Gandhi Heritage Sites - Writeups

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Parnakuti, Pune

Connection with Gandhiji 
Gandhiji stayed at Parnakuti bungalow on several occasions during 1933-1944. The owner of the bungalow Lady Premlila Thackersey, wife of Sir Viththaldas Thackersey, was a philanthropist and social worker.

Premlila Thackersey saw Gandhiji for the first time at a party at Mr. Petit’s house on January 12, 1915. It was a party given in honour of Gandhiji and Kasturba who came back to India after their momentous work in South Africa.

She went to see Gandhiji at Sassoon Hospital, Poona along with the industrialist Shantikumar Moraraji in 1924. This was her first personal meeting during which she offered Gandhiji to stay at Parnakuti for rest once the hospitalization was over. But Gandhiji had already accepted Shantikumar’s offer to stay at his place.

Premlila Thackersey would meet Gandhiji and participate in the prayer during Gandhiji’s stay at Mani Bhavan, Bombay. When Gandhiji was in Yeravada Jail, she kept on going to see Gandhiji as a visitor bringing along books and fruits.

Place in history • Gandhiji conducted his 21-day fasts for self-purification from May 8 to 28, 1933 at Parnakuti bungalow. He declared, ‘If I give up my life thinking of Harijans and with the idea in my mind of doing pure service to them, I would regard it as a good beginning…’ CWMG Vol. 55: p. 134 - 136

• After his sudden unconditional release from Yeravada Central Prison due to health reasons on August 23, 1933, Gandhiji was taken to Parnakuti bungalow. He stayed there till September 15, 1933. Sarojini Naidu, Jawaharlal Nehru, and a Japanese Buddhist monk among others paid a visit to Gandhiji at Parnakuti during the stay.
• Gandhiji’s visit to Poona and stay at Parnakuti from June 19, 1934-June  25, 1934 is related to the first attempt on his life in India. A bomb was thrown on his car when Gandhiji was going to attend a program organized by Poona Municipality to felicitate him on June 24, 1934. He remained unhurt and unaware of the incident till he reached the hall as he was traveling by another car. CWMG Vol. 58: p. 108 - 109• Gandhiji stayed at Parnakuti in 1937, from January 7 to January 10, on April 15 en route to Hudli and on April 22 en route to Seagaon.
• Gandhiji’s last imprisonment was in the wake of the Quit India movement at Agakhan Palace prison, Pune from August 9, 1942 to May 6, 1944. Premlila Thackersey took good care of Kasturba as Parnakuti was in proximity to the jail. She got a powerful binocular installed on the terrace of Parnakuti. The portion of the jail with samadhi of Mahadev Desai was visible from there. On release from detention, Gandhiji went to Parnakuti and stayed there till May 11, 1944. He commenced an evening prayer meeting where collections were accepted for Harijan Welfare Fund.
• ‘Parasmanina sparshe’ - a Gujarati book by Labhuben Mehta, Abhinav Bharati Prakashan, Mumbai, 1979 has a chapter on Lady Premlila Thackersey. (Page 127-139)

Site Address
Dr. Ambedkar Path,
Near Dr. Ambedkar Housing Society,
Pune, Maharashtra - 411 006
Phone: +91 020 2668 0250

Additional Details 
1. ‘Parasmanina sparshe’- a Gujarati book by Labhuben Mehta, Abhinav Bharati Prakashan, Mumbai, 1979 has a chapter on Lady Premlila Thackersey. (Page 127-139)

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