When Bengaluru played host to the Mahatma

When Bengaluru played host to the Mahatma

The city has its own connection with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The father of the nation came to Bengaluru a few times pre-Independence and during the freedom struggle.

City five times lucky

Mahatma Gandhi is said to have visited the city five times, in the years 1915, 1920, 1927, 1934, 1936

Does not get on chariot in 1915

His visit on May 8, 1915 is described in detail in ‘Gandhi in Bangalore’, published by Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi.

After returning from South Africa, Mahatma while conducting his Bharata Yatra had plans to visit Madras. DV Gundappa requested Gandhiji to visit Bangalore. On May 8 morning, Gandhi and Kasturba visited the city along with G A Natesan, journalist from Madras. A chariot procession was arranged but the Mahathma refused to get on it when he saw a group of youngsters come forward to pull the chariot. He walked all the way to Anand Rao Circle, where his stay had been arranged.

He attended a morning meeting at the campus of Govt High School (which is now Government Arts and Science College building near Central College). The other programmes included a citation presentation and unveiling of Gokhale’s photo (which can be seen in Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs in N R Colony, Bangalore). He also attended a public meeting in Lal Bagh Glass House.Prayers at railway station

There are photographs of the Mahatma getting down from a train at Yeshwantpur and offering prayers at the platform, during his visit in longest visit to the city in 1927.

40,000 gather for half-day visit

It is said that in 1920, Gandhi visited the Eidgah Khuddus Saheb and stayed in Bangalore only for half a day. The stay proved he had a big following as there was a gathering of around 40,000 people in and around the Cantonment.

Stay at Nandi Hills in 1927

When he visited Karnataka in 1927 and was travelling to Belgaum as part of his tour to popularise khadi, he suffered from blood pressure. He was taken to Nandi Hills to recover, by his followers. He restricted himself to a strict vegetarian diet while recuperating and wrote about natural diets, experiments in dairying, and social reform. After recovering, he moved to the Kumara Krupa Guesthouse in Bangalore.
The guesthouse was adjacent to the office of William Smith from the Imperial Dairy Farm. Mahatma used to meet Smith regularly to discuss about the improvement of cattle farming across the country. Gandhi was also invited to the farm to learn about various techniques to improve dairy farming.

45 day-stay at Nandi Hills in 1936

Mahatma Gandhi stayed at Nandi Hills for 45 days in 1936, to recuperate from blood pressure issues. Local archives record that he recovered swiftly during this stay. When he left the hill station on May 31, his secretary, Mahadeva Joshi, wrote in the visitor’s book: “Many thanks for all the kindness extended during Gandhiji’s stay on the hill.”

Gandhi reached Bangalore after visiting Chikkaballapur, Shidlaghatta, Chintamani, Kolar, Bangarpet and KGF. He went to Bangalore the same night via Malur and stayed there upto June 10. He left for Kengeri after this and this was his last visit to the city.

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A tribute to the Mahatma

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