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Ahmedabad - Quick Facts

Area: 464.16 sq. km.
Population: 635,7693
Altitude: 55 m above sea level
Season: Oct to March
Clothing: Winter- Light woolen, Summer- Light cotton
Rainfall: 93.2 cm (36.7 inches)
Language: Gujarati and Hindi


Ahmedabad, the city of Ahmed Shah (Medieval ruler of Gujarat), is known for its rich past and its association with the Mahatma (Great Soul), also known as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The city offers the traveler a unique style of architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles (Indo-Saracenic style of architecture). The monuments of Ahmedabad mainly date back to the 15th century.

Ahmedabad has been known for its industry since medieval times. Presently it is famous for its textile mills and is often referred to as the 'Manchester of the East'. Ahmedabad has a chequered history. It has experienced a number of high points, followed by declines. It was founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah, the erstwhile ruler of Medieval Gujarat, in AD 1411. The city declined within a century of its being established. In 1572, Emperor Akbar seized it and assimilated it within the great Mughal Empire. Ahmedabad became an important business center during the Mughal period until the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, after which the city again began to decline. The British seized it in 1818 and set up a number of textile mills here. It became the temporary capital of the state of Gujarat from 1960 to 1970.

Ahmedabad city is located in the state of Gujarat, in the western part of India. It lies along the Sabarmati River. Ahmedabad is 440 km north of Mumbai. The climate of Ahmedabad is hot & moist. Winters are cool & pleasant (November-February) but summers (April-June) are extremely dry, hot and the temperature can be as high as 46°C at times.


By Air

Ahmedabad airport has both national and international flights. It is 10 km north of the city. It is linked with UK, USA, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Goa and Chennai.

By Rail

Ahmedabad is well connected by trains with Delhi, Mumbai, Vadodra and Udaipur.

By Road
Ahmedabad has a good road network. It is linked with towns like Vadodra, Rajkot, Palitana and Jamnagar

•        Adalaj Vav 19 km.
•        Lothal 80 km.
•        Patan 113 km.
•        Nal Sarovar 71 km.
•        Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram 6 km.
•        Gandhi Nagar 25 km, Modhera (Sun Temple) 106 km.


Jama Masjid
Located in the centre of the old city, this congregational mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423. Built in yellow sandstone, it combines the best of Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture, standing on 260 pillars supporting 15 domes at varying elevations It is described as the most beautiful mosque in India. The vast paved courtyard is a rectangle nearly seventy-five metres by sixty-six metres.

Ahmed Shah Tombs

The tomb of Ahmed Shah, with its perforated stone windows, stands just outside the east gate of the Jama Masjid. His son and grandson, who did not long survive him, also have their cenotaphs in this tomb. Women are not allowed into the central chamber. Across the street on a raised platform is the tomb of his queens - it's now really a market and in very poor shape compared to Ahmed Shah's tomb.

Bhadra Fort & Darwaja
Bhadra Fort was built by the city's founder, Ahmed Shah, in 1411 and later named after the goddess Bhadra, an incarnation of Kali. There were royal palaces and a garden inside the fort. It now houses government offices. To the east of the fort stands the triple gateway or Teen Darwaja, from which sultans used to watch processions from the palace to the Jama Masjid. The royal entrance is triple arched and richly carved.

Hathesing Temple

A rich Jain merchant built this temple outside Delhi Gate in 1850. It is built of pure white marble and profusely decorated with rich carvings, dedicated to Dharamnath, the 15th Jina or Jain apostle. Embellished with intricate carvings and built in white marble, the Hatheesing Jain temple is one of the best ornate Jain temples in Ahmedabad.

Raj Babri Mosque

The Raj Babri Mosque, south-east of the railway in the suburb of Gomtipur, also has shaking minarets. The Roza of Sarkhej, in a suburb of Ahmedabad, contains the tomb of the Sultan Mahmud Begado. The adjoining tomb of Ahmed Khattu Gang Baksh, a Muslim saint, who helped Ahmed Shah to build the city of Ahmedabad, has a great central dome and a shrine with finely carved brass lattice work.

Jhulta Minar

This is quite an unusual structure. Jhulta Minara or swaying minarets are a part of the mosque of Siddi Bashir and can be swayed by applying a little force at the topmost arch. One of the minarets was partly demolished by an Englishman in his endeavours to unravel the mystery of the swaying minarets. The mosque was obviously built by master craftsmen and the crucial mechanism that causes the vibration is still a mystery. The other interesting fact here is that these minars stand the test of the rumbling trains that pass not very far away from them.

Rani Sipri Mosque
in Ahmedabad City
A little south-east of the centre this small mosque was built in 1514 and is also known as the Masjid-e-Nagira or 'jewel of a mosque' due to its extremely graceful and well executed design. Its slender, delicate minarets are again a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles.The mosque is said to have been built by a wife of Sultan Mehmood Begada after he executed their son for some minor misdemeanour.

Rani Rupmati Mosque

Named after the Hindu wife of Sultan Mehmed Beghara, this mosque was built between 1430 to 1440 A. D. having three domes supported by pillars with the central dome slightly elevated to allow natural light into the mosque. The tomb of Rani Rupmati is next to it. Rani Rupmati Masjid named for the princess of Dhar who married the Sultan of Ahmedabad, is another fine example of the Indo-Sarcenic blended style.

Kankaria Lake

Kankaria Lake is another tourist attraction of Ahmedabad. The Kankaria Lake is a circular lake constructed in AD 1451 by Sultan Qutub-ud-din. Amongst the places to be visited in the lake is the island garden at its centre with a summer palace known as Nagina Wadi. Lush green parks, an aquarium, a boat club, a natural historical museum, and a zoo surrounding the park make the lake a place to be seen in Ahmedabad. The 'Bal Vatika' or the children's park makes it a great picnic spot and attracts tourists and localities from Ahmedabad alike.


Adalaj (19 km)
Situated 19 km north of Ahmedabad, Adalaj is one of the finest of the Gujarat step wells or baolis. Built by Queen Rudabai in 1499, it provided a cool and secluded retreat during the hot summer months.

Lothal (80 km)

Discovered in 1954, Lothal City is one of the historic cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and a great place to see in Ahmedabad. The history and origin of Lothal city dates back to 2400 BC and is considered as one of the prime sites for archaeology. Numerous artifacts dating back to the Harrapan civilization have been found here through many archeological excavations, now preserved in museums in Ahmedabad and Delhi. This is a must visit for history lovers.

Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary

Ahmedabad's Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary is a beautiful natural lake which makes an excellent sightseeing spot for tourists. Spread over an area of 116 sq. km, this place attracts more tourists because of its vivid birds that migrate from Siberia. Nal Sarovar serves as an oasis of tranquility and serenity in the midst of hustle and bustle of the Ahmedabad's city life. You can see flocks of birds mainly consisting of ducks, flamingos, pelicans, and geese visiting this Lake.

Patan (120 km)

Situated about 120 km north-west of Ahmedabad, this was an ancient Hindu capital before being sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024. Now a pale shadow of its former glory, it still has over 100 Jain temples and is a centre for the manufacture of beautifully designed Patola silk saris.

Pavagadh (190 km)

Is about 190 kms from Ahmedabad situated in Halol on Panchmahal district. The hills of Pavagadh rise in three stages from Champaner. The plateau at an altitude of 1471 feet is known as Machi Haveli. The two points on the hill are named after Goddess Bhadrakali and Mahakali.

Sidi Bashir Mosque

Also called the Shaking Minarets, the Sidi Bashir Mosque is renowned for its unique construction. The minarets vibrate on shaking and stall almost as surprisingly within a few seconds. The vibration is set off by a slight exertion of force at the arch of the upper gallery. The vibrations of the Minarets have aroused a lot of curiosity to the extent that the British rulers dismantled one of the minarets to understand the mystery behind it. Intricately carved balconies hang in mesmerized beauty on the 21 ft high minarets.

Akshardham

Akshardham temple is a unique combination of expert architecture and Indian traditions. A temple under the Swaminarayan sect, it is a true marvel of architecture as not a single rod of steel has been used in its construction. Exquisitely carved pink sandstone highlights the beauty of this amazingly beautiful temple. A 7 feet gold statue of Lord Swaminarayan is enshrined in the main hall while three exhibition halls portray the rich Indian culture with light and sound shows, animated electronic models and multimedia shows impart education about the old traditions of India.

Cambay
The old sea port of Ahmedabad is situated to the south-west, at the northern end of the Gulf of Cambay.

Sabarmati Ashram

Situated north to the city, the Sabarmati ashram otherwise known as the Gandhi ashram is situated on the silent stretch along the Sabarmati River. Set up in 1915 by M. K. Gandhi, the ashram was amongst the first Satyagraha ashrams set up by Gandhiji. The ashram and its dwellers live on the principles set by M.K Gandhi and involve itself in producing and creating handicrafts, handmade paper and khadi using the traditional spinning wheels. The rooms where Gandhiji resided are preserved in the same condition as they were during Gandhijis lifetime. The ashram serves as a major destination for tourists and locals as it embodies the spirits and values of the Gandhian way of life.

Gandhinagar
Is Gujarat's new capital city which rises on the west bank of the Sabarmati river, about 32 kms north east of Ahmedabad. Occupying an area of 57 sq. kms Gandhinagar presents a spacious, well designed look of an architecturally integrated city. Extensive planting of trees and large recreational areas along the river give the city a fresh, green garden city atmosphere. The famous temple of Swaminarayan is also built in Gandhinagar.

Hussain-Doshi`s Gufa
It is a gallery located in the campus of the Center for Environment Planning and Technology, housing the collaborative efforts of artist M.F.Hussain and architect B.V.Doshi where art and architecture fuse together and complement each other magnificently.

Kankaria Lake
In the south east Ahmedabad, is the manmade yet panoramic Kankaria Lake. Constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutab-ud-din and was then known as Hauj-e-Qutub. It was the last bathing ghats of the royalty and the Mughal emperor Jahangir and his queen Noor Jahan were known to visit this lake often. Within the precincts of the lake is the beautiful island garden, Nagina Wadi which adds charm to this lake. Interestingly, one bank of the lake is connected by a pathway. Locals and tourists alike can enjoy the splendid boat rides in the mesmerizing lake and breathtakingly beautiful sunsets.


Ahmedabad can be the shopaholic's paradise! There is something to suit every taste and every pocket. From antique jewellery, the meenakari furniture, mirror studded wall hangings, Kutchi embroidered tablecloths to any thinkable ethnic or modern wear - thetreasure of bazaars and malls have it all. Go, explore, and shop till you drop at one of its exquisite eat-outs serving Gujrati delicacies. Happy shopping!

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