Well if you are thinking that this is one of those posts which share details of “Places to see in Ahmedabad in a day” then you are not 100% correct, just 30% right.
Though I have mentioned some sites which comes in the list of tourist sites in Ahmedabad but for me, a day in Ahmedabad was more about Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and why Gujarati food is as awesome as Punjabi food (we Punjabi can simply kill people who says that our food is just OK, so believe me, it’s a controversial complement I have given to Gujarati Thali ?
In the month of November, I planned one week tour of Gujarat where I visited cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Patan, Mehsana and Pavadagh.
The last day of my tour was reserved for Ahmedabad as I had to catch a late night flight back to New Delhi. So, my plan was not to visit all the tourist sites in the city but visit sites which have character and thus I first stopped at:
1. Sabarmati Ashram (Ahmedabad)
I reached Sabarmati Ashram by 10 AM. There is no entry ticket to enter and I must say that this ashram has a very relaxing aura.
The whole complex is very clean, tourists inside were taking in a very sweet low tone and all of this because Sabarmati Ashram was the residence of Mahatma Gandhi & his wife (for 12 years)
In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi came up with a revolutionary, unique & non-violent idea to challenge the might of British empire. This was Salt Satyagraha or Dandi March.
Dandi March was a nonviolent civil disobedience act where Mahatma Gandhi and his followers marched 390 km from Ahmedabad (from Sabarmati Ashram) to a small coastal village in Gujarat called Dandi.
This march stated on 12-03-1930 to 5-04-1930, and broke a law imposed on Indians to pay taxes on creating salt which is a basic human need.
And it was the Sabarmati Ashram from where this extraordinary event started.
At this ashram, Mahatma lived for 12 years along his wife and today this site is one of the most popular tourist spot where one can understand more about the thoughts, belief and actions which made Gandhi, a god like figure.
The first site I saw here was the rooms where Mahatma Gandhi stayed and it even has the charkha (spinning wheel), a writing table and a mattress where Gandhi use to sleep. I have to say that I had goose bumps while taking the below shot:
Apart from this, there is a room which has various types of charkha, a beautiful museum where I could have stayed for the whole day and a library from where one can buy many books & souvenirs.
Here are pics from the Ashram.
2. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial
In the 17th century, a Mughal ruler name Shah Jahan (same emperor who built Taj Mahal), constructed a small palace in Ahmedabad by the name of Shahi Mahal. Now this palace has been turned into a beautiful museum of person who was the 1s Home Minister of India, and the man behind the reason that we have 29 states today in India – Vallabhbhai Patel aka Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
When the Britishers had finally agreed to declare India a free state, they also put a clause that the Princely States of India like Mewar, Marwar, Hyderabad, Junagarh, Travancore (Kerala) have the right to choose to be a part of India or Pakistan and can also remain an independent nation.
There were 562 of such kingdoms, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the leading men who is responsible for bringing all the princely states under one umbrella of the Republic of India in late 1940’s. Though many of these states also joined Pakistan.
At Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial, there are many pictures of Vallabhbhai Patel life, documents and most interesting, the presents by several Maharajas of India given to Sardar Patel .
Sadly no one allowed to take pictures from their camera inside the museum complex, but as I was alone here, so here are some mobile shots ?
3. Jethabhai Ni Vav
In Gujarat, the most beautiful stepwell or Vav’s are Rani Ki Vav, Adalaj Vav and the Dada Harir Vav. So as our driver was surprised to see that we were more interested to visit Stepwells so he suggested us to visit Jethabhai Ni Vav.
Now this vav isn’t as glorious as the names I’ve mentioned above and I won’t suggest you guys to visit this site (as it’s not properly maintained), but for me it’s a perfect site to add in my list of Stepwells from India. Here are some pictures:
4. Atithi Dining Hall
After visiting all the above sites, we drove back to the new Ahmedabad area (western part of the city) to have lunch at a Dining Hall which everyone suggested us in Ahmedabad – Atithi Dining Hall
Atithi restaurant is a big dining hall and has only one item the menu – A Thali.
Thali is a selection of many dishes which gives you an exquisite taste of the local cuisine.
As I am in Gujarat, so this is a Gujarat thali which has roti, dal, kadhi (sweet), dhokla, khandvi, puri (small in size), shrikhand, light lassi and a team in the dining hall which make sure that your plate isn’t empty AKA all you can eat.
I’ve tried a Gujarati Thali in Vadodara at Mandap Restaurant and now in Ahmedabad; and I must say Ahmedabad one has the higher hand, though the decor at Vadodara one was much better.
Well, it’s up to you to try a Thali in Vadodara or Ahmedabad, but if you are ever planning to visit Gujarat, it would be a big mistake not to try a Gujarati Thali in these restaurants.
FYI – Cost of thali is around Rs 275-300 per thali. Not more than that.
5. Induben Khakhrawala
As Pune & Mumbai has Parsi Bakery, New Delhi has Sitaram Diwan Chand chole bhature, Ahmedabad has Induben Khakhrawala.
Khakhra is a local specialty of Gujarat, and I first heard this term in a famous Hindi comedy series “Tarak Mehta ka ooltah chashmah”. Here a Gujarati family is always offering Jalebi & Khakhra to their guests.
And if you ask anyone in Ahmedabad, “where to buy the best Khakhra in the city? Nine out of 10 will suggest Induben Khakhrawala.
They have this huge variety of Gujarati snacks, and because of this, I ask them to pack their best seling Khakhra, as I have no knowledge about this snack. So I bought plain khakhra, dosa khakhra, and a few more items and everyone back home loved it.
6. Back to New Delhi
And finally we decided to reach back to Ahmedabad Airport aka Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport by 6:00 PM. I got this message that our flights has gone delayed by 4 hours, so we decided to have a cup of tea near Airport.
Quick tip ~ Now much hotels/ restaurants are near Airport. The only good option I found was Comfort Inn Sunset. So had a cup of tea with some snack and by 2:00 AM reached back to Delhi.
Other sites which one can explore in Ahmedabad
Apart from the other sites, one can also visit:-
- Akshardham Temple, Hathee Singh Jain Temple, Swaminarayan Mandir, Sidi Saiyed’s Mosque and Jama Masjid. It looks more like a religious tour, so I skipped it :/
Tips on planning a trip to Ahmedabad:
- Ahmedabad is a Tier 1 city, so flights from all other metro’s like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, etc are quite cheap. And for rail tickets, check IRCTC.in but you won’t find much difference between 3 AC rail ticket and an air ticket.
- Air tickets – I bought a ticket for Delhi to Ahmedabad for Rs 2750. You can even get a ticket for Rs 2450 if you book no luggage ticket. To book a flight for Ahmedabad, check Goindigo.in
- Hotels in the city – I booked Hotel Krios in Ahmedabad, which costed around Rs 1500 per day. It’s a clean hotel and in a good neighborhood.
- For transportation – I booked a cab via the hotel reception for Rs 9 per km and minimum one day charge is Rs 2250. Got a Suzuki Dzire.
- Best places to eat – As mentioned above, try Atithi dinning hall in Ahmedabad and also visit Vadodara which is just 90-120 mins drive from National Expressway 1 – 93 km long The Ahmedabad Vadodara Expressway. One of the best reads I have seen in India.
And I end this post with an anther must try dish in Gujarat. This one is a “Made in Gujarat” item and is available in New Delhi, even near my house…