Ahmadabad – Often mistaken as the capital of vibrant Gujarat, Ahmadabad is an urban city that genuinely enjoys the fame of being a textile Hub.
The attractive city has a glorious historical past and an upscale heritage that, is adorned with majestic temples, well- maintained heritage sites, astounding museums (vintage car museum, kite museum, vessel museum, textile museum, etc.) and mysterious monuments.
Did you know that before? Are you still assuming that the city is all regarding cotton and diamond cuttings? Come! Let’s find out.
Today, we see a robust influence of social media in our lives. To an extent, that everything from shopping to eating and for that matter to plan a vacation gets dependent on reviews. Thus, we end up enjoying merely the cream instead of the whole milk.
Ever thought of attempting new things like exploring not so famous places or savoring traditional foods rather than the dishes coming straight from the master chef’s kitchen? Trust me that makes our life so much better and content. So, let’s have a look at what all the interesting places this gorgeous city have in her kitty.
WHY VISIT AHMADABAD ?
Ahmadabad, alternatively referred to as Amdavad is a significant city of spirited Gujrat. This ravishing city is endued with several architectural wonders that tantalise its visitors to see more. Other than its striking tourist sites, the bustling city is equivalently famous for shopping and its street foods.
You all must have seen the legend Amitabh Bachchan promoting Gujarat tourism with “Khushboo Gujarat Ki” campaign. It is indeed one of the precious gems of India that is impeccable when it comes to tourism. From its white sand dessert to marvellous temples, it turns out to be an ideal destination for its tourists.
Plan an additional day or two for this wonderful city and add these charming places to your itinerary for an unforgettable trip. In this guide, I will be taking you through –
- The residence of Gandhiji – Sabarmati Ashram
- The mysterious shaking pillars – Jhulta Minar
- Friday Mosque – Jama Masjid
- Stepwell – Adalaj Ni Vav
- Akshardham Temple
- Sunset drive in cinema – An unique experience of watching movie under the starry sky
- Auto Vintage Car Museum and few additional and different museums of Ahmadabad
- Kankaria Lake
- Other Attractions including shopping and eating in Ahmadabad and
- How and When to Visit Ahmadabad
#1 SABARMATI ASHRAM
Begin your day by visiting one of the enchanting places of the town that not only takes you close to history but also soothes your mind with its positivity. Sabarmati Ashram is a place that radiates tranquillity in abundance.
The museum is additionally called as Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya and was once the humble abode of the father of our nation. After returning from South Africa, he created this place as his residence that is nestled at the banks of Sabarmati river. He contributed in many ways to the society and left this house during 1930 for Dandi March.
The bewitching national monument is alternatively referred as Harijan Niwas and is incredibly well maintained. It is a great place to get acquainted with the principles of Gandhiji, the kind of life he leaded and about his contributions. The museum displays the charka used by him, few of his handwritten letters, few old paintings, his khadi clan, a library with over 35000 books and plenty of other fascinating things that enlightens its guests his life.
Even if you are addressing time constraints, this can be one place you want to visit when in Ahmedabad. The museum additionally arranges a 90 minute guided tour for interested tourists. (Pre appointments are required)
I personally feel such national monuments are a great source, where we learn about the struggle and contributions of our freedom fighters. Other than Gandhiji, the contributions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is also highly remembered. You all can plan a visit to the world’s tallest statue – The Statue of Unity that has recently been constructed and have become a pride of Gujrat and India.
Timings: 8:30 am to 6:30 pm every day
#2 JHULTA MINAR
One of its own kind, Jhulta Minar is one mysterious marvel you would not want to strike out from your travel itinerary. These jaw-dropping pillars are the tallest minarets within the city and undoubtedly the symbols of great architectural styles. You will not believe until you experience it on your own; however, the facts behind these swaying pillars continue to be unknown.
What makes the building distinctive is that if one of the pillars is jolted with gentle force, the opposite pillar starts shaking on its own. Sometimes, I wonder how much knowledge a human is blessed with. I mean, look at the science behind these constructions. What a blend of science and creativity! Deserves an applaud for sure and more than that these shaking Minarets would take you back to the era that created such intricate carvings on stones.
These pillars were once a part of Sidi Bashir Mosque which got destructed during a sultanate war.
Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day
#3 JAMA MASJID
India is home to many marvellous edifices, and one amongst them is certainly the captivating Jama Masjid. This architectural marvel is not only a sight to behold but is completely infused in serenity. One of the largest mosques in Ahmadabad, it is sort of refreshing and enchanting place that gives a break to our chaotic lives.
What makes the shrine distinctive from others is its architectural styles. Styled with Indo-Islamic designs, the visitors get stunned by the exquisite carvings done in the shape of lotus, bells of a temple, sign of OM, etc. The striking minaret is built with yellow colour sandstones making it unique from other monuments. Its intricate stonework and distinctive meshwork takes it beauty to a unique level.
The mosque additionally features a beautiful pool inside enhancing the marvel of this must to visit place in Ahmadabad. Sidi Saiyyed Mosque (known for its lacy meshwork) is another notable tourist spot, you would not want to miss.
Timings: 6 am to 8 am every day. The mosque is closed throughout the prayer times.
Tickets: Entry is free for visitors but they are recommended to dress appropriately.
#4 ADALAJ NI VAV
Another prime attraction of vivacious Ahmadabad is Adalaj Ni Vav, that is insanely impressive. An ancient stepwell that was initially started by Rana Veer Singh, eventually got completed by a Muslim king Mahmud Begada. With its Indo-Islamic architectural style, the awe-inspiring stepwell leaves an everlasting impression on its visitors. The spectacular carvings done on the wall and pillars surely deserves the eye of art lovers and avid photographers.
The marvellous building enjoys a pleasantly cold temperature throughout the summers that enables a refreshing trip to its guests. There is a small lush green lawn enjoyed mostly to laze around by its visitors. The stepwell is just 18 km away from Ahmadabad and can be reached easily by bus or cabs.
It is believed that the Queen Rudadevi wished to die once her husband (King Veer Singh) was killed in a battle, however the Muslim king got smitten by her beauty. He proposed the Queen to marry him and in return promised to complete the construction of the stepwell. However, as soon as the stepwell got completed, Rudadevi killed herself.
Timings: 6 am to 6 pm every day
#5 AKSHARDHAM TEMPLE
After a refreshing tour of Adalaj Ni Vav, you may head towards the extremely popular Akshardham temple. Located in the capital city of Gujarat, this splendid temple is just 28 km away from Ahmadabad. The temple reminds us of its literal meaning “A divine abode of God.”
The magnificent Swaminarayan temple is blessed with incredibly beautiful architectural designs and carvings that allures the tourist more. Once you enter the place, you will be astonied to see how easily you got lost in the beauty of this gorgeous temple, while not realising that 4-5 hours of the day has already passed.
Established in an enormous area, it showcases an incredible water show that instantly steals the heart. The well maintained green garden and the museum shows depicting the life of Swaminarayan is worth to spend time at. It additionally has a play area for the children with attention-grabbing rides to keep them engaged. It won’t be wrong to mention that Ahmadabad tour without visiting Akshardham is kind of incomplete.
Any sort of electronics, including phones and cameras, are not allowed inside the premise and can be kept in the lockers accessible at the entry gate.
It may come up as a surprise to many; however, Gujrat has some really gorgeous temples that makes the place all the more serene and beautiful. Temples like Hutheesing Jain Temple in Ahmadabad, the swami Narayan temples across the state, the very popular Somnath – Jyotirlinga temple in Somnath and Dwarka – The kingdom of Lord Krishna (one amongst the char Dham yatra) are few mentions that are worth your attention.
Timings: 9:30 am to 7:30 pm every day except on Mondays
Tickets: There is no entry fee to enter the temple; however it costs 70 Rs to enter the exhibition and Rs 90 to enjoy the water show.
#6 SUNSET DRIVE IN CINEMA
It is not a regular tourist spot to visit, yet so refreshing and unique that we couldn’t resist adding this to our must to visit places in Ahmadabad list. A cosy holiday laying under the starlit sky and watching some amazing flicks is more than what we can expect from a great holiday. Can we wish for more from life?
It is an open ground where people like to bring their own seating arrangements, including folding chairs, floor cushions, even bedsheets and many simply love to relax in their personal cars. It may be hard to believe, but this place can accommodate more than 600 cars with nearly 6000 movie enthusiasts together.
They even have a small hall to get pleasure from the movie at times of rainy days and few benches placed within the park. This unique concept of watching a movie would take you to the childhood days when picnics was the ultimate entertainment source.
Timings: Evenings only
Tickets: Rs 50 – 60 per adult
#7 AUTO WORLD VINTAGE CAR MUSEUM
We girls like to believe that every man’s fantasy is his dream woman; however, we are so wrong. Yes, girls it is heart breaking but that’s the truth. Ask a man and he will come up with a list of fantasies that will blow your mind. Cars are definitely one among them. So all the car lovers, this is one place that will leave you stunned for hours.
A place that is a home of over 100 vintage cars, has a collection from Bentleys to Rolls Royce. At an additional cost of 1000 Rs or so you may even enjoy a quick luxurious ride. After Sudha car museum of Hyderabad, this is going to be my second most favourite place in the automobile tour section. You may check out about Sudha car museum in our places to visit in Hyderabad article.
Additionally, you may plan a visit to the Calico Museum of Textiles as well as the Kite Museum. The textile museum exhibits an impressive collection of textiles. It is an awesome place that showcases terrific hand work to antique Indian textiles. The museum is closed on Wednesdays and remains open between 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.
The first Kite museum of India, it presents a wide range of kites with different colours, designs, and patterns. The museum is open between 10 am to 6 pm from Tuesdays to Sunday.
Timings: 8 am to 9 pm every day
Tickets: 50 Rs per adult
#8 KANKARIA LAKE
Want a break from the mundane life? Do not miss a chance to visit the second largest lake of Ahmadabad that houses many attractive rides and sports activities including zorbing and jet skiing. Additionally, it is a kid-friendly place that does not shy away from flaunting its toy trains and musical fountain. Kankaria Zoo is another favourite tourist spot, especially amongst the children.
The premise has a garden theme restaurant and several food stalls to cater to its visitors. Whether you like to have fun on the adventure rides or simply desires to walk around the stunning lake, the experience is worthwhile.
The lake also has some great views where photo lovers love to get clicked at.
Timings: It is closed on Mondays and opens for the tourists at 9 am to 10 pm.
Tickets: It has a very reasonable entry fee of 25 Rs per adult and 10 Rs per child.
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OTHER ATTRACTIONS THAT WILL APPEAL YOU
SHOPPING @ LAW GARDEN
The city is additionally referred to as the Manchester of India due to its huge reach of the cotton market. While exploring the beautiful city of Ahmadabad, rejoice your shopping experience by visiting the Law Garden to purchase amazing handicrafts and mirror worked Gujarati outfits.
Alternatively, you can enjoy shopping at Lal Darwaja, CJ road, and Alpha One Mall.
The municipal corporation of the city additionally organises a heritage walk that covers many exciting places in the old city. This walking tour of 2-3 hours covers the prominent landmarks including Jama Masjid to many ancient neighbourhoods with common courtyards. The daily walking tour is a pocket-friendly tour that charges Rs 50 per adult and for international guests, the cost is Rs 100.
TRYING STREET FOODS @ MANEK CHOWK
Just before you think of winding up your day, let me take you to one last interesting place that is well-known for satiating it’s guest’s food cravings. Manek Chowk, which is a jewellers market in the morning hours, gets popular for hosting thousands of guests with a variety of street foods and desserts. This place remains open till 1:30 in the midnight so a great place to curb your midnight food cravings.
WHEN TO VISIT
The only time I would suggest you to avoid is the summers here as the weather would not allow you to enjoy the amazing places to the fullest. Best months to visit any travel destination in Gujarat would be between August to March.
HOW TO VISIT
Ahmadabad is an urban city that enjoys the connectivity from all modes of transport. The roads are too good to enjoy a road journey. Alternatively, one can take a flight to Ahmadabad or travel through train too.
Due to its well-connected routes, it has become the primary point to begin the trip to a number of extremely exquisite places of Gujarat. We would really suggest you to visit the Gir National Park (which is known for its Lions) and the quiet Diu that makes it tourist feel that they are in mini Goa.
From an ideal family destination to an outing with a gang of friends, Ahmadabad will make you fall for it and tempt you to visit again. A city that has proudly embraced the stories of Mughals to Independence struggles and boasts about its beguiling temples and national monuments.
Too much for a holiday destination? Well! That’s Ahmadabad for you. It is the first Indian city to be honored as the World Heritage City by UNESCO.
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