Weekend Road Trip to Ahmedabad

25th Nov 2017
Photo of Weekend Road Trip to Ahmedabad by Tanvi S

Ahmedabad had always been a bypass city to me. Being the capital of Gujarat once in around 1970's, this city is also the fastest growing cities of the decade as voted by the Forbes. The city has finest Indian-Islamic monuments and exquisite Hindu and Jain temples!

Ahmedabad is a city of culture, heritage and population! Yes, it's a most populous city in Gujarat!

We started our road trip from Surat at around 11 am and were in Ahmedabad by 3 pm. Roads were excellent with traffic-free expressway from Baroda to Ahmedabad!

Gujarat tourism has exclusively come up with the idea of "Heritage Walk of Ahmedabad" to promote tourism with approximately 20 pause points!

Day 1

One of the best hotels we came across! Very thoughtfully designed and absolutely value for money! The quirky ambience and vibrant colours added to the rooms was like a breath of fresh air! It's located inside the city making to closer to travel within the city. The breakfast buffet spread was excellent too.

Open theatre concept where you can watch movies however you want on a huge screen!. You have options of watching the movie while sitting in the car, or grab some food, a mattress/chair/bedsheet and have a picnic or just use the benches placed by the management. We laid on the car bonnet. Couples bring the mattress and cosy up in cold night to watch movie. Though the sound system is quite okay. But a must visit if you haven't experienced this concept before. The tickets rates are ₹50. (less than a USD)

After we had our dinner at U.S. Pizza, Navrangpura, we headed to Law Garden near Ellis Bridge. It is a night market selling traditional Navaratri clothes, Kurtis, Handicrafts and other souvenirs etc. The market is open until, say 11.00 pm, but depends on shop to shop. Some close at 9 pm, and some at 12 midnight. Do not forget bargaining!!! And just behind Law Garden market are the plethora of street food joints.

Day 2

Small, compact, historical mosque, known for its marvellous piece of "Jali" - a mesh cut out in stone - depicting the fusion of Hindu and Muslim culture. It has been adopted as a logo of the Ahmedabad City as well as the IIM, Ahmedabad. Sidi Saiyad Mosque is located near Lal Darwaza in Ahmedabad. The prominent and very famous mosque in Ahmedabad was constructed by Sidi Saiyed who was a slave of Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1573. The beautifully carved stone latticework windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches are a thing to see and cherish. Witnessing those marvel artworks also give you a kind of visual illusion due to the intricate latticework. The mosque is just a big hall but those windows and arches are the main attraction.

A marvel of heritage architecture that is been neglected by the tourism department. The architecture of stepwell is superb and must be 5-6 floors or 97 steps deep. Stairs to pick up water and water removal mechanism is also interesting. The carvings are beautiful, albeit slightly less maintained than Adalaj Vav / Stepwell. It's not a busy spot, so lots of opportunities for exploring, climbing through the well, and taking pictures. A bonus is a beautiful mosque just behind the well.

This is an old Jain temple situated in Ahmedabad. It was built by a Jain merchant named Hathi Singh in 1850, a wealthy Ahmedabad trader who died at 49. The construction was supervised and completed by his wife Shethani Harkunvar. The total cost was approximately Rs. 8 lakh, then a major sum. Temple is known for its fabulous architectural styling and designing. There is an idol of 15th Jain Tirthankara named Dharmnath and he is the main deity of the temple. Currently, the temple is going under the restoration. It is located in the middle of the city, near Delhi Darwaja, with a very small inconspicuous entry, but once inside its a small replica of The stone works in Dilwara Temple of Mt Abu of Rajasthan, and also a replica of the Victory Tower of Chittorgarh of Rajasthan, two in one in the middle of Ahmedabad. Intricate work on pillars, textured patterns on windows and domes are worth looking at.

While walking to Sidi Saiyad Mosque, we came across a red coloured heritage building - The House of MG, a 5-star Heritage Hotel. It is a 20th-century family mansion that is renowned for its traditional hospitality. Mahatma Gandhi first stayed in this house on arrival from South Africa in 1917.

Built-in 1917 and on banks of Sabarmati river, this place was one of the residences of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi aka Gandhiji who lived for 12 years with wife Kasturba Gandhi.

It's a huge place that walks you through history of Gandhiji, Dandi March which started from here, India's independence, etc.. The place gives glimpse of Gandhiji's simple lifestyle. There is no entry fee to the ashram. Sabarmati riverfront of this part of the ashram is closed for public. The ashram is well maintained and neat making it a must visit place in Ahmedabad.

Photo of Sabarmati Ashram, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sabarmati Ashram, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sabarmati Ashram, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sabarmati Ashram, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sabarmati Ashram, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sabarmati Ashram, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sabarmati Ashram, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India by Tanvi S
Photo of Sabarmati Ashram, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India by Tanvi S

Kankaria Lake, in Maninagar of Ahmedabad, was earlier known as Hauj-E-Kutub, is the biggest lake in Ahmedabad. The Lake is huge round shaped with all sorts of attractions around the perimeter of the lake. During the time of kings, this lake served as the bathing place for all the badshah's. Built by Sultan Kutubuddin in the 15th century, this lake consisted of a water purification system. The lake is circular, however, at one point it opens into a walkway, which leads to a garden called Nagina Wadi.

Near the lake, there is a gym called Ambubhai Purani Vyayamshala. Today, this man-made lake is a popular picnic spot with lighted walkways and various food corners. This lake is located in the southern part of the city in Maninagar area. You can enjoy various things all together, starting from the zoo, water sports, mini train, butterfly park, etc. The entry fee was 15Rs per person. We enjoyed the thrill of speedboat ride (Rs 130/person) suitable for all ages. The train ride was also great - about 15 minutes, costing Rs 30/ person.