Mani Bhavan to host Obama

This mansion will play host to US President Barack Obama who takes inspiration from Gandhi and his non-violent struggle to attain India’s Independence.

Located in a comparatively quiet locality in the Gamdevi precinct, this modest building served as Gandhi’s headquarters in Mumbai for about 17 eventful years from 1917-1934.
It belonged to Shri Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri who was Gandhi’s friend and a host during that period, and to the Mani family prior to that.

In 1955, the building was taken over by Gandhi Smarak Nidhi as a memorial to the Mahatma, to his frequent stays, and to the political activities he initiated from there.

Gandhi’s association with the charkha (spinning wheel) began in 1917 during his stay in Mani Bhavan, which is also closely associated with his involvement in the Home Rule Movement and his decision to abstain from drinking cow milk in order to protest the cruelty of ‘phookan’ meted out to milch cattle, common during that period.

The Indian and US security agencies visited Mani Bhavan on Wednesday to inspect the security arrangements. Visitors from all over the world come to Mani Bhavan to see the room Gandhi occupied, its picture gallery, the Library Hall and the terrace where he was arrested on January 4, 1932.

Mani Bhavan is now converted into a Gandhi museum. Its library consists of around 50,000 books and periodicals, several of them on and by Gandhi. On the first floor is the auditorium where films on Gandhi are shown from time to time and recordings of his speeches are played on request.

The room on the second floor, which used to be the living room and working place of Gandhi, has been preserved in its near-original setting.

Adjoining the room is an exhibition depicting Gandhi’s life through mini figures in about twenty-eight tableaux.

The rooms on either side of the exhibition have been turned into a photo gallery which gives glimpses of Gandhi in Mani Bhavan and the important events in his life.

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