Day Trips: Gandhi Plaza, Irving

Revered international leader memorialized in North Texas

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza in Irving was a gift to Texas and the U.S. from the Indian community of the DFW Metroplex. The larger-than-life bronze statue of the revered Indian activist for civil rights and independence has become a regional gathering place to celebrate freedom and peace. The 1,500-pound, 7-foot-tall statue created by Burra Varaprasad of Vijayawada, India, was unveiled on what would have been Gandhi's 145th birthday on Oct. 2, 2014. The plaza is one of 24 memorials to Gandhi in the U.S., including one at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Ga. The Texas plaza is the largest memorial in the U.S. dedicated solely to the internationally renowned leader.

Born on Oct. 2, 1869, Mohandas K. Gandhi worked tirelessly for civil rights in South Africa and India, and for India's independence. After two decades of nonviolent struggle, Gandhi finally saw British rule came to an end on Aug. 15, 1947. He was assassinated on Jan. 30, 1948, at the age of 78 in New Delhi, India.

Supported by individuals and organizations inside and outside of the large Indian-American community in North Texas, the plaza has become a focal point for celebrations throughout the year. Coming up on Aug. 15 is India's Independence Day, then the International Day of Peace is Sept. 21, and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on Oct. 2. Other annual events at the memorial are India's Republic Day, Jan. 26, Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary, Jan. 30, and International Day of Yoga, June 21.

Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza is in Irving at Thomas Jefferson Park, at 1201 Hidden Ridge Dr. The park is open daily to the public during daylight hours.

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Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Plaza, civil rights leaders, Burra Varaprasad, Mohandas K. Gandhi, India's Independence Day, Thomas Jefferson Park

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