The curiosity to visit two places having ancient history in Gujarat namely the Sun Temple at Modhera & the ancient Step Well Rani ni Vav at Patan gave us the opportunity to explore Ahmedabad too . These two places are close to Ahmedabad so we decided to keep Ahmedabad as the base and travel to these places.Little did we know that Ahmedabad also had a lot of history behind it and we would tick mark a third place for sightseeing in our itinerary which initially had just two places Modhera & Patan. Ahmedabad being the third.
Since travelling by road could take almost an entire day to reach Ahmedabad (Mumbai -Ahd is 526 kms ) to save time we decided to travel to Ahmedabad by the Shatabdi Express which leaves Mumbai at 6.15 am and reaches Ahmedabad at 1.30 pm. The train travel is quite comfortable with breakfast and lunch being served on the train and the broad windows of the train giving an unhindered view of the countryside as the train races to reach its destination in time. After checking into a hotel at Law Garden we decided to explore Ahmedabad in the afternoon.
Food : There are many dhabas or carts available in every nook and corner of the city comprising of fluffy khaman, jalebi-fafda, dabeli and samosas. The rates are extremely cheap and coupled with a hot cutting chai can make a wholesome meal in itself. Restaurants around serve the standard Punjabi dishes,pav bhaji ,Dosa,idli etc.
Street food of Fafda /Jalebi ,Khaman
There are not many non vegetarian restaurants available. You may get some in the Mirzapur Road area where the Siddi Sayyed Mosque, Bhadra Fort are located.During our visit to these places in the evening,we chanced upon this tiny place called Famous Samosa House which served a unique combination of mini mutton samosas with pav.
After tucking into delicious Gujarati Thali comprising of farsans, phulkas, veggies, kadhi dal and rice and totally satiated we visited the Sabarmati Ashram which was once the residence of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba. It is located on the tranquil and serene stretch of Sabarmati River and has a number of other establishments within its bounds. The most famous among them is the museum ‘Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya’ which has some of Gandhi’s personal letters and photographs on display. There are other buildings and sites within the Gandhi Ashram known as Nandini, Vinoba Kutir, Upasana Mandir, and Magan Niwas. The cottage Hriday Kunj has his charkha and the writing table preserved there along with his wooden chappals and his spectacles .
After spending time in the Ashram we visited the Adalaj Stepwell or called Adalaj ni Vav ( Vav meaning well in Gujarati ) which is 14 kms from Sabarmati Ashram. Stepwells are wells in which the water is reached by steps. The stepwell may have been built to ensure water during periods of drought. Adalaj Stepwell is intricately carved and is five stories deep. It was built in 1498 by the Queen Rudradevi in memory of her husband Rana Veer Singh . It is a fine example of Indian architecture work. It is recommended to visit this well before sunset because climbing down the steps after sunset is a bit risky.
Evening we visited Law Garden for a round of shopping. Law Garden has lanes dedicated to stalls selling handicrafts, costume jewellery ,traditional Gujarati Chania Choli and other traditional apparel . A little ahead is the Khau Galli or the foodie street where late evening stalls serve street food like Pav Bhaji , Dosa , Chaat items ,Chinese food . The lane is crowded by 9 pm with locals
The next day was scheduled for our visit to Modhera & Patan. It was a day trip and we returned home late evening.
Swaminarayan Akshardham in Gandhinagar ( about 45 mins from Law Garden ) was on the top of our itinerary the next day. Akshardham is an architectural marvel with a perfect blend of art, culture and devotion . Spread over large expanse of land the
majestic Akshardham Temple is built using 6000 tons of pink sandstone.Since cameras and cell phones are not allowed inside the temple complex due to security reasons, we were unable to capture pics but the grandeur of the temple will always remain in our memory.
The afternoon was spent in sightseeing local tourist places in Ahmedabad like the Hathi Singh Jain Temple a renowned Jain temple
The Siddi Sayyed mosque, close to it is the Rani Rupmati’s Mosque which is built with Islamic & Hindu architecture. Rani Rupmati’s tomb is also situated here. A little ahead at a distance of 5 mins is the Bhadra fort and Teen Darwaza a beautiful pillared gateway
After a toy train ride at the Kankaria Lake late evening, we were ready to board our night train to Mumbai