A rapidly growing metropolis, an industrial hub, an educational hotspot, and a city with a magnificent past – Ahmedabad is one of the most important cities in Gujarat. Located on the banks of the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad is the former capital of Gujarat, and its delicious food, colourful culture is making it a fast-growing tourist destination. The historic city of Ahmedabad or the old part of the city was declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Home to a plethora of remarkable temples like Swaminarayan Temple, intriguing museums and classy markets, with a little bit of colonial history attached to it, Ahmedabad is an excellent example of how a city can still retain every bit of its old-world charm while still rapidly progressing on the path of globalisation.
Ahmedabad is famous for its textiles and its tie-dye bandhani handloom technique, which makes it a great place to shop. From bandhani sarees, dupattas to traditionally embroidered dress materials, and other local handicrafts.
Sabarmati Ashram, situated directly beside the Sabarmati river, is a quaint and peaceful ashram built by Mahatma Gandhi after he returned from South Africa. To this date, Gandhiji’s living quarters are preserved here and is now used as a museum where visitors can learn all about his life and his teachings. The infamous Dandi Salt March, which was a crucial point in India’s independence struggle, originated from this ashram.
Located in the Kalupur area of Ahmedabad, Shri Swaminarayan Temple (also known as Akshardham Temple) is a shrine dedicated to Narayan Dev. This splendid temple was built in the year 1822 on the instructions of Swaminarayan, who was the founder of the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism. Embellished with vivid colours and intricate carvings, Swaminarayan temple is a marvellous example of the architecture of the nineteenth century. Inside the sanctum, the deities are decorated with ostentatious ornamentations and beautiful fabrics. The temple attracts a million people on the day after Diwali for darshan.
The main complex of the temple is spread over a vast area making the spectacle of the temple a marvellous sight to behold. This temple is also the headquarter of the Nar Narayan Gadi, which makes it an even more revered temple among believers. Beautifully carved out of Burma Teak wood, the intricate detailing in the carvings of this temple makes it an engineering masterpiece. The personal artefacts of Swami Narayan are also preserved for safe keeping here. The temple is also quite well known for its morning ‘Aarti’ or prayer service, which is a mesmerising invocation to the divine. The temple complex also has a multi-storey guesthouse and a medical clinic within its compound for the convenience of the visitors. Reflecting the many colours of spirituality, the Swami Narayan Temple is an unadulterated experience of the divine.
Dada Hari Wav
Built by a woman of Sultan Begara’s harem in 1499AD, these step-wells were made as a retreat during hot summers. Waiting to be filled with rain water, no matter what the weather is, it is always cooler within the Step-wells.
This ancient structure depicts the architecture of the bygone era. At ground level, much might not be visible. But as one rises just a little (with the help of stairs) there is suddenly a deep cascade of steps plunging down several stories, intricate carvings reflecting in the sunlight.
Once the residence of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba, Sabarmati Ashram is the site where Gandhiji started the famous Dandi March from. Situated in the 5km north of Ahmedabad’s centre, it is located on the tranquil and serene stretch of Sabarmati River.
Also referred to as the ‘Gandhi Ashram’, ‘Mahatma Gandhi Ashram’ and most importantly, ‘Satyagraha Ashram’, it is believed that Mahatma Gandhi chose this site for it is located between a prison and a cemetery and a Satyagrahi is likely to end up in one of these. In gratitude of the substantial impact Dandi march had on the Indian independence movement, the Indian government has recognised the Sabarmati Ashram as a national monument.
The Mahatma Gandhi Ashram has a number of other establishments within its bounds. The most famous among them is the museum ‘Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya’ which has some of Gandhi’s personal letters and photographs on display.
World Vintage Car Museum
A connoisseur of vintage cars converted his private collection of vintage cars into a museum. The collection comprises of the best of the world – Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Cadillac, Austin and many more.
The most interesting bit here is that you can get to drive the cars by paying a fee of Rs.500 for a fixed distance.
The second largest lake of ahmedabad, formerly known as Hauz-e-Qutub, Kankaria Lake is the second largest lake in the city. Located near the Maninagar area, the lakefront is popular for the balloon safari, zoo, toy trains and the amusement park.
The pristine lake is perfect for evening strolls with multi-coloured lights glowing all around its periphery. For adventure buffs, Kankaria Lake lays down a plethora of options like archery, gymnastics and water rides. The most beguiling festival – Kankaria carnival is celebrated with immense vim and vigour. Kankaria Lake is a place where entertainment, culture, knowledge and talent perfectly blend with each other.
Hathisingh Jain Temple
Dedicated to the 15th Tirthankara of Jains, Dharmanath, this two-storied white marble structure provides a delightful experience and the tiled courtyard is another unique aspect of the temple.
The courtyard is encircled by daunting row of pergolas with 52 shrines and each shrine shows remarkable designs and fine carvings. Named after Sri Hathee Singh, this temple follows an architectural pattern of the Diwara Jain Temples of Rajasthan.
Sidi Saiyyed Mosque
Popularly known as Sidi Saiyyed Ni Jaali, the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque was built in the year 1573 and is one of the most popular and beautiful mosques located in Ahmedabad. This attraction has gained much admiration and reputation over the years, thanks to the architectural grandeur of the entire structure, and in particular, the ornate latticework, known as jali in colloquial terms. It is then no doubt that the place is a paradise for photographers and history buffs alike.
This monument is among the last few mosques that were built under the Gujarat Sultanate and was completed in the last year of their reign before the Mughals invaded Gujarat and defeated them. The construction of this fantastic mosque is credited to Sidi Saiyyed in the retinue of Bilal Jhajar Khan, the general in the army of the last Sultan, Shams-Ud-Din Muzaffar Shah III, of the Gujarat Sultanate. The mosque is especially famous for its beautiful ten stone latticework windows, also known as Jalis, on the side and rear arches. The stone slabs are carved in the designs of intertwined trees and foliage with a palm motif.
Law Garden Night Market
One of the most famous gardens of Ahmedabad the Law Garden becomes a favorite place for shopaholics with vendors and shopkeepers bustling on the scene.
You can buy exclusive wall hangings, bandhej sarees, chaniyas (long colourful skirts), antique jewelry and more at reasonable price if you use your bargaining skills a bit.
Located on Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway Road, Vaishnodevi Temple in Ahmedabad is a true replica of the famous temple in Jammu-Kashmir.
Thousands of devotees as well as tourists flock to this temple every year as the temple can be visited in a couple of hours.
Bhadra Fort & Teen Darwaza
The Bhadra Fort and its neighboring environment is the most scenic part of Ahmedabad. Located in the middle of lush greenery the huge 44 acre Fort got its name from the Bhadrakali Temple that it houses.
Excellent for photography, the fort has intricate carvings, lattice work and frescos that contribute to the serene atmosphere. There are beautiful arches and inscriptions on its entrance and it houses many Government Departments’ Offices now. The Siddi Syed Mosque is within the fort too. Teen Darwaza is nearby only which was once the gateway into the Maidan Shahi, where royal games like polo and processions took place.
Kamala Nehru Zoo
Popularly known as Kankaria Zoo, Kamala Nehru Zoo is located at Kankaria, Ahmedabad. By the majestic banks of the tranquil Kankaria Lake, this zoo has been the abode of different animals, reptiles, birds and mammals belonging to different species.
An ideal place for informal outings and picnics with friends and family, this zoo is considered to be one of the best zoological park in India.