Western India: Top 5 Pearls To See In Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Western India: Top 5 Pearls To See In Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Aleksandra ‘Sandy’
Aleksandra ‘Sandy’
Updated

When you think of travelling around the Indian state of Gujarat, it might not necessarily be easy for you to come up with the names of its famed landmarks, as they remain somehow in the shadow of destinations like Mumbai, New Delhi, or Goa. And yet, Gujarat’s biggest city, Ahmedabad, hides more treasures of art and places of historical importance than all those three combined!

Once the hub of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent revolution, it’s now a busy metropolis and home to some three million people, where the old lives together with the new. Don’t leave it out when you’re thinking of a trip to Western India, and here are five exceptional places to help you get the planning started!

1. The Sabarmati Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi

In the early 20th century, Ahmedabad witnessed the rise of a movement that would eventually change India forever: the non-violent revolution of Mahatma Gandhi. It was here that Gandhi and his followers weaved cotton as means of a peaceful protest against the British rule. The Ashram would be opened and welcoming to all the members of the society, regardless of their caste – which was the first, vital step on the long road to putting an end to the centuries-long, class-based discrimination.

Recently, the Sabarmati Ashram has been turned into a beautifully designed museum, accompanied by a pleasant garden, where everyone can enjoy a silent moment of rest. As it’s located right by the bank of the Sabarmati river, it also offers one of the best views of Ahmedabad’s panorama.

The Sabarmati Ashram

Address: Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, Hridaya Kunj, Old Wadaj, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380027, India

Price: Free of charge

Opening Hours: 8.30am - 6.30pm daily

Contact: +91 79 2755 7277

Website: www.gandhiashramsabarmati.org

2. The Hutheesing Temple

Hidden away from the crowds, the Hutheesing Temple is a spectacle of unbelievably refined architecture. It is used by the practitioners of Jainism, one of India’s chief religions, known for its commitment to non-violence and kindness towards all living beings. And indeed, you will be struck not only by the subtle beauty of the place, but also by the warm welcome you’ll receive. You’ll be allowed to wander around every corner of the place, and with each step you will find more and more architectural and sculptural wonders to behold.

The only setback that some tourist might find annoying is the fact that photography is not allowed inside the temple premises. But do not be discouraged by this – the visit to this dazzling place will leave you with irreplaceable, precious memories of Indian architecture at its finest.

The Hutheesing Temple

Address: Shahibaug Rd, Bardolpura, Madhupura, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380004, India

Price: Free of charge

Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm (excluding lunch break from 1pm to 2pm)

3. The Sidi-Saiyyed Mosque

The Sidi-Saiyyed Mosque is a must-see if you’re an admirer of art. Famous for its intricate stone masonry and two stunningly carved windows, it is by far the best-known mosque of the city. While being constantly used for prayers, the mosque is open to visitors of any faith. Remember to comply with the customs of the place: women are encouraged to cover their hair with a scarf, while men should wear a taqiyah (a short, rounded cap) if they decide to enter the prayer hall (you can take one from a basket by one of the pillars).

The Sidi-Saiyyed Mosque is located at the edge of Ahmedabad’s busiest market. If you wish, you can dive into the vast crowds and see what the street sellers have on offer – but I need to warn you, it will be acutely noisy and chaotic!

Sidi-Saiyyed Mosque

Address: Salapose Road, Lal Darwaja, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380001, India

Price: Free of charge

Opening Hours: 7am - 6pm

Contact: +91 79 2550 6264

Website: Sidi-Saiyyed Mosque

4. Adalaj Ni Vav

If the frenetic traffic of Ahmedabad has slightly gotten on your nerves, take a small trip north. Just a couple of miles away from the city, a true pearl awaits you, one of the most emblematic monuments of Western India: Adalaj Ni Vav. It is an Indo-Arabic stepwell, initially designed to gather monsoon water, which was eventually turned into a masterpiece of art and architectural beauty.

As you walk down the steps of the well, you’ll witness the dazzling spectacle of lights and shadows unfolding before your eyes. The corridor will lead you to the surface of the pond, which is surrounded by a splendid octagonal colonnade — a glorious offspring of marriage between the finest Indian and Islamic styles.

Adalaj Ni Vav

Address: Adalaj, Gujarat 382421, India

Price: Free of charge

Opening Hours: 10am - 6.30pm

Contact: +91 97271 99922

Website: Adalaj Ni Nav

5. Parimal Garden

Another place in which you will find refuge from the city’s chaos is the Parimal Garden. Do not miss it, especially if you’re a lover of nature and wish to see some amazing Indian animals! Cheeky, wild monkeys, colourful parrots, tortoises, ibises, and ponds full of lotus flowers – what a splendid material for photos! All the animals roam freely wherever they please, no cages and bars confining them. You may want to be careful, however, especially with the monkeys! Avoid eating your take-away in their presence, as they are more than likely to be a bit jealous of it and attempt to steal it. If you find yourself hungry after the visit, right next to the main entrance, you’ll find a McDonalds, which - surprisingly! - offers a whole variety of vegetarian burgers.

Parimal Garden

Address: Parimal Cross Road, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380006, India

Price: Free of charge

Opening Hours: 6am - 12pm and 2pm - 10pm

The pearls of Ahmedabad

All these mesmerising places can be visited within a span of two days, which makes Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, a perfect destination for a weekend trip when you’ve grown tired of Mumbai or New Delhi. Given that it’s not a tourist destination as such, you’ll be given an opportunity to experience Indian city life just as it is. Go for some local street food (it’s truly delicious!), enjoy the sight of relaxed cows lying calmly right in the middle of heavy traffic, and explore the charms of the city at your own pace. It will surely be one of your greatest Indian adventures!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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