Ahmedabad Travel Guide

Ahmedabad Overview

Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s major city, straddling the Sabarmati River, is as diverse a city as you will find in India. From traditional Muslim roots to the stunning old city of to the modern day skyscrapers, there is something here for everyone to enjoy. The home of Mahatma Gandhi from 1918 to 1930, the city is a comfortable train ride from Mumbai and the gateway to the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

 
The city spreads out across both sides of the Sabarmati River and is connected by four main bridges, Gandhi, Nehru, Ellis and Sardar. On the eastern banks of the river is the old town with its crowded bazaars, hectic narrow streets and several places of worship. The western side houses some modern buildings, shopping malls, new business districts and, a little further out, Sabarmati Ashram. Tourists tend to head for the traditional eastern side due to the greater density of hotels, restaurants and attractions.
 
Shopping is big in the city and by night the streets come alive. The Law Garden Night Market is jam packed with venders offering traditional made-to-measure Gujarati clothing, characterized by backless mirrored blouses and long wide skirts. There are also a number of large emporiums selling textiles at affordable prices. For the adventurous traveler, the Ravivari riverside flea market is an outrageous mix of items, from clothing to animals.
 
Ahmedabad is a food paradise and often where tourists get their first taste of the Gujarati thali, a variety of vegetarian dishes. The area of Relief Road, running from Dr Tanakri Road contains enough eating options to cater for all tastes. Food can at times be quite spicy so be sure to consult the waiter when ordering. 
 
Transport links, in and out of the city, come in a variety of forms. The STC (State Transport Corporation) bus stand, next to Rani Sipri’s mosque, sees buses depart regularly to Junagadh, Bhavangar and Rajkot. Also departing from here are a number of long haul services, including Ajmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Trains run daily to a number of Gujarat and Rajasthan towns plus three trains to Delhi and two to Mumbai. As ever, auto rickshaws are on hand for short journeys, although Ahmedabad is a great city to explore on foot, providing you can tolerate the frenetic streets.
 
Most tourist find themselves making a brief stop here to visit Gandhi’s Ashram, however with a few extra days and exploration, a fascinating city of Muslim history contrasted with a modern day metropolis unfolds.

Things to do in Ahmedabad

Sabarmati Ashram - On the west bank of the Sabarmati River is the former headquarters of Mahatma Gandhi. Used during the fight for independence, the ashram is now a celebration and preservation of the legacy left by Gandhi. Many visitors leave inspired after viewing his preserved living quarters and the fantastic photographic account of his life. The ashram is located 5km from the city centre and an auto rickshaw costs around Rs30. Opening times 8.30am - 6.30pm. Entrance is free.

 
Swaminarayan Temple - A wander through the narrow streets of the old city will bring you to this charming and colorful wooden temple. Both the interior and exterior are decorated with designs portraying Gujarati culture. At the entrance to the temple are free, non-aggressive guides, with an ageing Mr. Modi being a particularly pleasant one.
 
Bhadra Fort - Constructed in 1411 by Ahmed Shah, the fort dominates the city centre with its impressive palace and garden. The building is now home to government offices; however, access can be gained to the roof, providing unsurpassed views of the city. Teen Darwaja, to the east of the fort, is the former gateway to the Royal Square.
 
Jama Masjid - There are a number of mosques and mausoleums scattered around the city, however this one is particularly enchanting. Step inside at evening prayer time, take your place amongst the Muslims and soak up the atmosphere.
 
Gujarat Science City - For something different, visit this educational centre complete with IMAX 3D Theatre, Hall of Science and Thrill Ride/Simulator. The centre is in the area of Hebatpur, on the way to Gandhinagar. Opening times 3-9pm daily.
 
Makar Sakantri - If you are visiting in January then you may be lucky enough to witness the international kite festival.

Hotels in Ahmedabad

Budget Hotels Ahmedabad

 
Hotel Cadillac - For an easy cheap option then this hotel is good value, although with shared bathrooms. Advance Cinema Road. Tel (91) (79) 5507558.
 
Hotel Sahil - Another reasonable budget option, this hotel is made up of a variety of small, basic rooms. Dr Tankaria Road (opposite Advance Cinema). Tel (91) (79) 25507351.
 
Midrange Hotels Ahmedabad
 
Hotel Kamran - An unpretentious hotel with a range of clean and comfortable rooms, some with A/C. The 24 hour check out is an advantage for anyone catching a late bus/train. GPO Road. Tel (91) (79) 25509586.
 
Hotel Balwas - Excellent value hotel with rooms containing hot water, TV and telephone. Some rooms at the front of the building have balconies looking onto the hectic Relief Road. Relief Road. Tel (91) (79) 25507135.
 
Ritz Inn - Centrally located, close to the train station, this hotel has a number of well-decorated, comfortable rooms, good restaurant and 24-hour checkout. Station Road, Kapasia Bazaar. Tel (91) (79) 22123842.
 
Luxury Hotels Ahmedabad
 
House of MG - Set in the 1920’s former home of Mangaldas Girdhardas, one of the city’s foremost sons, this hotel is a haven for the upper class. All rooms are exquisitely decorated and there is an option to actually purchase the furniture. Its two restaurants, Green House and Agashiye, are among Ahmedabad’s finest. Dr Tankaria Road. Tel (91) (79) 25506946.

Ahmedabad Weather

Ahmedabad Travel Resources

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