museum, the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. This had originally been located in Hridaya Kunj, Gandhi's own cottage in the ashram. Then in 1963, having been designed by the architect Charles Correa, the museum was built. The Sangrahalaya was then re-located into the well-designed and well-furnished museum building and was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India on 10 May 1963. Memorial activities could then continue.
Many buildings in the Ashram have names. There is a rich history of Gandhi's naming practices. At least some of the names of the buildings in the ashram, such as Nandini, and Rustom Block date back to the nineteen twenties, as is evident in a letter Gandhi wrote to Chhaganlal Joshi, the Ashram's new manager after Maganlal Gandhi's death in April 1928.
Some of the names of the buildings and sites within the ashram are:
With prior appointment from The Secretary, Gandhi Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, a walking tour can be organised. This 90-minute guided tour starts with a slide show and ends at the Library. The tour visits the following places:
Sabarmati Ashram in 1948
Front view of Gandhi's House
Back view of Gandhi's house
View from the door of Gandhi's house
Gandhi Sangrahlay - Outside
Gandhi Sangrahlay - Inside Corridors
Vinobha Kutir on the shore of Sabamati river
Representation of Gandhi's smaller statue of the three wise monkeys
Gandhiji's Charkha and table
Gandhiji's Chappal and Spectacles
Artifacts used by Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturabaa Gandhi
Enlarged replika of Mahatma Gandhi's signature in different languages
God is Truth, c. 1927
The stone writings in front of Maganlaal Gandhi's kutira Hrudaya Kunja
Warli art at Sabarmati Ashram
Statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the ashram