The DoT along with the Tourism Guides Association (TGA) and FRS Tours & Travels, launched the circuit on Sunday and it will continue till August 17.
“The initiative has garnered a good response and it will improve over the next three days,” said an excited TGA President Farhan Shaikh, terming it as a ‘must visit’ for lovers of history desiring to peep into some glorious aspects in the struggle for the country’s Freedom from British Rule in Mumbai.
The circuit covers: Rajgruha, Raghavji Road, August Kranti Maidan, Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit Pathshala, Ajit Villa, Mani Bhavan, Girgaum Chowpatty, Imperial Cinema, Sardar Gruha, Asiatic Library and the Gateway of India, all in south Mumbai, said Shaikh.
Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit Pathshala is the place where the foundations of the ‘Indian National Congress’ were laid in 1885, making it one of the most important aspects of the entire Freedom Struggle that started with the First War of Independence in 1857.
Rajgruha in Dadar was the residence of the Chief Architect of Indian Constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, where he spent many years.
Raghavji Road was the home of the legendary Yusuf Meherally who came up with the most iconic slogans of the freedom movement like ‘Quit India’ and ‘Simon Go Back’, which are remembered even today.
Ajit Villa was one of the locations of ‘Secret Congress Radio’ launched by a fiesty 22-year-old girl, Usha Mehta in mid-August 1942, just five days after Mahatma Gandhi’s historic ‘Quit India’ call to the British.
The Imperial Cinema with its lush gardens was the venue for ‘The First Satyagraha’ and the maiden meeting between Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, later the Founder of Pakistan.
Gowalia Tank, now August Kranti Maidan enjoys a special place in Indian history as the venue from where Gandhiji and other top Congress leaders gave the ultimatum to the British Raj with the ‘Quit India’ call on August 8, 1942, plus hoisted the Tricolour for the first time.
Most of the top leaders were arrested from there but the struggle fructified exactly five years later, when, on August 15, 1947, India got Independence.
Sardargruha was the abode of Bal Gangadhar Lokmanya Tilak who lived in Room No. 198 on the 4th floor during his visits to Mumbai from Pune, and also the place where he spent the last few years of his life till his death on August 1, 1920.
Girgaum Chowpatty is the venue where Tilak was accorded a public funeral with over two lakhs paying their last respects.
The Freedom history is also closely entwined with Mani Bhavan, or Gandhi Museum, where Gandhiji had strategized many of his struggles, like ‘Non-Cooperation Movement’ (1920-1922), ‘Satyagraha’, ‘Khadi Movement’ (taking forward the Swadeshi Movement of 1903 on a mass-scale), ‘Khilafat Movement’ (1919-1922), etc.
The imposing Gateway of India is the monument from where the last British regiment marched out after the country gained Independence on August 15, 1947.
Shaikh said that the tour is of 4-5 hours each in two batches daily, with a fee of Rs 1,000/head, including all entry tickets, snacks pack, touring in airconditioned bus and a tourism guide.