Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat, has come a long way from when it was founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the 15th century to become India’s first World Heritage City. Hence, Gujarat is lot more than the Rann of Kachh and Somnath. Indeed a prominent metropolis now, what hasn’t changed about Ahmedabad is its charm and this is attracting major tourism to the city. While some of us might have seen Ahmedabad only through the eyes of Amitabh Bachchan in the state’s tourism advertisement “Khushboo Gujarat ki Ahmedabad”, the real essence of “the heart of Gujarat” lies in visiting the place and relishing the historical buildings, the temples, the mosques and not to forget the mighty Sabarmati River. A paradise for food lovers, one can indulge in traditional Gujarati cuisines from around the state or maybe, just shop for all things Gujju. The options are immense and here are some of the most interesting places to visit in and around Ahmedabad.
1. Sabarmati Ashram
Sabarmati Ashram is a Spartan colony of tiled houses in Ahmedabad. The place has historical importance as it is considered that it was from here Gandhi started the final struggle of Independence.
2. Jumma Masjid or Jama Masjid
One of the finest architectural specimens in Ahmedabad, Jumma Masjid is situated on Mahatma Gandhi Road. Jumma Masjid, also known as Jama Masjid, was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the year 1423. The mosque has 260 pillars that are covered with intricate carvings and the interior of the shrine is illuminated by natural lights that filter through latticework screens.
3. Siddi Sayed Mosque
One of the most photographed monuments in Ahmedabad; Siddi Sayed Mosque is situated in the northeast corner of Bhadra Fort and is famous for its lattice work over the yellow sandstone. The major highlight of this mosque is the twin jails on the western wall that depict intertwining of tree branches.
4. Teen Darwaza
The Teen Darwaza (Triple Gateway) was the entrance to the Royal Square or Maidan Shahi where the royal processions and polo games were once held. Today, the Teen Darwaza straddles the road, which is full of shops selling block prints, silverware and other small items.
5. Kankaria Lake
Kankaria Lake, located in the southern part of the city, is an ideal picnic spot for families as the lakefront has been developed into an entertainment zone. The annual week-long Kankaria Carnival is also celebrated here in December during which many cultural activities are organized for the visitors.
6. Maniar’s Wonderland
Maniar’s Wonderland is a snow themed fun park and one of the most loved places to visit near Ahmedabad within 50 km. It remains open on all days of the week from 10:00 am to 8:30 pm.
7. Indroda Nature Park
Spread across an area of around 400 hectares on the bank of Sabarmati River in Gandhi Nagar, Indroda Nature Park is deliberated to be the second biggest hatchery of dinosaur eggs in the world. It is managed by the Gujarat Ecological Education and Research Foundation and is the only dinosaur gallery in India.