"Mani Bhavan is a simple old-style, two storied building on Laburnum Road, Mumbai. Whenever Gandhiji was in Mumbai between 1917 to 1934, he stayed here. It is now converted into a museum and research centre
Mumbai and its inhabitants have played a very prominent part in India's unique struggle
for freedom. Gandhiji was rightly proud of its patriotic and cosmopolitan
citizens. Mani Bhavan is one of the few important places hallowed by Mahatma
Gandhi's close association.
Mani Bhavan, a modest two-storied building on the Laburnum Road in the
comparatively quiet locality called Gamdevi, served as Gandhiji's Bombay
head-quarters for about seventeen long and eventful years (1917-1934). It
belonged to Shri Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri, who was Gandhi's friend and
a host during that period. It was from Mani Bhavan that Gandhi
initiated Satyagraha against Rowlatt Act and propagated the causes of
Swadeshi, Khadi and Hindu-Muslim Unity. In 1955 the building was dedicated
as a memorial to Gandhiji and to the very important activities of great
significance he initiated from that place.
Mani Bhavan has a story to tell as it housed Gandhiji occasionally during the
times when he grew in stature and strength, from an agitator to a world
figure by successfully introducing satyagraha (individual as well as mass)
as a new and effective weapon to fight all evil and injustice.
It is obviously impossible to draw the full picture or tell the whole story here.
This is an humble attempt to give the reader a few glimpses of the great
drama enacted in this small corner of Mumbai by Gandhiji and his illustrious
colleagues. To the visitors, it will give an idea of the dynamism of the
great Mahatma even while he was shaping himself and the nation, along the
uncharted path of non-violent resistance to foreign rule and to all evil.
The visitors from all over the world come to Mani Bhavan, to see the Room that
Gandhiji occupied, its Picture Gallery, the Library Hall and the Terrace
where he was arrested on January 4, 1932.
Gandhiji was a dynamic person and he kept on evolving. Even a change in his outward
dress indicated an inner change. On his return from South Africa, he flung
away the European style of dressing and took to the Indian style. Then again
his original Kathiawadi turban was replaced by a Kashmiri cap which in its
turn was discarded in favour of a white-cap popularly known as the Gandhi
cap. The change ultimately culminated in a bare loin cloth- a significant
symbol representing the Indian peasantry and its poverty. Perhaps Mani
Bhavan is the only place besides the Sabarmati Ashram, where he donned all
these dresses in their sequence.