Sardar Patel National Memorial, Ahmedabad | Image Resource : welcometoahmedabad.com
The trip to Vaishno Devi was amazing. The concept of the temple impressed me a lot. People of Gujarat are known for their innovations in entrepreneurship but innovation in religious architecture was very impressive. After the wonderful visit to the Vaishno Devi Temple, I traveled to visit the Sardar Patel National Memorial. As evident from the name Sardar Patel museum was established in the memory of the great freedom fighter and independent India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.
Sardar Patel’s Statue at Sardar Patel National Memorial | Image Resource : budgetindianvacations.wordpress.com
The memorial is located in the Shahibaug area of the city. The other name used to refer to it is Moti Shah Mahal. Sardar Patel played a pivotal role in uniting India after independence, which got divided into several princely independent states. Even before the independence Patel played a role in the independence movement as a Congress nationalist. The museum contains all the images and pictures of Sardar Patel and his family members. There is also a biography of Sardar Vallabhbhai, which details every phase of his life from childhood till his death.
Sardar Patel National Memorial-Centeral Hall | Image Resource : gujarattourism.com
The major attraction of the museum for me was the section that houses the national flag of India, which was designed by Indian National Congress in 1930s. The museum is surrounded by open lawns, which are known as the Sardar Open Garden and are flocked by peacocks roaming freely in happy moods. It is a good place to click images of peacocks and peahens.
Sardar Patel National Memorial | Image Resource : mytravelpedia.net
Besides the open lawn, there is also an open theatre known as the Sardar open theatre. Sometimes there are telecast of documentary movies during special occasions. The museum very well documents the life of the man, who is known as the Iron Man of India. The visit was worthy as a student of Indian Politics; I came to learn many new things about the life of this remarkable figure.
The coming generations can learn understand the great stories of our national leaders through this places. My trip to Ahmedabad was coming to an end, and I wanted to visit one last place before I get back to hotel to do my packing stuff. The last destination in my itinerary was the ISKCON temple of Ahmedabad.
I was still in awe for the architecture and beauty of the Adalaj Step Well that I will always remember the place. My itinerary had a few spiritual places too, which I make it a point to include in my visit to the places. The Vaishno Devi Temple in the Ahmedabad temple was quite popular and could hardly be ignored. It wasn’t far away from Adalaj and located on the Sarkhej Gandhinagar highway.
Vaishno Devi Temple | Image Resource : goldenauragirl.wordpress.com
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Vaishno Devi and modeled on the similar lines of the one in Jammu and Kashmir. The temple was very crowded when I visited it and one could see devotees from all over the country.
After conversation with the locals, I came to know that this temple draws huge crowds throughout the year and especially during the Navratris when people from far-off places come to visit it. The temple is a small replica of the one located in Jammu district in J&K. This temple can be visited in less than 2 hours as compared to the real one, where it takes at least a day to reach. The temple replicates the original experience of trekking and mountain style worship and darshan of the shrine.
Vaishno Devi | Image Resource : nrigujarati.co.in
Having seen temples and places of worship in different architectures and styles, the Vaishno Devi Temple is quite a surprise. I never expected that it will be a replica in such a good form. The artificial mountain type structure of the temple is also very good. This temple is for everyone in Gujarat and beyond who cannot go to Jammu to pay a visit and get the blessings of Mata Vaishno Devi, the Goddess is everywhere! The token given in the temple by the priest is same as that in the original one, i.e. a small silver coin.
Vaishno Devi Temple Ahmedabad | Image Resource : panoramio.com
The mini Vaishno Devi temple visit in Ahmedabad was a peaceful experience. In less than two hours I was done with taking the blessings of the Goddess. The trek was nice as the weather was very pleasant and not so hot. In two hours I was free to visit some other place.
I decided to invest this time by paying a visit to another prominent landmark of the city, which is the Sardar Patel National Memorial.
Hotel Nami Residency Ahmedabad | Image Resource : cleartrip.com
Hotel Nami Residency Ahmedabad : Choosing a place like Ahmadabad for travelling can turn out to be a big mistake if a good hotel is not booked to relish your experience. Not to take any chance, I did a prior booking at Hotel Nami Residency and then they took over. From Airport to tourist places, the hotel offered me their valuable services and took care of my entire trip leisurely. This is something our hotel industry needs to learn from Nami Residency’s hospitability.
The majestic Bhadra Fort offered a revisit to the history of our nation; it stands tall depicting the Mughal dynasty, which once ruled this place. I had a very elaborate dinner at night relishing the Ahmedabadi specialties. The next day morning I got ready early to visit another landmarks and popular destinations in the city. One such place, which was in my itinerary, was the Adalaj Step Well.
Adalaj Step Well | Image Resource : trekearth.com
Let me give a brief introduction of Adalaj first. Adalaj is a small village located about 20 km north of the Ahmedabad City. The Step Well is known as ‘Vav’ in the local language here and is said to be built by Ruda, the wife of Virsinh, who was a Vaghela chief. The Step Well is said to be built in the 15th or 16th century.
The direction of the Step Well or the ‘Vav’ is north south with the entrance from South and the well in the north direction. There are three entrance stairs, which lead to the stepped corridor inside and they meet at the first floor underground. The platform where the entrance meet is square in shape, with an octagonal opening at the top and it rests on some 16 pillars. This is the place from where the stepped corridor begins leading to the well.
The Well | Image Resource : joshimukard.wordpress.com
The corridor inside this step well is surrounded by a meter-high parapet wall, which has a round topping. There are steps that descend to five storeys; all the walls and pillars of the step well are a living example of sculptures and ornamentations of that era. They are full of amazing art and some of which are also erotic in nature, some show king sitting while others show dancing girls and women churning milk.
Intricate Carving in the Adalaj Step Well Structure | Image Resource : wikimedia.org
There are string courses, which run along the side walls and embellish all the parts of the structure and also divide the wall into horizontal sections. The Step Well is one of its kinds in India. It was the first time I had visited such a place though on TV and magazines I have read about a few of them. The infrastructure really makes one wonder about the place.
It took me a few hours to complete the visit to the Adalaj Step Well. Next, I proceeded to visit the Vaishno Devi Temple, the next place in my itinerary.
Hussain Doshi’s Gufa Ahmedabad | Image Resource : snipview.com
Description : I know I’m really lucky to do what I do and this is what I got to know when I recently visited Hussain Doshi’s Gufa in Ahmadabad. We should really be saluting to the art that man crafts in his paintings. The museum had a huge collection of his paintings in an underground art gallery. The museum itself is an art to be seen by human eyes once in their lifespan.
My visit to the Calico Museum of Textiles was quite enlivening. The way it preserved and showcased Indian handicraft heritage is awe-inspiring and a lesson for all the other museums of India engaged in similar works. Of course, I longed to spend some more time there, but my busy schedule reminded me my next destination that I had to move on to travel to the Bhadra Fort, which is located in the Gandhi Road.
Bhadra Fort Darwaja | Image Resource : theahmedabadblog.com
The fort was constructed in the early 14th century when the Maratha rulers reigned in Gujarat. It gets a special mention every time when one speaks of old monuments in the city. This is the reason why this royal fort occupies the primary position in travelers’ itinerary when they go for a sightseeing trip to the city. It is an amazing place surrounded by lush-green surroundings in the form of gardens, which give a charming appeal to the fort.
The fort is famous because of the temple located inside its premises, which is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali. In today’s time, the fort is used for hoisting the national flag and Republic Day parades on January 26 and August 15. The fort stands tall today amidst the government offices, which lie in vicinity to it. It is made of red sandstones. There is another important attraction lying on the eastern side, which is known as the Teen Darwaza.
Bharda Fort-finest monuments in Ahmedabad | Image Resource : astrolika.com
The balconies and arches of the palace inside the fort are beautifully decorated with all kinds of ornaments. The legend says that Goddess Laxmi once visited the temple and ever since she had blessed the Sultan and his city with endless fortunes. I am not a believer of these legends but certainly I find Ahmedabad as a very prosperous city where people are not only wealthy but also happy in their lives.
Bhadra Fort | Image Resource : indiantravels.com
The trip to the Bhadra Fort was good. For clicking pictures, it’s a must visit for photography bugs and those interested in history of Gujarat, this palace is certainly recommended to them. Once the trip to Bhadra Fort was finished I left for my hotel to rest for the night. The next day I decided to visit another historical location in the city known as the Adalaj Stepwell.
Jama Masjid Ahmedabad | Image Resource : wikimedia.org
Description : When I was kid, my Dad took me to a beautiful mosque that was based in Ahmadabad, Jama Masjid. The ambience was so soothing that even last week I got a tinge of those same feelings when I first visited this place. It hasn’t changed since 1424 and will keep on maintaining the same salubrious surroundings for its crazy pilgrims like us.
My train reached the city of Ahmedabad at 7:30 am in the morning. The weather was pleasant that time and it looked as if the city just experienced heavy rains a day or two back. I hired a taxi to take me to my hotel. The hotel booked by me was situated on the Sardar Patel Ring Road on the SG Highway. It was about half an hour drive from the railway station. I booked the hotel using the hotel booking app, which helped me find some good discounts and an exclusive deal.
Greenwoods Lake Resort & Spa Ahmedabad | Image Resource : oktatabyebye.com
The property is one of the best hotels in the city, which offers all the modern amenities to its patrons. It is an ideal place for the family and other tourists who have come for a vacation. The Greenwoods Lake Resort & Spa Ahmedabad is one of those places that have its own private lake inside its premises. The staff of the hotel was very hospitable; I was cordially welcomed and they completed my check-in formalities fast. I was then escorted to my room by one of the staff. The hotel and its infrastructure impressed me a lot.
Swimming Pool at Greenwoods Lake Resort & Spa | Image Resource : cleartrip.com
It had all the features and amenities one expects from a quality five-star hotel. There are several conference rooms and banquet halls like Scorpio, Taurus, Libra and Leo available for the tourists. For recreational facilities of tourists, the hotel had boating facilities along with many indoor games like snooker, pool and billiards. The resort is equipped with a state-of-the-art gymnasium cum fitness center. There is also a spa and sauna center available in the resort.
Greenwoods Lake Resort & Spa Rooms | Image Resource : cleartrip.com
The rooms available at the Greenwoods Lake Resort & Spa are classified as the Presidential Suite, AC Suite, Deluxe Room, Lake View Room and Virgo. I had booked an AC Deluxe Room with Lake View. The room was quite exquisitely decorated. I decided to have a quick shower and also ordered some food from the multi-cuisine restaurant Aquarius. For the coffee lovers the hotel has its own café known as Capricorn offering delightful drinks. After having lunch, I thought of starting by sightseeing trip in the city with the first place, the Sardar Patel Stadium on my list.
Teen Darwaja Ahmedabad | Image Resource : travelblog.org
Description : Initially, I went to Teen Darwaja due to its marvelous architecture with hand chiseled gates. Once I was done visiting one of the longest gateways, I started moving towards the market next to Darwaza and was bewildered at what I saw. The market offers a wide variety of clothing at best rates and you can even bargain on their best rates. It was really beneficial for me to visit the place, got two-in-one experience of sightseeing and shopping.
It was my second day in this lovely city of Ahmedabad and I had a good time so far. The progress and development this city has made surely put it way above every other city of India. It has very beautifully preserved its heritage and accepted modernity too. The infrastructure of the Sardar Patel Stadium and the legacy of Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram speak volume about the city’s development.
Calico Textile Museum Ahmedabad | Image Resource : calicomuseum.org
The next day morning I had my itinerary fixed and got ready to visit one of the famous museums of the city, which is known by the name of Calico Museum of Textiles. The museum is very famous as it houses the finest collections of antiques from around the world and also showcases the modern Indian textiles. Some of the artifacts available in the museum are as old as 500 years. The sheer work of excellence and genius by Indian craftsmen is artistically presented in the museum.
It was the first time that I saw Kashmiri shawls, which took around three to four years to make, in the museum. Another interesting thing on display inside the museum is the ‘double ikat’ clothes, which consist of some 100,000 threads each individually dyed before they are woven. The museum organizes two tours every day when it is open and it also requires an advance booking through mail or call.
Calico Museum of Textiles Collection | Image Resource : traveldejavu.com
The main gallery of the textile museum allows entry only in the mornings. The tour lasts for 2 hours. The afternoon tour is for visiting the Vikram Sarabhai Foundation’s collection of amazing arts and artifacts devoted to Indian heritage and religious deities.
The visit to this museum was worth every minute spent there. It was the first time that I had seen a textile museum. The Calico Textile Museum has very beautifully preserved the art and heritage of Indian handicrafts some of which are centuries old. The museum doesn’t allow photography so I wasn’t able to click any pictures on my own. To people who visit Ahmedabad, I certainly recommend them to visit this museum.
Inside the Calico Museum | Image Resource : welcometoahmedabad.com
The visit to the Calico Textile Museum was a worthy one; nevertheless, I had to move on to visit yet another sightseeing place, which was the famous Bhadra Fort.