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Rare photos of Mahatma Gandhi put on display

delhi Updated: Jan 30, 2010 15:12 IST

Rare photographs of Mahatma Gandhi and the historic trail left behind by him were put on display at an exhibition in the state museum on Saturday.

"More than 150 rare photographs relating to Mahatma Gandhi have been displayed in a six-day exhibition that was opened to the public on his martyrdom day (Saturday) here. Thirty-five photographs are exclusively relating to his visits to Shimla to meet British rulers and freedom fighters," Prem Parshad Pandit, in charge of the Himachal directorate of language and culture, told IANS.

The photographs include his address to the public at an Idgah, reciting bhajans and riding on a rickshaw on his way to meet the then viceroy, Lord Reading. All these photographs date back to his visit to Shimla May 12, 1921.

As per the list compiled by a sub-group of the Gandhi Heritage Committee constituted by the culture ministry, the Father of the Nation had visited this summer capital of the British at least 11 times between 1921 and 1946.

Accompanied by Madan Mohan Malaviya and Lala Lajpat Rai, Mahatma Gandhi first reached Shimla May 12, 1921, to meet Lord Reading. He stayed at Shanti Kuti in Chakkar area.

After this, he visited the residence of James Crerar May 13, 1931, to meet the then home secretary, H.W. Emerson. During that visit, he stayed in Firgrove, the bungalow of Lala Mohanlal in the Jakhu area.

On May 14 and 15, he addressed a number of meetings at the Arya Samaj Mandir and Idgah.

On July 15, 1931, he again came here to meet the then viceroy, Lord Willington, at the Viceregal Lodge that now houses the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies.

Accompanied by Vallabhbhai Patel, Prabhashankar Pattani, M.A. Ansari and Jawaharlal Nehru, Bapu reached Shimla Aug 25, 1931 to meet Emerson.

From Sep 4 to 5, 1939, he visited Manorville, the residence of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur at Summer Hill. There he spent most of his time reciting bhajans.

He also visited this house in 1940, 1945 and 1946.

On Sep 27, 1940, Gandhi stayed with the eldest brother of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, Raja Raghubir Singh, at the Chadwick bungalow. He was here to meet the viceroy.

Gandhi's grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who was the chairman of a sub-group of the Gandhi Heritage Committee, has demanded that the places where he had visited in the country should be developed as heritage sites.

"The places where Mahatma Gandhi had stayed and visited should be developed as heritage sites," Gopalkrishna told IANS during his visit here in October last year.

"Most of the properties, especially private, that were once visited by Gandhi across the country are in a shambles. There is need to restore them in order to maintain their sanctity," he said.

"The history which Bapu had left behind has been tracked by us (the committee). We have submitted a detailed list about the public places, parks and committee halls where the Mahatma visited and stayed.

"The list has been compiled alphabetically. It starts from Aat in Gujarat and ends at Zulfipur in Bihar. As per our study, Gandhi visited more than 2,000 places," Gopalkrishna, who was the former West Bengal governor, said.