Mani Bhavan, a modest two-storied building on the Laburnum
Road in the comparatively quiet locality called Gamdevi,
served for about seventeen eventful years (1917-1934) as the
nerve centre in Bombay for Gandhiji’s activities. It
belonged to Shri Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri who was an
ardent devotee of Gandhiji and his affectionate host during
that period. Today Mani Bhavan is a hallowed memorial to
Gandhiji, to his stay here and to the activities he
initiated from here.
Mani Bhavan has a story to tell: it housed Gandhiji
frequently 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. Mani
Bhavan was the epicenter of India’s struggle for freedom,
especially between 1917 to 1934.
It was from here that first phase of non-violent freedom
struggle was launched. In the latter part of 1918 while he
was recuperating in Mani Bhavan, Gandhiji took his first
lessons in carding from a person who used to pass by Mani
Bhavan. According to him, the hum of charkha “had no small
share in restoring him to health” He yielded to Kasturba’s
suggestion and began taking goat’s milk here when his health
was very critical in January 1919.
Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act was launched from Mani
Bhavan in March, 1919. With a view to defy the Indian Press
Act, it was also from here that Gandhiji commenced his
weekly bulletin “Satyagrahi” on April 7, 1919.
After the disturbance and disorderly scenes at the time of
the boycott of the visit of the Prince of Wales on November
17, 1921, Gandhiji started his historic fast at Mani Bhavan
on 19th November 1921 to restore peace in the city of
Bombay. He broke his fast on November 22, after normalcy was
restored in the city.
The Congress Working Committee met at Mani Bhavan on June 9,
1931. On August 1931, Gandhiji went as the sole
representative of the Congress to the Round Table Conference
in London. He returned frustrated to Bombay on December 28,
1931. Thereafter, he discussed the situation with the
Working Committee of the Congress which met at Mani Bhavan
and took the decision to launch civil disobedience for on
December 31, 1931. Gandhiji was arrested from his tent on
the terrace of Mani Bhavan in the morning of January 4,
1932. On June 17 and 18, 1934, the Congress Working
Committee held its adjourned meeting at Mani Bhavan.
Mani Bhavan is a place where Gandhiji lived and interacted
with his colleagues to mould the freedom movement in the
image of the cherished ideals of Truth and Non-violence. It
was from Mani Bhavan that his followers and devotees went
forth in the world inspired and charged with a sense of
service and sacrifice. Even today, Mani Bhavan is a source
of inspiration for the lovers of freedom and peace the world
This heritage building of national importance is a tourist
attraction. It is visited daily by a large number of
visitors from India and abroad. Mani Bhavan Gandhi
Sangrahalaya is open to public on all days between 9.30 a.m.
to 6.00 p.m.
The ground floor houses the office of the Museum and the
Library that has a rich collection of about 40,000 books in
Reference and Lending sections. Many scholars, students,
teachers and participants of the Gandhi Jayanti Competitions
use the library for reference and reading.
At the display counter are available some important books by
and on Gandhiji, Gandhi postage stamps issued by India and
other countries, and mementos.
On the first floor is the auditorium where films on Gandhiji
are shown from time to time and recordings of his speeches
are played on request. It is also used for holding meetings,
seminars, discussions and various competitions held for
school and college students. On the first floor is also
located the office of the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Mumbai.
On the second floor, the room where Gandhiji lived and
worked is preserved in its original setting. Adjoining
Gandhiji’s Room is the exhibition depicting Gandhiji’s life
through miniature figures.
Mani Bhavan also hosts several important meetings of social
workers, concerned citizens, Sarvodaya workers, students and