Wednesday 2 October 2019 is going to be a big day in Gujarat. Indian prime minister and Gujarat native Narendra Modi has budgeted 150 crore rupees (£16 million) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat’s best-known son. But even amid all the fanfare there’ll be room to breathe in Gujarat’s calm and quiet corners: backwater townships with skies full of kites; lions, wolves, hyenas and wild asses wandering through nature reserves; and tribal communities painting the arid western district of Kachchh in rainbow colours with their mirrored and embroidered costumes. In this anniversary year, set your sights on Ahmedabad, where the ‘Great Soul’ founded his ashram beside the Sabarmati River and embarked on the Salt March that proved to be the tiny acorn from which the mighty oak tree of Indian independence grew. Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram is the focus of the anniversary celebrations but the excitement will spill over to Gandhi’s birthplace in Porbandar and his family home in Rajkot.