Welcome to AHMEDABAD
Ahmedabad is a the largest city in the state of Gujarat. Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati. Ahmedabad, the city of Ahmed Shah (Medieval ruler of Gujarat),is known for its rich past and its association with the Mahatma (Great Soul), also known as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
The city offers the traveler a unique style of architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles(Indo-Saracenic style of architecture). The monuments of Ahmedabad mainly date back to the 15th century. Ahmedabad has been known for its industry since medieval times. Presently it is famous for its textile mills and is often referred to as the ‘Manchester of the East’.
It also famous for various religious places. It is the land of enormous temples, mosque and many other. There are many historical buildings. Some places to visit are Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, Mahudi Jain Temple, Sardar Patel Museum, Vastrapur Lake, Gandhi Ashram(Sabarmati Ashram), Kankaria Lake, Swaminarayan Temple, Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary. You will be definitely mesmerised when you will see these buildings.
Ahmedabad Sight-seeing are as below:
Ahmed Shah Mosque
Dating from 1414, this was one of the earliest mosques in the city and was probably built on the site of a Hindu temple, using parts of that temple in its construction. 1t is to the south-west of the Bhadra Fort. The front of the mosque is now a garden.
Ahmed Shah Tombs
The tomb of Ahmed Shah, with its perforated stone windows, stands just outside the east gate of the Jama Masjid. His son and grandson, who did not long survive him, also have their cenotaphs in this tomb. Women are not allowed into the central chamber. Across the street on a raised platform is the tomb of his queens – it’s now really a market and in very poor shape compared to Ahmed Shah’s tomb.
One among the popular religious sites, Amardham needs special rendering. This place is a familiar spot of the devout and the art lovers since apart from a renowned holy place, it holds excellent architectural designs. This religious site is situated with in the ambiance of the city limits and so easily accessible from anywhere. Absolute serenity and divinity coupled with magnificent structural patterns allure scores of people who want to take a refuge from the tiring city life. Do not forget to visit this land of tranquility where you can spend your valuable time with your family in pleasing and quintessential surroundings.
“Auto World” is a part of one of the most important collections of Antique Vehicles, Cars, Motorcycles, Utility Vehicles, Buggies etc. built by one family over the last century. It represents several of the greatest marques of cars from all over the world, of all types and ages.
“Auto World” showcases that time of history when an automobile was not a mere means of transport but a symbol of wealth, power and style; the mighty ceremonial limousines, the romantic convertibles and the snappy Sports Cars, cars specially coach built like Railway Saloons, Horse drawn carriages, Boat tailed Wooden Speedsters, Shooting Brakes-Cars built for the rich and famous.Cars to see and be seen in
At “Auto World”, various pavilions built on acres of verdant grounds showcase more than 100 of the finest cars in the world such as Rolls-Rocyces, Bentleys, Daimlers, Langondas, Mercedeces, Maybach, Packards, Cadillacs, Buicks, Auburns, Cord, Lancias, Lincolns, Chryslers and many other distinguished makes from USA, UK and Europe. Most of the cars are coach built by renowned coach builders like Hooper, Barker, Gurney-Nutting, Fleetwood, Labaron etc.
Bhadra Fort and Darwaja
Bhadra Fort was built by the city’s founder, Ahmed Shah, in 1411 and later named after the goddess Bhadra, an incarnation of Kali. There were royal palaces and a garden inside the fort. It now houses government offices. To the east of the fort stands the triple gateway or Teen Darwaja, from which sultans used to watch processions from the palace to the Jama Masjid. The royal entrance is triple arched and richly carved.
Calico Museum of Textile is undoubtedly one of the foremost textile museums and a celebrated institute in Indian textiles around the world. Its remarkable collection of fabrics spanning varied and remote regions of India exemplifies handicraft textiles across five centuries. The textiles were collected with a vision to conserve, built awareness and empower the vast and deep textile heritage of India.
Over the years the collection has grown into an outstanding repository of fabrics based on colors, pattern, weave and embellishment and has become a recognized center providing Indian and international scholars an opportunity to study and draw in-depth knowledge on this extraordinary range of Indian ethos. The Museum inspired by Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy was formally housed in 1949 by Shri Gautam Sarabhai and his sister Gira Sarabhai in the large industrial house of Calico. In 1983 it was moved to the beautiful Retreat premises of the Foundation in the
Community Science Center
In a time when we need to seriously question our textbooks, and our competition-inducing education system as a whole, the Vikram Sarabhai COMMUNITY SCIENCE CENTER provides a valuable insight on how to keep the joy for learning alive. Started in 1960 with the vision to promote and create innovative methods of discovering mathematics and science, this space opens up for children and adults alike many experiential and experimental approaches. An awesome place to bond and share with your children.
Dada Harir Vav (Stepwell)
In the quiet neighborhood of Asarwa village, northeast of the walled, tucked away between a sleepy residential area and the coal yards of Ahmedabad on a little side street, you will find Dada Harir Vav. At ground level you may not see much, but as you step up to the top of the stairs, you suddenly see a deep cascade of stairs and columns plunging down several stories, with shafts of light falling on beautiful carvings and birds and bats flitting in and out of the shadowy corners.
Built around 500 years ago by Sultan Bai Harir, this stepwell is like others around Gujarat, with elaborate craftsmanship and construction built underground to provide access to a permanent source of water. For many years stepwells like this one provided most of the water for the city during the long dry seasons. On the walls as you descend, you will find carvings of all type, including some in Sanskrit as well as in Arabic script. The well is best visited in the late morning when light penetrates down the shaft.
Gandhi Ashram(Sabarmati Ashram)
Ahmedabad was the center of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent struggle for India’s independence. The energy of that movement can still be felt at the Satyagraha Ashram that he established on the banks of the Sabarmati in 1917, after the previous Kochrab Ashram had to be abandoned because of a breakout of plague. He chose a location that was, at the time, far out of the city so that he could try farming and other such experiments. He learnt the art of spinning and weaving, and soon the ashram began to buzz with khadi, not just as a way of producing clothes, but also as a way of thought. The activity waned when he moved to Sevagram Ashram near Wardha, Maharashtra, after the Namak Satyagraha, leaving the Ashram in the hands of the Harijan Sevak Sangh.
Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya
The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya in Ahmedabad is run by a public trust established in 1951. The museum’s new premises were built in 1963. The museum’s main objective was to house the personal memorabilia of Mahatma Gandhi. Consequently, the exhibits on view depict the vivid and historic events of Gandhiji’s life. There are books, manuscripts, and photostat copies of his correspondence, photographs of Gandhiji with his wife Kasturba and other ashram associates, life size oil paintings, and actual relics like his writing desk.
Gujarat Science City
Located off the Sarkhej Gandhinagar Highway, Science City is an ambitious initiative of the government of Gujarat to trigger an inquiry of science in the mind of a common citizen with the aid of entertainment and experiential knowledge. Covering an area of more than 107 hectares, the idea is to create imaginative exhibits, virtual reality activity corners, and live demonstrations in an easily understandable manner.
Currently the 3D Imax theater, musical dancing fountain, energy park and simulation rides interest visitors. It is hoped that as this place develops, the investment helps to create awareness and sensitivity to better care for our ecology and people through the appropriate use of science and technology. The park is open from 12-9pm.
Gurdwara Gobind Dham
This beautiful Gurdwara, has been built at S G Road in Ahmedabad. The Gurwara’s surroundings are very peaceful and calm. The natural beauty of the site creates a spiritual awakening and a Music of Divine words plays within one’s soul.
The best way to learn about a city is through friends who know the place, but here in Ahmedabad, you can get to know the city and its intricacies even as a stranger. You have at least two options for taking a guided Heritage Walk around the old city of Ahmedabad.
One conducted by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, with guides who volunteer their precious time for this preservation effort. The tour begins at 8am at the Swaminarayan Mandir in Kalupur with a slideshow. It takes you through various pols, havelis, Hindu and Jain temples, various sites including the famous Manek Chowk, and ends at the soulful Jama Masjid at the center of the city at 10:30am.
Hussain Doshi’s Gufa
If you are looking for a quiet refuge in the midst of this bustling city, which is surrounded by trees, art and fantasy, than a visit to this underground cave gallery will do you good. Also popularly known as Amdavad ni Gufa on Kasturbhai Lalbhai campus. It is a creative union of two of India’s most imaginative minds, the celebrated architect B. V. Doshi and painter M F Hussain.
It is a lively whimsical fusion of modern art and natural design with undulating interconnected domes inlaid with mosaic tiles. Sit here to watch the sunset or enjoy a cup of coffee in its Zen Cafe. This space also houses an art gallery by the same name and becomes a nourishing hub of creative exchange.
Hutheesing Jain Temple
This remarkably elegant temple created out of white marble has been sacred to many Jain families, generation after generation. It was built in 1848 A.D. at an estimated cost of 10 lakh rupees by a rich merchant Sheth Hutheesing as a dedication to the 15th Jain tirthankar, Shri Dharmanatha. Traditional artisans working in stone belonged to the Sonpura and Salat communities. The Salat community constructed masterpieces of architecture ranging from forts, palaces to temples. The work of the Hutheesing Jain temple is attributed to Premchand Salat.
Located outside the Delhi Gate, the temple is spread over a sprawling courtyard, a mandapa surmounted by a large ridged dome, which is supported by 12 ornate pillars. The small garbhagruh (main shrine) on the east end reaches up into three stunningly carved spires and encircled by 52 small shrines dedicated to the various Tirthankars. There are large protuding porches with magnificently decorated columns and figural brackets on three outer sides.
Hutheesing Visual Arts Centre
L and P Hutheesing Visual Arts Center has worked to support various painters, dancers, actors and tribal artists by offering an exhibition space and an open sky amphitheater.
ISKCON is the abbreviation for International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This temple depicts Lord Krishna with his beloved lover Radha, who is regarded as the epitome of true love. Also called as the Hare Krishna Temple, ISKCON temple situates in a vast area with lovely trees, which gives a serene and tranquil environ to the devotees. Temple has much spacious interiors compared to its exterior portions. Huge halls decorated with beautiful chandeliers attributes the devoutness of the shrine. Prayer sessions in the temple provide a soothing feeling to the devotees as the entire ambiance would be filled with the chanting of hymns and Keertans. Janmashtami and Nand Mahotsav are the two auspicious days in the temple, which witnesses’ great participation of devotees.
Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Ahmedabad
The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, better known as IIM Ahmedabad or simply IIM-A, is a management institute located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It was ranked as the top business school in India according to the Business Today B-School Rankings in 2007-08 and the Economic Times B-school Survey 2007. The Centre for Forecasting and Research ranked IIMA as India’s top business school in 2009. IIMA has European Quality Improvement System accreditation.
Institue of Indology
The Lalbhai Dalpathbhai Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad was started in 1956, to preserve a repository of rare art, manuscripts and archaelogical objects of India. In 1984, a museum was opened to cover topics ranging from Buddhism, Jainism and its darshans (expressions), grammar, tantra and poetry, Vedas and other different branches of Indian philosophy.
The museum houses about 76,000 hand written Jain manuscripts with 500 illustrated versions and 45,000 printed books, making it the largest collection of Jain scripts. It has precious old books written in languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Old Gujarati, Apabhramsa, Hindi and Rajasthani. It also showcases Indian sculptures, terracottas, miniature paintings, cloth paintings, painted scrolls, bronzes, woodwork, Indian coins, textiles and decorative art, paintings of Rabindranath Tagore and art of Nepal and Tibet.
Just west of Manek Chowk stands the magnificent Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), built in 1423 during the reign of Ahmedabad’s founder Ahmed Shah I. While all around the mosque lies the hectic frenzy of the center of the old city, step through the gates (on the north, east and south sides) and the urban chaos falls away behind you, leaving you standing in a refuge of profound serenity, accompanied only by people in quiet prayer, and birds perching on the columns.
The wide open courtyard, floored with white marble, is ringed by a columned arcade painted with giant Arabic calligraphy, and has a tank for ritual ablutions in the center. The mosque and arcades are built of beautiful yellow sandstone and carved with the intricate detail that mosques of this period are known for. The main prayer hall has over 260 columns supporting the roof, with its 15 domes, making a walk through the hall a beautiful maze of light and shadows. In its Indo-Saracenic architecture, the mosque also contains many syncretic elements not necessarily obvious to the viewer: some of the central domes are carved like lotus flowers, closely related to the typical domes of Jain temples; and some of the pillars are carved with the form of a bell hanging on a chain, in reference to the bells that often hang in Hindu temples. On one of the innermost windows there is even a carving of an ‘Om’ symbol.
Jhulta Minara (Shaking Minarets)
Also known as the Shaking Minarets, they are playful but with a whir of quivering mystery. They have left the best of architects and pioneering design engineers intrigued and in unresolvable wonder.
There are two well-known pairs of Shaking Minarets in Ahmedabad, one located opposite the Sarangpur Darwaja and the other near the Kalupur Railway Station Area. The one near Sarangpur Darwaja is within the vicinity of the Sidi Bashir Mosque built in 1452 AD by Sidi Bashir, a slave of Sultan Ahmed Shah. They are three storeys talls with carved balconies where visitors were once allowed to climb all the way up.
Kamla Nehru Zoo
If you were in search of a perfect holiday retreat by the side of placid lake, Kamla Nehru Zoological garden would be a nice choice. It is beautifully located at the majestic banks of the tranquil Kankaria Lake. Kamla Nehru Zoological garden is famed for enduring albino animals. Besides the albino animals, the zoo serves as a natural habitat for large number of the feathering folk, reptiles and other mammals.
Visitors can also see endangered species like flamingos, Indian Wild Ass, Mouse Deer, Asiatic Lion and Chinkara. The zoo also holds a museum where one can familiarize oneself with the wildlife pictures and distended birds. Great Indian Bustards are the arresting variety in the museum. Visiting this park with children can be an enchanting experience. The well-known zoological expert Reuben David designed the Kamla Nehru Zoological Park.
A polygonal lake almost a mile in circumference, it was constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din. In the centre of the lake is an island-garden with a summer palace known as Nagina Wadi. The lake is now a popular recreational centre and is surrounded by parks, ‘Bal Vatika’, children’s gardens, a boat club, natural history museum and a zoo.
Kanoria Center for Arts
Kanoria is a Fine Arts institute offering workshops and studios to various artists and children. The building is a synthesis of B.V. Doshi’s spectacular architecture and the impressions left behind by varied artists for the last 25 years. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, this place generates a perfect environment for calm and creativity.
King’s Tomb(Badshah no Hajiro)
This is where the male members of the royal family were buried. Women are not allowed to enter, and men must wear something to cover their heads before entering. There are also a few minister’s tombs laid out across the road. It lies to the west of Manek Chowk.
In 1818, the British East India Company entered the scene and took over the city from the Marathas. However, the Indian Independence movement laid deep foundations in the city in 1915 when Mahatma Gandhi set up the Kochrab Ashram near Paldi.
Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum
If you are an ace bibliophile you must necessarily visit the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum in Ahmedabad. The Museum covers a wide variety of topics from Buddhism, Jainism and its darshans, grammar, tantra and poetics to Vedas, agama to the different branches of Indian philosophy. It is learnt that this museum has the largest collection of Jain scripts which come around 75, 000 manuscripts with 500 illustrated versions and 45,000 printed books. The books of different languages like Sanskrit, Pali, Old Gujarati, Apabhramsa, Hindi, and Rajasthani are found in Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum.
This museum houses wide collection of ancient books that includes rare manuscripts. Also called as the institute of Indology the museum has a library, which was established in the year 1984 and it holds admirable compilations of miniature paintings, stone sculptures, cloth paintings, bronzes, wood work, textiles, terracottas, coins, metal sculptures along with famous paintings of Tagore and artwork of Nepal and Tibet.
Most popular picnic spot in the city, the Law Garden in Ahmedabad would be a fantastic experience to all. Located at the heart of the city, the lovely ambiance of the garden provides the visitor with enormous and splendid pastime hobbies. Along with lots of recreational activities, one can make the evenings more colourful by tasting the mouth-watering delicacies of Gujarat.
Law Garden is not just a beautiful place but it is a hub of local vendors who sells excellent clothing items and handicraft materials. These shopping centers are more popular with the locals since it sells fine verities of Navaratri outfits. Other frequent visitors in the park are college students, who prefer to eat and shop in affordable prices. This pictorial place is named after the law college that situates adjacent to it. Law garden offers something to every body, be it kids, youth or the old. The sprawling expanse of the garden is usual venue of cultural activities like Music concerts, dance festivals and the like.
Lothal Archaeological Site
Visit the small but informative museum, displaying the artifacts and explaining the unearthed remains. There is also an artist’s visualization of what Lothal may have looked like at its peak. Use the stories and visualizations from the museum to re-create your own, as you wander among the ruins. When observing the dock, bear in mind that the harbor may now lie 20 km from the navigable Sabarmati, because of the shift in the river’s path, but even as recently as 1850 boats could moor at Lothal, which shows the extent of hydraulic expertise of Harappans.
This bustling open square near the center of the city functions as a vegetable market in the morning and a jewellery market in the afternoon, the second biggest in India, at an apparently 3 million rupees of annual turnover. It is most famous, however, for its food stalls that start to emerge around 8 in the evening, with various local street snacks and goodies.
This quarter, the oldest of the city, is named after the 15th century saint Baba Maneknath, who is said to have interrupted Ahmed Shah’s efforts to build the new capital. Each day he would weave a mat while the fort walls were being built, which he would then unravel at night, magically bringing down the walls. When this was discovered, he was invited to prove his powers to Ahmed Shah by putting himself into a small jar. When he did this, Ahmed Shah sealed and buried the jar.
N C Mehta Gallery
The N C Mehta Collection of Miniature Paintings is located In the complex of the L D Institute Of Indology. Collected from all over India, this exquisite and ornate collection of miniature paintings can be quite appealing to one with a magnifying lense or just an eye for fine artistry. The collection also includes the famous Pahadi miniatures and the Chaurpanchashika (fifty Love Lyrics of a Thief) series, written by Vilhana, an 11th century Kashmiri Poet.
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
The lake – Nalsarovar – and the wetlands around it were declared a bird sanctuary in 1969. Spread over 120 sq.kms, the lake and the extensive reed beds and marshes are an ideal habitat for aquatic plants and animals. The lake attracts a large variety of birds like plovers, sandpipers and stints. There are 360-odd islets in the lake. Most of them lie exposed when the water level is low. The lake gets filled with water that drains from the adjoining Surendranagar and Ahmedabad districts in the monsoon. With this fresh water inflow, brackishness in the lake is reduced considerably.
The migratory birds arrive in vast numbers, homing in on the lake. There are flocks of pelicans, flamingoes, ducks, demoiselle cranes, common cranes, and several waders occupying huge patches of the lake during the season. With the approaching summer the lake water dries up making it brackish, and the fish and other insect life becomes scarce. The migratory birds and most of the resident birds, such as cormorants, grebes and openbill storks, begin to leave by April.
Pols of Old City
These small neighborhoods are both the backbone and heartbeat of the old city of Ahmedabad. In recent years, families have started moving out to live in more modern houses further from the city center, but many of them still feel a strong attachment to the close-knit communities of the pols that shaped their lives while growing up. Many of them have their own temple at the center of the neighborhood, one or more small shrines for whatever faiths are present.
Many pols are part of a cottage industry, so you will find people sitting on the steps hand-sewing books or crimping silver chains together for traditional jewellery and various other crafts that allow people to add to their livelihood without leaving their homes, thus creating a vibrant community. There are bird feeders in each pol known as chabutro, tall poles that the people of Ahmedabad put up for birds to replace the trees cut down when they built the city, and crevices they built into the walls for birds to use as houses, showing a heartwarming concern for non-human life. The walled city was built before motor vehicles, meant for pedestrians and bicycles, so its small windy streets are best explored on foot.
Queen’s Tomb(Rani no Hajiro)
On the street leading to the Queen’s (Rani no) tomb (hajiro), where the female members of the royal family were buried, is now a colorful market for ‘ladies goods’, crowded with women’s clothing and other items. It lies to the east of Manek Chowk.
Raj Babri Mosque
The Raj Babri Mosque, south-east of the railway in the suburb of Gomtipur, also has shaking minarets. The Roza of Sarkhej, in a suburb of Ahmedabad, contains the tomb of the Sultan Mahmud Begado. The adjoining tomb of Ahmed Khattu Gang Baksh, a Muslim saint, who helped Ahmed Shah to build the city of Ahmedabad, has a great central dome and a shrine with finely carved brass lattice work.
The Roza of Shah Alam is another monument built in memory of the equally important Muslim saint, Shah Alam. The Roza is supposed to have been built by the brother of the Moghul empress, Noor Jahan, the consort of Jahangir. The complex of the Roza is said to contain the Footprints of the Prohpet, in marble.
Rani Rupmati Mosque
Named after the Hindu wife of Sultan Mehmed Beghara, this mosque was built between 1430 to 1440 A. D. having three domes supported by pillars with the central dome slightly elevated to allow natural light into the mosque. The tomb of Rani Rupmati is next to it. Rani Rupmati Masjid named for the princess of Dhar who married the Sultan of Ahmedabad, is another fine example of the Indo-Sarcenic blended style.
A high central arch, 3 imposing domes, slim minarets, carved galleries and an exquisite mihrab are the high points. Its three domes are linked together by a flat roof. However, the mosque and tomb of Rani Sipri at Astodia surpasses it for its planning and structural arrangement.
Rani Sipri Mosque
A little south-east of the centre this small mosque was built in 1514 and is also known as the Masjid-e-Nagira or ‘jewel of a mosque’ due to its extremely graceful and well executed design. Its slender, delicate minarets are again a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles.The mosque is said to have been built by a wife of Sultan Mehmood Begada after he executed their son for some minor misdemeanour.
Ahmedabad is divided by the Sabarmati into two physically distinct eastern and western regions. The eastern bank of the river houses the old city, which includes the central town of Bhadra. This part of Ahmedabad is characterised by packed bazaars, the clustered and barricaded pol system of close clustered buildings, and numerous places of worship. It houses the main railway station, the General Post Office, and few buildings of the Muzaffarid and British eras.
The colonial period saw the expansion of the city to the western side of Sabarmati, facilitated by the construction of Ellis Bridge in 1875 and later with the modern Nehru Bridge. This part of the city houses educational institutions, modern buildings, well-planned residential areas, shopping malls, multiplexes and new business districts centred around roads Such as AshramRoad, C.G.Road and Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway.
The Sanskar Kendra was built by none other than the renowned architect Le Corbusier himself in 1954 as a cultural center of Ahmedabad. Located near the Sardar bridge in the vicinity of the famous Tagore Hall, across the National Institude of Design it is a discerning example of modernist architecture.
In order to preserve its architecture, and nurture a space of culture and community, the Vastu Shilpa Foundation has made efforts to revitalize and restore this space by starting a City Museum. This museum is aimed to celebrate the living heritage of the city and the pioneering spirit of its people. As Vastu Shilpa states, “To capture these nuances of the city of Ahmedabad, the museum is consciously conceived as a linear journey through overlapping and interconnected facets of city life ranging from art to industry, craft to culture, history to architecture, individual to institution.” Also on display here are old relics, sculptures and the history of this city, informed by photographic, illustrated and textual panels.
Sanskar Kendra also houses the famous Kite Museum designed by Bhanu Shah who has created a fascinating and striking collection of kites with a rare devotion since he was 21 years of age. This collection that gradually grew in range and repertoire is today showcased in the museum accompanied with interesting illustrations and photographs. The musuem needs some revision to connect with changing times, but it can still be worth a visit to a kite enthusiast.
The Sarabhai foundation, started in 1959 by Smt. Sarladevi Sarabhai and Shri Ambalal Sarabhai, is a non-profit devoted, among other things, to the promotion of science, art and literature. With a view of preserving and interpreting the cultural heritage of India, in recent years the foundation has also been holding workshops to sensitize museum and university scholars to look at art afresh and more closely. Even if you are not interested in textiles or art, still a visit to the museum is worth it for its ethnic Gujarati haveli architecture and the idyllic calm beauty of the surrounding nature.
Sardar Patel Museum (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial)
This national museum is housed in the Moti Shahi Mahal in the Shahibaug area. It was constructed between 1618 and 1622 for the Mughal crown prince Khurram, then suba or governor of Gujarat, who later came to be known as Emperor Shah Jahan. It later fell in the hands of the British Raj. In 1878, the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore stayed here when he was only seventeen years old and this building served as an inspiration behind his story The Hungry Stones. After the Indian independence, from 1960 to 1978, this palace became the Raj Bhavan, official residence of the Governor of Gujarat. On March 7, 1980, a memorial was founded to honor Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
A small statue of Sardar rests dignified at the entrance of the museum. His memorial is spread across the ground floor, covering the central hall and four adjacent rooms. The museum traces his life through pictures, portraits, biographical descriptions, political cartoons, clippings from newspapers, quotes from people who knew him, relics and personal possessions from his life. It also illustrates the time he spent with Gandhiji through pictures and stories. The room on the first floor where Tagore stayed is dedicated to him and carries his memory through portraits, pictures, writings and a large statue of this great son of India.
Sardar Patel Stadium
Cricket is the most popular sport in the city. Sardar Patel Stadium, built in 1982, hosts both one-day internationals and test matches. The stadium also hosted the 1996 Cricket World Cup.
About 8 kms. from the city, Sarkhej comprises one of the most elegant architectural complexes of Ahmedabad. Grouped around a great stepped tank is the tomb to the saint, Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh (1445), the mosque, the tombs of Mehmud Shah Begada and his queen, and the palace and pavilions. The buildings are remarkable for the complete absence of arches and the use of pierced stone trellises throughout.
Shreyas Folk Museum
In many ways this museum is a tribute to the indefatigable spirit of the Gujarati women who have added remarkable value to the Gujarati heritage with their soulful crafts and unbound imagination. Displayed here the art forms range from varied communities such as the Kathi, Rabari, Ahir, Mer, Charan, Bharvad, Kanbi, Koli, Bhansali, Rajput, Brahmin, Vania, Meghaval, Khoja Bohra, Meman, Miana and several others. Also on exhibit are colorful works of embroidery, wood carving, metal work, bead work and utensils, leather work, costumes, paintings and animal decorations, objects of household usage.
One can appreciate the care and discernment with which these objects have been collected. Photographic panels accompanied by textual description add value to the viewers experience and understanding of this wide collection. Kalpana Mangaldas Children’s Museum (Performing Arts Museum) within the same premises houses a collection of puppets, dance and drama costumes, coins and a repository of recorded music from traditional shows from all over the world. One of the highlights at this museum is a complete elephant skeleton (3.19m high).
Sidi Bashir Mosque
One of the most popular monuments in Ahemdabad is the Sidi Bashirs mosque, out side the Sarangpur gate, known as the mosque with shaking minarets or Jhulta minars. Each minaret of the mosque has three storeys, girdled by carved stone balconies, balanced and delicate. The style is a complete innovation. The master craftsmen of the period managed to design them in such a way that they respond to vibration is communicated to the other via a stone bridge joining both .The massive earth quake of 2001 had an impact on the monument.
Sidi Sayeed Mosque
Off the eastern end of Nehru bridge stands the Sidi Sayeed mosque. Built in 1573, it is the last of the major mosques to be built in Ahmedabad under the Mughal rule. Surrounded by busy intersections, it presents a stark contrast to speeding buses and giant advertisements.
The carved jaalis in the windows of the western wall are known worldwide and have become a symbol of the city of Ahmedabad. Depicting a tree with intertwining branches, the carvings look like fine lace filigree work, but are hewn from solid stone. Though much smaller than the Jama Masjid, and lacking the enclosed courtyard, the craftsmanship of this mosque places it on a level nearly unequaled in the world.
In the midst of this busy, sprawling western Ahmedabad, dotted by mushrooming malls and multiplexes, you may find your way into the nature discovery center, SUNDARVAN. As you walk gently around bamboo grooves and a banyan tree you might spot a tortoise blocking your way or a love bird humming away or even a snake skin resting by the pond. This natural refuge is indeed a mini zoo committed to spreading awareness and sensitivity towards nature.
It is most known for the variety of snakes like Russel’s viper, Red Sand boa and the revered Indian cobra. Every Sunday they have a snake show in their small amphitheater where the reptiles are removed from their cages. The center also gives its services to rescue snakes whenever they get calls from befuddled city residents. Other than snakes, the zoo also has a marsh crocodile, porcupine, a small aquarium and a bird section. But it is much more beautiful to see birds like pheasant crows flying freely and peacocks dancing away in this natural setting.
Every Sunday, the open space underneath the eastern end of Ellis Bridge becomes one of the largest market areas in the city. Beginning alongside the bridge, continuing downhill, and sprawling across the area underneath it and along the riverfront, the market sprouts several hundred stalls selling everything one could possibly need. As a distinctly pragmatic market, however, you will see hardly any stalls hawking useless goods, tourist trinkets, pointless decorations, and so forth. Principle items include all manner of kitchen supplies, tools, furniture, hardware, clothing, electronics, used books, bedding, antiques, goats and chickens, and any other household goods you could imagine. It is a lively, chaotic, and always surprising experience.
This temple is the first temple of the Swaminarayan sect to have been built. In 1822, the land was given by the British government to do so, and Swaminarayan himself entrusted the responsibility for the construction of the temple to Ananandanand Swami. The temple is carved in Burmese teak, and every arch and bracket is painted with bright colors, a defining characteristic of Swaminarayan temples everywhere.
There are several idols installed by Swaminarayan himself, as well as a display of some of his personal items and sculptures. In the adjoining haveli, there are quarters for pilgrims of the sect, a special section for women, and an area where ceremonies and teaching sessions are held for women only. Located near Kalupur in the eastern part of the old city, the Swaminarayan Temple is a splash of color in the midst of the city’s grey and is also the starting point for the Heritage Walk through the pols of the old city.
The House of Mangaldas Girdhardas
The House of Mangaldas Girdhardas (MG for short) was the home of Mr. Mangaldas Girdhardas – amongst Ahmedabad’s foremost businessmen and philanthropist of the early 20th century. He started his career as a store-keeper in a textile mill. Within a decade, he became its owner and soon after, he was over seeing an empire comprising of a clutch of mills and other related businesses. With his increasing influence in the community, he decided to build a new residence for himself and his family in the year 1924, across from the famous Sidi Sayed Mosque.
Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary
Thol lake bird sanctuary is a shallow freshwater body surrounded by marshes on the edge and scrubby forest embarking the sides. The lake sanctuary covering an area of 7 square kilometers was declared officially in 1988 and is also known by the name of Thol Bird Sanctuary. The shallow water reservoir speckled with reed beds gives it a distinct ambience while being an ideal dwelling for varied species of birds and insects. The agricultural land surrounding the lake provide ample amount of food for quite a number of birds while the hydrological ecosystem takes care of the others.
One gets overwhelmed with flocks of bird flying together and crating graphical patterns on the sky while long-legged elongated necked cranes keep stalking for fishes and small insects. The still and serene ambience of the locale gets melodiously symphonized with the echoing of thousands birds and illustrated by the varied movements of these spirited creatures. A visual treat for any tourist and a treasurable experience for a bird watcher or ornithologists, this place is home to more than 100 species of birds. Cranes, geese, flamingoes, pelicans, egrets, herons, spoonbills, ducks, whistling teals and many other migratory birds nest and breed in the lap of this natures exuberance.
This Heritage Hotel, 7 km from Lothal, was built around the turn of the century to replace the former wooden palace. It is a beautiful place to visit and also offers accommodation (for those with a relatively high budget).
Situated in the city limits, Vaishno Devi temple in Ahmedabad is a popular shrine among not only the devotees but also the tourists. It’s strategic location on Ahmedabad – Gandhinagar road gains it huge crowds all round the year. A true replica of the famed temple in Jammu and Kashmir, this lovely shrine also depicts Vaishno Devi as the principle deity. The only difference between the two is that the latter can be visited with in a couple of hours. The uphill path towards the temple houses so many garden restaurants and so if you embark your trip with in a vehicle, you can have your dinner there and it would be a nice day for your entire family.
A pictorial lake in a lustrous environment is a joyful visa and Vastrapur lake in the western part of Ahmedabad is one of such alluring location. Encircled by all around greenery vastrapur lake is a must see spectacle in the city. Green lawns in the surrounding happen to be the most popular podium of various cultural events. A garden with elaborate stonework is an added attraction here. Water lovers can go for boating since, and the less adventurous can embark on a nice promenade through the nice pathway that rounds the lake. The lake looks so appealing at times when it is fed with the waters from the Narmada river. Let your children loose in the lush environ of the Vastrapura lake and they will have enough to keep themselves engaged in the adjoining children’s park.
Vechaar Utensils Museum
Built in 1981 within the vicinity of Vishalla Village Restaurant is the VECHAAR (Vishalla Environmental Centre for Heritage of Art, Architecture and Research) Utensils Museum, a brainchild of architect Mr. Surender C. Patel. It is an effort to cherish and preserve our rich cultural heritage and rare artistic skills and wisdom of our craftsmen. It is an extensive study of utensils from thousand years old to present times, that have evolved over different periods of history as a result of our changing needs and environment. The range varies from leaves or a gourd jug, to modern stainless steel and glass utensils. The metal utensils cover everything from brass, copper, bronze, zinc to German silver.
There are often dissonances between the world our heart craves, and the way our modern life is developing. The minute you enter Vishala, you feel transported into the heart of a Gujarati village. As you walk through the open farm land and breathe the clean air from the trees around, you are greeted by men in turbans and dhotis. Yes, you have signed up for a rural experience on the periphery of the Ahmedabad city.
Nothing can replace a real village experience, but Vishala tries its best to come close. The air smells sweet of lobaan (smoked charcoal). A world is created out of mud huts, machaans (huts built on raised bamboo stilts), adorned with typical Gujarati colors and design motifs. The atmosphere resonates with the eclectic performances of folk musicians and dancers who will invariably entice you to join them. The puppet show under the stars takes children on a high. The ethnic Gujarati food served on biodegradable leaf plates and pottery is a full throttle plunge into the old world charm of Gujarat.
Walled city and Gates
A wall 10 km in circumference was built to encircle the city and protect it from invasion. This wall originally had twelve gates, 189 bastions, over 6,000 battlements and these were added to over time. Eventually, most of the walls were removed, and today only the gates still stand, as well as a short section of wall also stands along the riverfront. The area within the boundary of the old wall is known today as the ?old city”, and the difference will be easily visible to a visitor.
The gates standing today are (clockwise from the northwest corner) Shahpur Gate, Delhi Gate, Dariapur Gate, Prem Gate, Kalupur Gate, Panch Kuva Gate, Sarangpur Gate, Raipur Gate, Astodia Gate, Mahudha Gate, Jamalpur Gate, Khanjia Gate, Raikhad Gate, Ganesh Gate and Ram Gate. Each of the gates has beautiful carvings, calligraphy and some of them even balconies.
HOTELS IN GUJARAT