One of the places I wanted to visit in Madurai was the Gandhi Memorial Museum. I wished to that my kids will learn some lessons by visiting the museum and about the life of Mahatma Gandhi. It is in the palace of Rani Mangammal, belonging to the Nayak dynasty and was set up in 1959. It is one of the five Gandhi Sangrahalays in India.
It is open on all days of the week from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and then from 2.00 pm to 5.30 pm. there was no need to pay any entry fee to get inside the museum. We got inside and were very impressed by it. On the ground floor we saw many stamps and letters. There were letters written by him to various eminent people, which included one written to Subramania Bharati, the famous poet and freedom fighter. Another one was a letter written by him to Adolf Hitler, in which he addressed Hitler as ‘Dear Friend’.
There were many galleries each of which was very interesting and informative. The gallery called ‘India Fights for Freedom’ contained 265 illustrations which told the story of India’s struggle for freedom. It filled a sense of patriotism in the minds of every Indian citizen. We spent some time examining the illustrations.
The ‘Visual Biography of Gandhiji’ contained a collection of photographs, manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, quotations and also Photostat copies of some of the letters of Gandhiji. We saw 124 photographs of Gandhiji, showing the various stages in the life of Gandhiji. They ranged from photographs of his childhood days to the day he was assassinated and taken to the crematorium. It was a rare collection which one could not be seen everywhere else.
Another thing that caught our attention in the museum was the blood stained cloth of Mahatma Gandhi, when he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. It was in the ‘Relics and Replicas’ gallery and is placed in a vacuum box made of glass. It tells us how he sacrificed his life for the people of India. The visit to the museum was really worthwhile and tells us how much people have struggled to attain freedom for India.