A Tribute from Youth Ki Awaaz to the Father of the Nation. [This is not exactly a travel article, but Gandhi Smriti is strongly recommended to visit].
By Akshita Agrawal:
Everyone knows about Porbandar, the place where the father of the nation – M.K. Gandhi was born. Everyone is aware of the famous Sabarmati Ashram, where Mahatma Gandhi spent most of his life. Everyone has visited Rajghat, where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi lay. But few have the knowledge of Gandhi Smriti – a museum in the Capital, dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. This museum is at his residence in Delhi, on 5, Tees January Marg, CP, where Gandhiji spent his last few months. It was at this residence, that Gandhiji spoke his last words ‘Hey Ram’.
On 30th January 1948, 6 months after India received independence, at 5:20 pm, Gandhiji walked from his room in this very house to his garden where the daily evening prayer took place, and thousands gathered to receive his blessings. It was in this very garden that Gandhiji was shot by Nathuram Godse, after he himself bowed down to Gandhiji to receive his blessings. The only things heard in the garden that day were a bullet shot and the words ‘Hey Ram’.
62 years since this incident, Gandhiji remains immortal in the hearts of many Indians, remembered as a man of non-violence, humility and as a fatherly figure. He taught the Indians the virtue of mankind through his preaching on untouchability, virtue of honesty and non-violence.
‘Gandhi Smriti’Â has tried to keep the essence of the Man alive by preserving some of his personal possessions like his watch, charkha and study table. The museum boasts of beautiful statues made to depict various moods of Gandhiji and a small mini figure museum to showcase the various aspects of his life. The catchiest place in the ‘Smriti’ is the place where Gandhiji was shot. A memorial has been made there, and footsteps have been made to depict him walking from his room to the garden. When one sees the footsteps, the scene of 30th January comes alive. No doubt it’s an eerie feeling to walk across the same path where the most important person of our nation was assassinated.
There is also a multimedia museum which has tried to bring to life the immortal legend. The museum showcases instruments that play theÂ dhwanis Gandhiji used to enjoy. It also tries to preach his teachings and 11 rules that he followed through an innovative and interactive session. The ‘Smriti’ also holds pottery and weaving classes and promotes the active use of khadi, as Gandhiji did. It has shops where khadi garments are sold and also has a souvenir shop.
A word of caution. Do not expect much when visiting Â Gandhi Smriti. There is no parking space available and you need to find a place to park your vehicle in one of the side lanes. Moreover, there is nothing fancy in the museum. The multimedia tools are primitive and the escorts are often uninterested.
But, the place is surely a must visit for it gives you a real experience of being in the very place where his last words were spoken- ‘Hey Ram’.
Place: Gandhi Smriti
5, Tees January Marg
Time: 10am to 5pm
Tuesday to Sunday, Monday Closed
Image courtesy: http://goindia.about.com/od/cities/tp/top-delhi-attractions.htm