A Weekend in Ahmedabad, India – With Tips and Recommendations
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, which makes it a nice addition to your One Month India Itinerary. 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.
Day 1: Explore within Ahmedabad
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.
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
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.
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 Ni Vav 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Soumya is a passionate traveler who loves to explore the history and culture of every place she visits. An ardent lover of ruins and archaeological sites, Soumya dreams to walk down all the stepwells of Gujarat and Rajasthan one day. She chronicles her experiences on her travel blog, Stories by Soumya. Through her travels, Soumya hopes to understand the world better, one trip at a time.