Ahmedabad is much more than chic cafes, big malls and busy food joints. Our trip to this city in February this year had a long list of activities to do. So here is a list of 6 best places to visit in Ahmedabad for your next trip.
1. Sabarmati Ashram
Who doesn’t know Sabarmati Ashram. Afterall it was Gandhi ji’s place and home until he breathed his last. Popularly known as Gandhi Ashram, Sabarmati Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati River is home to memories and works of Gandhi and his disciples. The premises has empty rooms of Gandhi and his wife who lead a simple life, helping and educating the masses. The ashram is also home to a huge library, souvenir shops, Khadi clothes shop, collection of spin wheels, community kitchen and offices that run education and employment programs. These programs are exemplar of self-reliance generating employment opportunities for the needy ones.
A large part of the premises showcases valuable timelines from Gandhi’s life and his contribution to Indian independence. The framed photographs, old portraits, captures from historic events, Gandhi’s belongings, books, and handwritten letters will leave an everlasting impact on your mind.
Timing– 10 am to 5 pm
Entry fee- None
2. Ahmad Shah Mosque
The mosque has been named after Ahmed Shah, the founder of Ahmedabad. It is him where the city gets its name from. Built in 1414, the mosque is often called Shahi Jam-e-masjid. The oldest mosque of Ahmdedabad, follows the Islamic principles in layout, orientation and design of minarets but the artistry was by Hindu craftsmen. Its jali work, impressively sculpted pillars and ceilings give a unique character to the mosque. Its entrance is a large arch flanked by fountains and manicured gardens. However, only men are allowed to enter the place. Photography is allowed but tripods are restricted.
Timing– Sunrise to sunset
Entry fee- None
3. Hutheesing Jain Temple
Located in the old part of Ahmedabad city, around 3.5 kilometers from the railway station, Hutheesing Jain Temple is the largest Jain temple in Gujarat. Also known as Hatheesing temple, it was constructed in 1850 AD by a wealthy Jain merchant named Seth Hutheesing.
Dedicated to Lord Dharmnath, the15th Jain Tirthankara, this temple is an architectural masterpiece. Built in white marble, the central dome of the temple is 80 feet in diameter and towers at 350 meters. Furthermore, the carvings on the walls, symmetrical arches, and the beautiful pillars literally have no match. It is believed this temple is inspired from the prominent Dilwara Jain Temple of Mount Abu (Rajasthan). Hutheesing Temple is one of the best places to visit in Ahmedabad if you seek peace of mind or spiritual solace.
However, the authorities restrict photography inside the temple. Do not photograph the idols or shrine though you can ask permission to capture the beautiful stonework.
Timing- 9 am to 12pm and 5 pm to 7pm
Entry fee- None
4. Dai Halima Stepwell and Mosque
The Dai Halima Stepwell has another name- Dada Harir ni vav. One of the most underrated historical structures, Dai Halima Stepwell is also in the old part of Ahmedabad near Haripura , merely 2 km from Hutheesing Temple. Dai Halima, the royal midwife in the court of Mohd Beghda had initiated the stepwell’s construction. Though in a neglected state, the stone work and the built of the structure are fine examples of Islamic architecture. The spiral staircase encompass the circular shaped well and the top appears like a vertical funnel exposed to the sky. We recommend Dai Halima stepwell among the must-see stepwells in Ahmedabad.
Right behind the stepwell is Dai Halima Mosque where one of the chambers is the resting place of Dai Halima. However, women can enter Dai Halima’s tomb only and not the main mosque. The details on the ceiling and rather intricate carvings on the outer walls of the mosque left us speechless. The local Muslim communities maintain both the structures whereas other monuments are under the ASI. It would be nice to donate a little towards the conservation of these majestic but neglected places.
Timing– Dai Halima remains open throughout the day. Mosque timings are sunrise to sunset.
Entry fee- None for both structures
5. Sabarmati Riverfront
This popular waterfront developed on the banks of the Sabarmati River opened to public in 2012. The project aimed to improve the environmental condition, clean the river body and develop Ahmedabad as a modern city. So, the riverfront serves as a space for sports, recreation, garden and public infrastructure. Additionally, the bridges are decked up at night with color-changing vibrant lights.
River cruise on luxury boats that recently began has been a popular activity for newlyweds, video creators and families. The best time to be at Sabarmati riverfront is evenings where the cooling air and sounds of water will soothe your mind. Just walk around the bank, appreciating the sunset and greenery popping out from freshly constructed spots. In short, Sabarmati riverfront is a place to relax and unwind, away from the daily hubbub of life.
Timing– Open throughout
Entry fee– None
6. Adalaj Stepwell
We saved the best for the last. 😀 Adalaj or Rudabai Stepwell is not exactly in the heart of Ahmedabad but almost 20 km on the outskirts near Gandhinagar. Built in Solanki architectural style, the octagonal stepwell is jaw-dropping and is among the best places to visit in Ahmedabad. Further, the five stories deep stepwell has pillars and walls embellished with carvings of Hindu gods. Its design and architecture often leaves people appreciating the genius minds who accomplished this gorgeous structure without modern technology.
The temperature of this 15th century stepwell is five-degree cooler than the outside temperature. In the earlier times, women who visited the stepwell to fetch water would relax, worship gods in the small temples here, and socialize for a bit before moving on with their daily chores. Though the history of Adalaj stepwell is rooted in tragedy, it stands as a symbol of love and sacrifice.
Timing- 8 am to 6 pm
Entry fee- Rs 25 for Indian visitors and Rs 300 for international tourists
Ahmedabad in a nutshell
Ahmedabad is a big city and has lot more places to explore than those mentioned above. However, we intended to bring to you the best ones of the city. You can feel free to add Alpha One Mall, Manek Chowk food junction and Akshardham Temple besides others but the list above entails places with historical significance. Moreover, the first five places have no entry fee. Do let us know your experience of visiting these best places of Ahmedabad.