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AHMEDABAD SIGHTSEEING

 

Ahmedabad has been called the 'Manchester of the East' due to its many textile industries. It has a number of attractions for travellers. Gandhi's ashram at Sabarmati is open to tourists and features a small museum. In the city, there are some of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in India, as well as number of other interesting buildings. Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaja : The ancient citadel, the Bhadra, was built by Ahmed Shah and later named after the goddess Bhadra, an incarnation of Kali. It now houses government offices. There is a post office in the former Palace of Azam Khan, within the citadel. In front of the citadel stands the triple gateway, or Teen Darwaja. Jami Masjid : It is beside Gandhi road, a short distance from Teen Darwaja. About 260 columns support the roof with its 15 cupolas. Tombs of Ahmed Shah and his Queen : The Tomb of Ahmed Shah, with its perforated stone windows, stands just outside the east gate of the Jami Masjid. Across the street on a raised platform is the tomb of his queens. Sidi Sayad's Mosque : This small mosque is close to the river end of Tilak road. It is noted for its beautiful carved stone windows, formed by the intricate interwining of the branches of a tree. Ahmed Shah's Mosque : It is in the south-west of the Bhadra. The front of the mosque is now a garden. Rani Rupamati's Mosque : It is to the north of the centre. The mosque displays elements of both Hindu and Islamic design. Rani Sipri's Mosque :This small mosque is also known as the Masjid-e-Nagira because of its extremely graceful and well executed design.


AHMEDABAD SIGHTSEEING 1

 

Sidi Bashir's Mosque and Shaking Minarets : It is to the south of the railway station, outside the Sarangpur Gate and is famous for its shaking minarates, or Jhulta Minar. When one minaret is shaken, the other rocks in sympathy. Raj Babi Mosque : It is to the south-east of the railway station in the suburb of Gomtipur. It also has shaking minarets. Hathee Singh Temple : Just outside the Delhi Gate, to the north of the old city, this Jain temple is built in typical style and is made of white marble. It is dedicated to Dharamanath, the 15th Jain tirthankar. Dada Hari Wav(Step Well) : Step wells are strange constructions, unique to northern India, and this is one of the best. The curious well has a series of steps leading down to lower and lower platforms, eventually terminating in a small octagonal well. The depths of the well are cool, even on the hottest day. It is a fascinatingly eerie place with galleories above the well and a small portico at ground level. There is a second step well, that of Mata Bhavani, a couple of 100 mtrs. north of Dada Hari's. Kankaria Lake : South-east of the city, this artificial lake, complete with an island summer palace has 34 sides, each 60 mtrs. long. It is a local picnic spot. The huge zoo and children's park by the lake are outstanding and the Ghattamendal pavilion in the centre houses an acquarium. Other Mosques and Temples : The other mosque includes the Dastur Khan's Mosque, Haribat Khan's Mosque, Saiyad Alam's Mosque and Shuja'at Khan's mosque. Near the old part of town is the brightly painted Swami Narayan Temple enclosed in a large courtyard.


AHMEDABAD SIGHTSEEING 2

 

Other Attractions : Ahmedabad can be an interesting place around which to wander. The bazaar street are narrow, colourful, and lots of the houses have ornately carved wooden facades. The Victoria Gardens beside M G Rd. are pleasant. The western side of Ahmedabad across the river is full of modern buildings such as the Ahmedabad Mill Owner's Association Building and the museum, both designed Le Corbusier. Other places of interest in and around town include the Tomb of Darya Khan, north-west of the Hathee Singh Temple. The tomb has a particularly large dome. Nearby is the Chhota Shahi Bagh, across the railway line. Museums : Ahmedabad has a number of museums. The Calico Museum of Textiles exhibits antique and modern textiles including rare tapestries, wall hangings and costumes. Also on display are old weaving machines. The museum is in Sarabhai House, a former haveli, in the Shahi Bagh gardens. The N C Mehta Museum of Miniatures at Sanskar Kendra, Paldi, has excellent examples of the various schools of Indian miniature painting. The Shreyas Folk Museum displays the folk arts and crafts of Gujarat. There is also the National Institute of Design, the Tribal Research and Training Institute Museum and Philatelic Museum. The Institute of Indology on the university campus has an important collection of illustrated manuscripts and miniatures and one of the finest collections relating to Jainism. Sabarmati Ashram : It is 6 km. from the centre of the town, on the west bank of the Sabarmati River and was Gandiji's headquarters during the peirod of Indian independence. The ashram makes handicrafts and spinning wheels. Gandhiji's spartan living quarters are preserved as a small museum.


AHMEDABAD SHOPPING

 

On Ashram road, just before the tourist office, is the Gujarat state crafts emporium, called the Gujari. Handloom House is over the road.


AHMEDABAD - GETTING THERE AND AWAY 1

 

GETTING THERE AND AWAY AIR : Indian Airlines is on Tilak Rd, close to the Nehru bridge. Vayudoot is represented by Vyas Travels, Tilak Road. Air India is in Premchand House, near the High Court building on Ashram Rd, west of the river. Ahmedabad has an international airport and there are direct flights with Air India to the UK and the USA. Indian Airlines flies from Bombay to Ahmedabad at least once a day. Other destinations are Vadodara, Indore, Goa, Banglore and Madras. East West Airlines flies daily in either direction between Ahmedabad and Bombay. BUS : There are a number of agencies running luxury buses to most of the main centres of population, and most hotels will book tickets for you. One such agency in Ahmedabad is Punjab Travels, with offices at Delhi Gate, Shahapur Rd, and Embassy Market off Ashram Road. It operates luxury buses to many places within Gujarat, as well as to various cities in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bombay. Another agency is Eagle Travels. If you are heading north into Rajasthan, there is a direct bus to Mt Abu. TRAIN : The trip from Delhi to Ahmedabad is 934 km and takes 17 hours on the Ashram Express. There are plenty of daily trains between Ahmedabad and Bombay. The Delhi trains on the northward metre-gauge line will get you to Abu road, Ajmer and Jaipur. If you are heading for Bhavnagar and Palitana, there is the overnight Girnar Express. For other places in Saurashtra, such as Rajkot and Jamnagar, there is the daily Saurashtra Express.


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