So, it seems my practice of one day trips is proving to be successful. Of course, a city like Ahmedabad has much more things to offer than can be packed into one day, but there are certain advantages to traveling fast when you know there is no time to waste. One of them is the ability to focus and absorb all the sounds, colors and visual images, so that they can be “digested” at leisure during the following weeks. So, if one has only one day in Ahmedabad, what is there to see in the city? This is what my itinerary was like – Adalaj Stepwell – Teen Darwaza – Jama Mosque – Sidi Sayed Mosque – Jhulta Minar (Shaking Minarets) – “Auto World” Vintage Car Museum – Kankaria lake
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Built in the end of the 15th century, Adalaj Stepwell is a marvel. Representing an unusual architectural form, the well features intricate stonework to admire and rest one’s eyes upon. The place is located around 18 km from Ahmedabad, and I would recommend it as a starting point when exploring the city. Later in the day you may not want to travel so far after a great deal of sightseeing, but Adalaj Stepwell is definitely not to be missed. Besides, it looks exceptionally beautiful in the light of the morning sun.
An iconic three-arched structure was built by Ahmed Shah I as a gateway of Bhadra Fort. It used to lead to a spacious courtyard of the Maidan Shah palace and is associated with many historical events of that time. At the moment the gateway is located in the busy market area. The place bustled with vendors and buyers, and it was sad to see market stalls all around the monument and even inside the arches.
Not even 300 m from Teen Darwaza there is Jama Masjid, the largest and most splendid mosque in the region constructed in the 15th century. Built with yellow sandstone, the structure is a lovely example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. A large courtyard with a water reservoir in the middle, colonnade with huge Arabic calligraphy, lotus-shaped domes, elegant columns and pillars, stone latticework on the widows and intricate carvings make this mosque a delightful place to explore. Even if the marble flooring is too hot to step on 🙂 (Remember to take off your footwear before entering).
Sidi Saiyyed Mosque
Within walking distance from Jama Mosque there is another architectural jewel – Sidi Saiyyed Mosque. Built in the16th century, the structure is famous for its jalis – beautifully carved window screens. One of them, depicting the “tree of life”, has become an unofficial symbol of the city. I loved sitting in the shade of the trees near this mosque and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. However, what put me off was the number of fans, tube lights, speakers and watches inside the mosque – this clutter doesn’t go well together with the ancient stone.
These minarets are the only surviving parts of Sidi Bashir Mosque, ruined in the 18th century during the war. Apparently, when one of the minarets is shaken, in a few seconds the other one starts vibrating, and the mechanism behind this mysterious connection is still unraveled. There is no access to the minarets, so we observe them from behind the fence.
“Auto World” Vintage Car Museum
Located around 30 km from Ahmedabad, “Auto World” Vintage Car Museum showcases a large collection of retro automobiles, gathered together over the last century by a family of local businessmen. Although I have no interest in vehicles, I like the way these beautifully preserved exhibits take you back to the past, when an automobile was a symbol of power and style. The rickshaw drivers are willing to take one there for Rs 250 from Ahmedabad Railway station.
Just before catching our train back to Mumbai we spent some time near Kankaria lake. It’s a circular man-made lake, created by Sultan Qutbuddin in the middle of the15th century. It’s beautifully lit at night and a pleasure to look at. Besides, there are lots of eateries, playgrounds, water rides, a toy train and other amusements to keep visitors entertained. The entry ticket is merely Rs 10. I don’t have a good picture of the lake, but this one will give you an idea of the lighting.
Sounds like a lot for one day in Ahmedabad, no? 🙂
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