Chaotically relaxed , unpredictable, moving in a strange pace, nor fast nor slow, yet packed with mini pockets of surprise-that’s what Ahmedabad is for you in a line.
So this time for my birthday I thought of taking a short trip up to the land of Dhoklas (as I had always thought of it to be). Yes, it was Gujarat .What I had expected of my trip and what it turned out to be were two totally different affairs. Though both were good in their own sense.. (how? Lets leave that for some other time).
So after a totally kickass birthday trip, I put down a major part of what you gotta do in Ahmedabad.
- Sabarmati Ashram
If you think “Gujarat” and miss Sabarmati Ashram then what’s the point. Gandhi and Gujarat are almost synonyms. My trip to Sabarmati Ashram did give me a chance to come in quick touch with History, history that I have only read in the school textbooks. Sabarmati Ashram has a lot to offer. One can spend some quiet times in the ashram or at the river bank, learn about the history movement or just experience the Gandhian aura you can feel here.
Also around the Ashram, there are monuments like the Somnath Chhatralay, Imam Manzil, etc which are of historic important.
- Calico museum of textile
If you are interested in the history of textile industry of India this is the place for you. Totally worth a visit. However book your visit in advance due to limited seats and restricted visits per day. If you miss this you can visit the Sardar Patel museum which is just around the corner
- Street shopping
Ok, so street shopping, be it anywhere should be on your list always, if not for the stuff, the market place is always a riot of colours and that’s what I like about them. Although it can be overly crowded and risky too with regards to pickpockets, it’s still phenomenal. Well, in Ahmedabad there have a few street markets like Manek chowk, Law garden, Lal darwaza, which gives you an amazing variety and dirt cheap, trust me dirt cheap offers. Out of all these , I enjoyed the Lal Darwaza the most though scared of being pickpocketed, but still, i don’t regret it. With markets for everything ranging from lanes full of stationary items to novels, food to hardware you will find it all here.
- Auto vintage world car museum, Dastan.
The best part of my trip here was the visit to the auto vintage world, car museum. As I travelled by the local transport, this was a quiet far from where I was put up, nevertheless it was a great idea. (you see, the Gujarat government has a lot of travel friendly ticketing systems-so pocket friendly as well).The locality where the museum is based is like another world within ahmedabad, Lush green and cool, somehow reminded me of the untouched village life of Kutch. Need be to visit Gujarat again this will definitely be my abode. So much I was taken aback by it. Secondly the vintage car museum is a treat to car lovers showcasing cars owned by royalty, with more than 106 vintage cars (the oldest dating to 1906) with cars like Cadillac, Packard, Maybach, Jaguar, Rolyce Royce and many more, it’s an adrenaline rush at every sight.
(Read more about it in my previous post.)
- Sabarmati Riverfront.
Another wonderful experience was at the river front. At the end of the day when my legs were no longer in a mood of carrying me around, I found a place right in the midst of the city which was good enough to energise me. The riverfront, just like the name suggest this man made river bank around the Sabarmati river, around 11.25 km long , it’s a place you can relax yourself facing the calm river.
Another nice thing to try here is to hire a bicycle and ride round the place. I did that and trust me it was an amazing experience.
Some extra tips:
- If you do not want to travel on your own but still want to pay a visit to the many historic monuments that Ahmedabad has, they have state run tourist buses which takes you on site tours. You could get one done there and its quiet reasonable as well.
- Try Gujarati food.
- Their Dhoklas,Fafdas and all other kinds of stuff are already famous, Need I say more? Also try out the Gujarati thalis, they are scrumptious. I thoroughly enjoyed mine after a heavy dose of south Indian all this while .
- Here’s something I loved about Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad has many other fascinating structures right In between the roads. This are called Darwaza’s and were gateways of an ancient fort. Though I could not go to all of them I did get to a few and they don’t disappoint . They are like a tiny bit of marvel in themselves scattered all around. Bet will mesmerise every history lover.
Overall Ahmedabad is a place you could spend a day in and bask in the ambience of Gujarati culture mixed with modernization.