Madurai is one of the most compelling cities of South India with copious tourist charms. Situated in Tamil Nadu, it is well known throughout the world for its famous Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple. It is established in the shape of a lotus. Due to its prosperous culture, traditions, history and architectural magnificence, Madurai is admired as the Athens of the East.
Several arresting attractions grab the minds of tourists during their trip to Madurai. The most significant of them is its museum that displays the struggle of Mahatma Gandhi for freedom of India.
Gandhi Memorial Museum The Gandhi Memorial museum is established and controlled by Gandhi Smarak Nidhi. In Madurai, Gandhi Ji adopted the loin cloth for the first time as his dress. In 1946, Gandhi Ji visited the Meenakshi Temple of Madurai along with many Harijans to eradicate untouchability. Since then, the doors of this temple are open for the Harijans.
The building in which this museum is situated, is the famous Tamukkam Palace that belonged to Rani Mangammal. She was the queen of Nayak Dynasty and edified this palace in the year 1670 AD. In 1955, State Government of Tamil Nadu gifted this palace to Gandhi Smarak Nidhi for establishing Gandhi Memorial Museum. A visual biography of Mahatma Gandhi is presented by the picture gallery of this museum.
The visitor in this museum is first greeted with the collection of illustrations on India's struggle for Independence. This exhibition includes 265 pictures portraying the history of the freedom struggle. Then, there is an exhibition of handicrafts from the states of Andhra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
There is an exhibition of the pictorial biography of Mahatma Gandhi and a collection of Gandhi Ji's letter is also kept in this museum.
Thereafter, there is a Hall of relics preserving some of the original and replica of Gandhi Ji's personal belongings. In the end, a tourist comes to the section of Khadi and Village Industries, on the ground floor. This section exhibits the village industries revived by Mahatma Gandhi.
The southern part of this museum is an immense open-air theatre that can accommodate around 8000 people. In this theatre, public meetings on special events, cultural programs and weekly film shows are organized. On the front side of the museum, there is a replica of Mahatma Gandhi's hut (Gandhi Kutir), situated in Sevagram.
There is a library situated in the northern area of this museum, comprising the books that highlight the cultural backdrop of the country, many famous literatures as well as numerous books on and by Mahatma Gandhi. There are 62 reels of short films and 270,000 letters of Gandhi Ji, which are the most significant elements of this library.
On the first floor of this library, there are five bays provided to the research scholars to practice their studies. There are organized periodic book review meetings and reader's forums in this library. Several books have been published and a research section is also working in this library.
Address: Mahatma Gandhi Museum, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Tamukkam, Madurai - 625020
Timings: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:45 PM
Closed: Public Holidays