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30 June 2009

Discover Gandhi's London

As you may be aware, Mahatma Gandhi, the great spiritual leader who led the Indian independence movement visited London a number of times. The first was a substantial stay as a student, arriving at the age of 18 to spend around three years in our city between 1888 and 1891. Here he studied law at UCL and subsequently trained as a barrister. He later returned in 1906 and 1909 for shorter visits, and in 1931 when he attended a Round Table Conference in London on behalf of the Indian National Congress, and made speeches in the city.

During his student days, we are told that he took dancing lessons, and struggled to find decent food so much that he joined the Vegetarian Society, and was elected to the committee of their Bayswater Branch. He is commemorated in our city by a monument in Tavistock Square, which was erected in 1968 (pictured above). You can read more about his time in the city, view excellent maps of the places he visited, and find the dates for the next Gandhi's London walk at http://gandhislondon.com/. The walks run on irregular Saturdays, beginning at 2.30pm from Temple tube station (check the site for more) and they cost £7.

^Picture from Flickr courtesy of Hillbraith ^

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