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Timings : 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 5:45 PM (Closed on Friday)

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee,
Camera: INR 50

Gandhi Museum, Madurai Overview

The Gandhi Memorial Museum serves as a remembrance and tribute to the efforts of our very own father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Established in 1959 in his cherished memory, eleven years after his demise, it is one of the few Gandhi Museums in the country. Located in the heart of Madurai, the museum houses a wealth of remarkable mementoes associated with Indian history such as the bloodstained cloth Gandhi was wearing when he was assassinated in 1948. It is one of the five great Gandhi Museums in the country which depict the life of the Father of the nation and India's freedom struggle from 1757 until 1947.

Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the premises on 15th April 1959, and the illustrations and graphic representations convey an understanding of the struggle for freedom during the British era. The enclosure is associated with a rich history, and the building itself is a former 17th-century palace. Gandhi Memorial Museum in Madurai comes under the Peace Museums Worldwide selected by the United Nations Organization (UNO).

The galleries of the museum display the chronicles of the pre-independent nation during an era when unfortunate atrocities were committed by the British. Special collections include historical stamps of British ruled India and letters written to and by Mahatma Gandhi. The letters sent to the poet, activist Subramania Bharati and infamous dictator Adolf Hitler are kept here! The most exciting part of the museum is the sections containing 124 rare photographs of Gandhiji's personal life. It has photographs depicting various stages from his childhood days until being taken to the crematorium. A bloodstained cloth used by him on the day of his assassination is also kept at this museum. The museum is also home to around 100 relics and replicas of artefacts about Gandhiji.

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History of Gandhi Museum

The Tamukkam Palace building is 348 years old. The name which literally translates to summer palace in Tamil was built in 1670 as a summer house for Rani Mangammal, the queen regent of the Nayak dynasty for fifteen years from 1689 to 1704. It has also served as the official residence of the British District Collector's office other than being under occupation by the Nawabs of Carnatic and the East India Company during the colonial rule.

India's temple city and father of the nation have a long-standing significant history with one another. Mahatma Gandhi is said to have first visited Madurai on March 26, 1919 in order to enroll volunteers for Satyagraha against the infamous Rowlatt Act of 1919. It was here in 1921 that Gandhiji first adopted the loin cloth style of dressing in order to identify himself with the common man and repudiated his traditional Gujrati attire to earn the sobriquet 'half naked fakir'.

He frequented Madurai a couple more times, but his final visit was when he crusaded against the abominable practice of untouchability, and the gates of the famous Meenakshi Temple were opened for the likes of Harijans (untouchables). He visited the temple in 1946 along with Harijans as a victory against the inhumane practice. The land here oozes with the flavorsome history dating back three hundred plus years.

Things To See at Gandhi Museum

The story of the Indian freedom struggle with Mahatma Gandhi's significant role in it is portrayed in a very articulate manner with audio-visual depictions and unique memorabilia. Perhaps, the most fascinating of all souvenirs housed here would be Gandhiji's letter to Adolf Hitler just before the onset of World War II, where he refers to him as a 'Dear friend'!

The museum gallery includes:
1. India's Fight For Freedom - 265 illustrations of India's independence movement.
2. Visual Biography of Mahatma Gandhi - Paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, etc. of Bapuji and 124 rare photographs showing different phases of his life, right from his childhood days until being taken to the crematorium for the last rites.
3. Relics and Replicas - Hundred plus artefacts used by Mahatma Gandhi.

There is also a Khadi and Village Industries section of the museum where you can see handloom products and showpieces of spinning wheels. The library is a haven for history enthusiasts as it contains more than twenty thousand letters and sixty-two reels of microfilms along with brilliantly knowledgeable books. Adjacent to the main building, to the south, a replica of Gandhiji's hut in Sevagram, Bapu Kutir is present here.

Gandhi Jayanti Celebrations at Gandhi Museum

In the joyous occasion of Gandhiji's birthday on the 2nd October, special programs are arranged by the staff of Gandhi Memorial Museum. The space is decorated, and spinning activities are done by the staff in the Bapu Kutir. In the evening a small prayer with a program is held where the general public can involve themselves.

Prominent artists, singers, speakers deliver their talents in a 5-day program held here on the theme of Mahatma Gandhi and his ideologies. This has become a star attraction and attract thousands of people from every walk of life. The celebration and flag hoisting for Independence Day is done here on 15th August.

Tips For Visiting Gandhi museum

1. Take your time to explore the museum as they host meetings, seminars, exhibitions, summer camps, group discussions and classes on Yogasana and Naturopathy every now and then.
2. Souvenirs and collectables such as books can be bought here at the museum.
3. Locker facility is available at the museum to store your belongings.
4. Guides are available for a tour of the museum.

How To Reach Gandhi Museum

Gandhi Memorial Museum is located centrally in Madurai and can be reached easily via Gandhi Museum Road that runs through the well-known Rajaji Park. The central bus stand is just 3 kilometres away on Melur Road. The Madurai railway station is at a distance of 4.5 kilometres from Gandhi Museum.

Reaching your destination should not be a problem once you set foot in Madurai as the museum and its surroundings are important landmarks! 

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