Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation of India, was born at the city of Porbandar, situated in Gujarat State of India. We had an opportunity to stay at Porbandar for around one week during our last visit to India in January 2009 as it is a native place of my father in law. We were really eager to visit the exact birth place of Mahatma Gandhi in Porbandar, which is known as Kirti Mandir. Hence, our first outing in the city of Porbandar was this famous Kirti Mandir.
Porbandar is well connected by all the three means of transportations like air, train, and bus from almost all the major cities of Gujarat State and also from Mumbai, the economical capital of India. There are daily flights from Mumbai for this historical city of Porbandar. However, I would suggest all my readers to travel by train as it is extremely convenient and also economical. The train starts from Mumbai at around 7 am in the morning and reaches Porbandar by around 8 am in the next morning passing via the cities of Surat, Vadodara, and Ahmedabad. There are direct buses also plying from Surat, Vadodara, and Ahmedabad for Porbandar. Some of these buses are extremely luxurious and provides sleeping accommodation to all the travelers. Kirti Mandir is situated in the center of the city of Porbandar, amongst the dense and busy market area. This place was the residence of Karamchand Gandhi, who was the father of Mahatma Gandhi. The house is still maintained in the same old situation as it was in the middle of the Nineteenth century. As soon as you enter the house, the small room on the ground floor on your right was the exact birth place of Mahatma Gandhi. The small colored Sathia (holy design as per Hindu religion) is made on the floor exactly at the place where Gandhiji was born. The entire house has three floors and the paintings of various gods of Hindu religion are painted on the walls and pillars of the house. This house has an entrance towards East direction, which is considered very holy and sacred as per Hindu religion. There is also a Kasturba Gandhi Smruti hall just near the entrance of the house. There is a small library having many historical books regarding the life of Mahatma Gandhi and the freedom of India. There is also a small school that teaches us to operate Charkha and other similar arts. The large prayer hall is also recently made operative at this complex. There is also a museum in this Kirti Mandir complex. It is really worth viewing this museum thoroughly in details as it has many rare pictures and items pertaining to the freedom fight of India. The government is planning to start sound and light show here very soon on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. This forty five minutes duration show would really prove very popular and shall attract many tourists from all over the world.
The visitors must also make sure to visit the house of Kasturba Gandhi, Gandhiji’s wife, which is situated very close to the Kirti Mandir, house of Mahatma Gandhi himself. Some old photographs of Kasturba and her family are kept here for the view of visitors. Kirti Mandir remains open on all seven days from 10 am to 5 pm and there is a very nominal entry fee of Rs.5 (ten cents) per head to see this historical monument. All the visitors visiting Porbandar make sure to visit this unique and important place of the Indian history. There are many good hotels available at Porbandar for the visitors to stay. Hotel Maharaja and hotel Neelam are the two leading hotels here. These hotels offer a decent double room at the rate of around Rs.1200 ($24) per day excluding all meals. The excellent Kathiawadi meals are available at Porbandar at many restaurants. We really enjoyed these delicious food delicacies during our stay at Porbandar.
If any of my readers and friends are interested in the history of India and the life of Mahatma Gandhi, they must make sure to visit this unique monument of Kirti Mandir at Porbandar during their next visit to India.