Founded in the 15th century, Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. The city is a vibrant business district and rising centre of education, information technology and scientific industries. Divided in two – the old city and the new city; The city offers different moods right from the hustle-bustle of C.G. Road in the heart of Ahmedabad to the quite retreat of the Sabarmati Ashram. Ahmedabad enjoys a thriving cultural tradition, being the centre of Gujarati cultural activities and diverse traditions of different ethnic and religious communities. Popular celebrations and observances include Uttarayan – an annual kite-flying day on 14 January and the nine nights of Navratri – celebrated with people performing Garba – the folk dance of Gujarat – at venues across the city.
Places to see
Sabarmati Riverfront is a waterfront developed on the banks of river Sabarmati in Ahmedabad. Started with an objective for sustainable development and environmental improvement, the pace has now become a major tourist attraction owing to its lush green promenades, beautiful parks and plazas and an all-around soothing ambience.
Dada Hari Wav
Situated in Asarwa, 15 km from Ahmedabad, the Dada Harir Wav, initially known as the Bal Harir Stepwell is among the two famous step-wells of the region. Established during the Mehmud Begda era, this octagonal stepwell designed in sandstone is a remanence of the Solanki style of architecture. It is a space of respite for the locals during the summers. The seven-levels of the stepwell, which is a great source of water conservation, can also accommodate several visitors at the same time. Located right behind the Dada Hari grave, this unique construction showcases three stairways to the bottom of the well from the first storey. The whole structure of the Dada Harir Wav is a masterpiece of Gujarati design and intricate artistry in stone.
Statue of Unity
Statue of Unity is a memorial to The Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The statue has been erected to propagate Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s vision of India and to inspire the Citizens of India through his patriotism and freedom struggle. The Bronze statue of the founding father of the Republic of India stands 182 metres tall grabbing the attention of the whole world as the ‘Tallest statue in the World’. The statue of Unity is Located in Gujrat, by the banks of River Narmada on the River Island of Sadhu Bet overlooking the Narmada Dam (Sardar Sarovar Dam) from 3.2 km away. The Statue of Unity will be well connected via expressways, improved rail system and helipads for the convenience of visitors. The surrounding of the statue is proposed to be a haven for clean Industries, Research facilities and educational institutions to improve the economic integrity in and around the region.
Located in the Kalupur area of Ahmedabad, Shri Swaminarayan Temple (also known as Akshardham Temple) is a shrine dedicated to Narayan Dev. This splendid temple was built in the year 1822 on the instructions of Swaminarayan, who was the founder of the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism. Embellished with vivid colours and intricate carvings, Swaminarayan temple is a marvellous example of the architecture of the nineteenth century. Inside the sanctum, the deities are decorated with ostentatious ornamentations and beautiful fabrics. The temple attracts a million people on the day after Diwali for darshan.
The personal artefacts of Swami Narayan are also preserved for safekeeping here. The temple is also quite well known for its morning ‘Aarti’ or prayer service. The temple complex also has a multi-storey guesthouse and a medical clinic within its compound for the convenience of the visitors. This temple is also the headquarter of the Nar Narayan Gadi, which makes it an even more revered temple among believers. Beautifully carved out of Burma Teak wood, the intricate detailing in the carvings of this temple makes it an engineering masterpiece.
Once the residence of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba, Sabarmati Ashram is the site where Gandhiji started the famous Dandi March from. Situated in the 5km north of Ahmedabad’s centre, it is located on the tranquil and serene stretch of Sabarmati River. Also referred to as the ‘Gandhi Ashram’, ‘Mahatma Gandhi Ashram’ and most importantly, ‘Satyagraha Ashram’, it is believed that Mahatma Gandhi chose this site for it is located between a prison and a cemetery and a Satyagrahi is likely to end up in one of these.
In gratitude of the substantial impact Dandi march had on the Indian independence movement, the Indian government has recognised the Sabarmati Ashram as a national monument. The Mahatma Gandhi Ashram has a number of other establishments within its bounds. The most famous among them is the museum ‘Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya’ which has some of Gandhi’s personal letters and photographs on display.
Rani ki Vav
Rani Ki Vav or ‘Queen’s Stepwell’ is a distinctive form of water storage system located in the small town of Gujarat called Patan, on the banks of River Saraswati. Believed to be the grandest stepwell in the state of Gujarat, Rani ka Vav epitomises the peak of Maru-Gujarat architectural style. The 900-year-old structure listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is displayed prominently in the new ? 100 currency note issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
Kankaria Lake is the second largest lake of Ahmedabad, formerly known as Hauz-e-Qutub. Located near the Maninagar area, the lakefront is popular for the balloon safari, zoo, toy trains and the amusement park. The pristine lake is perfect for evening strolls with multi-coloured lights glowing all around its periphery. For adventure buffs, Kankaria Lake lays down a plethora of options like archery, gymnastics and water rides. The most beguiling festival – Kankaria carnival is celebrated with immense vim and vigour. Kankaria Lake is a place where entertainment, culture, knowledge and talent perfectly blend with each other.
Modhera is an ancient village in the state of Gujarat, famed for housing the remains of the Sun Temple built by the Chalukya dynasty is a true historical treasure. The village is surrounded by a mystical aura that the Sun Temple brings along, it is also a hub for spirituality and culture. Modhera gives you a glimpse into the glory days of the royal lineage of the Chalukyas and is one of the finest testaments of the architectural excellence of the past. If history entices then this place is perfect for you with the village being neck deep in historical relics, structures and legends.