States of India
Population: Approx. 50 Lakhs
Area: 204.6 sq.km
Temperature: Ranging between 25 - 45 degrees during summer and 15 - 35 degrees in winters.
Languages Spoken: Gujarati, Hindi, English
Ahmedabad the largest city in Gujarat blends an ancient heritage with a vibrant present. It nurtures in its pages of history, a breath of harmony and a show-case of exquisite harmony. The city is named after a Sultan who founded it in 1411 and graced it with splendid monuments. Ahmedabad is also known for its association with the Apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi whose ashram is on the banks of River Sabarmati which is now a national pilgrimage site. Ahmedabad is the second largest prosperous city in Western India. It is a place where tradition and modernity co-exist in perfect harmony. The climate of the state is moist in the southern districts and dry towards the northern sides. Ahmedabad has been a city where a lot of action, reaction and interaction between various ethnic and linguistic forces has taken place which has resulted in the synthesis of many races and cultures. It is a land of gentle, dignified people, astute businessmen, gay, colourful peasants, and thriving industry.
Places of Interest:
Set up on the quiet peaceful stretch of Sabarmati River, 7 kms north of the city, this was the Hriday Kunj of Mahatma Gandhi and for many years it was the nerve centre of India's freedom movement. It was from here, in 1930, that Mahatma began his famous Dandi March to the sea to protest against the salt tax imposed by the British. The Gandhi Ashram has a memorial centre, library and a Sound-and-Light (Son et Lumiere) spectacle to offer to its visitors.
One of the finest mosques in India with 260 pillars supporting 15 domes at different elevations, it was build by Ahmad Shah in 1423 and is located in the center of the old city.
Rani Rupmati Masjid
Rani Roopmati Masjid, with its exquisite details and the grand Shah Alam complex are a living tribute to the reign of Muhmad Shah Begra of the 15th century. The Queen's Mosque in Mirzapur, built between 1430 and 1440, is more representative of the pattern of mosque building in 15th century Ahmedabad. Three domes stand on 12 pillars each, with the central part so raised as to let in natural light without direct sunlight.
Siddi Bashir Mosque
Known as Shaking Minaret or Jhulta Minar. When one minarets is shaken the other one begins to vibrate. The mosque was obviously built by master craftsmen and the crucial mechanism that causes the vibration is still a mystery.
Calico Textile Museum
Ahmedabad has one of the finest textile museums in the world. Housed in one of Gujarat's famous carved-wooden havelis, the museum displays a magnificent collection of rare textiles that date back to the 17th Century. There is also an excellent reference library on textiles.
Hatheesing Jain temples
Built outside Delhi Gate in 1850 by a rich Jain Merchant, this is the best known of Ahmedabad's many ornate Jain Temples. Built of pure white marble and profusely decorated with rich carvings, the Hatheesing Temple is dedicated to Dharamnath.
It is a circular lake constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutubub-Din. In the center of the lake is an island garden with a summer palace known as Nagina Wadi. The lake is a popular recreation center surrounded by parks, 'Bal Vatika', an aquarium, a boat club, a natural history museum and a zoo.
Fairs and Festivals:
This Fair is one of the most colourful events in the state of Gujarat. This three days fair is held at Temple of Shiva or Trinetreshwar (Three Eyed God) popularly known as Tarnetar. It is believed that the fair has been held on this ancient site since antiquity. A popular belief associates the village fair with the story of Draupadi's swayamvar. Tarnetar is one of the most important matchmaking melas. The beauty of this fair lies in the spontaneity with which the people joyously break into folk songs and folk dances to the rhythmic accompaniments of drums and an assortment of folk instruments.
This is one of the most famous festival celebrated in Gujarat. Celebrated for nine days ending on Dasshera, the festival is dedicated to Goddess Amba. There is fun and frolic all over Gujarat during this time. Girls and Boys wearing traditional attires dance Dandiya ras to celebrate the festival.
This gathering of international and local kite enthusiasts coincides with the Makara Sankranti festivities. The whole city is domed with colorful kites. The festivities continue after dark, as thousands of kites are outfitted with cylindrical paper lamps, filling the sky with brightly flickering stars.