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.