Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Anand Bhavan-Home of 3 Prime Ministers

Allahabad has played a prominent role in
the freedom struggle and politics of India.
It has nurtured several outstanding
leaders and states men,
the Nehru/ Gandhi family being the most
distinguished and eminent among them.
Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi
and her son Rajiv Gandhi
were our Prime Ministers.
This January, when Namrita (my sister) was visiting with her
sons we went to
visit Anand Bhavan -
House of Joy.
Anand Bhavan is a large mansion located in Allahabad, India. Established by Indian political leader Motilal Nehru in the 19th century, it has served as the ancestral home of the Nehru-Gandhi Family — future Prime Ministers of India Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi were born there.
It was donated to the Indian government in 1970 by Indira Gandhi. Today it has been converted into a memorial and museum. Here one is offered a glimpse of the lifestyle of the family that retained for a long time and even today the status of the most important political dynasty in India. It is a two storied building which has rooms including the one where Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi used to stay during his visits.
Jawahar Planetarium is also located inside the Anand Bhawan.

Anand Bhavan is the ancestral home of Jawaharlal Nehru, the freedom fighter and the first Prime-Minister of India. The place is also home to Indira Gandhi, the "Iron Lady of India". The place has today been turned into a fine museum. The importance of this place also increases because of the fact that several momentous decisions and events, related to the freedom struggle took place here. The main building houses a museum that displays the memorabilia of the Nehru family.Indira Gandhi donated Anand Bhawan to the Indian government in the year 1970 that was later converted into a museum on her behest. This museum is very well kept and worth visiting. This shrine to the Nehru family indicates the high regard in which this famous dynasty is held in India. The exhibits in the house highlight the events that compelled a well-off and prestigious family to get involved in Indian independence. The family has the honor of producing five generations of astute politicians - Moti Lal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. The most interesting part of the museum is Nehru's bedroom and study. There is a room specially dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, father of the Indian Nation, where he used to stay during his visits. There is a room dedicated to Indira Gandhi as well that houses many of her belongings. The drawing room also houses some of the belongings of Moti Lal and Jawaharlal Nehru. The study is another interesting section where you can glance through numerous bookshelves that are full of titles dedicated to Marx and Lenin. Out in the lush green garden is an outhouse that houses a picture gallery dedicated to the life and times of Jawaharlal Nehru. Next-door is Swaraj Bhawan, where Moti Lal Nehru lived until 1930 and where Indira Gandhi was born. It houses a museum featuring dimly lit rooms and an audio-visual presentation 'The Story of Independence'

The estate has several buildings and a magnifient garden.
A Planetarium also has been
built on one side
as a memorial to PM Nehru.
I photographed a liily pond
with tiny fish in it.

The central lawn with a majestic fountain

Prime Minister Nehru was very fond of roses
and wore one everyday in the lapel of his coat.

The gardeners maintain a beautiful rose garden here.

Nehru 's ashes were kept here

The architecture speaks of Mogul, Hindu
and British influence.
This is Swaraj Bhawan (Self Rule House),
the oldest part of the property.
It houses a museum and orphanage.
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was born
in a building on the left
of the photo.

This is the library where many meetings
of the Indian National Congress party
were held during the freedom struggle
and afterwards.
Adapting a simple /traditional lifestyle people sat on the floor and comfortable cushions.

A view of the Planetarium
This is a room where
Mahatma Gandhi used to stay.
You can see his spinning wheel .
Its not very clear because of the shining glass.

The Nehrus were very wealthy, affluent people.
Educated in Europe and
and their life style was influenced by that..
It is said that they sent their suits to
be dry cleaned in Paris.

Their furniture was commissioned from Europe.
I like this Egyptian style bed

Another sitting room. The table looks like
a carved Kashmiri one.
The Nehrus were Kashmiri Brahmins.
(high caste Hindus)

The dining room

Part of the kitchen.
All in English style.
Although I think they were vegetarians.

My mother once had tea in this dining room
with the very young Indira Gandhi.
As a young school teacher ,
Mama was assigned to work
for Nehru 's Congress party during
a Election Campaign in the late 50s.
Mam a and her group spent a day in
a rural area.
Nehru 's jeep was supposed
to bring them back in the evening.
The driver forgot and when Indira
took the roll call of their workers, she
found these young teachers missing.
The driver was summoned and questioned and scolded
for his carelessness.
He was dispatched speedily to fetch the ladies
who were feeling quite lost
in this remote rural area.
When they arrived at Anand Bhawan
Indira Gandhi expressed her apologies and
served them tea and refreshments in the dining room.,
before sending them home.
Later on when Nehru won the elections and
was sworn as Prime Minister
Mama was invited to a grand
victory banquet at Anand Bhawan.
I have the invitation card somewhere. We have preserved it carefully

In one of the rooms we saw this
carry chair which was used to
lift Motilal Nehru
(Jawarlal 's father) when he was
unable to walk , due to old age.

Another elegant bedroom .
There is a walking stick
at the side.
A stately sitting room.

The overhead lamp and fan
very vintage.

A beautiful writing desk.

Namrita took my photo.
I was wearing my Dad 's jacket.
It was so cold .I needed
this fur lined coat.
With Rayguel and Namrita

Mishael, Rayguel and Namrita

A garden sculpture

This little chipmunk waqs enjoying the
winter sunshine.

A memorial plaque near
the entrance.

Some more rose beds

I hope you enjoyed this
visit to Anand Bhavan.

15 Fertilize my soul:

Nadwra┼╝liwiec said...

Very interesting post, in my city there is the Street of Mahatma Gandhi :) But these photos showed me, that even people who were politicians or revolutionaries - they were common people too, who liked roses and slept in elegant bedrooms with good taste. I read about the legend of Gandhi - when he was incorruptible for English colonists.
I had to exert eyes to see this chipmunk :)
I see a lot of sun and happiness on these photos.

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
Thanks for giving me this grand tour.
I have the deepest respect for the Nehru/Gandhi family.
Imagine, possessing such incredible wealth and luxury, and still find time to work and literally die for the freedom of India.
One's got to bow in awe of this love and selfless affection.

You are looking so good and pretty.
I guess the company of Narmita and her children did you well.
Let's hope they find time to come back soon.
I so can understand that you need someone to help you carry the heat and the burdens of the day.
Say hello to your mother. She did well in working for Nehru and the congress party.
You must be proud of her. No that many women were politically active in the 50ies.
Indeed, you have got a proud heritage.
Be blessed, dear Amrita.

Felisol said...

P.S. I showed your blog to Gunnar. He was also amazed, like me. Besides he was impressed by how young and well you look. I thought it might be right to bring his compliments to you.
Hugs from Felisol

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

It's like opening a grand book of India's storied history centered on the families of the Nehrus and Gandhis. That your mother had a unforgettable brush with the late Indira Gandhi made your post doubly memorable. Your post is so complete that the readers would have an inkling of India's colorful history with your interesting post interspersed with magnificent photos. It is a virtual travelogue down India's marvelous history. Thanks for the fantastic post. God bless you all always.

Amrita said...


Amrita said...

Thank you my dear friends.

My city has produced several influential leaders and freedom fighter, we are proud of that.

Oh Felisol and Gunnar you are too kind.

Dear Zimb , the chipmunk was a tiny little thing.

Thank you Mel

David Edward said...

i very much enjoy my daily visits with you. I learn, I appreciate, I grow.

monsoon dreams said...

feel so good reading ur post and seeing the snaps.ur mom is really lucky!
being at ur blog is like home.i feel so comfortable and happy.infact i keep checking for ur updates several times a day!

Kathryn said...

Hi Amrita -

as always, your pics are stunning. Thank you for sharing. :)

Amrita said...

Dear David, Nina and Kathryn,
thank you so much for visiting and talking to me. Your blogs and friendship is very precious to me.

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

What an interesting post, Amrita! I loved it!

They certainly had money, didn't they? Elegant touches throughout the entire estate! I too love that bed and think I could get a good night's sleep at last upon it! It looks as if it would be COOL and fresh!

Even the chipmunk looks high-class.

Amrita said...

Dear Holly, yes they were elite affluent people, but in joining the freedom movement they identified with the common man.

Crown of Beauty said...

This is a great post -- and you have taken time to post all those lovely pictures. So rich in cultural and historical heritage, your city is.

January must really be so cold...

The rooms are well preserved.

India ia such a rich culture, Amrita!

Thanks for sharing this.


Amrita said...

Dear Lidj, thank you for your visit and comment I really appreciate your visit.

Grand Junction Chiropractic said...

I super love the place,,,wish I can go there sometime. Nice pictures :)

Chiropractic Grand Junction