27 Amazing Gandhi Tattoo Ideas with Meanings

For the billions of Indians and people abroad, Gandhi symbolized ‘Mahatma’ or the ‘Great Soul’. While on tour, he was graced by the extreme adoration of huge crowds. He worked incessantly during the day and in fact even at night, and this what made him a symbol of vigor and courage.  “The woes of the Mahatmas,” he addressed, “are known only to the Mahatmas.” Not only did his name spread across India and abroad while he was alive, but it also increased several folds after his death. The name of Mahatma Gandhi is now taken with the greatest leaders of the world and is extensively recognized all over the globe. Many Gandhites read his letters, biographies, autobiographies, and essays, but there exist some crazy fanatics too who go to the extent of getting his portrait imprint permanently on their bodies. Yes! we’re talking about getting Gandhi tattooed on yourself. Needless to say, this is quite an interesting way to show your utmost affection and love for someone.
Below we have compiled a list of 27 amazing Gandhi tattoo designs that will probably encourage you too to get one for yourself. Read on!
  • Gandhi With a Weapon

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Although Gandhi was all about non-violence and he was against any kind of weapons, but this is an interesting take on the character of Gandhi by handing him a weapon! The fine lines and intricacies make this design look very realistic. The blue background is quite contrasting to this whole situation because blue is often a symbol of purity and peace. On the other hand, this portrait seems quite rebellious. However, what suits him better can be summed up in this quote by him, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

  • Gandhi With a Mandala

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This is quite interesting as you can see the face of Gandhi merging with the mandala pattern on the wrist. Gandhi and mandala are inspired by a similar community, that is, the Indian Community. Both of them together in a tattoo pattern represent their home country. Besides, mandala patterns are quite in vogue. On top of all this, the black and white shading gives it quite a natural look.

  • Gandhi Quotes

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Since Gandhi was such an influential leader, his literature holds a very significant place in the face of history too. Getting a quote along with the portrait is quite an interesting way to take your innovation to the next level. A quote also boils it down to what you actually want to convey. Here, the quote says, “God is Truth”.  In his book, Voice of Truth, Mahatma Gandhi says that the truth is not only limited to the honesty in word, but a certain sincerity in thought too, and not just the pertinent truth of our interpretation, but the Supreme Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is, God

  • Gandhi With Other Leaders

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It is not necessary that you only display your affection with Gandhi. You might have several other leaders that you look up to. And believe me, it will only enhance and complement each tattoo that you own. Getting the portrait of your favorite people that you look up to on the knuckles of each finger is a very creative way to show your respect. Here, the person has inked Mother Teresa along with Gandhi on separate knuckles. This shows his dedicationa nd inspiration towards these leaders.

  • Realistic Portraits

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If you look keenly, this looks like an exact replica of a picture of Gandhi. Kudos to the tattoo artist who could transfer his skills with such great intricacy. The detailing on this tattoo is quite perfect. The shaded area renders it alive.

  • Monotone Portrait Gandhi Tattoo

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Ditch black ink for this brown tone of color. Similarly, you can go for other colors as well. Since Mahatma Gandhi was Indian by nationality, you can incorporate saffron, green and blue colors as they are the colors of Indian Flag.

  • Gandhi Quotes for Inspiration

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Quotes are actually very inspiring and ever so more if it’s coming from someone as influential as Mahatma Gandhi himself. This quote is quite simple and a good one. This emphasizes the need for everyone to act according to one’s conscience. One should not fall prey to external inducements like bribes, indecent and unsocial acts but listen to the inner voice, which alone can help one keep one’s balance. Mahatma Gandhi is a perfect example of this. The tiny glasses below the quote looks quite adorable since they are associated with Gandhi himself.

This is the whole quote:

“The only tyrant I accept in this world is the ‘still small voice’ within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority.”

― Mahatma Gandhi, The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas

  • This Destructive Looking Gandhi Tattoo

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So, there is a lot going on in this tattoo design. This is Gandhi gone bad. The skull man behind Gandhi is taking an aim for him. It is almost like all this is happening in a parallel universe because, in this universe, this can never really be possible as Gandhi is all about non-violence. His whole theory is based on non-violence. However, one can just contemplate what would have the scenario been if he would have retaliated using hands too. The dove here is quite an addition to the design as it stands for peace and harmony. The shades of setting sun in the background make the color pop out.

  • Non-Violence in Traditional Script

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It is ‘Ahimsa’, meaning ‘non-violence’ in Hindi and written in the Devanagari script. The font is quite beautiful and the best part about it is the dove that has been engraved above it. The dove is symbolic of peace and harmony, something which Gandhi wanted for the whole world. There was no bigger proponent of Non-violence than Gandhi and that’s why this word is like a trademark for his personality and teachings.

  • Laughing Gandhi

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A very realistic looking Gandhi portrait yet again. There is no doubt about the fact that it needs quite a set of skills and abilities to create something like this.

  • Gandhi With Other Symbols

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This design represents Gandhi with other historically important symbols. You can observe Buddha at the top of the arm near the shoulder. One can also notice a clock and lotus flower which are included in this design. Basically, the whole arm has been given a similar theme. All the components are related to a single theme and that’s what makes it a complete design.

  • Unique Gandhi Tattoo

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This is undoubtedly a very unique Gandhi tattoo. The 3D effect that has been given is something that makes this pattern quite different from the others on the list.

  • Gandhi Quote in Gujarati

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India is known for having myriad cultures with hundreds of languages. This quote is by Mahatma Gandhi in the language he was born into. This quote is written in Gujarati, the language of Gujarat, the place where Gandhi was born. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is better known as Mahatma Gandhi and is today referred to as the “Father of the Nation” in India. Other than being a significant part of the Indian Independence Movement, he is also a guiding star for various others in regards to life, religiosity, and devotion. Here is a tattoo of a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi on Democracy.

  • Life Like Portrait

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Mahatma Gandhi’s magnanimity rested in his purity towards life and tremendous rational valor. In summation to his personality in the best way imaginable, the famous American scientist, Albert Einstein, proclaimed few words regarding the ‘Naked Saint’ –  ‘Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.’ Quite a heartfelt observation indeed.

  • The True Message

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This is yet another saying by the Fathe of the Nation. His life is indeed a message for a million Indians and people around the world. Gandhi inspired a number of Indians with a feeling of compassion and resilience to combat any kind of abuse or brutality inflicted by the omnipotent British empire. He develops India’s entire independence battle around two of his much-respected beliefs of ‘Satyagraha’ and ‘Ahimsa’. While Satyagraha intended to mean ‘to appeal to’, ‘insistence on’, or ‘reliance on’ the Truth, Ahimsa was focused around assimilating non-violence as a combative mechanism to impede any action of violence or oppression. His life was indeed a message.

  • The Change in You

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Gandhi took upon himself to fight against the oppression faced by millions of Indians under the British Empire. He managed to overcome his fears and insecurities and in fact, turn them to his advantage. He was an excellent listener only because he wasn’t really great at speaking. But still, his modesty and compassion led him to make his aspirations reach across the masses. He took his inability with words as a challenge to say more with less and today, his words hold a profound significance for millions of people. He has become a worldwide inspiration and continues to spread his message throughout the world. This particular tattoo is a quote by him which goes like this,

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

  • Colorful Gandhi Tattoo

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This is a beautiful and vibrant Gandhi tattoo that spreads the message of happiness mainly because of the colors it incorporates. The colors, in fact, make the whole portrait pop out. The colors too hold great significance. Ther are the colors of the Indian Flag; Blue, Green, and Saffron. In addition to this, there is also a quote inscribed which says, “Where there is love there is life.” Love is the law of Nature, and everything is animated by the means of an obscure power that could be termed, eventually, as love.

  • Pencil Sketch

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This design looks like it has been sketched on a paper using some shading pencils. It needs quite a caliber by the tattoo artist to copy the exact details.

  • Geometrical Design

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Everyone knows that the geometrical tattoo pattern is quite in vogue currently. Who is stopping you to apply the same to your Gandhi portrait too? Well, as you can see, this looks exceptionally well when inked on the skin. Although in this design, black ink is used, but you can also experiment with various other color tones.

  • Quoted on Back

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This is one of the most famous quotes by Mahatma Gandhi that you’ll find. Not only famous, but this quote is also very significant and can be served as a reminder for yourself in every aspect of your life. The back is a great placement idea for quotes as it provides ample space. You can even search for various fonts to inscribe your quote in.

  • Complete Gandhi Tattoo

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The portrait of Gandhi’s face is supplemented by his full profile. In the full profile, though, his facial features are missing which has otherwise been compensated. The full profile focuses on how simple and docile, as a person he was. He did not require some fancy garments to cover himself up being the nation’s pride. For him, simplicity was everything and this tattoo is such a great exemplar.

  • Gandhi Shadow

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This is one of the best Gandhi tattoos on this list. The shadow effect is quite fashionable and gives a distinct look from the other patterns on the list. There is something inscribed with this portrait and that is “Be Kind”. This two-word message might seem small, but it was everything that Gandhi stood for. He was a proponent of non-violence and this tattoo serves as a reminder for that.

  • Straw Hat Skull

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This quote is one of Mahatma Gandhi’s most inspirational ones. Even though life is fleeting, your learning has no boundaries, and being hesitant to live and acquire in life is not something a successful person should be doing.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow” urges people to do something in life they forever aspired to do because the time in life is nearly up ; whereas, “Learn as if you were to live forever” pushes people to discover new things each day since learning is the most glorious wealth one can possess. Knowledge is not something that you get fatigued with, rather it is something you grasp in. Gandhi probably picked the terms “die tomorrow” and “live forever” to enable and empower the people to imagine that there is no tomorrow and that you ought to do what you perpetually wanted in life. You will never run out of stuff to discover if you were to exist eternally.

  • Gandhi on a Stamp

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This tattoo is quite interesting as it involved the portrait of Gandhi on a stamp. The stamp is symbolic of literature and knowledge, as well as communication too. Communication is the key to success and probably because he was able to communicate his message effectively to the world could he earn the respectful position of “Mahatma”

  • Black and White

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Getting inked in black ink is quite a classic approach to tattoos in general. The beauty of black ink is that makes everything look so antiquated as well as life-like. The depth that it provides is unparalleled.

  • Gandhi Tattoo on Hand

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Quite a unique placement idea for some, but this tattoo looks amazing. The back of the hand is covered with his face. The whole focus here, obviously, is the complexity of his face, The intricacy with which all the features of his face is drawn is quite commendable.

As we approached the end of this list, we assumed that there must be other significant Gandhi quotes that you can get tattooed for your daily dose of inspiration. Have a look.

  • ‘A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.’

  • ‘I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.’

  • ‘Nobody can hurt me without my permission.’

  • ‘Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’

  • ‘The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.’

  • ‘An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words.’

  • ‘A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.’

  • ‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.’

  • ‘Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.’

  • ‘Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.’

  • ‘If you want real peace in the world, start with children.’

  • ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’

  • ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world.’

  • ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner.’

  • ‘Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.’

  • ‘Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love’.

  • ‘An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind’.

  • ‘The future depends on what you do today.’

  • ‘To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.’

  • ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.’

  • ‘The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.’

  • ‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.’

  • ‘You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.’

  • ‘I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.’

  • ‘You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.’

  • ‘I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect.’

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