A bustling city in the heart of Gujrat, Ahmedabad might not be a favourite tourist destination but the city has its share of fun and unique experiences to offer. The land of smart businessmen and remarkably down-to-earth people, Ahmedabad charms its visitors with delicious food, amazing hospitality and colourful culture.
See Ahmedabad at its cultural best during Navratras, when festivity and joy take over the entire city. People from different spheres of life gather at community centres and perform traditional Garba and Dandiya dances to the beats of Gujrati folk and devotional music. Yes, the atmosphere is maddening and you wonder how people can swing and dance to music for so long but I soon realized that the spirit is infectious! During Navratras, the city is decorated with lights and the markets are flooded with beautiful lehenga-cholis and other traditional apparel offered at discounted rates.
Historical Monuments and Temples
A visit to the Jhulta Minar is a must. Built in the Siddi Bashir Mosque, there are two unique minarets that sway when force is applied to the upper arch. The Hathi Singh Jain Temple and the Ram ji Mandir are beautiful temples in the city that are testimony to the aesthetic appeal that is inherent in Gujrat.
A restaurant with no prices on the menu and customers pay how much they please. Sounds like failed business plan or a utopic, deal doesn’t it? In the heart of the city there is Seva Café where people from different social backgrounds volunteer to serve food with a smile. Following the philosophy of ‘Living is Giving’, at the end of your meal, an empty envelope is handed to you wherein you can leave as much money as you wish. A humanitarian concept at its best!
Renowned Educational Institutes
A visit to Ahmedabad would be incomplete without seeing the campuses of National Institute of Design and Indian Institute of Management. Though not on the typical tourist circuit, these two prestigious academic institutes boast of great architecture, expansive gardens and an amazingly well stocked libraries. Not to mention, some of the country’s best talent in fields of business and art are found here.
Nothing displays the down-to-earth lifestyle of the people of Ahmedabad better than the Sabarmati Ashram. The living quarters of Mahatma Gandhi, his personal articles like his spectacles and spinning wheel are well preserved in the ashram amidst echoes of his teachings.