Ahmedabad, one of India’s finest metropolises, is the largest city in Gujarat. This city is not only known for its sprawling industrial complexes but also equally famed for its opulent culture and heritage. With astounding edifices, bustling shopping and food streets, there are plenty of things to do in Ahmedabad. Before diving deep, let me tell you ways to get there and some must-know facts about the city.
A Quick Glance Through
- How To Get There
- Fast Facts
- List of Things To Do
- Discover More About Life And Work of Mahatma
- Soak in The Beautiful Vistas
- Explore The History of City’s Noted Stepwell
- Stroll The Urban Riverside
- Adore The Grandeur of City’s Fabled Temple
- Enter the Fascinating World of Antique Cars
- Witness The Stunning Architecture
- Wander Around Law Garden
- Admire The Incredible Minarets
- Treat Your Taste Buds With Street Grubs
- Appreciate The Distinctive Architecture
- Enjoy a Movie at State’s Only Open Air Theatre
How To Get There
Ahmedabad is easily reachable from several Indian cities by flight, train and road. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport is hardly 12 km away from the city. It has direct flights from Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore and other major cities.
Flights from countries like Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and London also arrive here. There are two terminals at this airport. Terminal 1 caters to domestic travelers and terminal 2 to international travelers.
Ahmedabad Junction Railway Station is the main railway station which is located in Kalupur locality. Maninagar and Sabarmati Railway Stations are two other railheads in the city. It is linked by train to many cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and Chennai.
After reaching here, taxis and auto-rickshaws are conveniently available to drop you at your desired destination in the city.
By road, it is almost 11 hours’ drive (530 km) from Mumbai via NH 48. From nearby cities, state transport and interstate buses also run to Ahmedabad.
- Ahmedabad is named after its founder Ahmed Shah I of Gujarat Sultanate who established it in 1411. It is nestled on the banks of the river Sabarmati.
- After India’s independence, Ahmedabad was merged into the State of Bombay.
- Ahmedabad was made the capital of Gujarat state after its bifurcation from Bombay State in 1960.
- It served as the capital of Gujarat until 1970 when the capital was moved to Gandhinagar.
- Old Ahmedabad became India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City in 2017.
- In 2010, Ahmedabad featured in the Forbes’ list of next decade’s fastest-growing cities.
List of Things To Do in Ahmedabad
Let us explore the top 12 things to do in this charming city.
1. Discover More About Life and Work of Mahatma
One of the iconic landmarks of Ahmedabad, Sabarmati Ashram stands as the testimony to the inspiring life of India’s beloved Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi).
It was established in 1917 as Satyagraha Ashram, which is now known as Sabarmati Ashram. Gandhiji lived here for almost 12 years. The famous Dandi march in protest of the British Salt Law was launched by Gandhiji from this Ashram in 1930.
The Ashram is segregated into a number of sites, such as Nandini, Vinoba Kutir, Upasana Mandir and Hriday Kunj. From prayers to meeting guests, they served different purposes in the daily routine of Gandhiji.
Amongst the many things to do in Ahmedabad, a visit to Sabarmati Ashram is a must. The Ashram is preserved as a national monument and there is no entry fee to visit this abode of Mahatma.
It also houses the Gandhi Memorial Museum that exhibits a collection of letters, paintings and relics of Mahatma Gandhi.
2. Soak in The Beautiful Vistas
Built in the 15th century by the erstwhile rulers of Gujarat Sultanate, Kankaria Lake boasts an enchanting lakefront. The lake is encompassed by a beautiful garden with nice walkways.
A lot of recreational activities are offered at the lake. Boat ride, tethered balloon ride, amusement park and musical fountain are some of the prime attractions here.
There are plenty of fun activities for kids as well. Balvatika (Children’s Park), Kids City, and Toy Train rides are hugely popular among kids.
Apart from these, Nagina Wadi island in the center of the lake is also worth seeing. From here, you can see the summer palace of royal families and a panoramic view of the lake and its surroundings.
Also Read: 20 Major Lakes in India That Will Amaze You.
3. Explore The History of City’s Noted Stepwell
Popularly known as Adalaj ni Vav, Adalaj Stepwell is a magnificent five-storey edifice in Adalaj village. It is located approximately 18 km away from Ahmedabad Railway Station.
In Gujarati, stepwell is called vav. Stepwells were primarily meant for storing rainwater in arid regions, but they also served as sites for organizing festivals and performing holy rituals.
Adalaj Stepwell is the magnum opus of Indo-Islamic architecture. It was commissioned by a Hindu ruler Rana Veer Singh in the 15th century, but he got killed in a battle before finishing the structure.
Legend has it that the structure was completed by his virtuous widow Roodabai. She refused to marry Mohammed Begda, who captured Rana Veer Singh’s kingdom and ended her life by jumping into the vav.
A walkthrough of this famous stepwell offers insight into the rich architectural heritage of Ahmedabad.
4. Stroll The Urban Riverside
The riverbank of the Sabarmati is a favourite haunt for locals and tourists alike in the evening. It is a well laid-out riverfront with a two-level promenade. The river is accessible through 31 ghats (steps) that are constructed along the lower promenade.
It is laced with a lot of amenities like boating stations, cycling tracks, walkways and beautiful gardens. A peaceful amble on the riverside feels amazingly refreshing. You can take a stroll and enjoy the soothing breeze.
This place offers a fascinating sight of the urban landscape of the city. Spending an evening at the Sabarmati riverfront is unarguably one of the top things to do in Ahmedabad.
Also Read: 15 Major and Important Rivers in India.
5. Adore The Grandeur of City’s Fabled Temple
Swaminarayan Narayan Temple is one of the most celebrated Hindu temples in Ahmedabad. Dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, the splendorous temple complex is located in Kalupur area.
This is also known to be the first temple of Swaminarayan Sampraday. It was built in 1822 on the land gifted by the British Imperial Government.
The temple boasts of intricate wood carvings in pure-Burma teak. The interiors and exteriors are artistically decorated with sculptures of deities and sacred symbols.
In the center of the complex, there is Nar Narayan Temple that houses the idols of Nar Narayan Dev (temple’s main deities).
Other structures in the temple are called Akshar Bhawan, Rang Mahal and Haveli (mansion). It is definitely one of the best things to do in Ahmedabad if you want to peep into the cultural heritage of the city.
The heritage walk of the Old Ahmedabad area also begins from this temple. It is organized by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.
6. Enter the Fascinating World of Antique Cars
Auto World Vintage Car Museum
Renowned for its fabulous collection of vintage automobiles, AutoWorld Vintage Car Museum is a private museum in Dastan Estate in Ahmedabad. It was set up by Pranlal Bhogilal, a connoisseur of antique cars.
The museum showcases an assortment of rare cars and utility vehicles of olden times. I was stunned to see some of the cars that belonged to the pre-World War era.
A wide range of vintage models of Rolls Royce, Bentley, Daimler, Mercedes and other famous car brands are on display.
Besides seeing, you can also take a vintage car ride in the precincts of the museum. That costs extra and is not included in the entry fee. Taking a tour of this unique museum is one of the best things to do in Ahmedabad for those who are fond of cars.
7. Witness The Stunning Architecture
Hutheesing Jain Temple
Dedicated to the fifteenth Jain Tirthankar (Lord Dharmanatha), Hutheesing Temple is famed for its grandiose architecture. It is located in the Bardolpura area, hardly 4 km away from Ahmedabad Railway Station.
This temple was constructed in 1848 by Shet Hutheesing Kesarisinh, who belonged to an affluent mercantile family from Gujarat. It is made of white marble with ornately engraved carvings on the pillars and walls.
The temple comprises one main shrine and 52 smaller shrines that feature idols of Jain Tirthankaras. Visit here to admire the excellent craftsmanship of the artisans and the outstanding architectural beauty of the temple. There is no entry fee for visitors.
8. Wander Around Law Garden
Night Market and Happy Street
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, Law Garden offers peaceful environs. The ideal time to visit this garden would be early morning or around sunset time.
The road surrounding the garden is a delight for shoppers. Known as Law Garden Night Market, the place is dotted with stalls selling ethnic wear, jewellery and handicraft items. Street shopping in this night market is one of the most popular things to do in Ahmedabad.
You can test your bargaining skills here as haggling over price is a must. Besides shopping, try some street snacks at nearby Happy Street. Many food stalls serve dhoklas, pav bhaji, chaats, dabeli and other local snacks.
9. Admire The Incredible Minarets
Jhulta Minar also referred to as Shaking Minarets, is one of the architectural wonders of Ahmedabad.
The mysteriously swaying minarets symbolize an astonishing feat of engineering of the bygone era. It once formed a part of Sidi Bashir Mosque that dates back to the 15th century.
It is said that shaking of one of the minarets causes the other one also to vibrate. However, no vibration is experienced in the passage between the minarets. Needless to say, witnessing this stunning edifice is one of the amazing things to do in Ahmedabad.
A war between the Marathas and rulers of the Gujarat Sultanate in 1753 destroyed a major portion of the mosque. These two shaking minarets and the connecting passage are the only remnants of the mosque.
10. Treat Your Taste Buds With Street Grubs
Essentially, a jewellery market in the daytime, Manek Chowk turns into a food plaza after sunset. It is a popular hangout place for foodies in the old Ahmedabad area. Almost all the food joints in this market remain open until the wee hours of the night.
From traditional Gujarati snacks like Gathiya, fafda, jalebi, methi na gota to a variety of chaat items and sandwiches, it offers plenty of choices. Some of the special dishes of this place are chocolate sandwich, ice-cream sandwich and chocolate dosa that are worth trying.
After dinner, treat yourself to your favourite kulfi. They are available in many flavours including, orange, chikoo and green apple. A visit to Manek Chowk is one of the best things to do in Ahmedabad for the lovers of good food.
11. Appreciate The Distinctive Architecture
Located in Old Ahmedabad, Jama Masjid is best known for its unique Indo-Islamic architecture. It was built in the early 15th century by Ahmad Shah I, the founder of Ahmedabad.
A large courtyard ringed by a colonnade, dome capped prayer room and arched main entrance are the major highlights of the mosque. The courtyard walls are embellished with Arabic calligraphy. The mosque is made of yellow sandstone.
Exploring this 600-year old heritage structure is one of the interesting things to do in Ahmedabad. Unlike many other mosques, minarets are missing in this structure.
The minarets collapsed during the earthquake of 1819, but their lower parts are still in good condition.
12. Enjoy a Movie at State’s Only Open Air Theatre
Sunset Drive-in Cinema
Watching your favourite movie under the star-studded sky, how does the idea sound?
Ahmedabad’s Sunset Drive-in Cinema offers a rare opportunity to enjoy movies in the open air. The unconventional big screen experience earns it a mention on the list of things to do in Ahmedabad.
Owing to the hot and humid weather in the city, movies are screened only in the evening. You can watch the movie from the comfort of your car or sit in the open space. It also houses a few nice restaurants for ordering snacks and dinner.
Over To You Now…
After going through my top 12 ideas for things to do in Ahmedabad, what are your thoughts? Did I miss something important? Share your views and ideas in the comment section below.