Did you know? Mahatma Gandhi was a travel writer

Mahatma Gandhi in his lifetime had visited 2 countries (UK and South Africa) which had shaped his career before returning back to India. He visited UK for his higher education in law and South Africa for work (practiced law there). Once he is back in India, he was advised by his political mentor Gopala Krishna Gokhale to travel across India before uttering any word on politics which made him wiser and stronger.

In the first part of his lifelong travel journey Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (long before becoming ‘Mahatma’) visited United Kingdom to study law. It is called Barrister where you pass bar exam and you are authorized to practice law. Gandhi was 18-year old when he went to UK in late 19th century.

He had made a detailed travel guide for Indians who are planning to visit or stay in UK. He covered everything like what to pack, where to book tickets, where to find accommodation, where to find restaurants for a vegetarian (mind you Gandhi was a vegetarian) and even how often to wash.

This unpublished work is found in Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad from early 20th century. He also went on to quote that this is just an informal guide for any Indian traveler to UK and he also admits that even though many have visited UK before no one has written a guide like this.

He even mentions who all can afford to travel to UK and also quotes that his health was indeed improved in cold climate of England. He describes how he has booked his ticket through Messrs Thomas Cook & Sons (I think this is the same Thomas Cook which collapsed last week). He details on what to pack for this long sea journey.

So Gandhi is a good example to say that travel makes you wiser and stronger.The most cool thing is he thought of writing a travel guide for those who travel after him. And one question still ponder me; How did he publish this guide to everyone in era where the world of Internet was just a dream? If you know any answers please comment below.

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