Ahmedabad

The business capital of Gujarat and recently labelled one of the top 20 key cities to watch as it has moved into the ranks of India’s ‘megacities’, Ahmedabad has a long and fascinating history. The city has more than meets the eye and visitors are urged to spend a little bit more time exploring this friendly, if frenetic, but always charming, destination

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad

The former capital and now largest city in Gujarat, Ahmedabad has a long and fascinating history. A mix of historic and modern buildings, stunning museums and prestigious academic institutions, and famed for markets and great food, the city is the visible manifestation of Gujarati's famed entrepreneurial spirit and self-reliance in commerce and trade. The city was also the site of Mahatma Gandhi's old headquarters on the banks of the Sabarmati river from whence sprung India's independence movement.

Ahmedabad's most famous tourist site is Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram (1917–30), a few miles out from the centre of the city in a quiet riverside location. It was Gandhi's headquarters during the long struggle for Indian independence and the starting point for Gandhi’s symbolic protest salt march to the sea. Now a fascinating museum, it still retains many of the original buildings for all to see.

The city has a rich legacy of Hindu and Jain temples; step wells, such as that at Adalaj; forts and gateways; Muslim mosques, minarets and mausoleums. The city's most famed religious building is the Jama Masjid, one of the country’s most beautiful mosques, surrounded by a courtyard created from the architectural remains of both Hindu and Jain temples. It sports over 260 columns and 15 domes at different levels. Another is Gurdwara Gobind Dham, which is thought of as the best gurdwara in Ahmedabad!

Tourist spots in which to relax or take an evening stroll include the Sabarmati riverfront, Kankaria Lake and Law Gardens.

Ahmedabad has recently been labelled one of the top 20 key cities to watch in India as it has moved up into the ranks of India’s ‘megacities’. The state government envisages it as a world-class city, and it is currently home to many prestigious academic and scientific institutions and is also a centre for commerce and business.

The new Terminal 2 (international traffic) at Ahmedabad’s airport, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International – which is only 6 miles/10 km from the city centre – was newly refurbished and inaugurated in 2010, becoming one of the first of India’s upgraded airports, and now able to take the newest aircraft such as the Airbus A330-300s, which POP is planning to use.

Festivals

Kite Festival (14 January 2017): an international festival always held in Ahmedabad to coincide with the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti to celebrate the end of winter

Navratri – the festival of Nine Lights (21–29 September 2017), devoted to the worship of Durga, with markets, lights and dancing

Statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad


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