Gandhiji, during his visit to Madurai stayed in the residence of Sri Ramji Kalyanji, 175-A, West Masi Street, Maduraiwho respectfully invited him to his house, on 21.09.1921. During his stay there at night he was mentally agitated and worried to think of the various farmers and poor people on his way dressed in scarce cloths that is only a small towel like dhothi around the waist and were shivering with cold, while he was wearing long turbans khurtha and dhoties.
So overnight he took a decision that he should be a model to everyone and to dress in a simple manner like the peasants and poor people he witnessed in his journey to Madurai and he carried out this from the very next day itself. On 22-09-1921 (the next day) morning all were shocked to see him in his new pattern of dress and Gandhiji explained them about his decision and he followed this throughout his life. Then he attended the meetings in Madurai (The place now called as Gandhi Pottal) at 0700 hrs, explaining the reason for his new mode of dress therein. Then he attended the meeting at Karaikudi and returned to his destination.Madurai stands as the starting place for his new mode of dress at the residence of Sri Ramji Kalyanji at 175-A, West Masi Street, as a proof for it even today. At Railway Station also is a board stating about Gandhiji's visit and change of his dress pattern.
Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai http://www.gandhimmm.org/