That time I went to Gandhi’s ashram and took an overnight train in India

Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad
Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad

I must admit something: Before I went to India, I knew who Gandhi was, and I knew he did a lot for peace and freedom, but I didn’t know REALLY who this icon was.

However, my visit to India certainly changed that.

We were in the town of Ahmedabad, where we were for simply an afternoon and evening, after a long, hot, crowded, and smelly six-hour bus ride from Udaipur where we witnessed people throwing rubbish and dirty nappies, as well as vommiting out of the windows of the sleeper compartments, which were above us (meaning no matter how hot it was, we were keeping our windows closed).

Sleeper bus in India - seats on the bottom, sleeper compartments up top.
Sleeper bus in India – seats on the bottom, sleeper compartments up top.

However, we were feeling much more relaxed now that we were in Ahmedabad (and off that travelling heat box of a bus).

We were in Ahmedabad basically for one reason and one reason only: to visit the Sabarmati (or Gandhi) Ashram.

This was where Gandhi spent 12 years of his life.

It was also from here that Gandhi led the salt march in 1930.

In recognition of the significant influence that this march had on the India Independence movement, the Indian government has since established the ashram as a national monument.

Gandhi Ashram
Gandhi Ashram
Gandhi Ashram
Gandhi Ashram
Gandhi Ashram
Gandhi Ashram
Gandhi Ashram
Gandhi Ashram

From here you can walk around the spots where Gandhi used to live and work daily, read about his life in the on-site museum, and buy writings of his from the gift shop.

Gandhi, if you haven’t heard of him, was a prominent leader in the Indian independence movement, in the British-rule India of the time.

If, like me, you knew roughly who Gandhi was and how much on a impact he had, but don’t really know the specific, the Gandhi Ashram is a great place to visit to get the full rundown on the nonviolent civil disobedience master.

The best Thali meal
The best Thali meal

After the Ashram visit, we had a few hours to kill before jumping on our train to Delhi.

So, of course, we went for dinner.

We found the cheapest, most delicious, thali place just around the corner from where we were waiting.

For something like 200 rupee we got all-you-can eat Thali in this little restaurant.

The waiters literally just milled around our table as we ate, waiting to refill each dish.

It was incredible, and just what we needed before a long overnight journey.

Oh yes, then we were off to the train station to board an overnight train to Delhi.

Busy train station. Guarding our luggage
My bunk – notice my backpack filled with my valuables cable locked near my head.
Sleepover time!

We were in the second class carriage, on open-plan sleeper carriage where we were mixed among the locals for an exciting journey.

I quite enjoyed it. By the time we left, it was already quite late, so we basically just set ourselves up, chatted for a bit, and then went to bed.

Just as we were drifting off to sleep the two random men assigned to the bottom of our three-tier bunks boarded, and by the time we woke up, they were gone – so there were no awkward encounters with random Indian men, and nothing to worry about.

I would recommend having a lock on your bags, and cable locking you valuables close to you, to save any issues with theft (or even just for peace of mind!).

Also, take tissues and hand sanitizer for the bathrooms, face wipes for hygiene, lots of water, and snacks!

Oh: And have FUN!

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