The Aga Khan Palace in Pune is all set to reopen after it was closed for revamping and restoration work of the Mahatma Gandhi Museum in August. The Palace will reopen from October 2. Mahatma Gandhi had a close association with Pune during the freedom struggle, and following the launch of the Quit India movement, Aga Khan Palace served as his prison from August 1942 to May 1944.
Mahatma Gandhi lived there with wife Kasturba, secretary Mahadev Desai and Sarojini Naidu. Kasturba and Desai died in the Palace premises."The museum was closed for renovation in August after an order from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It will now reopen with some new features which will shed light on the life story of Gandhiji including key moments such as 'Chale Jao' agitation, 'Dandi March', and some speeches of Gandhiji in a new audio format," said an ASI official.
The official also said there will also be information about his fasts, imprisonments and his letters will be on display."The life story of Gandhiji is so enormous that it is difficult to incorporate each and everything but efforts have been made to present some major milestones of his life in various forms such as text, documentaries, pictures and audio-visual features with the help of some modern gadgets," he said. Selected documentaries will also be screened at the Palace, he said. There are plans to illuminate the monument to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji, he added.
The Aga Khan Palace also houses some personal belongings of Gandhi."We hope that when the monument opens, people will experience something new," the official said. "Over the years, we have noticed an increase in the number of visitors to the Palace," he added.
The Aga Khan Palace was built in 1892 by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan in Pune. It has an import place in Indian History as it was used as a jail for Mahatma Gandhi, his wife and Sarojini Naidu. In 1969, Aga Khan Palace was donated to the Indian people by Aga Khan IV as a mark of respect to Gandhi and his philosophy. Today the palace houses a memorial on Gandhi where his ashes were kept.
(With inputs from PTI)