Ahmedabad Travel Guide
Ahmedabad is the former capital of the State of Gujarat and was home to the leader of the non violence movement, Mahatma Gandhi. Ahmedabad is located at the bank of the Sabarmati River and is about 30km from Gandhinagar, the capital of the State of Gujarat.
Ahmedabad is the largest city in Gujarat and the fifth largest city in the whole of India. The magazine Forbes ranked it the third fastest growing city of the decade. It is known by many as the Manchester of the East due to its sizeable textile industry.
How to Reach Ahmedabad
Being the largest city and the commercial hub of the State of Gujarat, Ahmedabad has its own airport. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport is located about 15km away from the city centre. Ahmedabad Airport is well connected to other domestic airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Amritsar etc. and has daily flights to and from all of these airports. Ahmedabad also has scheduled indirect flights from UK airports such as Heathrow, Birmingham, Gatwick, Manchester and several others.
There are a number of ways to reach the city from the airport. One of the most popular and convenient ways is to hire a car to drive to your hotel or final destination. It is certainly a good means of avoiding crowded public transport and is probably the quickest way to reach your destination. If you already have a hotel booked, they will be able to help you with your car hire booking. Other ways of reaching the city centre include hiring a taxi or rickshaw or taking the city bus.
What to See / Do
Being the cultural and commercial hub of the State of Gujarat, it is probably no surprise that there is no shortage of things to see and do whilst you are in Ahmedabad. The city has has numerous historical sites that will be of interest to the tourist including its architecture and various museums. Gujarati cuisine such as Dhokla, Thepla, Ghari and Khakhra etc. are popular all over India and Gujarati Thali is served in almost every restaurant in Ahmedabad. The Gujurati Thali consists of dal, roti, rice and shaak (cooked vegetables), with pickles and roasted papads.
After tasting the Gujarati cuisine you will probably want to explore the city a bit. One of the most popular tourist attractions is Sabarmati Ashram, the home of the legendary Mahatma Gandhi which is a very moving and peaceful place. The Sabarmati Riverfront is also a big attraction to tourists and locals in Ahmedabad with many people spending time here with family and friends in the evening. The Akshardham Temple is another place that is popular for tourists with almost 2 million people visiting annually. Bulit in 1992 by Pramukh Swami Mahara, it is an architectural gem dedicated to Lord Swami Narayan. Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple every day.
Other sites include the Bhadra Fort, Dada Hari Vav, Jhulta Minar and Teen Darwaja. Popular museums inclide the Calico Museum, Hussain Doshi Gufa and the Sardar Patel National Memorial. For nature lovers, the lakes at Chandola and Kankaria are a very popular way to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Best time to go
If you like it hot, summer is the time to go although do beware that between April and July it is usually very hot with temperatures reaching up to 48°C. The winter monsoon weather is very pleasant and is a more enjoyable time to visit. Temperatures at this time (January to March are between 5°C and 25°C. If you want some local colour this is also the time that the two most famous festivals take place - Navratri and the Kite festival. In Navratri people worship the goddess Durga (the Goddess of Power) and there are many displays of group dancing (Garba Dance is the folk dance of Gujarat ).
Gujarati, Hindi and English
Where to Stay
In Ahmedabad you have a number options to suit most budgets. From five star luxury hotels like Le Meridien, Hotel Sofitel Ummed and the Hotel Shalin Suites to backpackers hostels and small cheap lodges. Whatever you are looking for, you can find your hotel at www.ticketstoindia.co.uk by using the hotel search engine. You can also book flights and flight + hotel packages on the site.