Ahmedabad

Welcome to the Home of Gandhi

Flanked by the banks of Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad (also called Amdavad) is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. The city gained its roots in the year 1411 under the reign of Sultan Ahmed Shah and has now turned into a popular hub of trade and commerce. From monuments, tombs, temples, step well to theme parks, educational institutions and scientific industries- Ahmedabad blends historical legacy with a modern charm.

Also referred to as the Land of Gandhi, the Sabarmati Ashram of the city acts as a testimony to the Mahatma’s passion for Swaraj and showcases an enlightening record of his life and teachings. Ahmedabad’s historical and cultural heritage has been preserved in its various museums, ranging from textiles, vintage cars, and surprisingly a kite and a utensil museum.

Enriched with history and culture, Ahmedabad comes across as one of the main economic centres in India. The city is home to the biggest textile industry in the country gaining a nickname, the Manchester of India. Not only its vibrant bazaars stock the traditional and hand-embroidered clothes, but also its popular Calico Museum of textile boasts of an exceptional collection of antique and modern fabrics.

Following the concept of the ‘state on the plate,’ a mouthful of the authentic Gujarati thali is a must. If you want more doses of typical Gujju culture, visit Ahmedabad during the festival of Navratri. The city rejoices while worshipping the nine forms of Durga with people tapping their feet in Daandiya and Garba Raas, donned in colourful attires.

Commonly, Ahmedabad might not feature as a famous tourist destination, but all this certainly makes it worth a visit.

Best Time to Visit: November-February (winters). Temperature rise upto 45 degrees during the months April- July, making the weather quite hot in summers.

Languages Spoken: Gujarati is the local language. However, English and Hindi are also quite prominent.

From monuments, religious spaces to finest museums- Ahmadabad main attractions present a blend of culture, education, art and history. Combining those elements that together form the different shades of Gujarati culture, these attractions forms the touristy value of Ahmedabad.

Dada Hari Ni Vav

Dating back 500 years ago, Dada Hari Ni Vav is a stepwell which was built under the rule of Mehmud Begda. Designed for storing water, it also functions as a resting spot for travellers. As there is the tomb of Dada Hari at the back of the edifice, it was given the name Dada Hari Ni Vav.

You might find it a bit hard to find the main spot due to a dearth of signboards, but when you are able to locate the seven-storey stepwell, the sight is exceptional to behold. The caretaker appointed there act as a proficient guide who will give you an informative tour of the stepwell. It has a splendid architecture, floral design, elaborate carvings on the walls, through which the sunlight passes and brightens the structure making it even more remarkable. It is constructed with an octagonal shape, and once there step down to the lowest level to have beautiful view upwards.

Entry Fees: Free

Time: 9 am to 5 pm

Shaking Minarets

Famous as the Jhulta Minara and Sidi Bashir Mosque, the Shaking Minarets has three storeys forming an architectural masterpiece for everyone. The main highlight of the place is that when a single minaret shakes, the rest starts vibrating as well. Amazingly, the path between the two minarets is vibration-less and no one till now has been has been able to crack the mystery behind this.

Entry Fees: Free

Time: 9 am to 6 pm, all days of the week

Sabarmati Ashram

Situated on the west bank of Sabarmati River, this peaceful abode of Mahatma Gandhi served as his headquarters from 1917 to 1930 in the tenure of Indian freedom struggle. Once a hotspot for debates and discussions of Satyagraha, this Ashram now preserves Gandhi’s life and teachings in the form a museum which is the main highlight of this place.

The place hold utmost importance in India’s History, as it was from here that Gandhi along with his 78 companions began their Salt March to Dandi, on 12 March 1930. Eventually, post its disbandment in 1933, it turned into a centre for Dalit welfare activities and cottage industries.

Entry Fees: Free

Time: 8:30 to 6:30 pm

Akshardham Temple

Covering 23 acres of land, this marvellous edifice of pink sandstone is one of the largest temples in Gujarat devoted to Lord Swami Narayan. Depicting a fascinating mix of art, culture, and devotion, the temple is an architectural marvel for everyone. There is an intricately carved statue of Lord Swami Narayan’s standing amid the well-manicured gardens.

The temple is enclosed within a garden named Sahajanand Van which contains exciting rides, swing and games for children in addition to a lake, a waterfall and a garden of herbs. With a motive to educate guests, there are three exhibition halls situated in the temple area. The Sat-Chit-Anand water show can be the main highlight of your visit that showcases ‘India’s inner light,’ through the mythic tale of Nachiketa, who confronted Yamraaj, the God of death and receives knowledge from Yamraaj that turned India into a land of enlightenment.

Entry fees: Free

Time:   Temple: 9:30 am to 7:30 pm every day (Mondays Closed)

            Night Lighting: On Saturdays and Sundays Exhibitions: 10 am to 6 pm

           Rides & Games: 12 noon to 8 pm every day

           Restaurant: 10 am to 8 pm every day

Ahmad Shah’s Tomb

Situated in the front of the east gate of Jama Masjid, this is a tomb dedicated to Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is the founder of Ahmedabad. Its perforated stone windows are the main feature of this tomb which makes it a famous attraction in the city. Note that women are not allowed in the central chamber of the building.

Time: Open on all days

Authentic Gujarati cuisine consists of strictly vegetarian dishes that are a creative assortment of everyday vegetables and mild spices. Savour the different kinds of pickles, farsans, and chutneys with dishes like Dhokla, Oondion, and Khandavi, in some of the food hubs of Ahmedabad and experience a flavourful ride like never before. Read below to find out more:-

Vishalla

A village themed restaurant, Vishalla is known for offerring authentic Gujarati dishes. The place carries a rustic charm where lanterns are used replacing electric lights. An interesting fact is that customers can decide their menu at the reception itself and pay their bill. This allows them to relish their food without worrying about any expenses. The efficient service combined with some lip-smacking dishes makes an amazing dining experience.

Address: Sarkhej Narol Highway, Opposite Vasna Tol Naka, Vasna, Ahmedabad

Time: 11 am to 3 pm & 8 to 11 pm

Bombay Street

Bringing South Indian flavours straight to your mouth in the Gujarat’s capital, Bombay Street is the perfect place to get a taste of some amazing variety of Dosas. The Jini dosa, Paneer chilli dosas and Pav Bhaaji dosa are some of their popular specialities, and while there one should definitely not miss these!

Address: Ground Floor, Building No. 27/1, L Colony, 120 Feet Ring Road, Amdavad, Ahmedabad

Agashiye

Covering two rooftops bridged by a smaller one, Agashiye is a terrace restaurant that offers a unique culinary ride. Its terrace kitchen is the main highlight of this restaurant and the most amazing thing about this eatery is that its menu changes every day. They serve unlimited food at a fixed cost, so this is something you have to try.

Opening Closing Time: 12 to 2:30 pm & 7 to 11 pm

Address: The House of MG, opposite Sidi Saiyyad Jali, Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad

Swati Snacks

For an amazing mouthful of Gujju cuisine, Swati Snacks is the perfect place. Known for their efficient service, the place serves authentic Gujarati cuisine that is reasonably priced. Delicious daal bati, fajitas, Khaman and much more awaits you at this restaurant which by the way you should not miss.

Address: Opposite Law Garden, Thakur Bhai Desai Hall, Ellisbridge

Take a sneak peek into the world of Gujaratis celebrating their major festivals in the liveliest ways. Although the major festivals are celeberated with great energy and enthusiasm, Ahmedabad acquires a unique festive fervour during the below mentioned occasions:

International Kite Festival

Flying a kite has been an exciting activity for children and adult alike. In Ahmedabad, this excitement is taken a step forward during the International Kite Festival held on 14th of January every year. This kite fiesta marks the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti where people come together with their family and friends and fly kites.

Navratri Festival

One of the main festivals in Gujarat, the Navratri festival is a mega-event that features a nine-day dance fiesta. Organised between October and November every year, the festival pays homage to the nine forms of Goddess Durga. The entire town ecstatically celebrates this festival by donning their colourful Gujarati attires and tapping their feet on traditional Dandiya and Garba Raas.

You can explore the enriched historical heritage of Ahmedabad while visiting its museums. You will find various museums in the city, ranging from textile, kite, vintage cars and interestingly a utensil museum. Seeing all these artefacts, one gets a look of the city’s cultural legacy.

The Calico Museum of textiles: The Calico Museum of Textiles is a well-known textile museum which is also a reputed institute in the Indian textile industry. With architecture similar to a typical Gujarati haveli, the museum has a digestible collection of various fabrics from across the country and is symbolic of a 500-year old textile culture. The collection of fabrics decorated with various patterns and colours has made this museum a perfect centre from scholars to study textiles and acquire a deep knowledge of its stylistics.

Timings: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, every day. Entry is not allowed after 11 am.

Entry Fee: Only 30 visitors are allowed at a time. The first 15 can enter on first-come-first-served basis. Group booking is required for the remaining to enter.

The Kites Museum: The kite museum, on the other hand, is a sheer delight for kite lovers. Set up in 1985, the museum boasts of some finest collection of kites that is used and prepared worldwide. The museum features a unique modular presentation that links airplanes with the evolution of kites.

Timings: 10 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm every day except Mondays.

Entry Fee: Free

Auto World Vintage Car Museum: If hitting the roads while driving those stylish vintage cars has always been your fantasy, then the auto world vintage car museum is a must visit. Lying at a distance of 30 kilometers from the main city, this unique museum belongs to Pranlal Bhogilal. The property features around 115 vintage cars which are open for a test drive, obviously at a cost. However, a sum of Rs. 600 is nothing in comparison with the excitements one feels while driving these automobiles of style and elegance.

Timings: 8 am to 9 pm everyday

Entrance Fee: Rs. 50 per person. Photography charges are extra.

Vechaar Utensils Museum: Established by Mr. Surendra Patel in 1981, Vechaar (Vishalla Environmental Centre for Heritage of Art, Architecture and Research) was built to preserve the ancient utensils featuring the traditional styles of Gujarati cooking. You will be absolutely fascinated by the wide range of utensils exhibited here including spoons, forks, knives, casseroles, jugs and kettles made of metals like copper, brass, terracotta zinc and German silver.

Timings: 1 pm to 3 pm and 5 pm to 10:30 pm every day

Entry Fees: Rs. 5 for children between 3 and 11 years of age and Rs. 10 for everyone above 11 years

Ahmedabad is known for its textiles industry which makes it a famous shopping hub for traditional fabrics and garments. Right from bandhini sarees to elaborately designed bed sheets dresses and mats- buy it all in the popular bazaars of Ahmedabad. The city also has some malls catering to the brand-lovers and some flea markets for those who prefer fashion on a budget. Here is an insight into the shopping scene of Ahmedabad:

Ahmedabad Haat

An ideal escape for shopping lovers, Ahmedabad Haat is lined with shops stocking handloom and handicraft items, embroidered fabrics, traditional bandhanis from Kutch and Jamnagar, pearl work attires and a lot more. You can look forward to buying unique artefacts prepared by local craftsmen, which are symbolic of Gujarat’s local culture. The place has a spellbinding pastoral charm that makes your shopping experience worth it. It has a festive ambience as the place brings together artisans, designers, shoppers and visitors from faraway lands. Making your overall experience more enjoyable, there are performances by folk dancers and drummers in the Haat premises.

Time: 4 pm to 9 pm

Best to buy: Mojris, Sankheda Furniture, and Chaniya Cholis

Manek Chowk

The bustling space of Manek Chowk features various stalls lining its narrow streets. The main commercial centre of Ahmedabad, the bazaar is permanently flocked with hordes of tourists and local alike haggling for discounts at the vegetable, sweet stalls and textile shops.

Best to Buy: Authentic Gujarati Sweets and sarees

Law Garden Night Market

This market is best known from shops selling shimmering merchandise transported all the way from Kutch and Saurashtra. The place is an evening market crammed with crowds buying elaborately designed Chaniya-Cholis, as well as beautifully decorated wall hangings, imitation jewellery and much more.

Timings: Sunset-11 pm

Best to Buy: Silver jewellery, traditional Gujarati attires and handicrafts

Ahmedabad offers a cluster of staying options ranging from starred hotels, guesthouses, grungy cheapies to hostels. You can find a bunch of budget hotels in the bustling areas of Lal Darwaja nearby the old city, while mostly the midrange and high-end accommodation choices are clustered on the Khanpur Road (on the eastern riverside of Sabarmati). The area harbours a pleasant environment; however, it lies at some distance away from most of the main attractions. A well-conducted research, based on your budget priorities, is advisable. We are here with a list of few selected hotels:

The House of MG

The home of a textile tycoon Seth Mangaldas Girhardas in the past was converted into a heritage hotel by his great-grandson in the 1990s. The rooms have an elegant décor with an attached balcony which gives it a homely atmosphere. You can experience the perfect Al-fresco dining at the hotel’s terrace joined with the famous Agashiye restaurant. Also, you can savour some lip-smacking Indian and International snacks from its other popular restaurants named Mangaldas Ni Haveli and the Green House. Equipped with all modern amenities and an efficient staff, this 3-star hotel gives you a memorable stay.

Address: Bhadra Road, Opposite Sidi Saiyad Jali, Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Four Points by Sheraton

Situated in the city’s business hub, the four-star hotel caters to its guests while featuring a fitness centre, 24-hour coffee shop and rooms styled with modern interiors. Each of its room is well-maintained having a separate minibar, flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi and other modern amenities. Also, the amiable hotel staff can arrange a private cab for your sightseeing tour and has currency exchange facilities. The Eatery is a famous 24-hour restaurant that serves various local and international foods for guests. The upscale property is located at a distance of 1.5 kilometers from Paldi Bus Station, 3 kilometers from the main railway station and 10 kilometers from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.

Address: Gujarat University Health Centre, Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Bavashi Heritage Hostel

A perfect staying place for bag packers and solo travellers, Bavashi heritage hostel provides you an accommodation featuring a free Wi-Fi, a terrace and other basic necessities. The rent is reasonable and the property is located at a distance of 5 km away from the Sabarmati Ashram. Bike rentals are avalaible at this bed and breakfast and the nearby area is perfect for cyclists. Indian Institute of Management is just 6 kilometers away from this hostel, while the Sardar Patel Stadium lies at a distance of 8 kilometers. The main airport lies at a distance of 7 kilometers from this property.

Address: Banish House, opposite Jain temple, Khijda Sheri, Dhal Ni Pol, Astodia, Ahmedabad

Hotel Dudawat

Hotel Dudawat is a budget hotel situated on the Ashram Road with the main airport, bus stand and railway station lying in close proximity. It has an excellent location and offers clean and large rooms equipped with basic amenities. It features Wi-Fi, Internet Access, excellent room service & laundry service and currency exchange. Also, while staying here, one can savour the flavours of authentic North Indian and Gujarati food in its in-house restaurant.

Address: Income Tax Circle, Opposite Sales India, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380009

Ginger Hotel

A property owned by the Tata Group, the Ginger Hotel is located behind the popular Himalaya Mall. It is approximately 10 kilometers away from Ahmadabad’s famous ISKCON temple, IIM and lies just 15 kilometers away from the main airport. It is well-equipped with facilities including Wi-Fi, laundry service, car rentals and efficient room service. From the parameters of location, facilities and service, Ginger hotel is a perfect staying option avalaible at an affordable cost.

Address: 46/1 A, Block-H Sector - 63, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301

Frequented by visitors all the time, Ahmedabad forms one the bustling cities in Gujarat which also acts as centre of the state’s major economic activities. Hence, it has an efficient network of flights and railways connecting it to other major cities in India and abroad. Also getting around in the city is easy with various modes of transportation available ranging from cycle rickshaws, shared autos, private cabs and deluxe buses. Read below to get more details.

Reaching by Air:

The main airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport connected with both domestic and International flights to and from Ahmedabad. It is located on the outskirts of the main city, approximately at a distance of 14 kilometers. It also caters to International flights forming a connecting link with other major cities of the world including New York, London, Dubai, Singapore and Colombo. You can avail private cabs from the airport to reach any location of the city.

Reaching by Bus:

The Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services (AMTS) and Gujarat State Transport Corporation (GSTC) run various deluxe bus services linking Ahmedabad to other cities in Gujarat and to Mumbai. Various bus stops in the city also have interstate buses connecting Ahmedabad to nearby states. Many people prefer travelling by bus and hence, you should pre-book seats to avoid last-minute rush.

Reaching by Train:

As a part of the national railway circuit and popularly known as the Kalupur Station, Ahmedabad railway station connects the city to other cities of Gujarat and major cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Jodhpur and Jaipur. Several trains run to and from Ahmedabad linking it to other cities like Goa, Jammu, Cochin, Hyderabad, Patna, and Mangalore.

Local Transport:

Getting around Ahmedabad is easy as the city harbours various means of transport. One can hire private cabs for a full-day sightseeing tour of the city, at a reasonable price. Three-wheelers auto-rickshaws are prominent with every auto-rickshaw driver having a fare chart. Hence, before boarding a rickshaw it is necessary for you to check whether the driver has set the meter to zero. After reaching your destination, check the fare chart and pay accordingly.

Roaming around the city is fairly made easy by the local buses run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services (AMTS). These buses don’t operate on the basis of a fixed time schedule but run frequently. Other local transport comprises of the shared rickshaws, which are easily avalaible at famous landmarks stopping now and then for getting maximum passengers.

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