“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi” was born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat to Karamchand Gandhi and his wife Putlibai. Born in a Hindu family in coastal areas of Gujarat, Gandhi ji went to London, England to learn law in the year 1888. At the age of 24 Gandhi ji arrived in South Africa to work as a legal representative to the Muslim Indian Traders in Pretoria. He also played a vital role in Civil rights movement in South Africa. After his return to India in 1915, Gandhi ji became an active part of the Indian freedom struggle against the Britishers. A firm believer of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi played a very pivotal role in the entire freedom struggle.
In 1919, he began the all-India Satyagraha movement. The Dandi March began on 12 March 1930 as a tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the monopoly of Britishers. Gandhi ji along with 78 satyagrahis set out for Dandi in Gujarat from Sabarmati Ashram. Since every person on the processions was wearing white khadi, it is also known as White Flowing River. It was in 1932 that he began a "fast unto death" to protest against the treatment of the lowest caste whom he called Harijan that means "God's children". It was the keen efforts of the mahatma and the love of other freedom fighters for their motherland that India gained independence in the year 1947 on 15th August. The famous Indian leader was named “Mahatma” in the west and was named “Father of the Nation” after his significant role in the Indian freedom struggle.
Sabarmati Ashram also referred as Gandhi Ashram is situated in the Sabarmati suburban area of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This ashram was one of the residences of Gandhi ji where he spent 12 years of his life along with his wife Kasturba Gandhi. It was from this ashram that the Mahatma started the Dandi march. Declared a national monument by the Government, the ashram is one of the most famous attractions in Gujarat.
Sabarmati ashram also houses a museum namely the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay located in 'Hridaya Kunj', Gandhi ji’s cottage. Some of the other sites within the ashram are:
• Nandini : The place for India and abroad are accommodated
• Vinoba Kutir : Now known as Mira Kutir aftyer Mirabehn a disciple of Gandhi ji, who was the daughter of a British Rear-Admiral
• Upasana Mandir: The open -air prayer ground, where Gandhi ji used to listen to people and solve their queries after the daily prayers
• Magan Niwas: The place where Maganlal Gandhi, the manager of the ashram used to live, a lovable cousin of Gandhi used to live
• It collects, processes, preserves and displays archival materials like paintings, writings, photographs, voice-records, films and personal effects.
• The charkha and writing table used by Gandhi ji are kept here
• Charkha kept at Gandhi Ashram
• Microfilming, lamination and preservation of negatives
• Arranging exhibitions on the life, literature and activities of Gandhi ji
• Publishes the "Mahadevbhani Diary," that depicts the entire Indian freedom struggle history
• The Ashram Trust funds education for the visitor & community, maintains the museum and surrounding buildings
• Helping and undertaking study and research in Gandhian thought and activities
• Keeping in contact with those being helped. Publishing those results of study and research together with allied literature, for the benefit of all
• Observes the notable occasions of Gandhi’s life
• Maintains contact with youth and student community and provides them knowledge about the Gandhian thought
The popular bhajan "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram" was a favorite one of Mahatma Gandhi that was also sung while the “Father of the Nation” was walking towards Dandi with his followers during the salt March. The entire Sabarmati Ashram has such a lively feeling that visitors still can feel the presence of the Mahatma there.