Gandhi & Gandhi Museum In Madurai

by Dr.Vasudevan Ganapathy On 26/02/2014 - 10:48 AM

Do you know that Mahatma Gandhi had visited the city five times? Do you know that Madurai is the place where he renounced his traditional Gujarati attire to become a half-naked fakir? 

  • In order to enroll volunteers for Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act passed in 1919, Mahatma made his first visit to the Temple City on March 26, 1919
  • In order to enroll volunteers for Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act passed in 1919, Mahatma made his first visit to the Temple City on March 26, 1919
  • Similarly, on September 21, 1921, Mahatma Gandhi, who was staying at the residence of Ramji and Kalyanji on 251 A West Masi Street, renounced his formal dress to identify himself with the common man.
  • The Raja of Sivaganga hosted Mahatma during his visit at his residence near Kalpalam. He stayed there for three days from September 28, 1927.
  •  His fourth visit was in 1934 to raise funds for khadi and spread the message of Swadeshi and again stayed on West Masi Street
  • His last visit was in 1946 when he entered the Meenakshi Amman Temple. He stayed in a house on Krishna Rao Tank Street near Madura Coats. During his earlier visits, he refused to enter the temple until all classes of people were allowed to enter. His last visit was to worship Meenakshi after the temple was thrown open to Harijans.

Gandhi Museum in Madurai

The building that houses the Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai is the historic Tamukkam Palace belonging to Rani Mangammal of Nayak Dynasty built about 1670 A.D.
Later, this was under the occupation of the Nawab of Carnatic, the East India Company and a few others. Finally the Palace had remained for many years as the official residence of the British District Collector of Madurai, It was in 1955 the palace with about 13 acres of land was gifted by the Tamil Nadu State Government to the All India Gandhi Smarak Nidhi for the purpose of housing Gandhi Memorial Museum.
Besides the major renovation to the original building a complete new wing on the northern side was constructed for the Library, Open Air Theatre and also several other buildings.

Gandhi Museums are located in seven places across India. The seven locations are

  1. New Delhi.
  2. Barrackpore near Calcutta.
  3. Patna.
  4. Wardha.
  5. Ahmedabad.
  6. Mumbai.
  7. Madurai.

Eminent Visitors

Right from the day of its inauguration by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Several national and international dignitaries have made indepth Visit to our Museum. The first signature was made by PANDIT JAWAHARLAL NEHRU ON 15-04-1959 and in the years passed stalwart personalities like Diplomats, Ministers, Governors, Administrators, Social Workers, Constructive Workers and Nobel Laureates. The following is a brief list of some of them.

  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India
  • Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. American Gandhi and Nobel Peace Laureate Mrs.Coretta Scott King.
  • Jayaprakash Narayan
  • V.V.Giri, (Former President of India).
  • Dr.S.RadhaKrishan, (Former President of India)
  • His Holiness Dalai Lama.
  • Sanjiva Reddy, (Former President of India)
  • Miss.Anita Bose, daughter of Netaji Subash Chandra bose
  • Zahir Hussain, (former President of India.)