Today is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and a national holiday in all the states and union territories of India. Second of October is referred to as “Gandhi Jayanti”. Mahatma Gandhi was born on this day in 1869 at a place called “Porbandar” in the state of Gujarat, Western India. This day has been recognised and celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations General Assembly.
The day is celebrated with prayers all over the country and especially at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial called the “Raj Ghat” in Delhi, the place where he was cremated. Politicians and citizens alike go to Raj Ghat to pay their respects to this great man. Gandhi’s most liked devotional song, “Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram” is usually sung by children and adults alike to remember him. Children write assays and debate about India’s freedom struggle against the British Empire.
Let’s take a look at some of the places you can visit in Delhi if you are a fan of Mahatma Gandhi.
This is a very popular tourist destination. It’s basically an open air memorial dedicated to Gandhiji. It marks the very spot where he was cremated. The place is surrounded by gardens and is a very peaceful environment. The address and phone number for Raj Ghat is New Delhi, DL 110006, India, +91 11 2336 3607. Read more about Raj Ghat here.
I remember my dad taking me to this museum when we were living in Delhi. It is one of the best places to learn about Gandhi. It has an excellent collection of original relics and belongings such as his ern in which his ashes were kept, the bullet that killed him, books, journals and documents, photographs, art and other memorabilia connected to Gandhi. It is situated at the Raj Ghat in New Delhi so you can visit the memorial and then visit the museum after.
I remember this place as Birla House. They have changed the name to Gandhi Smriti and rightly so as this place serves as a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. This is the place where he used to live in the last days of his life and was killed on January 30, 1948. Gandhi Smriti or Birla House is located at the “5 Tees January Marg”, just a few kilometres from the famous Connaught Place in New Delhi. This is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about Gandhi.
Nehru Museum & Planetarium
Although this museum is dedicated to Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, it is an excellent visit as it has relics and original photographs of Gandhi with Nehru and from the Independence period. It is located at the Teen Murti Bhavan, Teen Murti Marg in New Delhi. Phone number: +91 11 2301 4504.
Valmiki Temple in Delhi
Not many people know this but it is here that Gandhi met Lord Mountbatten, Sir Patrick Lawrence, and the Cripps Commission and took the Indian freedom movement to its height. During his one year stay here, he wrote letters to British colonialists and other Indian freedom fighters. You will find a desk on which he used to write. The address for Valmiki Temple is Mandir Marg, Valmiki Colony, New Delhi.
I hope some of these places in Delhi associated with Gandhi will allow you to follow his footsteps. The best place has to be Raj Ghat and the National Gandhi Museum and Library both of which are located at the same place. The museum will allow you to learn about his philosophies of non-violent and satyagraha.
For more information on Mahatma Gandhi, I have a book called “Mahatma Gandhi For Kids And Beginners” if you are interested.