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Destination of the Month

Ahmedabad

We all as children have studied history in school, and vividly remember some interesting chapters, especially the one on Indus Valley Civilization which encapsulated Mohenjodaro and Harappan culture. The facts that we read then clearly define our existence today.

A city named Lothal was established in 3700 BCE and well connected with the Indus Valley cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. It was the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus Valley civilization as it used to be the business hub those days. Incidentally Lothal is part of today's Ahmedabad. Moreover, it has always been of great interest, especially to the archaeologists in modern times being the ancient capital city of Ahmedabad.

Ahmedabad is a prime tourist attraction destination, as there are number of interesting places to see in and around the city. Some of the features that perfectly describe Ahmedabad city are splendid monuments, wonderful museums and gorgeous lakes. Some important footprints belonging to the past include the Shaking minars, Bhadrakali temple & Hathisinh's Jain temple.

Being the largest city in the state of Gujarat, Ahmedabad is located on the banks of River Sabarmati, which is synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi's world renowned Sabarmati Ashram. Furthermore, Ahmedabad is globally acclaimed for textiles and the flagship Institute in the chain of Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A). Besides, it is equally famous for Kite museum & textile museums, the only of its kind in the world. Since this place has been ruled by both Muslim & Hindu rulers in past, the culture prevalent here is a pleasant concoction of the two.

There is an abundance of sightseeing places in Ahmedabad that are truly worth a visit. Adalaj is one of the most excellent step wells or baolis of Gujarat. It serves as a fabulous retreat during the months of scorching heat. Nalsarovar is a paradise. The best time to visit is from November to February. Nalsarovar houses large varieties of indigenous and migratory birds. Another place named Patan is a definite recommendation for your visit, owing to the fact that it is the leading center of manufacturing of the world famous intricately designed Patola silk saris.

Hinduism is the main religion of Ahmedabad; however, other religions that are prevalent include Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Zorastrianism and Christianity. There are plenty of religious places in Ahmedabad, consisting of temples and mosques etc. For those who have a religious bent of mind, Ahmedabad offers enough attractions in form of Akshardham Temple; Swaminarayan Temple; Hathee Singh Temple; Ahmed Shah Mosque; Jama Masjid; Sidi Sayed Mosque and Rani Rupmati mosque.

Lying on the south eastern side of the Ahmedabad city, Kankaria Lake is a multisided lake that was built by Sultan Qutab-ud-Din in the year 1451 A.D. The lake also has a fascinating island summer palace. It is basically an artificial lake with thirty four sides. It is believed that Kankarialake was often visited by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir along with his wife Empress Noor Jahan. Kankaria Lake provides a beautiful view of the sunset. There is also a zoo and children's park located nearby the lake.

Another attraction situated at the Dani Limda Road is Chandola Lake, an artificial lake accredited to the wife of a Mughal Sultan of Ahmedabad named Tajn Khan Nari Ali. Basically a water reservoir, this lake is beneficial for the people of Ahmedabad. The water of Chandola Lake is used for irrigation as well as other industrial purposes. Adjacent to this lake is the tomb of Shah Alam, the domes of which are ornamented with gold and precious stones. Evenings are popular here as people visit this place and take a leisure stroll.

Other attractions include the Sardar Patel National memorial, City Museum, Sabarmati Ashram, Hussein Doshi Gufa, and Calico museum of Tiles. Something that no one should ever miss is a visit to the world's greatest vintage car collector Late Pranlal Bhogilal's museum which indeed has some of the most mesmerizing cars of the yore. Each museum at Ahmedabad in Gujarat houses important artifacts, miniature paintings and other items of daily use. All these things that are kept in the museum are very valuable from the point of view of archaeological importance. These museums will take you into the past, thereby giving you an opportunity to know about the royal life of the rulers of the Ahmedabad city.

Ahmedabad is also home to some intriguing monuments in form of Bhadra Fort built in 1411 AD during the Maratha rule; Dada Hari Vav, built during the reign of Mehmud Begda in the year 1501 is an elaborately designed stepped well; Jhulta Minar is well known for its swaying minarets, more commonly known as Jhulta Minar and a big hit amongst kids; Sarkhej Roza perched 8 km away was the home of muslim spiritual leader named Ahmed Kattu Gang Baksh ; Teen Darwaza which is an architectural marvel surely leaves everyone awestruck. Consisting of gorgeous arched gates, Teen Darwaza established in the year 1414 A.D. is one of the longest as well as the oldest gateways of the Ahmedabad city.

Reaching Ahmedabad is no challenge as the city is very well connected by Air and rail. Also, there is a plethora of Hotel to cater to tourist needs.

Lately, they have all got rechristened - Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram. Even Baroda became Vadodara. But, Ahmedabad, named after the 15th century ruler Ahmed Shah may well have to wait a long time before being called Karnavati (Karan's town)……!!