Mumbai: The House That Gandhi Built

A visit to Mumbai’s Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya is a humbling experience. Mahatma Gandhi’s home from 1917 to 1934 and now a museum dedicated to the political and spiritual leader, this three-story turn-of-the-20th-century structure near the Malabar Hill neighborhood is imbued with history. In 1932 Gandhi was arrested here after a civil disobedience action, and the building served as the headquarters for several of his political movements, notably the Khadi campaign, which protested India’s dependence on British textiles by encouraging Indians to wear khaddar, cloth made on home spinning wheels called charkhas. Today dioramas on the top floor depict major events in the leader’s life, the second floor showcases photographs and letters from other political luminaries, and a library offers 30,000 Gandhi-related tomes. But the upstairs living room and study, maintained largely as the great man left them, are most affecting. There three charkhas remind visitors of the poignant connection between this symbol of entrepreneurship and Gandhi’s struggle for Indian independence. At 19 Laburnum Rd.; gandhi-manibhavan.org