Ahmedabad is the most populous city in Gujarat state in western India, and its former capital. It is also the fifth most populous city in India. Mahatma Gandhi, who is the Father of the nation (India) was born in Ahmadabad.
Also known as Amdavad - this city was founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A.D and officially named after him. It is located on the banks of a river called Sabarmati River. Ahmedabad is often referred to as the Manchester of the East due to its vast textile industry.
Ahmedabad is one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Indian government’s Smart Cities Mission.
Ahmedabad is a colorful city filled with people in attractive clothes, a merry environment blended with heritage and modernity.
Some of the must-visit places and things to do in Ahmedabad include:
- Sabarmati Ashram - A peaceful retreat and a popular tourist attraction, known to have housed Mahatma Gandhi for a long time
- Teen Darwaza
- Parimal Garden
- Sarkhej Roza
- One Tree Hill Garden
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial Museum
- Shri Hanumanji temple
Things to Do
Located on the banks of the Sabarmati River and the land of the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the city of Ahmedabad is endowed with historical sites, vibrant and loud markets, beautiful museums, and delicious street food. Declared as India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City in 2017, Ahmedabad is a cultural capital with a plethora of activities to do and several ways to explore the city’s lifestyle and its history. Here are some of the things to do in Ahmedabad that will offer you immense joy and information about the city.
- Take an Old City Heritage Walk:
To know the history and the different facets of the city that would otherwise be missed, a walk to the UNESCO listed old city or the walled city area must be your first choice. The early morning heritage walk by the Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad offers you a glimpse into the local communities where you can see pol, which are the interlinked cluster housing characterized by wooden facades, canopied bird feeders, and sprawling courtyards which takes you away from the modern architecture of present times.
- Wolf down the Street Food at Manek Chowk:
Ahmedabad has a variety of cuisines and food items to gorge on and the best place to hit on is the Manek Chowk located near Bhadra Fort. The mornings and afternoons here are hoarded by shoppers in search of clothing, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, and souvenirs, while the night from 9 pm to 2 am is the time when the street gets wafted with the aroma of sizzling food to die for from the several food stalls.
- Give your prayers in the worship places:
Ahmedabad has many remarkable Hindu and Jain temples, Mosques, and Churches as well where you can go and spend some time in the quiet serenity of the almighty. The most popular temple in the city is the Hutheesing Jain Temple with some extraordinary carvings and marble sculptures of deities. The 15th-century Jama Masjid is another religious spot with remarkable architecture that is also a must-visit place.
- Dive deep into the life of Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram:
What can be a better place to learn about the life of Mahatma Gandhi then the famous Sabarmati Ashram, on the left bank of the Sabarmati River? A place where India’s freedom struggle began, Sabarmati Ashram displays furniture and tools used by Mahatma Gandhi and a museum showcasing documents, photographs, and artifacts from the time of the British Raj and what all went into the fight for freedom.
- Get enlightened at a museum:
Ahmedabad has museums in all genres and for people of all ages. Its rich history and culture are well preserved in the different museums such as the ancient Indian sculptures in LalbhaiDalpatbhai Museum, rich textile in the Calico Textile Museum, Kite festival in the Patang Kite Museum, ancient and classic cars in the Auto Word Vintage Car Museum, and many more.
- Admire and relax while sitting on the Step Wells:
Step wells are an imminent part of Ahmedabad or the Gujarat culture which are known ad ‘vav’ and the city has more than 100 of these. Many of these Vavs are deteriorated but some such as Dada HarirVav and Adalaj Ni Vav are better preserved and worth visiting. With spiral staircases leading down to several levels past intricately carved pillars and arches, these step wells offer Instagram worthy shots and take you back to the erstwhile era of kings and queens.
- Watch a movie under the star-studded sky:
The sunset Drive-In Cinema is the oldest drive-in cinema in India and boasts about having the ‘largest open-air screen in Asia’ which makes the experience even more exciting. Featuring a huge screen with Dolby sound system, watch your favorite movies at 7:30 pm and 10:30 pm all days either while sitting comfortably in your car or from the shaded sitting area outside.
- Stroll along the Sabarmati Riverfront:
A quiet walk during the sunset or sunrise in the waterfront promenade along the Sabarmati River is all you need to calm and experience serenity. Listen to the soulful sound of the river water, take a boat ride, and enjoy the street food to have a subtle yet fulfilling leisure time.
Ahmedabad was founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the 15th century as the new capital of Gujarat. The city remained under the dominance of many rulers and dynasties including the Marathas and the Mughals. There is no surprise that the historical places in the city are a testimony of its rich past.
Some of the historical places are:
- Bhadra Fort
- Jama Masjid
- Shah-e-Alam’s Roza
- Hutheesing Jain Temple
- Dada Harir Vav (It was constructed in the year 1485 by Dhai Harir)
Ahmedabad is a developed urban city. To know the history and heritage of the city, visiting below listed museums is the best way:
Ahmedabad has a lot of offer in terms of souvenirs – ranging from traditional festive clothes, jewelry to food items and artefacts. Shopping in Ahmedabad is something you shouldn’t miss out on – even if it is just window shopping!
Some great shopping spots in the city are:
- Rani No Hajiro
- Ahmedabad Cloth Market
- Sindhi Market
- Mangalya Bandhani Sarees
- Dhalgarwad Market
- Manek Chowk (a delightful and unique shopping spot that is a vegetable market by morning, a jewellery market in the afternoon and from late evening to almost until midnight it is a street food hub and hangout spot with hundreds of food stalls selling delicious snacks)
- Fernandes Bridge Book Market
- Law Garden Market
Ahmedabad is known for its delicious Gujarati snacks such as:
- Khakra (a thin savory cracker made with wheat flour, oil and spices)
- Dhokla (a steamed cake of fermented chickpea flour batter, topped with a tempering of mustard, curry leaves and sometimes coconut)
- Fafda (a fried crunchy item made with gram flour, carom seeds and black pepper)
- Handvo (a baked cake of lentil batter mixed with grated bottle gourd and often other vegetables like cabbage and carrot)
as well as the massive “Gujarati thali” – a platter consisting of various local starters, main course dishes, and sweets, which is served for main meals like lunch or dinner.
Some Gujarati main course dishes and sweets popular in Ahmedabad include:
- Khatti Meethi Dal (A lentil dish, in local style)
- Gujarati Kadhi (a soupy dish made of chickpea flour, yogurt and spices)
- Thepla (a spicy whole wheat flatbread)
- Shaak (Vegetable curries)
- Shrikhand (A sweet dish made of thick strained curd mixed with sugar, saffron and cardamom)
- Undhiyu (A curry made with mixed vegetables and spices, and traditionally cooked earthen pots)
- Aamras (Ripe Mango Pulp – usually served when in season, in the “Thali” along with other food items)
Gujarati cuisine has the reputation of adding some sweetness (generally sugar) in almost all dishes – snacks and main course ones as well.
Some of the best restaurants in Ahmedabad that serve authentic Gujarati cuisine and other International cuisine are:
- @Mango – Bodakdev (Serves Continental, North Indian, Italian, and Mexican)
- SKYZ Restaurant & Banquet (Serves Mexican, North Indian, Italian, Chinese, and Continental)
- Collage (Serves Continental, North Indian, and Mughlai)
- Earthen Oven (Serves North Indian, Biryani, and Mughlai)
- Mocha (Serves Continental and Desserts)
The cafes, discos, night clubs in Ahemdabad are some of the attractions among the local people to hang out at night. Some of the best night out places are:
- Sphere lounge (A terrace cafe in the Ramada hotel)
- Rewind the Disc
- Escape Discotheque
- Busker's Corner
- Java +
Ahmedabad is the largest city in Gujarat with a number of amazing attractions. Inevitably there is a wide range of accommodation in the city. Some of the best places to stay in Ahmedabad are:
- Crowne Plaza Ahmedabad City Centre (From INR 4500 Onwards)
- Novotel Ahmedabad Hotel (From INR 2500 Onwards)
- Renaissance Ahmedabad Hotel (From INR 4000 Onwards)
- Courtyard Ahmedabad (From INR 3000 Onwards)
- Regenta Central Antarim (From INR 1200 Onwards)
The festivals in Ahemdabad are celebrated with great joy and enthusisam. Below are some of the most famous festivals whose celebration will make you groove:
- International Kite Festival
- Modhera Dance Festival
- Bhavnath Mahadev Fair
- Rann Utsav
- Kavant Fair
- Chitra Vichitra Mela (During this festival, local woman gather by the river and spend the whole night mourning for their dead relatives)
- Madhavrai Fair (The fair is conducted to celebrate the wedding of Lord Krishna and Devi Rukmini)
Ahmedabad Metro is a rapid transit system that serves Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in Gujarat. It was built by Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation (GMRC) Limited. The metro is still under construction and phase 1 is expected to be completed by 2023.
- Police - 100
- Fire Station - 101
- Ambulance - 108102
- Women Helpline - 181
- Rescue & Relief Helpline - 1070
- Child Helpline - 1098
- Citizen’s Call Center Helpline – 155303
Gujarati is the official language in Ahemdabad but languages like English and Hindi are spoken as well.
- Welcome - svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad
- Welcome - padhaaro
- How are you? - tame kem chho
- What's your name? - taru naam su chhe
- Where are you from? - tame kyaan na chho
- Goodbye - avjo
- Good night - shubh ratri
A UNESCO Heritage City, explore the vibrant, welcoming, and culturally rich city of Ahmedabad through many of its facets including food, history, art, and craft, and dive deep into its story worth experiencing.