Known as the father of the nation for his leading role in India’s independence, Mahatma Gandhi is among the most important activists of the 20th century. The National Gandhi Museum was inaugurated in his honor in 1961, and today attracts visitors interested in Gandhi, the Independence Movement, and the struggle for peace.
This small museum houses numerous artifacts related to Gandhi’s life, including old documents, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and personal effects. The museum also houses 23 models of spinning wheels in honor of Gandhi’s devotion to self-sufficiency through weaving. The museum’s library houses a huge collection of documents of academic interest; you can search the entire catalog online ahead of your visit.
Most visitors go to the museum before or after paying their condolences at Raj Ghat across the street, where Gandhi was cremated in 1948. Private and small-group Gandhi-themed tours stop here and at Raj Ghat, as well as at the Gandhi Smriti, where the leader was killed.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The National Gandhi Museum is a must for fans of history, politics, social justice, and Gandhi himself.
- Still photography is permitted in the museum.
- There’s a small on-site bookshop with many hard-to-find books.
- The museum is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The museum is located just west of the Yamuna River, across the street from Raj Ghat. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the Purple Line’s Delhi Gate Station and a 15-minute drive from Connaught Place and Old Delhi. Most visitors arrive by car or as part of an organized tour.
When to Get There
The museum is open 9:30am to 5:30pm Tuesday through Sunday. It’s always a good time to visit, though Sundays can be quieter due to the absence of school groups. If you plan to pair a trip to the museum with the outdoor Raj Ghat, you may want to avoid hotter months such as May and June, or come earlier in the day, before the heat reaches its full intensity.
India’s Many Gandhi Museums
This museum is just one of many dedicated to Gandhi located across the country. Others include the Gandhi Memorial Museum in Madurai, South India; the Mani Bhavan in Mumbai; three museums in East India; and the Mahatma’s own ashram in his home state of Gujarat. Also in New Delhi, the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum is housed in the Gandhi Smriti, where the leader was assassinated, and features all sorts of audiovisual materials and exhibits that tell Gandhi’s story by mixing computer-generated imagery with physical objects.