The three-storied haveli or mansion having a striking blue color in which M.K. Gandhi was born on 2nd October in the year 1869 was eventually turned into a shrine/memorial. This shrine which was named Kirti Mandir is actually a temple and symbolizes the harmonious integration of the world’s six major religions namely Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism.
Kirti Mandir was constructed up to a height of 79 feet to correspond with Gandhiji’s lifespan. The ‘garba griha’ or the sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses the Mahatma’s and his wife Kasturba Gandhi’s full-scale oil-paintings. Gandhi practiced ‘non-violence’ and always spoke ‘the truth’ throughout his life and the words are etched in front of their feet.
Two rooms on the shrine’s right, serve as memorials of Mahadev Desai and Maganlal Gandhi while the room on the temple’s left is a museum containing exhibits. All three rooms have handcrafted items, souvenirs, and memorabilia made of ‘khadi’-a textile popularized by Gandhi as well as stocks thousands of books that are for sale. Kirti Mandir continues to remain the chief tourist attraction in the coastal city of Porbandar.
The haveli housing the Kirti Mandir used to be a one-storeyed house that was bought about two centuries back by Shri Harjivan Raidas Gandhi, great grandfather of M.K. Gandhi. The upper floors or stories were constructed later on and it is in this mansion that Gandhiji’s grandfather, father, and uncle resided while serving as ‘dewans’ or prime ministers under the Jethwa Rajput kings. Construction of the modern shrine started in 1947 after the well-known entrepreneur Nanjibhai Kalidas Mehta bought the ancestral manor and contributed money for the purpose. It took three years to build the entire temple which was thrown open to the public in 1950 on 27th May.
Where is it located?
Located in the city of Porbandar, Kirti Mandir has been built near the Bhatia Bazar Old Probandar on the Kasturba Road. The historical structure is roughly 2 kilometers from the Porbandar Railway Station.
Ideal Visiting Time
The ideal time to visit is between October and March when the weather is pleasant and cool. Kirti remains open from 10.00 am-12.00 pm and from 3.00 pm-6.30pm.