The Sodepur Khadi Pratisthan had a special place in the life of Mahatma Gandhi and History of Indian Freedom Struggle. "The existence of Sodepur is for the sake of Khadi while that of Sabarmati is for experimentation of Truth, etc. This does not mean Sabarmati is Superior. I merely defined the field of works at the two places". Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, Gandhiji called Sodepur Khadi Ashram his 2nd home. He stayed here when he used to come at Calcutta during a long period from 1927 to 1947.
Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated Kalasala at Sodepur Khadi Pratisthan which was near Sodepur Railway Station on a plot of 17 Bigha, on 2nd January 1927 in presence of Pandit Motilal Nehru, S. Srinivas Iyengar, Congress president, Sir P. C. Roy and others. Three addresses, from Panihati Municipality, the Anti Malaria Association and another institution, were given to Gandhiji. Mahatma. Gandhi had a very high regard to Acharya Parfulla Chandra Roy for his sacrifice and contribution to development Khadi and Kahddar. His speech at the inauguration ceremony touched the 6,000 people gathered and still relevant to day. He had visited Sodepur Khadi Pratisthan several times in 1939, 1945, 1946 and 1947. Gandhiji stayed at Sodepur crucial days before independence from 9th Aug'1947 to 13th Aug'1947 before moving to the riot affected Beliaghata. Many top leaders of India used to come at Khadi Ashram for discussions/ meetings during the stay of Mahatma Gandhi. Some of these leaders worth mentioning are Subhas Chandra Bose, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Ballav Bhai Patel, Sarat Chandra Bose, Syamaprasad Mukherjee, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Sarojini Naidu, Padmaja Naidu, Dr. Abul Kalam Ajad, G. D. Birla, Jamanlal Bajaj, Suhrawardy, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, P. C. Ghosh and Dr. Sushila Nair, Mahadeb Desai, Nirmal Kumar Bose, Amrita Kaur and others. There are many letters and communications which were written by Mahatma Gandhi at Sodepur.
During his inaugural Speech on 2nd january 1927, he paid tribute to Sri Chaitanya. "This land has been sanctified by the feet of Chaitanya. The place from which Chaitanya gave his message is not far from here. He also worked for the helpless." Later on he visited Panihati Mahotsab Tala Ghat or Gouranga Ghat from Sodepur Khadi Ashram on foot on 18th January 1946 and was shown the old Banyan tree, venerated by the Vaishnavas, on the bank of Ganga. He was also shown several things said to have been used by Sri Chaitanya there. Khadi Pratisthan was setup by Satish Chandra Dasgupta, an expert chemist who was superintendent of Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceutical works in Maniktala in North Calcutta decided to give up employment and setup an Ashram for spinning, weaving and materials of Khadi as well as other Cottage Industrial Commodities. He located his Swedeshi enterprise at a part close to Calcutta, from where his commodities would be marketed. This was the Khadi Pratisthan at Sodepur.
Sodepur is within the Panihati Municipality under Khardaha P.S. This place along bank of the River Ganga, is blessed with the footsteps of noble persons which is unique in the world Sri Chaitanya & Sri Nityananda MahaPrabhu, Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi are well poised for Heritage Attraction.
We may refer to some documents related to Mahatma Gandhi & Sodepur Khadi Pratisthan.