The mansion belonged to Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri and the Mani family prior to that, Gandhi's friend and host in Mumbai during this period.
It was from Mani Bhavan that Gandhi initiated the Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi and Khilafat movements. In 1955, the building was taken over by the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi in order to maintain it as a memorial to Gandhi, to his frequent stays, and to the political activities he initiated from there. The two-storeyed structure standing on the Laburnum Road is the city's pride. The building, which is about 30 minutes drive from Taj hotel, was Gandhi's Mumbai headquarters for about 17 years - from 1917-1934. Gandhi's association with the charkha (Hindi for Spinning Wheel) began in 1917, while he was staying at Mani Bhavan. Mani Bhavan is also closely associated with Gandhi's involvement in the Home Rule Movement, as well as his decision to abstain from drinking cow's milk in order to protest the cruel and inhuman practice of phookan meted out to milch cattle common during that period.
Gandhi's Museum & Library
Once you enter the place, there is a library with statue of the Mahatma where people offer their tributes. Then a staircase dotted with Gandhi's pictures depicting his life leads visitors to the first floor which has big photo gallery where photographs of his childhood till his assassination are displayed along with press clippings. The room that Gandhi used during his stay here is on the second floor - there is a glass partition and people can see through two of his spinning wheels, a book and floor bed still preserved. Right opposite the room there is a hall where photographs and paintings of his lifetime are on display. And finally when one reaches the terrace where he was arrested on Jan 4, 1932.
In his November 2010 visit, Barack Obama became the first high-profile international visitor to visit the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya in the last 50 years. The museum authorities say his visit brought attention to Mani Bhavan and are hoping for an increase in visitors. "It was only Martin Luther King (US civil rights leader) who visited Mani Bhavan in the 1950s and as far as international personalities are concerned so far, it has only been Barack Obama in all these years who has come here after him," said Meghshyam T. Ajgaonkar, executive secretary of Mani Bhavan. The Mani Bhavan authorities gave two books to the President as gifts: "Women in Indian Society" co-authored by Usha Thakkar and Neera Desai and "Mahatma - Golden Treasury of Wisdom" which is a compilation of all of Gandhi's thoughts in various subjects given in alphabetical order. President Obama was also presented with two CDs - a two-and-half hour documentary on Mahatma Gandhi made by Vithalbhai Javeri, former trustee of Mani Bhawan and "Samar Geet", an audio CD of freedom songs sung by Shubha Mudgal. Obama gave a book authored by him to the Museum library.
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- "Obama visits symbols of peace in India". Gulf News. Retrieved 4 July 2011.