Ahmedabad, the bustling city in Gujarat is a perfect mixture of ancient and modern architecture, of masjids and temples, of Gandhi and Krishna. It is a place filled with history. It is also India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City.
Ahmedabad Travel Guide
Summers are very hot and anyone who comes to the city during peak summer is sure to hate it. So, if you want to come to visit the state make sure you come only after the peak heat is over.
It is divided into the old city and the new city. The old Muslim settlement in one part with their Masjid and typical Gujarati colonies where you can see people sitting and talking at all time of the day and night in the other.
Things To Do In Ahmedabad
The old city of Ahmedabad built during the Muslim reign is a charm of the city. You can go there to visit Manek Chowk during the night.Here you have an unlimited supply of street food or during the day visit the numerous places like the Teen Darwaza, the Bhadra Fort.
Pols of Ahmedabad
Pols are a cluster of houses built with common shared spaces. Walking around the old city looking at these huge mansions are sure to take you back in time. A living heritage, the structures are 100-600 years old and the people living in there are original Ahmedabadi traditional families.
A special charm to the varied sights of the city there is the Bhadra Fort, which once housed royal palaces and well-laid gardens. It boasts of a temple of Bhadrakali and was built in 1411 during the Maratha rule.
When in Ahmedabad it is just taken for granted that one will visit the Sabarmati Ashram where Gandhi once lived. Now the museum here has preserved a detailed, informative record of his life and his teachings.
The riverfront near the Ashram is also a perfect place to spend a relaxed evening.
Ahmedabad is one of the few places in India which has a functioning drive-in cinema where you can go every night to watch a movie. This open-air cinema has the largest screen in Asia and is first of its kind, which can accommodate around 665 cars at a time.
Even if you don’t have a vehicle you can still go and sit on the seats and enjoy the movie.
Auto World Vintage Car Museum
The Auto World Vintage Car Museum in the city is one of the biggest and largest homes of automobiles in the country. Also, it’s one of the best museums in the world. From Bentleys and Rolls-Royces to Daimler and Lincolns. You can also take a fun drive of the great vintage cars.
Calcio Textile Museum
It is India’s premier textile museum, which contains one of the world’s complete collection of antique Indian textiles, some of which are up to 500 years old. If you have a thirst for knowledge and admire incredible handiworks, this is the place where you need to be!
Hussain Doshi Gufa
Built by the famous architect B.V Doshi and the famous painter M.F Hussain, this art gallery with its unique shape is located in the CEPT campus. It is half underground and looks like a Tortoise crawling.
Located a little away from the main city, this place has a good collection of architectural complexes. It is a mosque and tomb complex located in the village of Makarba. Try visiting early in the morning to catch a good sunrise along the waterbody present there.
One of the more recent additions to the city, this place is a perfect mixture of art and science. Set up by the government of Gujarat in 1960 to spread awareness about the progression of science and its application in human life.
The IMAX 3D Theatre, exhibition hall, amphitheater, and the thrill rides here, along with various halls are a major point of interest.
Though not always natural, Ahmedabad has its set of lakes and rivers to spend your time at.
This is one of the largest and well-developed lakes in the city with entertainment for everybody. You can go on a joy ride on the toy train or just walk around the lake. As evening comes by, the lake gets lit up in different colors which adds to the charm of the place.
Situated at the southern verge of the majestic Bhadra Fort, spending time at the famous Victoria Garden is one of the things you could do in Ahmedabad. The tranquility of the beautiful garden along with the exotic backdrop makes it a feast for both the eyes and soul.
This is another artificially created lake in the heart of the city. This is a place with lots of good street food around for you to sit and relax while munching on some food. This lake has no entry fee but there are numerous beggers around so they will pester you for food or money.
Kamala Nehru Zoo
Located near the Kankaria Lake, this zoo has a nice collection of animals. Though the cages might seem a little too small to keep the animals in, it is a nice place to spend an afternoon at.
Animals at the zoo
If you want to take back home memories from a city, shopping at Law Garden is a must thing to do. This place offers some amazing handicrafts and interesting Gujarati outfits, but you must bargain to get the best for the least.
Known for its clothes, electronic items, and street food, people head here any time of the day to shop. The shops open from 11 AM and remain open till 10 in the night. From miniature curios to electronic devices, it has practically everything for a household.
Do keep an eye out for pickpockets hovering around, lest you have an unpleasant encounter.
Teen Darwaza Market
If you love street shopping in Ahmedabad, a walk around the Teen Darwaza Market will feel like a nostalgic romp through a bygone era. The specialty goods and rustic artifacts will give you an insight into the artistic talents of the land and it is the best place to pick up souvenirs for your dear ones.
For people who are truly bookworms, this is a good place to shop and pick up some second-hand marvels. You have the option of selling or exchanging books which makes it the best place for a book lover without money.
This is the newer part of the city with all the bigger malls are located. So you can head here to get branded items. There are numerous nooks and corners here to shop at.
Experiences to have in Ahmedabad
- Uttarayan- Celebrated during the month of January usually, this is when the whole city comes out to fly kites during the night and lanterns during the night. The skyline looks wonderful during this time.
- Navratri – The famous Gujarati dance, Garba which is done for 9 days during this time is celebrated in all its grandeur. Walk into one of the pols in the old city to join the dance which sometimes stretches into a kilometer of a human chain.
- Veechar Utensil Museum – the only museum in the country showcasing over 3,000 utensils used by the various households in India. It’s a personal collection of Mr. Surendra Patel who has curated and designed the museum. The museum is a part of Vishalla, a restaurant serving ethnic Gujarati Food.
- IIM– The famous university which is where most of the MBA aspirants dream to study in is located in the city and was designed by a famous US architect Louis Khan and is worth a visit. But you will need permission to get into the premises so make sure you get it beforehand.
- Adalaj Step Well – The city has numerous step wells and Adalaj is one of the famous ones. Walk in to be amazed at the details our ancestors went through to build a well to store water!
- Take a heritage walk – The municipal corporation of Ahmedabad organizes a daily walking tour through the old city. Apart from a lot of discoveries, you would also witness 600 pols-nooks-like neighborhoods with common courtyards, which are too impressive and worth the long walk.
- Kite Museum – This museum is a first of its kind in the country and the second in the world, where you can learn about the ancient sport like never before. As of now, the museum has 125 varieties of kites.
- Shaku’s Water Park – Known as the oldest and largest water park ever made in Eurasia, spending a leisure time at the Shanku’s Water Park is one of the fun things to do in Ahmedabad.
- Food Trucks – There are numerous food trucks parked on the SG Highway. You should head to one of those trucks to taste some delicious mix of Indian and continental food.
- Seva Cafe – One of the most unique cafes in the country, this place has a fixed menu cooked by volunteers which seat limited people and lets you pay what you want for the food at the end. No fixed price or menu!
People dancing during Navaratri
Temples, Mosques, and Churches
The city with its rich history conquered by numerous rulers of all religion has left numerous wonderful monuments all around.
Without doubt one of India’s most beautiful mosques, built by Ahmed Shah in 1423, it is a place you should visit at least once when you’re in the city. The best time to visit here is during the evening when you can feel the peace in the atmosphere and admire the grandeur of the architecture.
Sidi Sayed Mosque
Sidi Sayed Mosque is unique for its exquisite screens, a collection of an amazing Jhali screen, framed, in the ten semi-circular windows. The screen carved out of one rock is just exceptional.
A visit to this superb and outstanding example of delicate carving is an absolute must though entry into the mosque for women is not permitted.
It is a recently built modern temple with rich architecture. Located in Gandhinagar, about 20 km from Ahmedabad it has all sorts of entertainment including an amusement park and musical fountain during the night. Temple is closed on Monday.
Hathisingh Jain Temple
An impressive white structure, the Jain temple built of white marble and elaborately carved is dedicated to Dharmanath – the 15th Jina or Jain Apostle. Similar to all Jain temples, this temple to is rich in intricate carvings displaying many things including musicians.
Jhulta Minara or swaying minarets are a part of the mosque of Siddi Bashir and can be moved back and forth by applying a little force at the topmost arch. One of the minarets was partly demolished by an Englishman in his endeavors to unravel the mystery of the swaying minarets.
The mosque was built by master craftsmen and the crucial mechanism that leads to the vibration is still a mystery.
There are many Gujarati dishes that are relished not just by the Gujarati community, but by the people of all communities. To name a few, we have dal-dhokli, chevdoh, Dhokla, undhiyu, Khaman, bhusu, fafda, dhokli, papdi, and Sev mamra.
The cuisine of Ahmedabad is a blend of several flavors. Some of the must tries are
- Induben Khakra
- Das Kaka’s Khaman Dhokla
- Ashrafi Kulfi
- Everything at Manek Chowk from icecream sandwich to butter dosa
- Juhapura. Bera Samosa Centre offers Mutton Samosas, crisp and delicate, mouth-watering samosas.
- Amdo’s Kitchen for the best momos in town, located near NID
- Bhatiyar Gali
- Law garden at night.
- Jasuben’s Pizza
Nightlife Hot Spots
If you’ve had an opinion that the city has a dead nightlife, you’re probably wrong. Of the many great clubs in the city, letting your hair down at the famous Electron The Disc Lounge is one of the best things to do in Ahmedabad for youngsters. Apart from a live mocktail bar, this place is known for hosting the most happening crowd.
You can get into the city either from the Internation airport located in the city or by trains. The railway’s station is connected by trains to all the major stations in the country. Once in the city, you can either take an Auto rickshaw or get on the buses to get from one place to the other on time.
More importantly, you can also use online cab services like Ola or Uber to book a taxi and move around in a cheaper fare. The metro line is under construction.
Best Time to Visit
Stay away from the city during summers as the heat is unbearable and very dry. April to June is best avoided and the best time would be after monsoon when the winter is setting in. The winters are cold and you will need a jacket or two but it is the best time to roam without getting a heat stroke.
Where to stay
The city has numerous places to stay. It has places to suit all budgets, from 5-star hotels to budget hostels. Airbnb also is a good option in the city.
The lingua franca is Gujarati but people can talk in Hindi too. The educated crowd can converse in English or else the majority will use Hindi.
Most importantly, it is one of the safest cities in India and it is safe to walk alone even during the night as there are numerous cops patrolling on the roads keeping a check at all times.
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August 24, 2018 9:44 am