To commemorate the birth of Gandhiji, a 79 feet high imposing building has been built on an otherwise Spartan lane of the city where Bapu ws born in 1869 A.D.It covers in its premises a three stoyered ancestral house of Gandhiji wherein the exact place where Putlibai, Gandhijis mother, had given birth to a child Gandhi, is marked with a Swastik.Narrow wooden staircase leads the visitors to the upper storey,in particular to Gandhijis reading room.The adjoining new building, Kirti Mandir houses a Gandhian library, a prayer hall, a nursery and a steeple decorated with episodes from Gandhijis life. Behind Kirti Mandir is Navi Khadki were Kasturba, Gandhijis wife was born.
The original three storied house is built like a Haveli, purchased by the great grand father of Mahatmaji, Shri Harjivan Raidas Gandhi, some two hundred years before, in the seventeenth century, from a local woman and the upper stories were added over the years. It was this house where Gandhi's father Karamchand, uncle, Tulsidas and grandfather Uttamchand lived, who had all been Prime Ministers (Dewan) to the Jethwa Rajput rulers of the princely state of Porbandar.
Inside view of Kirti Mandir
The foundation stone of modern structure and attractive Kirti Mandir was laid in 1947 during the lifetime of Gandhi by Shree Darbar Gopaldas Desai. The whole credit of constructing this national memorial of Mahatma Gandhi goes to the famous industrialist, Nanjibahi Kalidas Mehta, who not only initiated the idea to build a memorial but also donated the whole money purchase the ancestral house and also to build new complex called Kirti Mandir.
The memorial was completed in 1950, by which time Gandhi was no more. The memorial was named Kirti Mandir and then Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel inaugurated and declared open this place for public on May 27, 1950. Afterwards this beautiful memorial was handed over to the Central Government of India.
The height of the temple is of 79 feet symbolizes the 79 years of lifespan of Gandhi. The monument Kirti Mandir is symbol of religious integration of six religions, the architectural elements of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi temple, Church and Mosque are symbolized at Kirti Mandir integrate, which symbolize Gandhi’s respect towards all religion.
The whole the architecture of the Kirti Mandir was done by Shri Prushottambhai Mistry, a resident of Porbandar. He completed construction within two years of time limit by working for days and night himself.