Sabarmati Ashram

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Sabarmati Ashram

History

The Sabarmati Ashram is one of the most revered heritage sites of Ahmedabad and an equally important tourist attraction in the city. The Ashram, which was home to Mahatma Gandhi from 1917 to 1930, also played an important part in the Indian freedom struggle. The Ashram is ideally located between a jail and a crematorium as Gandhiji believed that a satyagrahi will eventually go to either of the places.

Today, the Ashram serves as a museum that preserves and catalogues Gandhiji's teachings and beliefs. The Ashram draws more than half a million people every year who visit and draw inspiration from his legacy.

Gandhiji believed in equal rights for everyone and said that no work is good or dirty or big or small. He believed that work is worship and believed that every human is born equal. He believed that Harijans were the people of God and thus should be treated with respect and not disdain. That’s how the ashram also came to be known as the Harijan Ashram.

According to history, Gandhiji after returning from South Africa in 1915 had chosen a different site in Ahmedabad for his ashram. However, he shifted the ashram from Kochrab area of Ahmedabad to a piece of open land on the banks of River Sabarmati, and the ashram came to be known as Sabarmati Ashram. The reason why Gandhiji shifted his ashram was he wanted to do try out farming, animal husbandry, cow-breeding, khadi and various other constructive activities for which he wanted a barren land.

The Ashram was originally known as Satyagrahi Ashram that reflected the non-violence movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi and became a home to the ideology that ultimately set India free. Gandhiji constructed this ashram with a dual vision – to keep searching for truth and to unite group of people who were committed to non-violence who would help in securing freedom for India.

The Sabarmati Ashram has played a very important role in Indian freedom struggle as it was this ashram from where Mahatma Gandhi started his popular Dandi March on March 12, 1930 against the British Salt Law. According to the law, the British Government was imposing tax on Indian salt in order to promote British salt in India.

On March 12, 1930 Gandhiji vowed that he would not return to the Ashram till India attains freedom and although India got her freedom on August 15 1947, Gandhiji never returned to the ashram as he was assassinated on January 30, 1948.

After Gandhiji’s death, the Ashram was revived by some of his followers and presently the ashram is a source of inspiration and guidance to all those who have fought a similar struggle and stands as a monument to Gandhiji’s mission in life.

There are various sightseeing options within the ashram, which chronicles the life of this great Mahatma. There is a museum, which has paintings depicting Mahatma Gandhi doing day-to-day chores. There is a book store from where you can purchase various books on Gandhiji in different languages. Visitors can view the family tree of Mahatma Gandhi or the cottage where he stayed and started his non-violence movement.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Sabarmati Ashram is between the months of October and March when the weather is quite pleasant to enjoy the sightseeing tour at the ashram.

Trivia

Incidentally the site on which Gandhi Ashram was constructed was the ashram site of Dadhichi Rishi who according to Indian mythology donated his bones for a righteous war.

Timing

The Sabarmati Ashram or the Gandhi Ashram is open every day from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.




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