Ahmedabad, in western India, is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. The Sabarmati River runs through its center. On the western bank is the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, which displays the spiritual leader’s living quarters and artifacts. Across the river, the Calico Museum of Textiles, once a cloth merchant's mansion, has a significant collection of antique and modern fabrics.
Sidi Sayeed Mosque: Built in 1573, this is the last of the major mosques to be built in Ahmedabad under the Mughal rule. Its peculiar feature, 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 work, but are actually made from solid stone. Witness the brilliant craftsmanship along with religious piety.
Visiting hours: Across the day, every day.
Location: At Mirzapur Road, 3 km from Ahmedabad station.
Swaminarayan Temple: The Kalupur Swaminarayan temple was built in the 19th century, in honour of Swami Sahajanand. It is carved in Burma teak and every wooden bracket, column and arch is profusely embellished by opulent carvings. This is one of the most important temples of the Swaminarayan sect since it was the first temple to be built during the lifetime of Swami Sahajanand, the founder of the Swaminarayan cult.
Visiting hours: 05.30 am to 08.00 pm, every day. Location: 2.5 km from Ahmedabad station.
Sabarmati Riverfront: A beautiful promenade along the river and a venue for major events, the Sabarmati Riverfront Project will enhance the distinctive character of Ahmedabad, significantly improving the quality of life for residents and enhancing Ahmedabad's value as a destination for new employers, institutions, investment, education opportunities and tourism. The project provides more than ten kilometers of uninterrupted pedestrian promenade on each bank and public ghats for direct access to the water. The river banks will evolve continually, adapting to the diverse interests of a rapidly transforming city.
Lined across the riverfront are attractions like Badshah no Hajiro, Shreyas Museum of Folk Art, Law Gardens, National Institute of Design, the Science City and numerous other locations.
Heritage Walk: The city of Ahmedabad offers two guided Heritage Walks around the old city of Ahmedabad. You can choose from the services provided by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation or the House of MG. It takes you through various pots (housing clusters), havelis (mansions), temples and the famous Manek Chowk.
Walks arranged by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
Location and Timings: Starts at Swaminarayan Temple, Kalupur at 08.00 am and ends at Jama Masjid at 10.30 am.
Hutheesing Jain Temple: Built by Sheth Hutheesing as a dedication to the 15th Jain Tirthankar Shri Dharmanatha, this elegant Temple created out of white marble has been sacred to many Jain families for generations. The work of this magnificent Temple is attributed to one Premchand Salat, from the renowned architectural community of Salat.
Visiting hours: 09.00 am to 01.00 pm and 02.00 pm to 05.00 pm, every day.
Location: At Bardolpura, Madhupura, 3.6 km from Ahmedabad station.
Gandhi Ashram: Founded by Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation in 1915 the Ashram was a source of inspiration to the people of India during the freedom struggle. Gandhiji kindled India's pride and faith from here. On March 12, 1930 he led the historic Dandi March to the sea to protest against the Salt tax imposed by the British. Hriday kunj, the simple cottage where he lived, is now a national monument and preserved as it was during the Mahatma's lifetime. A Gandhi Memorial Centre and Library hosts an excellent documented and pictorial record of the major events in Gandhiji's life, and a library of Gandhian literature and paintings.
Visiting hours: 08.30 am to 06.30 pm, every day.
Location: At Old Vadaj, Ashram Road, 7 km from Ahmedab tation.
Sanskar Kendra and City Museum: The Sanskar Kendra building was designed by the eminent French architect Le Corbusier. It includes the City Museum which highlights Ahmedabad from various angles including history, craft, architecture, religion and fine arts. It also houses a Kite Museum and has an interesting timeline on the history of Kites.
Visiting hours: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Location: Situated in Paldi near Sardar Bridge, 3 km from Ahmedabad station.
Calico Museum: This museum houses a remarkable collection of fabrics from various remote areas of India and portrays handicraft textiles spanning over 500 years. It is managed by a charitable trust founded by the Sarabhais, a pioneering business family that is active in conservation of cultural heritage. Regarded as the foremost textile museum in the world, it is an important Indian institution.
Visiting hours: 10.15 am to 12.30 Closed on Wednesdays and public holidays.
Location: Shahibaug, 5 km from Ahmedabad station. As entry is restricted to 30 visitors, please book by calling in advance.
Rani Sipri's Mosque: The Mosque and the tomb of Rani Sipri are the most elegant of the Ahmedabad buildings of the period. They were completed in 1514, three years after the death of Muhammad Begada by Rani Asni, one of his wives. The mosque has been praised by Fergusson as being "the most exquisite gem of Ahmedabad both in plan and detail". It is popular as 'Masjid -e- Nagina' due to its beautiful sculpture.
Visiting hours: 05:00 am to 08:00 pm, every day. Location: Astodia, 1 km from Ahmedabad station.
Dada Harir Ni Vav: According to an inscription in one of the galleries, this Vav was built by Bai Sri Harira in 1501, one of the ladies of Muhammad Begada's court. It consists of a domed entrance pavilion from which a series of steps and pillared stone platforms lead down to the central reservoir. The walls and pillars are splendidly carved and ornamented. Stepwells were built as acts of piety and provided water and cool resting places.
Visiting hours: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm, every day.
Location: At Haripura, Asarva, 3 km from Ahmedabad station
Sardar Patel Museum: The National Museum is housed in Mo i Shahi Mahal built by Emperor Shah Jahan between 1618 and 1622. On March 7, 1980, a memorial was founded to honor Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India for his unparalleled role in country's struggle for independence.
Visiting hours: 09.30 am to 05.00 pm. Closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Location: Shahibaug, 5.5 km from Ahmedabad station.
Shaking Minarets: The famous shaking minarets of Sidi Bashir's mosque (outside Salangpur Gate) excited so much curiosity that one of them was dismantled, in vain to fathom the secret of its construction. The amazing feature of these and other Shaking Minarets is that when one minaret is given a jerk the vibration is transmitted to the other which also shakes. The connecting terrace between the two minarets however remains neutral.
Demonstrations of the shaking phenomenon are no longer allowed.
Location: Next to Kalupur Railway station.
Bhadra Fort & Tran Darwaja: Bhadra Fort was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah on the East bank of the river Sabarmati after he captured Karnavati in 1411.The Citadel architecture is lndo Sarcenic, with intricately carved arches and balconies. It once enclosed Royal Palaces and Gardens. The joint rule of the Peshwas and the Gaekwads brought an end to the Mughal era in 1583. When the Marathas captured the fort, they converted one of its chambers into Bhadrakali temple.
The triple arched gateway 'Tran Darwaja' was built to serve as the royal entrance to the Maidan Shah or the Royal Square. It is an imposing monument of perfect proportions and highly ornate buttresses.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and the Archaeological Survey of India have begun an initiative to renovate the Bhadra Fort called the Bhadra Plaza Development Project.
Location: Bhadra Fort is near Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad. 1km from the city station.
Sarkhej Roza: It comprises of the most elegant architectural complexes of Ahmedabad. Grouped around a great stepped tank are the tombs of Saint Ahmed Khattu Gunj Buksh, the tomb of Muhammad Begada and his queen Rajabai, the palace and the pavilions. The buildings are remarkable for the complete absence of arches and the use of stone trellises.
Visiting hours: 09.00 am to 06.00 pm, every day.
Location: At Makarba post, Jeevraj Park, 11 km from Ahmedabad station.
Adalaj Stepwell : In 1499, Queen Rudabai, the wife of Veersingh - the chief of Vaghela, built this intricately carved and designed stepwell. The designs on its walls and pillars include leaves, flowers, birds, fish and other breathtaking ornamental patterns. This five-storey stepwell (vav) was also a spiritual refuge. Explore the Ami Khumbor (a pot that contains the water of life) and the Kalp Vriksha (a tree of life) that is carved out of a single stone-slab and get mesmerized.
Visiting hours: 06.00 am to 06.00 pm, every day. Location: Adalaj, 19 km from Ahmedabad station.
Kankaria Lake : The Houj-e Qutub popularly known as Kankaria, is a very popular spot of the city. It was constructed by Sultan Qutubuddin in 1451 AD. This artificial lake, a polygon of 34 sides spread over an area of 1.7 kms and commands a panoramic view. In the centre of the lake there is an island with a garden called Nagina Wadi. In the evening it is packed with crowds, food stalls and informal entertainment. There is also a water and light show. A zoo, a natural history museum, a toy train, a special garden for children called Bal Vatika and an open air theatre surrounding the lake.
Visiting hours: 09.00 am to 11.00 pm, every day. Location: Maninagar, 4 km from Ahmedabad station.
Vechaar Utensils Museum: Built in 1981 near Vishalla Village Restaurant is the VECHAAR (Vishalla Environmental Centre for Heritage of Art, Architecture and Research) Utensils Museum. It is an extensive study of utensils dating back to a thousand years ago to present times that have evolved over difierent 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. And the metal utensils cover everything from brass, copper, bronze, zinc to German Silver.
Visiting hours: 03:00 pm to 10:30 pm, every day. Closed on Mondays.
Location: Inside Vishalla Restaurant, Vasna, 6 km from Ahmedabad station.
Among the latest additions are the Amdavad ni Gufa, conceptualised by M.F. Hussain, world renowned painter and B.V. Doshi, a noted architect.
Auto World Museum: It has a collection of more than 100 of the finest cars in the world. An absolute delight for automobile lovers!
Visiting Charges: Applicable Extra
Location: Near Dastan circle, S. P Ring Road, Kathwada, Ahmedabad.
Places to see around Ahmedabad:
Akshardham Temple: Akshardham is a majestic and intricately carved stone structure which stands amid sprawling gardens 25 km away from Ahmedabad, in Gandhinagar. It is built with 6000 tonnes of pink sandstone as per the injunctions of Vastu Shastra. The monument enshrining the seven foot high, gold-leafed murti (idol) of Lord Swaminarayan is the focal point of the complex. There's also a water show (dancing fountains) in the vicinity at
07.00 pm, daily.
Visiting hours: 09.15 am to 05.15 pm. Closed on Mondays. Location: Sector 20, Gandhinagar, 28 km from Ahmedabad station. For further details: +91 79 23260001/ 02.
Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary: The Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary is a shallow freshwater body which is surrounded by marshy lands and scrubby forest. The shallow water reservoir is dotted with reed beds which give it a diverse ambience while being an ideal dwelling for various species of birds and insects.
Visiting hours: 06.00 am to 06.00 pm, every day.
Location: Around 20 km from Ahmedabad.
Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary: Spread over 120 sq. km the Lake with extensive reed beds and marshes is the largest wetland Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat. More than 200 types of birds inhabit this Lake undertaking a long journey to escape the harsh winter of their nesting areas. These migrant birds visit Nat Sarovar every year from November to February. Nat Sarovar at this time is a birdwatcher's delight.
Visiting hours: 06.00 am to 06.00 pm, every day.
Location: Around 61 km from Ahmedabad.
Lothal: Located in Bhal region of Gujarat, Lothal is one of the most prominent cities of Indus Valley civilization. Literally meaning 'Mount of the Dead' the city is the most extensively excavated site of Harappan culture in India. Lothal is a 2 hour drive from Ahmedabad.
Visiting hours: 10.00 am to 05.00 pm. The Archaeological Survey of India Museum is closed on Fridays.
Location: Around 78 km from Ahmedabad.
Ambaji Temple: Ambaji Mata Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of India. In the holy Temple of'Arasuri Ambaji', there is no image or statue of the Goddess but the hoIy'Shree Visa Yantra' that is worshiped as the main deity. Ambaji Temple is in the Danta Taluka of Banaskantha district, near the Gujarat-Rajasthan border.
Visiting hours: 07.30 am to 11.30 am, 12.30 pm to 04.30 pm and 06.30 pm to 09.00 pm, every day.
Location: Around 179 km from Ahmedabad.
Climate & Clothing: Gujarat experiences a moderate to extreme summer with temperatures around 46.5°C maximum and in winters it drops around 8°C minimum. So cotton clothes are preferable during summer with loads of moisturizers and lotions and during the winters warm clothes are suitable.
How to reach Ahmedabad:
By Road: Prominent bus stops are located at Gitamandir near Kalupur Railway Station and Paldi. Regular bus services are available by the Gujarat State Transport buses and private operators to all the major destinations of the state.
By Rail: The main railway station is located in Kalupur area. If you are on the western side of the Sabarmati River, then you can go to the Gandhigram station near Ashram road to buy your railway tickets easily.
By Air: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport at Ahmedabad is an International Airport with direct flights from across the country and from USA, UK,Singapore, Dubai and other international hubs.