Anand Bhavan (Swaraj Bhavan)



About Anand Bhavan



During the 1930s, Motilal Nehru-Indian National Movement activist, lawyer and an important leader of Indian National Congress-had built a huge bungalow in the city of Allahabad. This bungalow was Nehru family's residence and was named Anand Bhavan (which means "abode of happiness"). Later, its name was changed to Swaraj Bhavan and it turned into the local headquarters of Indian National Congress.

This place is also known as the birth place of India's first woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Funds from Delhi are used to maintain the entire mansion. Anand Bhavan also has the Jawahar Planetarium inside its premises.

History and Architecture

Motilal Nehru had purchased a house at 1 Church Road in 1900 for Rs. 19,000. Because of prolonged use, the house was in need of extensive repair. In order to change the face of the property, extensive repairs and renovation work were carried out for more than ten years. During Motilal's frequent visits to China and Europe, he bought the finest furniture for the house. The entire residence was turned into a palace over a period of time. The choicest furniture from abroad made it appear like a British estate's replica, and yet it was distinguished by the the traditional touch in its interiors.

In the beginning, the owner of this mansion was an educationist and Muslim leader of 19th century, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Sir William Moor wanted this mansion as headquarters for the British Empire and to serve their needs in India. Ironically, this place turned out to be the headquarters where the Indian National Congress planned to put an end to British rule. Most of the plans for India's freedom struggle originated here. The place was visited by a number of well-known leaders and notable party members and activists.

The rooms in the house have high ceilings, and the pillars of the verandas give a magnificent appearance to the house.

As Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru's son, grew up and took over the initiative of Indian freedom struggle, the house became the main centre of India's independence movement. During the 1920s, this mansion was informally known as All India Congress Committee headquarters. Later in 1930, Motilal Nehru donated this huge house to Indian National Congress.
The house then served as the local headquarters for the party in Allahabad. Another house was built by the Nehrus right next to the main house, which was named Anand Bhavan. Then the older one was referred to as Swaraj Bhavan. It is also understood that a poet called Akbar Allahabadi had coined the name for this house as Anand Bhawan.

In the year 1970, Indira Gandhi donated this huge mansion to India. Soon after that, it was converted into a rich museum containing a number of books and historical records related to her grandfather and father. In today's time, it functions as one of the finest museums in India.

Currently, one can see many art- and craft-related classes being conducted in the premises for young children. One can also enjoy four light-cum-sound musical shows organised every day.

Timings

The Anand Bhavan is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It remains closed on every Monday, and government and national holidays.

Location

Anand Bhavan is located about 3.5 km away from Allahabad Railway Station. It lies on the Jawaharlal Nehru Road at Allenganj.

How to Reach

In order to reach the location, one can take a bus, taxi or an auto-rickshaw from the railway station. One can also take shared autos or rickshaws for this destination.



Last Updated on : 24/10/2013