Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXIX No. 13, October 16-31, 2019
Gandhi came to Madras several times, the first being in 1896 and the last in 1946. In these two pages we showcase, by way of a sesquicentennial tribute, some of the spots associated with him. We have not included memorials to him in this collection – Editor
The Hindu Theological High School (now Higher Secondary School), Mint Street, that Gandhi visited in 1896. The building is much changed now.
The YMCA Esplanadewhere he spoke in 1915.
The Victoria Public Hall where he watched a staging of Harischandra by the Suguna Vilasa Sabha in 1915.
Pachayappa’s Hall, Esplanade (now NSC Bose Road) – where Gandhi spoke in 1915.
The Lawley Hall (owned by the Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam Trust), Mount Road where he spoke in 1915.
Signpost inside Central Station – To commemorate his numerous arrivals to and departures from the city, always by train, the Indian Railways put up this plaque some years ago. It is at the entrance to platform 5.
Patters Gardens – In 1915 when Gandhi visited the place, this was Govind Vilas and home of the magnate Lodd Govinddoss. It is since demolished and a part of the premises now houses Satyamurti Bhavan, the Congress Party HQ.
Ranade Public Library where he addressed an audience in 1915 (this ground floor library is now overshadowed by its later first floor addition – the Srinivasa Sastry Hall)
The YMIA Gokhale Hall – Gandhi spoke here several times, the first being in 1915 when he addressed the Gokhale Club at the premises.
People’s Park where he addressed the Madras Bar Association in 1915.
The Marina – more precisely Tilak Ghat (now Tilakar Thidal) where he spoke on several occasions.
The plaque outside Fortune Hotel that commemorates Gandhi’s 1919 stay at Tilak Bhavan, the stately home that once stood here and where he dreamt up non-cooperation as a weapon for freedom.
The Ramakrishna Mission Students Home, Mylapore, which he called at in 1915 and 1925.
The offices of GA Natesan & Co, George Town, which was Gandhi’s place of stay during his 1915 visit.
No 100, Mount Road – Offices of The Hindu, where Gandhi unveiled a portrait of Kasturiranga Iyengar in 1921 (this building has since been demolished).
The Spur Tank – Venue for the All India Congress Session of 1927.
The Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha – Gandhi was its founder president and also laid the foundation stone for the present building in T Nagar.
The Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya – whose foundation stone was laid in 1946 by Gandhi.
Unity House, Perambur – Gandhi laid the foundation stone in 1927 for the offices of the M&SM Railway Employees Union.
Besides these locations, several others are untraceable or not recorded photographically. They include the old Madras Mahajana Sabha premises, the Lakshmi Memorial Arya Pathashala, the Arya Vaisya Mahasabha and Amjad Baugh (residence of Sriman Srinivasa Iyengar where Gandhi stayed in the 1920s).
Pictures courtesy: Ejji K. Umamahesh, V. Ganesan, Ramanujar Moulana, Varsha Venugopal, Karthik Bhatt and The Ramakrishna Mission.