A Weekend in Ahmedabad, India – With Tips and Recommendations

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The Perfect Weekend Itinerary for Ahmedabad, India

Ahmedabad, the largest city in India’s western state of Gujarat, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Center. The city has more than 600 years of history behind it. It is filled with hundreds of heritage sites and protected monuments.

A trip to Ahmedabad is every traveler’s dream. And if you are a history-addict, nothing better!




Sometimes, a weekend may feel too short to explore all of it. But it is surprising how much you can do in 2 days. We were in Ahmedabad for a very short time recently and did more than we had ever expected.

The best part is you can hire an Uber or Ola here for decent charges and see a lot of the city and beyond. That helps you save both time and energy without having to figure out what buses/trains to take.

Let’s read on to find out all the amazing things that we saw in Ahmedabad. Loaded with culture and heritage, this city guide will definitely give you some serious wanderlust.

#Weekends done right in #Ahmedabad #India #TravelItinerary
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Day 1: Explore within Ahmedabad




Morning

Sabarmati Ashram

Ahmedabad played a crucial role in India’s fight for independence. Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi lived in this city for 12 long years and led the famous Salt Satyagraha March from here. Therefore, if you are in Ahmedabad, you cannot miss visiting the Sabarmati Ashram – the peaceful residence of Mahatma Gandhi.

I suggest going to Sabarmati in the morning when the temperatures are low and the ashram has a relaxing vibe to it. You can see the rooms that were lived in by Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, the charkha room, and a beautiful museum that talks about India’s freedom struggle.

Location: Ashram Road, Ahmedabad

Opening Hours:  8:30 am – 6:30 pm on all days of the year

Entry Fee: Free

Insider Tip: Plan to spend at least an hour here and soak in the peace and tranquility of the place. Just sit down on a bench, listen to the birds chirping, and feel closer to the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.

Sabarmati Ashram Ahmedabad

Sabarmati Riverfront

Once done at the ashram, take a walk through the courtyard on to the banks of the Sabarmati river. You will be rewarded with an amazing view of the waterfront. Spot some seasonal birds that flock to the place from far away.

You can take a walk along the river promenade and or opt for a boat ride. The promenade is dotted with small gardens, public parks, and shaded plazas. If you wish, you can come back here for a long evening walk too, seat yourself, and watch the world go by.

Patang Kite Museum

Ahmedabad’s Kite Museum, also called the Patang Museum, is one of a kind. That is why it is also a prime tourist attraction. Designed by Le Corbusier in 1954, the museum showcases a varied collection of kites, including some from Japan, and their building materials.

The museum pays tribute to the age-old but dying tradition of kite flying. It is a great place to be if you have kids with you. And the best part is, it is located at a 15min drive from Sabarmati.

Location: Sankar Kender, Bhagtacharya Road, Ahmedabad

Opening Hours: 10 am – 6 pm with a break between 12 – 4 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Entry Fee: Free




Afternoon

Sidi Saiyyed Mosque

Apart from being the base for political developments that shaped the country’s history, Ahmedabad has also been home to many religions. There are umpteen number of temples and mosques. And some of them too beautiful to be mwissed out on.

My personal favorite is the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque with its exquisite Jaali windows. The “jaali” is an intricately-carved piece of stone that looks more like delicate filigree work. Side and rear arches of the mosque are filled with stone jaalis. Sidi Saiyyed’s Jaali has inspired the logo of India’s premier business school, IIM Ahmedabad.

This mosque is a bit out of the regular tourist itinerary but is well-worth a visit if you are an art and history lover.

Location: Bhadra Rd, Opposite Electricity House

Opening Hours: 7 am – 6 pm on all days, Fridays are crowded

Entry Fee: Free

After finishing your trip to Sidi Saiyyed, you can visit some of the other beautiful mosques in the vicinity such as the Jama Masjid or Rani Sipri’s Masjid. Or take off to see another piece of architectural delight – the stepwell of Adalaj – like we did.

Adalaj Stepwell

Stepwells have been an integral part of life in arid regions of western India ever since the start of civilization. They have acted not only as water reservoirs but also as religious symbols defining the sanctity of water.

You will find numerous stepwells in Ahmedabad. Among them, Adalaj is one of the most beautifully carved. It is located about 20 kms from the city center. I would suggest getting a private taxi (Uber or Ola are convenient options) to get here.

The architecture is a unique blend of Islamic, Jain, and Hindu styles. You can see Islamic floral patterns, Hindu gods, and Jain symbols adorning each and every level of the stepwell. Look out for the engraved balconies for that perfect Instagram-worthy picture.

Location: Adalaj Road, Adalaj

Opening Hours:  6 am – 6 pm on all days

Entry Fee: Free

Insider Tip: Evenings are extremely crowded. Try and visit during the day. It is cool inside the stepwell. So, the heat outside won’t matter much.

Adalaj stepwell Ahmedabad Eat Travel Live Repeat
The Adlaj Stepwell

On your way back to Ahmedabad, stop at Gordhan Thaal to have the best Gujarati Thali. You will be served close to 20 vegetarian items including starters, main course, desserts, and drinks. The food here is delicious and you can customize the spice levels.

 

Day 2: Explore beyond Ahmedabad

After a quick breakfast the next morning, we booked an Ola Outstation Taxi and headed out to visit two ancient but beautiful pieces of architecture a little further away from Ahmedabad. Our first stop was the stunning Modhera Sun Temple.

Modhera

Located at a distance of 100 km from Ahmedabad is this beautiful 11thcentury temple dedicated to Hindu Sun God, Surya. It is actually quite surprising to note that the Modhera Sun Temple was built much before the one at Konark, India’s more famous Sun Temple.

The temple is located exactly on the Tropic of Cancer. This ensures that the first rays always touch the main shrine.

Prime attraction of the temple is the opulently carved ceiling of the Sabha Mandapa or assembly hall. Stand beneath the ceiling and stare up to imagine an upturned flower in full bloom. Nothing can get prettier.

The Sun Temple is also the venue for the Modhera Dance Festival that happens in January every year. It is a wonderful experience to watch various Indian dance forms with a brightly lit temple in the backdrop.

Location: Mehsana – Becharaji Road, Modhera

Opening Hours:  6 am – 6 pm on all days

Entry Fee: INR 15 (Indians) INR 200 (Foreign Nationals)

Insider tip: Get a local tour guide. They are available right outside the temple and can entertain you with numerous facts and stories about the temple.

Modhera Ahmedabad theETLRblog

We took around 2-3 hours at the temple and the museum adjacent to it. It was soon lunch time. However, there weren’t many lunch options close by. I would suggest getting on to the highway and finding a restaurant en route to satisfy your hunger pangs.

Carry lots of water with you or buy bottled water from any mom-n-pop store. The scorching heat of Gujarat can be dehydrating.



Rani ni Vav, Patan

Our second and final stop for the day was Rani ni Vav or Rani’s stepwell in Patan. Rani’s stepwell was the highlight of my trip not only because it is a UNESCO Heritage Site but also because it is an exquisite showpiece of Maru-Gurjara architectural style.

As soon as we reached here, we could feel the heat piercing through our bodies. And it was only early February.

All we could see was barren land in front of us. We followed the crowd to reach what I thought was an open pit. However, once we got there we saw the most massive stepwell ever built.

Rani ni Vav has seven levels and every level is exquisitely carved. There are more than 1500 sculptures. All along the walls, you can see ornate carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses, decorative Torans, and life in general.

The stepwell is believed to be an inverted temple paying homage to Water God. We could feel a drop in the temperature as we descended down the stairs. There weren’t too many people around. The calm and peace inside was almost surreal.  

Location: Mohan Nagar Society, Patan

Opening Hours:  8 am – 6 pm on all days

Entry Fee: INR 5 (Indians) INR 100 (Foreign Nationals)

Insider Tip: Go here first thing in the morning for great photographs. The first rays of the sun bathe the sculptures in a golden hue that makes them extremely photogenic.

Ran ni Pav Eat Travel Live Repeat
Ran ni Vav

This was how we spent an amazing weekend in Ahmedabad. I would love to go back soon and check out some more treasures of this heritage city.

What about you? Will you make the trip soon?

 

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also enjoy reading these Weekend Guides

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Comments

  1. Shreya Saha

    This is a perfect way to spend 2 days in Ahmedabad. I have never been there though I have read about Rani ni Nav which is a bit outside the city. I would really be so interested visiting the place, especially the wells. Visiting the Sabarmati Ashram will be a highlight.

    1. Soumya Gayatri

      Sabarmati Ashram is indeed one of the best things to see in Ahmedabad. And you are right about the wells. There are so many within and a little further away. You can just spend a couple of days visiting those step wells. Rani ni Vav is especially interesting.

  2. Parnashree Devi

    I visited Ahmedabad only for a few hours. This post reminds me of going to the city to explore more. Adalaj Stepwell sounds really good. Would love to go back and explore in leisure.

  3. Yukti

    I am from Baroda and used to visit Ahmedabad as it was only 2 hours from my city. Ahmedabad has beautiful historic, cultural and national monuments. Sabarmati Ashram is worth visiting to see all Gandhi’s life. I never knew about Patang museum but it would be great to see as I love Gujarat’s kite festival.

  4. Martha

    Ahmedabad is a truly beautiful city! In a short weekend, you definitely visited a lot of attractions. The architecture looks so diverse in this region, which is why I definitely want to visit this city now. I love how the architects melded all their inspirations and influences together. The buildings and their details are truly captivating. The Kite Museum also sounds like a quirky stop. I didn’t even know there was a museum devoted to this subject. I’d love to see all the unique patterns and how they’re assembled.

    1. Soumya Gayatri

      I am so glad Martha you found so many interesting things in our article. The kite museum is indeed a quirky place and the best place to learn about Indian kite-flying culture. You are so right about the diversity of architecture in Ahmedabad. The city has always been on the crossroads between India and many other civilizations in the west. This has given Ahmedabad a unique character of its own.

  5. Mijia Eggers

    Ran Ni Vav is an interesting site. Though I don’t know where exactly this place is, but it is surely a place worth to see. Thanks for shatter knowledge.

  6. Mijia Eggers

    This is such a wonderful historical place! I have learned more about this country. I know very little about india but am happy to read such article. Thanks!

  7. Lisa

    Wow what an amazing city to visit in India!! I’ve never been before and am mesmerized by these stepwells. I can imaging them getting so busy, I’d probably spend some time photographing it all. I’ve not head of Ahmedabad before reading this post, but it’s another to add to the itinerary if I get to visit one day.

  8. Ami Bhat

    You got me all nostalgic. It has been ages since I visited these places – last of course, was during my childhood. Am so keen to see Modhera, stepwell and the Masjid. They look gorgeous in your pictures. Thanks for sharing these and rekindling my wanderlust for Ahmedabad.

  9. Chitra Pandey

    Wonderful Blog. Ahmedabad is such a very beautiful historical city. This blog has an amazing information about the destination place and pictures are also beautiful that you mention in your blog.

  10. Ambica Gulati

    I visited the city for a short time many, many years back. I would certainly like to visit Sabarmati Ashram. And also see the jalis in the mosque. Sabarmati waterfront is another area that appears to be a must-see.

  11. Clarice

    Wow! This is such an amazing experience. My son loves kites and I believe he would be thrilled to visit the museum. We hope to get the opportunity to visit someday. Thank you for sharing this.

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