Gandhi's glasses among incredible haul of belongings from Indian peace campaigner set to fetch £80,000

The soil upon which Indian hero Mohandas Gandhi fell when he was assassinated is part of an incredible archive of material from the holy man that is to be sold.

A pair of his distinctive round-lensed spectacles that he bought in the UK when he was studying in the 1890s are also included, along with his personal prayer book.

The Father of the Indian Nation, known as Mahatma - an honorary title meaning Great Soul, was shot at point-blank range in 1948 and moments later a bystander, PP Nambiar, collected the dirt and some blades of grass.

Gandhi's distinctive round-lensed spectacles and handwritten letters

Historic: Gandhi's distinctive round-lensed spectacles and handwritten letters are some of the important belongings expected to fetch thousands of pounds when auctioned

He placed them inside a container where they have remained ever since and now it is a much-prized item of curiosity, wonder and even worship.

Mr Nambiar later wrote a book in which he described how he came to gather the soil, and there is also a letter of provenance from him.

Also in the sale is a series of letters from Gandhi that spell out his philosophy.

They are all to go for auction along with numerous other personal items where they are expected to fetch up to £80,000.

The spectacles were purchased by Gandhi in about 1890 while he was studying law in London.

His prayer book for sale is written in his native Gudjerati language and there are some important hand-written letters, some signed with the rare form of his name Bapu.

Another item includes Gandhi's Chukra - a type of sewing kit - that he had with him when he travelled to London for the second Round Table Conference in 1931.

The archive has been consigned by a collector along with detailed provenance and is being sold by Mullock's auction house in Ludlow, Shropshire, on April 17.

Gandhi's Chukra, a type of sewing kit,

Artifact: Gandhi's Chukra, a type of sewing kit, that he had with him when he travelled to London for the second Round Table Conference in 1931 are all included in the list of items which will be auctioned

Richard Westwood-Brookes, from the saleroom, said: ‘This is a wonderful archive of material with excellent provenance.

‘It comes from the close friend of one of Gandhi's disciples and is of great importance to the Indian nation.

‘The soil upon which Gandhi fell is of particular significance to the Indian nation and is like a holy relic.

‘The letters from Gandhi and his spectacles are also greatly important and are as close as you can get to the man.

‘The market for Indian items such as these has picked up in recent years and there are an increasing number of collectors.

‘It is a great privilege to sell these objects that are rightly regarded as important pieces of Indian history.’


Peace icon: Gandhi, was the leader of Indian nationalism, promoting non-violent civil disobedience against British rule, and started his work as an ex-pat in South Africa fighting for rights of the Indian Community there

Gandhi trained as a lawyer in London and spent most of his life fighting against injustice and for Indian independence - and he was jailed numerous times.

He was disappointed when India was partitioned after independence and strove to stop the killings between Hindus and Muslims.

He was assassinated on January 30, 1948, in Delhi, by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist who felt Gandhi was too sympathetic towards Muslims.

He was taken to hospital after he fell but later died.

That day is now observed as Martyrs' Day in India. It was the sixth attempt on Gandhi's life.

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now