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By Taxi
[[Image:19654594 62b3c94f32 o.jpg|300px|right|thumb|Jama Masjid]]
'''Ahmedabad''' (also spelled '''Ahmadabad''') is the sixth largest city (pop. 6.5 million) in India. It is the commercial hub of the state of [[Gujarat]], though it is not the capital, which is [[Gandhinagar]], 30 km to the north. Although it is not very well known as a 'tourist' place, it is certainly worth a visit. Actually, the fact that That there are fewer tourists will often get you a warmer welcome here.
== Understand ==
The British restricted themselves to the cantonment area and didn’t take much interest in the city. Nor did they get around to colonizing Ahmedabad culturally; they didn't set up schools, churches, clubs all over the city, the way they did in other cities they integrated to their way of life.
So, unlike most other large Indian cities, Ahmedabad is not an English speaking city by nature - but language is never a problem as it has emerged as an international trading hub of Gujarat and almost everybody speaks English. The local language is Gujarati. You can get around by using Hindi or English with most people. The locals are by and large a friendly folk so you’ll get by, even if you don't speak any Indian languages.
Ahmedabad was a cradle of the non-violent movement for India's independence, being host to the Sabarmati ''ashram'' of Mahatma Gandhi. Ahmedabad poses a mixture of rich tradition and modern feel. Ahmedabad is famous for the Navaratri festival. It's considered to be the longest dance festival on earth. Navratri rocks Ahmedabadi people and their guests too.
The Gujarati community is largely known for its hospitality and for being shrewd businessmen. Ahmedabad is a big industrial city long reputed for its textile industry, and today more so for its chemical, petroleum, international trade & IT industries. It is also well-known for the Finance Wizards and as the modern hub of Jain Religion. The city has been put on world map by institutions like Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad, National Institute of Design, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information & Communication Technology, IHM, MICA, Petroleum Institute, EDI, Nirma University, Swaminarayan Gurukul , CEPT (Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology) University , NIFT and a few others. The place has become a landmark for good education practices.
Ahmedabad is well-connected domestically via daily flights from [[Mumbai]], [[Delhi]], [[Indore]], [[Chennai]], [[Bangalore]], [[Goa]], [[Kolkata]], [[Jaipur]], [[Pune]], [[Coimbatore]], [[Hyderabad]] and Nagpur with connections to several other Indian cities and towns. Recently, flights to Kandla and Surat have also been launched. Most domestic airlines have a flight in and out of Ahmedabad.
Travelers Travellers hoping to arrive at the airport early should be advised that the international terminal is not open 24 hours, and may not open until the late afternoon. Similarly, as at other Indian airports, you will likely be denied entry until approximately three hours before your scheduled flight even if the terminal is open. Therefore, connecting between a domestic and an international flight will often involve waiting outside the airport with the throngs of touts for several hours.
Ahmedabad proper is about 20km from the airport, and a rickshaw/taxi should cost roughly 200/300 rupees respectively. Save yourself considerable hassle by using the prepaid booth, or, better yet, arrange a pickup through your hotel.
===By train===
Ahmedabad is connected with Mumbai(500 km), Vadodara Jaipur, Jodhpur and Delhi with trains several times a day. Daily connections (or multiple weekly connections) are also available to several other major cities including Bikaner, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, Udaipur, Indore, Pune, Bhopal, Kolkata, Nagpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Chennai, Nagarcoil, [[Trivendram]], Bangaluru, and Coimbatore. Direct trains are also available for Jammu, Patna, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Kolhapur, Goa, Mangalore, Cochin, [[Trivandrum]], Hyderabad and Bangalore.Ahmedabad's fifteen other stations are Maninagar,Vatva, Gandhigram, Asarva, Chandlodia,Chandkheda,Saij,Kalol jn, Kali gam, Vastrapur, Sabarmati, Sarkhej,Naroda,Gandhinagar,Khodiyar,Aamli.
If you are just connecting through Ahmedabad, there are showers available just outside and to the left of the station for Rs 10.
===By car===
You could drive to Ahmedabad from Mumbai on the new highway (NH-8) that's been built, but it will take you around 8 hours (without any traffic jams) to do the '''550 odd Kilometerskilometres'''. You will pass Vapi, Valsad, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, and Nadiad on your way. Driving on the NH-8 is an energy sapper and no fun as there is a huge amount of truck traffic. Be aware that broken down trucks on the highway regularly cause traffic jams for hours on end. The journey from Vadodara to Ahmedabad can also be done through the dedicated express way (NE-1) which does not pass through any towns , rather than NH-8.
== Get around ==
===By Taxi===
A reliable way of booking your cab is to book it online. There are a couple of popular sites where you have the luxury of choosing from a variety of options - [], [], [], [] and , []. * <listing name="" alt="Ahmedabad Car Rental" address="" directions="" phone="+91 888 023 4455" url="" hours="Inquiry: 7am to 11pm" price="Fares start from Rs.765 for within city and Rs.8/km for outside city" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">Ahmedabad Car Rental services on - a Chauffeur Driven Car Rental Service across 75 Cities in India.</listing>
You can either book a taxi from hotel or directly book one outside the railway station. There is government authorized taxi stand. 950Rs/day for 12 hours. It maybe more costly to book through hotel as hotels do have their in the fares. It is better to negotiate with the driver directly.
== Talk ==
The local language is [[Gujarati phrasebook|Gujarati]]. Hindi is understood by almost everyone and English is prevalent amongst educated people. The education ratio is improving at a much faster pace though as the city is developing as an education center centre with some great institutions. English is at least partially understood by most people in the tourist industry.
== See ==
*'''Bhadra Fort''', To add special charm to the varied sights of the city there is the Bhadra Fort, which once housed royal palaces and well-laid gardens. It boasts the temple of Bhadrakali and was built in 1411 during the Maratha rule.
* '''Heritage Houses of poles''', A living heritage, the structures are 200-400 years old and the people living in there are original ahmedabadi families and they still live there traditions. Souvener shop there where you could see all local crafts. There is an old world charm created in a huge house which is like a palace. Must visit pol's 1 - Dhobini pol haveli no:1765 2 - Desai ni pol row of houses 3 - sutharwada ni pol 4 - Jethabhai ni pol 5 - wagheswar ni pol 6 - Sankadi sheri. for more details visit
*'''Akshardham Temple''', Rich and Wonderful architecture. Located in Gandhinagar, about 20 km from Ahmedabad. Temple will be closed on Monday. Otherdays you can visit from 10 to 6
*'''Vastrapur Lake'''. Newly constructed artificial lake.
*'''Law Garden''', Considered the main center centre of activity in Ahmedabad, one can purchase handcrafts and traditional Gujarati outfits, amongst other things.
*'''Sarkhej Roja''', This is a small city located 10km southwest of Ahmedabad. It is widely known for its architectural complexes.
*'''Indian Institute of Management (IIM)'''[], in Vastrapur, one of the best B-School of Management in India was built by Louis Kahn and is a wonderful architectural creation.
*'''Gujarat National Law University (GNLU)''' [], is a statutory university established by the Govt. of Gujarat through the Gujarat National Law University Act, 2003. This University is based in the city of Gandhinagar, which is the capital of Gujarat and is located 30 kilometers kilometres north of Ahmedabad.
*'''Darpana Academy of Performing Arts'''[], is one of the oldest performing arts academies in the city. Its amphitheater amphitheatre Natarani has a fabulous performance venue overlooking the Sabarmati river and is one of the few places to bring internationally acclaimed performing artists to the city.
*'''Ahmedabad Metal Scene'''[], One of the best underground metal scene, unknown to residents of gujarat.
*'''Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum''', It is one of the best arts displaying museum in city. It has a wide collection of Indian miniature paintings, stone sculptures, terracotta, paintings of Tagore, art of Nepal and Tibet, bronzes, textiles, wood work, cloth paintings, metal sculptures, coins. A must see museum in Ahmedabad city.
*'''L. D. Institute of Indology''', Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology was established in Ahmedabad by Muni Shri Punyavijayji and Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai. The museum houses priceless collection of books, manuscripts and other reference material from ancient India.The museum is a treasure trove of manuscripts relating to Jainism. In all there are about 45,000 printed books with 75,000 manuscripts including out of which 500 are illustrated ones. These documents from the past cover a wide range of subjects like Vedas, Agamas, Buddhism, Tantras, Jain Darshana, System of Indian Philoshy, Jaina Philoshpy, Grammer and Poetics etc.The institute has also published seven volumes of catalogues in languages like Hindi, Sanskrit, Old Gujrati, Prakrit and Rajasthani. The institute also conducts periodical workshops on manuscriptology and paleography. It can be learning experience if you get to attend these workshop.
*'''Nirma University''', It is a private university developed by the legendary businessman Mr. Karsanbhai Patel, founder of one of the biggest Indian FMCG house Nirma. The campus of the university, which is spread in about 100 acres is worth a visit. You would also like to see the internal infrastructure and the overall administration of the university, that puts it in line with any international university. It is located at S. G. Highway about 20 km distance from the heart of the city - C. G. Road. []
*'''Swaminarayan Gurukul''', It is a residential and day boarding school run by the Swaminarayan faith of Hinduism. The infrastructure and the education systems are worth watching. On the first look of the main school building, you may feel that you are visiting some ancient palace of a powerful king. The school teaches not only formal education but also provides training in horse-riding, archery, dairy development, Yoga, Ayurveda, etc. After your visit, you may feel like putting you own child in this school.
*'''S. G. Highway''', or Sarkhej - Gandhinagar Highway, the recently developed hub of entertainment in Ahmedabad, is worth putting in couple of evening for. From fun and movies at Fun Republic and Wide Angle or R-World to temples like Mini Vaishnow Devi Temple and ISKON temple, you will find almost everything that you need for entertainment. The same highway leads you to Gandhinagar as well, where you can visit Akshardham temple and many other places of interest.
*'''Dada Hari ni Vav (step well)'''
*'''Veechar Utensil Museum''', the only museum in the country showcasing over 3000 3,000 utensils used by the various households in India. It's a personal collection of Mr. Surendra Patel who has curated and designed the museum. The museum is a part of Vishalla, a restaurant serving ethnic Gujarati Food. It's a magnificent museum showcasing a very different culture of India.
*'''National Insitute of Design''', India's Premier Design Institute with over 16 disciplines of Design.
* '''RakshaBandhan''' - A festival celebrated by sisters and brothers. The festival consists of a sister tying a rakhi on the brother's hand. They ask to be by their side forever and also save them from all the problems they might face in the future. The festival is generally celebrated in the month of August.
* '''Holi''' - Better know as festival of colours, where people apply color colour on their beloved very well known as 'gulaal', which was ideally made of 'Kesuda' a flowering plant. But, now people use the powdered form. People gather at one place forgetting all their problems and have fun in this festival. It is also very well associated with myth or Holika - Phrlad & Hirnayakashyapu.
* '''Navratri (festival of nine nights)''', Navratri or the festival of nine nights is devoted to Goddess Shakti. The festival also has the famous folk dance of Gujarat "Garba". The festival continues for nine nights, everybody takes part into it with same emphasis. Each night starts with ceremonial "Aarti" and is followed by Garba until midnight. The Garba dance is carried out around the statue of Goddess Shakti. Garba is also played with Dandiyas in hand. During these nights, city is been beautifully decorated and nights become short.
* '''Eid-Ul-Fitr OR Ramdhan Eid''' EID-UL-FITR is celebrated on the first day of Shaw'waal, at the completion of Ramadan. Shaw'waal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The Eid-al-Fitr is a very joyous day; it is a true Thanksgiving Day for the believing men and women. On this day, Muslims show their real joy for the health, strength and the opportunities of life, which Allah has given to them to fulfill their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed month of Ramadan.
The Muslims of Ahmedeabad and surrounding villages come to Eidgah (a holy place to perform Eids' Namaz (prayer) and Shahi Jam-E-Masjid. The people decorate their homes, shops, buildings, greet each other etc.
== Buy ==
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Ahmedabad is well known for its textile industries. Be sure to look at the traditional hand embroidered and tie 'n die & dye clothes, and if you are buying from the roadside shops be prepared to [[haggle]]. It would not be advisable to try these without a local guide. The city's main market area is situated at Thron Darwaja, Dhalgarwad, Ratan Pole, Manek Chowk(old areas)near Lal Darwaja and newer markets like C.G.Road and Sarkhej - Gandhinagar highway near Vastrapur. It is generally a crowded area, but you get a better variety of clothes (it is very crowded during festival seasons). The street side shops near Law Garden also offers good choices. Some shops such as Bandhej and Sanskruti offer these traditional items at fixed (and maybe overpriced) rates. But now the big shopping malls are offering almost all the things at a very cheap rate. You would also love to visit some of the local sweet shops, where traditional Gujarati sweets will catch your attention. Some of the famous shops are Bhogilal Mulchand Kandoi, Jai Hind, Ras Ranjan, etc.
The 10 Acres Shopping Mall is quite dead, although it offers 120 rupee movies to get out of the heat and into air conditioning while you wait for a bus at the very close Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation bus station.
The newly opened Alpha One Mall has plenty of shopping places and tons of eating joins as well. Try a few other malls like Reliance/ISKON, Himalaya Mall etc. Visit a few multiplexes and enjoy the luxury seats which turn into a couch-almost nowhere found in the world. You can enjoy this at ebony lounge in Big Cinemas at Himalaya Mall and other multiplexes as well.
== Eat ==
Ahmedabad is a gastronomic paradise. You will find at least one restaurant in every nook and corner, anywhere in Ahmedabad. Gujarati people are fond of eating and the food generally tends to be on the sweeter side. Gujaratis are mostly vegetarians hence most local fare consists of vegetarian fare. However, with the advent of international and domestic food chains non-vegetarian fare has become popular in recent times. Ahmedabad is famous for its ice-creams because of abundance of dairy products in the state and Gujaratis' penchant for sweets as well. Gujarati specialties include Dhokla, Khandvi, Srikhand, Haandvo, Bhajiya amongst others.
There are lots of Gujarati dining halls where you can get unlimited "thali" meals within US$4. A thali consists of variety of concoctions including salads, appetizers, snacks, breads, pulses, vegetable curries and sweets. This is a very unique experience in terms of not only taste and quality but also the way the items are served. If you have not stayed in India for long, select a food place which is famous and well organized (hotels, big restaurants). Otherwise, its fun to eat at one of the road side stalls, especially at the Khau Galli in Law Garden area and Khan Pan Bazaar in Manekchawk. Various stalls start operating in both these places in the evening and run late in the night. You will enjoy the food like Paani - Puri (Gol Gappa), Indian Chat, Indian Sandwiches, North Indian, Indian-Chinese and some continental cuisines, amazingly at road-side stalls and for a very reasonable price of less than a US$1 per item. Recently, SG Road in the western part of city has transformed into an restaurant strip. It has no less than 100 restaurants in a five-mile stretch offering most varieties in all price ranges. You can find almost all the best restaurants from []
If you have not stayed in India for long, select a food place which is famous and well organized (hotels, big restaurants). Otherwise, its fun to eat at one of the road side stalls, especially at the Khau Galli in Law Garden area and Khan Pan Bazaar in Manekchawk. Various stalls start operating in both these places in the evening and run late in the night. You will enjoy the food like Paani - Puri (Gol Gappa), Indian Chat, Indian Sandwiches, North Indian, Indian-Chinese and some continental cuisines, amazingly at road-side stalls and for a very reasonable price of less than a $1 per item. Recently, SG Road in the western part of city has transformed into an restaurant strip. It has no less than 100 restaurants in a five-mile stretch offering most varieties in all price ranges.
Some of the notable restaurants in the city are:
*''' Dairy Den CTF (Chills - Thrills - Frills), Municipal Market, C. G. Road, Navrangpura, Delizio, Parhladnagar, Rambaug, Maninagar. One of the finest Soft Ice Creams, Artisan Scoop Ice Creams & Thick Milk Shakes. Since 1969. They are made from the best - Fresh Milk, Cream, Fruits & Nuts. They freshest in Town
*'''Amazo Restaurant / Geleteria / Cafeteria (Area: Prahladnagar, St. Xavier's College crossroads, Paldi):''' Specialized in various vegetarian cuisines, the restaurant has expertise and specializes in serving Italian and Mexican food. From the land of Italy, Amazo brings the inimitable menu that gives your palate the most unique taste and tantalize you with the most heavenly aromas.
*'''Vishala''' (Area: Vasna Toll Naka): Best Dish: Thali Meals. This restaurant is a must-visit for any tourist visiting the city. Not only does it serve delectable Gujarati fare, but it is most famous for its village-like decor and an utensils museum. It has several pre-dinner activities like puppet-show for kids, folk music and dance, snake-charmers, etc. Of late, many restaurants have sprouted over the city especially providing a similar experience, but for less than $8, Vishala is truly amazing.
*'''Honest''' (Area: Panchwati, SG Road, etc.) Another well-known fast-food chain in Ahmedabad that started as road-side joint serving Pav-Bhaji and Pulav in Law Garden area and now a fledging restaurant chain
*'''Asarfi Kulfi (Area: Panchwati & Law Garden) They only serve dessert. Try any of the Kulfiskulfis
*'''Bhagwati Chat''' (Area: Panchwati) The best dish by far is the paneer tikka. Try the gulab jamun or jabeli for dessert.
*'''Mirch Masala''' (Area: CG Road, SG Road) Serves North-Indian fare in a typical highway "dhaba" setting. Excellent food but more interesting for its decor.
*'''King's Food Factory''' (Area: Panchwati cross road, CG Road) It is new restaurant chain. They serve indian cuisine as well as some spanish, italian, chinese and american food. Very nice dessert are available in the coffee parlour and there is a possibility to play some scrabble or uno upstairs. It is very clean place, all staff speak english, menu includes desciption concerning how spicy the given dishes are; wi-fi, A/C air-con and two plazma screens are at restaurant guests' disposalplasma. Perfect place for lunch or to gather for a nice dinner
* '''ZK'''(Area: Relief Road). One of the best and oldest non-veg restaurant in the city
*'''Pudding''' Great place for veg and non-veg food. Very good Hydrabadi Biryani.
*'''Buttercupp''' (backside of Advait Mall, west of AlphaOne Mall). Small cupcake shop with various sorts and amazing taste. Advisable only on 'splurge' Sunday. Other than these that are several other restaurants that serve excellent food for example (Swati Snacks, House of MG both famous for Gujarati food in chic setting, Bawarchi for Punjabi food, etc.) For western palates, a good way to find new restaurants is to ask a local, especially someone young who would certainly know about such places. International chains like such as Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Subway are present throughout the city.
For some street food following places are quite famous:
*'''Jay Bhavani Vadapau''',Opp. Vastrapur Lake, Satellite, best vadapau in town along with a a host of other dishes from chinese bhel to a wide variety of sandwiches
*'''Chamunda Pan Corder''',JodhPur Char rasta, N/R Patel Trawels, Ahmedabad, Best Singola Pan ever in Ahmedabad - Devendra (Devu na Special Singola Pan), Hottest place of town.. to get 135 rajkot style masala & pan.
*... Moti Mahal Hotel Walkable distance from ahmedabad Ahmedabad junction railway station Taste taste the Biryani there, Breakfast breakfast also with Non non-veg items
== Drink ==
But booze is strictly a private affair and don't expect to order a drink at a restaurant (obviously there are no bars here) and you will have to drink in your hotel room or at someone's home. If someone invites you to a party, there is a good chance you will be offered a drink there. Under a new amendment to the law prohibiting alcohol, you cannot be arrested or detained for consuming alcohol illegally unless you misbehave under influence or indulge in bootlegging. However, it is best to consume alcohol at your hotel room or at a very close friends place. Majority of the guests staying at a hotel consume it in their rooms and there is always an implied consent from the hotel who will serve you ice, soda and glasses.
Many small shops sell lassi (a yogurt drink). Lassi choices include: sweet, salty, with almonds. Farki, Girish Cold Drinks and Krishna Dairy are some of the famous ones. Apart from this, Janta Ice Cream and Cold Drinks offers a delicious drink cold Chocolate Coco, a chocolate flavored flavoured thick - shake. Janta has its shops across Ahmedabad. There is also a very wide variety of fruit juices available. Most large places like HavMor are reputable and use good water, you should exercise care when drinking at smaller places. Besides, Ahmedabad is a place where most ice cream is consumed in the world. You would love to test many of the local brands like Havmore, Chills Thrills & Frills, Rajsthan Ice Cream, etc.
== Sleep ==
*'''Ginger Hotel ''' [] is located off Drive-in road, close to the SG Road Business district. Expect a no-frills, business class hotel experience, similar to the other Gingers. From Rs 1000/night
* '''Formule1 Hotel''' - The French discount major is opening in Prahladnagar 380015, in July 2012.[]
===Mid range===
*'''Lemon Tree Hotel, Ahmedabad ''' Located in Ahmedabad’s downtown the central shopping and commercial area of CG Road in Navrangpura, this attractive and airy hotel is walking distance from Hazira LNG, Adani House, Vadilal Industries, Suzlon Energy, HDFC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Reliance Capital, Bank of Baroda and more. [] 
*'''Hotel Royal Highness''' is located centrally in the heart of business and shopping areas at Lal Darwaja. This hotel charges a premium mid range hotel tariff, with around 50 rooms and 8 conference rooms. Reports of newly renovated rooms with mordern bathroom and furniture.
*'''Hotel Cama Park Plaza''' is a landmark of culture and comfort in the city of Ahmedabad, suited for both business visitors and leisure travelers aliketourists. It is located centrally in the heart of business and shopping areas. It combines old-world charm with 21st century amenities to make your stay truly comfortable and memorable. Thus it is truly a endless fusion of traditional and modernity.
*'''Hotel Comfort Inn Sunset''' is a beautiful hotel with its unique architectural design. Hotel enthralls guests with a relaxing lounge and a warm welcome. Its close proximity from Airport is another advantage. It provides a high standard of hygiene & comfortable living for the business traveller as well as tourists to the city. It provides guests with an atmosphere of quality hospitality which lives up to the international standards of a first class hotel at an affordable price.
*'''Hotel Fortune''' is a leading economy hotel of Ahmedabad located in the heart of the city's business centercentre, located around 10 km from the Airport. It offers its guests a complete range of amenities, including large meeting rooms, state-of-the-art and business facilities and best food & beverage options. Its close proximity to the city center, government houses and major business center centre in the city is its location advantage. All this makes this hotel an ideal place for both businessmen and travelers alike.
*'''Hotel Comfort Inn President''' is a known for its delicious food at multi-cuisine "Princess" restaurant and hospitality and luxury, style, and comfort they offer to the guests. This Hotel is situated at the prime location of C.G.Road which is one of the most posh and prime commercial areas in Ahmedabad. Hotel is situated in the very heart of the Ahmedabad city. Do not forget to look up the friendly Manager - Mr Chandrakant. Visit hotel's liquor shop and buy liquor bottles from wide range of brands of whiskies,wines,beers etc. against liqour permit issued in the liquor shop to non-residents of gujarat Gujarat and foreigners against their recognised photo identity proof with address e.g. passport, election card, motor driving licence,etc.
*'''Hotel Quality Inn''' is the modern, full serviced, centrally air-conditioned business class hotel of Ahemdabad. The hotel is in the hub of commercial district of Ahmedabad at the bank of Sabarmati River. Hotel provides an excellent view of the river at dawn and in the evening. It offers 69 well-appointed executive rooms, business & luxury suites of various categories, multi cuisine restaurant, health club, business center and much morecentre.
*'''Hotel Westend''' provides its guests with all the modern amenities available in a friendly and homely atmosphere. Hotel is conveniently situated in the commercial area of Ahmedabad. The hotel gives its guests a delicate combination of old-world charm and the modern ambience. The Westend offers a lot more than what you'd expect, landmark location, exotic cuisine, tasteful ambience and warm hospitality that makes you come back again and again.
*'''Hotel Country Inn''' is a new four star hotel in the city of Ahmedabad, suited for business travelerstravellers. It is located centrally in the heart of business and shopping areas, off Drive-In Road.
*'''Hotel Ramada''' is a new four star hotel in the city of Ahmedabad, suited for business travelerstravellers. It is located in Prahladnagar, near the SG Road, which is a new business and shopping area
*'''Ista Ahmedabad'''[] - Opening in March 2012. A contemporary and trendy 5 Star hotel is the 5th Ista Hotel after Ista Hotels in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Amritsar and Pune. Located in the heart of this historic city adjacent to the Vastrapur Lake, Ista is set in natural surroundings and beautiful landscaping and adjoins a Mall and Multiplex, the signs of a fast-developing Ahmedabad. Ista is renowned for it's style, comfort and boundless energy, with each hotel offering a unique and memorable experience.
*'''Gateway Hotel''' (formerly Taj Residency)[] offers warm hospitable service with distinct charm. Conveniently located guests are only a few minutes away from Ahmedabad’s international and domestic airports, and 15 minute drive from the central business district and state capital, Gandhinagar.
== Get out ==
Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar - a 35 km ride from Ahmedabad is not to be missed.
They have various shows throughout the day showing the rich Indian heritage and the legend of Lord Swaminarayan.
The water show in the evening is one of the best you will find in India.
''''''''Adalaj Step-Well'''''''' Adalaj is a village 18km to the north of Ahmedabad. The Vav (step-well) at Adalaj derives its name from the lady patron, Ruda, wife of the Vaghela chief, Virsinh; who built it in the 15th or 16th century A.D. The Vav, laid out in the north-south direction, the well in the north and in the south, have a total length of 75.3 metres. It is the only major monument of its kind, which has three entrance stairs leading to the stepped corridor. These three entrances meet in the first storey, underground, in a huge square platform, which has, to the top, an octagonal opening. The platform rests on 16 pillars, on the corners, and two in front of each side. The four corners of the platform are marked by four built-in shrines, with doors, windows, balconies. The stepped corridor begins from this square platform. The corridor is entirely surrounded by a one-metre high parapet with a rounded topping. It descends with four pavilion towers for five storeys. The walls of the Vav are veritable show cases of sculptures and ornamentation. the sculptures range from a king sitting on a stool under a parasol, to erotic scenes; and buttermilk churning girls. The door frames around the entrances of the spiral staircases to the octagonal shaft are surrounded by a parikrama, which is an enlarged version of the frames around the niches. String-courses running along the side walls embellish all parts of the structure, sometimes dividing the wall into horizontal sections. They also appear on the walls of the octagonal shaft, depicting floral or leaf patterns, or rows of animals. The five-storied, step-well located in the sleepy village of Adlaj is a marvel of architecture. This unique water work is an excellent blend of Hindu and Islamic styles. The intricately carved monument served religious and utilitarian purposes of the people around though its origin is marred by tragedy.
This stupendous structure with its elaborate and heavily ornamented temple-like finish and surrounding structures is a synthesis of various elements-earth, rock and water. On one story is a little Hindu shrine secretly hidden in an obscure corner. The step-well served both ritualistic as well as utilitarian needs. People from the nearby villages used to take water from the well and considered it holy. In the semi arid climate of Gujarat, the cool water from the vav provided a welcome break, particularly in the harsh summer months. Water from the vav was also used for irrigation. Openings in the ceilings above the landing enable light and air to enter the well. However, direct sunlight never reaches the flight of steps or landings except for a brief period at noon as the inner ceilings are arranged to receive the sunlight through these openings. According to a research, there was a total difference of six degrees between the outside and inside of the well, thus making it a veritable air-conditioner.
Innumerable strong and exquisitely carved pillars support each story of the vav and each available stone surface is profusely covered with carvings. Each landing has wide space suggesting that people, especially travelerstravellers, rested there while on journey. The main attraction of this step-well is the pool of water at the lowest level. Besides this, there is a niche here that houses an ami khumb or a pot that contains the water of life and a kalpa vriksha or a tree of life made out of a single stone slab. These sites attract the villagers on religious and auspicious occasions like marriages, sacred thread ceremonies (a ritual performed by Hindus) etc. In the vicinity of the well are graves of the six masons who were instrumental in erecting it. It is believed when Mohammed Begda asked them if another vav was possible, they replied in the affirmative. This proved to be their undoing and they were instantly put to death. Perhaps that is why the Adlaj step-well stands unrivalled till today.
The legend behind the origin of this step-well is as interesting as its architecture and is shrouded in beauty, romance and tragedy. In AD 1499, the area around Adlaj was known as Dandai Desh and was ruled by Rana Veer Singh of the Vaghela dynasty. Around this time, Mohammed Begda, a Muslim ruler of a neighboring state attacked Dandai Desh and killed Rana Veer Singh. The beauty of the slain king's widow, Rani Roopba, enamored Mohammed Begda who sent her a proposal of marriage. The heartbroken but determined queen agreed to the proposal on the condition that he complete a five-storied step-well (vav) for her. The Muslim ruler, enticed by the charm of the queen, readily agreed.
The construction of this well had begun years ago under Rana Veer Singh but had to be stopped later. Begda resumed this project with great enthusiasm and got the well completed in record time. When this five-storied edifice was completed but for the dome, Begda renewed his proposal. The next day, Roopba took a round of the well and saying a final prayer, flung herself into the water and drowned. Mohammed Begda immediately stopped further construction but did not get the monument demolished probably because Roopba had employed Muslim masons who had decorated it with Islamic motifs. The incidents, which led to the erection of this unique well, are detailed on the walls and pillars of the vav in Sanskrit and Pali (an ancient language).
The small village of Adlaj is at a distance of 19 km from Ahmedabad and 5 km from Gandhinagar. It can be reached from either of the two cities by road. Travelers Travellers can take taxi or hire cars from these cities to reach Adlaj.
'''Shaking Minarets''' Just south of the railway station, outside the Sarangpur Gate, the Sidi Bashir Mosque is famed for its shaking minarets, or jhulta minars. When one minaret is shaken, the other rocks in sympathy. This is said to be a protection against earthquake damage. It's a fairly fanciful proposition, and one which you'll be unable to verify, unless of course you happen to be on the spot during an earthquake, however it did survive the devastating 2001 earthquake when many other condominiums and apartments collapsed all over Ahmedabad.
'''Nal Sarovar - Bird Sanctuary''' About 65 km from Ahmedabad, spread over 120 sq. kms, the lake - Nal Sarovar - the extensive reed beds and marshes are an ideal habitat for aquatic plants and animals. The lake attracts a large variety of birds like plovers, sandpipers, stints, cormorants, grebes and openbill storks among others. The best season to visit the sanctuary is November to February.
'''Thol Bird Sanctuary''' This sanctuary is about 30 km west of the city centercentre. Just as Nal Sarovar, this lake attracts a large variety of bird species. It has become more preferable for the amdavadis to take a early morning trip here. Although it does not have any facilities like boating, it has turned out more favorable as this is a lesser known place. It will be best to rent a taxi for a morning as there is no public transport available here. November to March is the best time to visit Thol Sanctuary.
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