August 12th, 2015 by Abhijit Chakraborty admin

Ahmedabad is colorful, full of lights, and has a rich heritage. It was the capital of Gujarat until the establishment of Gandhinagar, though a lot of people still believe the former to be the capital. The city has seven bridges which connect the historic city to the modern or the commercial part of the city. It is known for its handicrafts, theme-based restaurants and traditional cuisine. We bring you some of the attractions of the city and a list of must-dos.

Ellis Bridge- a century old heritage bridge of Ahmedabad
Ellis Bridge- a century old heritage bridge of Ahmedabad

Places to visit

The monuments here are a photographer’s delight as they are well-maintained and kept clean.

Bhadra Fort

The fort was constructed in 1411 AD during the reign of the Marathas. It has a special mention in the history of Ahmedabad as it was established by the founder of Ahmedabad, Sultan Ahmad Shah. The fort houses a beautiful palace with decorated arches and balconies. The fort houses the Bhadrakali temple a temple devoted to Goddess Laxmi. It was constructed during the rule of Aazam Khan. The place today has a lush green garden and often serves as a place for flag hoisting on Independence Day. The place has many stories associated with it, one of which relates to manner in which the city was named.

Once Ahmad Shah and his men were marching westwards to conquer new kingdoms. The scorching heat and continuous battles left them exhausted. On one such long and tiring day he and his men halted at Sabarmati River to take rest. There he caught hold of a very astonishing sight- a rabbit chasing a dog. The king was very impressed by the bravery of the rabbit and went on to conquer the city which came to be known as the ‘City of Ahmad’ and later Ahmedabad.

Dada Hari Ni Vav

Dada Hari Ni Vav is a magnificently designed stepwell. It was constructed during the reign of Mahmud Begada in 1501 AD. It is an octagonal stepwell decorated with authentic Gujarati designs. The elaborate stepwell has spiral staircases descending to different platform levels. It is a five stories deep stepwell built of sandstone in Solanki architectural style. The temperature inside the stepwell is five degrees less than the outside temperature making the place cool and a must visit in summers.

Teen Darwaza

Teen Darwaza is the oldest gateway of the city. It was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 141 AD. Teen Darwaza is close to Bhadra Fort. It is one of the finest examples Indo-Islamic architectural designs. The monument is associated closely with historical and legendary events.

The gateway has three arches which lead to a large compound forming the courtyard of the palace called Maidan Shah. It also has many legendary stories associated with it. Currently, the place is popularly known for its roadside market known as Teen Darwaza market. It is bustling with shoppers both local and outsiders all day long. Here one can find traditional Gujarati design dresses, jewelry and footwear. During festivals the area is busier than the other days.

Sarkhej Roza

Sarkhej Roza is a mosque and tomb situated in Makaraba, 7 km south-west of Ahmedabad. It served as a home to Sultan Ahmed Shah. The place also has a mausoleum and a mosque which were built in 1451 AD. Although there are many rozas across the country Sarkhej is the most prominent. Like other monuments built during that period Sarkhej Roza combines both Hindu and Muslim elements of architecture. The domes and pillars follow Islamic principles of architecture while the motifs and ornamentation follow Hindu and Jain design elements making it a perfect example ‘Indo-Saracenic’ architecture.

Sarkhej Roza
Sarkhej Roza

Sabarmati Ashram

Sabarmati Ashram was set up in 1915. It is believed to be the central point from where the struggle for Independence started. Till the year 1930 the ashram also served as Mahatma Gandhi’s abode. Today the ashram houses a library, museum, a picture gallery and an auditorium. The ashram gives one a sneak peek into the life of Mahatma Gandhi. The museum contains manuscript of his articles, films on his life and a picture gallery of India’s freedom struggle.

Gandhi Ashram
Gandhi Ashram

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

The ashram is located near Sabarmati River and is open from 8:30 in the morning to 6 in the evening. The ashram provides peace and an escape from the mad rush of the city.

Related Search: 14 Places to visit in Ahmedabad

The Vibrant Festivals of Ahmedabad

The state celebrates all festivals with enthusiasm and vigor.

Uttarayan: Festival of Kites

Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti is celebrated here like the rest of India but the energy with which it is celebrated makes it a lot different. During the festival, shops and streets are full of a variety of kites and manjhas, giving the city a vibrant and colorful look. The day is colorful and the night is beautifully lit with tukals, lighting the entire city. Undhiyun a mixed vegetable dish is a specialty of Uttarayan.

Sky glowing with Tukals
Sky glowing with Tukals

Image Source: Ashish Awatramani

A typical view of the terrace and the sky during Uttarayan
A typical view of the terrace and the sky during Uttarayan

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Patang Mahotsav or International Kite Festival is celebrated at Sabarmati River front where people from across the world would participate. The festival has become a popular tourist attraction. The festival is also celebrated the following day and is known as Vansi Uttarayan. This would be an ideal time to visit the city to experience the enthusiasm and vibrancies of the city.

The city all set for Uttarayan- a much awaited festival
The city all set for Uttarayan- a much awaited festival

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Preparation of International Kite Festival at Sabarmati River Front held every year in January
Preparation of International Kite Festival at Sabarmati River Front held every year in January

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Navratri: A circle of exultation

Navratri is one of the most popular festivals among the Hindus and for the Guajarati’s it is a way of showing their devotion to Goddess Shakti. This devotion is depicted in their dance form known as dandiya and ras garba performed during these nine days.

Garba night in a college campus
Garba night in a college campus

The festival has a special significance among the women of the Gujarati households, it is time for them to shop for traditional lehenga-choli, white metal jewelry, mojris, bandhani sarees and many more things. The females usually fast during this time in the honor of the goddess. The eighth day, known as Ashtami is the day of Maha aarti and is considered to be the most important day of the festival. The garba is performed in societies, hotels and other party spaces. The city is usually lit till two in the morning during these days.

Shopper’s Street

No travel is complete without taking home the specialties of the place. Be it in the form of a remembrance or a souvenir for a friend or family member. Clothes, footwear, handicrafts are all a shopper’s delight.

Law Garden Handicraft Market

A market selling the traditional wares from Saurashtra and Kutch. The vendors sell decorated cholis and lehengas, embroidered blouses, embroidered handicrafts, jewelry, bags, purses and many more such things. Asopalav, a high-end store for sarees is located in this place. The store is popular among the locals and a shopping place for newlyweds and to-be-married women.

Lal Darwaja

Lal Darwaja is the most popular and busy shopping place in ahmedabad. The market offers men and women apparel, footwear, traditional lehengas etc. all at great prices.

Dhalgarwad

One can get all the things here from clothes, jewelry to handicrafts. However, one should beware of counterfeit products. The daily need items are available at reasonable prices here.

CG Road

CG Road is a place for modern shoppers. It is the costliest retail location of the city. The place has malls like Iscon Mall, Super Mall and other high-end stores like Woodland, Nike, Puma, Rado, etc. The place offers a different shopping experience to its shoppers with its high-end stores.

Food: Sweet and Spicy

From restaurants to street foods Ahmedabad is famous for all. It offers you many theme-based restaurants, a traditional taste and a flavor one would remember for lifetime.

Manek Chowk

Manek Chowk is a notable place in Old Ahmedabad. In the morning the place is a vegetable market, jewelry shops open up during the day time and at nights the place turns into street food market. The place offers Kulfis, Bhaji Pav, Masala Dosa, etc. Specialties of the place are chocolate and pineapple sandwiches.

Manek Chowk food
Manek Chowk food

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Some Unique Restaurants

Restaurants like Vishala, Rajwadu and Patang hotels offer a unique experience. Vishala is a village-like theme restaurant which serves the traditional Gujarati thali on a leaf, with a seating arrangement on the floor. The meal is usually accompanied by folk dance, music and puppet shows. One can also buy jewelry and other things from here. Rajwadu is a similar theme-based restaurant. Patang is a revolving hotel located 200 feet above the ground level.

The revolving restaurant- Patang Hotel
The revolving restaurant- Patang Hotel

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Street Food

One could indulge in the street food available opposite IIM-Ahmedabad’s campus. Here tea is available at `5 in the morning along with other snacks. Dalwada is a popular snack among the locals.

Gujarati Dalwada- a crispy Gujarati rainy snack
Gujarati Dalwada- a crispy Gujarati rainy snack

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Apart from the above mentioned places one can go to IIM-A food festival, Seva Café that is run by volunteers and where the guest donates some amount to pay for the next customer’s meal. Dabeli, Gola-Ice Candy are other popular foods here.

A Spiritual Place

Guajarati’s are spiritual people. The entire city has many temples, mosques and other religious places.

Ahmed Shah Mosque

It is one of the oldest mosques here. It was constructed in 1414 AD and is known for its magnificent architectural design. It is located close to the Bhadra Fort and is visited by many tourists throughout the year.

Swaminarayan Temple

The temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan and is known for its wooden carvings.

The other places of worship include the Jama Masjid, Sidi Sayed Mosque, Hathee Singh Temple and others. A few minutes’ drive from Ahmedabad would lead you to Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar.

An intricately carved window is Sidi Saiyyed Mosque- the Sidi Saiyyed Jali, a symbol of the city and an inspiration for IIM-A’s logo
An intricately carved window in Sidi Saiyyed Mosque- the Sidi Saiyyed Jali, a symbol of the city and an inspiration for IIM-A’s logo

A few other must do things in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad has a lot of parks, zoos and lakes which bring people closer to Mother Nature. Kankaria Lake is a must visit place. It hosts an annual festival and has an amusement park nearby. Sabarmati Riverfront is another place where one can go in morning to enjoy the sunrise and during evenings to enjoy the sunset. Early morning is the perfect time to visit this place.

Kankaria Lake
Kankaria Lake

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Sabarmati River Front- Day view
Sabarmati Riverfront- Day view

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Night view of Sabarmati Riverfront
Night view of Sabarmati Riverfront

Image Source: Ahmedabad Like Never Before

Now that you know that Ahmedabad is such a beautiful city, plan a visit to this city for an amazing experience. December & January are the best time to visit Ahmedabad. This place also offers number of affordable hotel options. A few of the options are available here.

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