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Ahmedabad

Travel Guide Asia India Gujarat Ahmedabad

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Introduction

Ahmedabad is the seventh largest metropolitan city in the India, with a population of approximately 5.2 million people. Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, the city is the administrative centre of Ahmedabad district and was the capital of Gujarat from 1960 to 1970; the capital was shifted to Gandhinagar thenafter. In colloquial Gujarati, it is commonly called Amdavad.

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Neighbourhoods

There are many tourist spots near Ahmedabad. Sarkhej, a spot 8 kilometres southwest of the city, has important historical monuments. Nineteen km north of the city is Adlaj Vav, an intricately built step well. Lothal, an ancient dock belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization, lies 85 kilometres southwest of Ahmedabad. The town of Modhera is 102 kilometres northwest of the city and boasts of an ancient sun temple. Patan lies 130 kilometres northwest of Ahmedabad and has about 100 Jain temples.

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Sights and Activities

Gandhi Ashram

The ashram was built 7 kilometres north of the city on the banks of river Sabarmati and was the Hriday Kunj of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began his famous Dandi March to the sea to protest against the Salt Tax which was imposed by the British. The ashram has a memorial centre and a library.

Jama Masjid

Ahmad Shah built the Jama Masjid, which is located in the old city, in the year 1423. The masjid has 260 pillars that support 15 domes at several different elevations. it is absolutely one of the finest mosques and a place worth a visit.

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. Constructed of pure white marble and profusely decorated with rich carvings, the Hatheesing Temple is dedicated to Dharamnath, the 15th Jina or Jain apposite.

Kankaria Lake

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, better 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. The security precautions of the lake become very tight when the results of the SSC and HSC Exams rolls out. Even the failures in love come here for a last meeting.

AksharDham Temple

Located about 35 kilometres from Ahmedabad in Gandhinagar, is paread across 45 acres of land and has a huge multi-media shows about the Swaminarayan sect. budget about 4-5 hours to visit this place.

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Events and Festivals

Kite Festival

Uthran is a very famous festival after Diwali (Festival of Lights). The festival happens in mid January and lasts several days. People from all over India come to participate in this event.

Navratri is festival of indian traditional dance, which is called ras garba. For nine nights, Amdavadis enjoy traditional dances of Garba and Ras. Superb folk music, often mixed with pop rhythems, and colorful ethnic dresses combine to create an enchanting experience. Navratri is celebrated during first nine days of the month Aso in the lunar calender, which typically falls in the month of October in last week.

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Weather

Ahmedabad has a hot semi-arid climate. There are three main seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Aside from the monsoon season, the climate is dry. The weather is hot through the months of March to June — the average summer maximum is 45 °C (113 °F), and the average minimum is 23 °C (73 °F). From November to February, the average maximum temperature is 30 °C (85 °F), the average minimum is 15 °C (59 °F), and the climate is extremely dry. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a mild chill in January. The southwest monsoon brings a humid climate from mid-June to mid-September. The average annual rainfall is about 76.0 cm (36.7 inches), but infrequent heavy torrential rains cause the river to flood. The highest temperature recorded is 47 °C (116.6 °F) and the lowest is 5 °C (41 °F). In recent years, Ahmedabad has suffered from increasing air, water and soil pollution from neighbouring industrial areas and textile mills.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max28.7 °C31.1 °C35.9 °C39.5 °C41.4 °C38.5 °C33.5 °C32 °C33.5 °C35.9 °C33.2 °C29.9 °C
Avg Min13.1 °C14.8 °C19.4 °C23.6 °C26.4 °C27.2 °C25.8 °C24.9 °C24.4 °C21.9 °C17.5 °C14.1 °C
Rainfall2 mm1.2 mm1.1 mm1.9 mm9.1 mm100.2 mm306.8 mm219.9 mm125.7 mm13 mm5.8 mm1.6 mm
Rain Days0.40.30.30.30.86.115.816.97.51.10.90.3

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Getting There

By Plane

The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport serves both domestic and international flights to and from Ahmedabad and the neighboring cities of Surendranagar, Mehsana and Nadiad. The airport connects the city with destinations across India and the world (Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Kabul, Kuwait, London, Muscat, New York, Singapore, Sharjah).

By Train

Ahmedabad Railway Station (ADI), one of the busiest station in the country, is a major station on Delhi-Mumbai route. Ahmedabad is one of the six operating divisions of the Western Railway. Railway lines connect the city to all towns in Gujarat and other major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Raipur, Hyderabad, Nagpur etc.

By Car

Ahmedabad National Highway 8, linking Delhi to Mumbai, passes though Ahmedabad connecting it with Gandhinagar, Delhi and Mumbai.

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Getting Around

Getting around in Ahmedabad is easy. Normal taxis (black and yellow cabs like in Mumbai) are rare. Ahmedabad uses so called luxury taxies, which are private taxis. Buses are popular amongst people with some local knowledge however almost everyone speaks working English and it is easy to travel if you ask other people and have some rough idea of where you want to go by a bus. Otherwise stick to rickshaws, they are most famous and easy form of local tourist transport. There is a pressing need for Ahmedabad to develop scooters (two-wheelers) for hire on a full day basis. It is surprising that such an enterprising town has not yet worked this out! Even small towns like Diu have this facility in Gujarat!

Rickshaws or Three-Wheelers

The most popular and cheap transport is a Rickshaw or a three-wheeler that was famously shown in a James Bond movie. Rickshaws operate on a fare chart that every Rickshaw driver has. Make sure of two things. One that the driver sets the meter to zero every time you board a rickshaw. Second that the chart is shown to you when paying. Often charts are outdated and a mark up (multiply by) factor applies. It is good if you work it out once and then you can apply it again when you travel by a rickshaw in near future.

Luxury or Private Taxis

Often they can be hired for full day with chauffer and the charges are few rupees per kilometre plus certain extras like meals, overtime or beyond minimum kilometres a day.

Buses

Local buses are run by Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS). Their schedule is not usually publicly known and their timing are notorious. Also they are often overcrowded.

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Eat

Gujarati food is predominantly spicy as the main ingredients used are spices, less oil, mustard, fenugreek, jaggery and sugar. Onions and garlic are not used in the preparations for Gujratis are strict vegetarians. However the state is tolerant to other cuisines of the country also. Ahmedabad being one of the prime tourist centers in Gujarat is home to a number of restaurants.

Ahmedabad's most popular restaurants are:

  • Gopi Restaurant
  • Sankalp Restaurant
  • South Land Restaurant
  • Mirch Masala Restaurant
  • Sheeba Restaurant
  • Tomatos The Diner Restaurant

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Drink

There are no bars or pubs in Gujarat as it is a dry state where alcohol is prohibited.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
DharmadwarJain Nagar PaldiGuesthouse-
Lemon Tree Hotel Ahmedabad434/1, Mithakali Six Cross Roads NavrangpuraHotel-
The Pride Hotel AhmedabadJudges Bungalow Road Off S G RoadHotel-
Hotel DamjisOpp. Auda Office Asharam Road GujaratHotel-
Le Grande ResidencyOld Sharda Mandir Cross Roads, B/h Gujarat College, EllisbridgeHotel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There's good coverage over most of India for Internet cafes. However, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and some other cities, all internet cafes have been instructed by the authorities to maintain a register and note down the identification details of all persons using internet. Sify iWay is a reliable and cheap cafe with over 1,600 cafes over India. iWay also allows you to open a pre-paid account that you can use all over India. Whenever you have Internet access probably the best and cheapest way to call family and friends at home is software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet such as Skype.

Wifi hotspots in India are, for most part, limited. The major airports and stations do offer paid wifi at around RS.60-100 an hour. Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai are the only cities with decent wifi coverage. At Mumbai airport, you get to use WiFi internet free, for an hour or so.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for India is 91. To dial outside the country from India, prefix the country code with 00.

The general emergency number is 100 (emergency response police & fire), while for ambulance you should dial 102 or 112, though some regions have 108 for this emergency. 108 is used in in the Indian states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha,Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 108 can be called for medical, crime, fire, or any other emergency from any phone.

Local phone numbers can be anywhere from 5-8 digits long. But when the area code is included, all landline phone numbers in India are 10 digits long. Cellphone numbers usually start with '9', '8', or '7'. Toll-free numbers start with 1-800.

If staying longterm it is probably wise to think about investing in a mobile phone. You'll possibly need to provide a photocopy of your passport and itinerary, so come prepared. Make sure you arrange it upon arrival in a big city, as it can sometimes be difficult to organise with language barriers and such in more regional areas. You can buy a cheap nokia for about RS.1,200 with a pre-paid plan. Airtel is a good carrier to think about as they have great coverage, and constant offers for cheaper calling. To recharge, most shop vendors with phone carrier signs can do it via their own phone. You give them your mobile number, they put it in their phone and you'll both get messages as to whether or not the recharge has been successful. Also, if possible, buy the phone in the state where you do the most travelling as the charges are higher in the states where you did not originally buy the phone.

Over the entire country there are plenty of public phones, even in the middle of the countryside. Although most of the time these phones are not very well maintained and have horrible connections. Therefore remember when using one of these public phones one must be extremely patient.
For international calls from payphones, you'll have to visit a reputable internet cafe with a phone-booth. Mobile phones are usually a better and cheaper option.

Post

India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost RS.50 to 200. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.

If you want to send bigger packages/parcels, it might be better, faster and sometimes even cheaper, to contact a private company like DHL, TNT or UPS.

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Ahmedabad Travel Helpers

This is version 17. Last edited at 6:20 on Jun 12, 14 by KellieBarnes. 23 articles link to this page.

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