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Ahmedabad, a city of marvel

04 Feb 2020 / 11:07 H.

AHMEDABAD was once the the capital of the state of Gujarat in India, and its food and culture is still as popular as ever among visitors. The city is fast becoming one of India’s top tourist destinations due to its amazing history and attractions.

Illustrious history

Visitors who wish to learn a bit of the history of Ahmedabad have plenty of places to discover. Along the Sabarmati River lies the Sabarmati Ashram, one of the many places in Gujarat where Mahatma Gandhi lived for 12 years.

It also served as the base from where he led his iconic ‘salt march’ in 1930.

The Ashram is now a museum displaying various aspects of Gandhi’s life, including life-sized paintings and photos.

To appreciate the architecture in Ahmedabad, visitors should head over to Sidi Saiyyed Mosque and marvel at the building, which is inspired by a mix of Hindu craftmanship and Persian design.

The mosque is famous for its beautifully carved stone latticework windows, especially the window at the central aisle. The central aisle has reticulated stone slabs with carvings featuring intertwined trees, foliage and palm motifs. This intricate masterpiece has since become an unofficial symbol of the city of Ahmedabad known as the Sidi Saiyyed Jali.

Another site to explore is the Modhera Sun Temple. Set along the Pushpavati River, the Sun Temple was built in 1027 AD as a dedication to the solar deity Surya. While not an active worship site anymore, visitors are free to look at the former shrine halls and the reservoir leading to numerous small shrines.

Ahmedabad is also a textile hub, so a visit to the Calico Museum of Textiles should not be missed. Here, guests can marvel at court textiles used by the Mughal and provincial rulers, regional embroideries and religious textiles.

Last but not least, do go on a Heritage Walk. The tour begins at Swaminarayan Temple in the morning and takes visitors through the pols, havelis and temples of the walled city. The two-hour tour finishes at Jama Masjid, another architectural and historical marvel.

Lots of family fun

Ahmedabad may seem like an old historical city, but it has a modern side too with lots of activities for families. Over at Kankaria Lake, families can find a boat club, a natural history museum and a zoo to spend the day at.

Come evening, the River Promenade at Sabarmati Riverfront is popular with the locals. The River Promenade is a two-level continuous walkway, with the lower level open to pedestrians and cyclists. Families will also find parks and plazas along the riverfront and can even try boating.

For a little bit of nature, head over to Thol Lake which has been converted into the Thol Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is said to be home to over 150 species of birds, mostly waterbirds such as flamingoes and sarus cranes.

A shopping mecca

Shopping in Ahmedabad is a dream come true for those looking for affordable finds. Being a textile hub of India, it’s no surprise to find that Ahmedabad is also known for its quality tie-dye bandhani handloom technique. As such, getting fabrics to make a bandhani saree is a sure-fire way to go home with a good quality souvenir.

Head over to markets such as the ones in Law Garden to find traditional Gujarati attire, jewellery and handicraft. Another popular shopping venue is the Alpha One Mall where visitors can find both local and international brands.

Authentic Gujarati cuisine

When it comes to discovering a new city, it’s a must to try the local food. Scrumptious local streetfood such as khaman, fafda jalebi, dhokla, pani puri and papri chaat can be found at Manek Chowk.

Having a thali-style meal is also a nice option. In a thali-style meal, food is served on a round stainless steel platter, along with sides such as achaar, salad and buttermilk. This arrangement offers a perfect balance of six different flavours in one meal. Safe to say, it’ll be a food lovers paradise.

To let travellers experience the wonders of Ahmedabad, AirAsia is launching a new route from Kuala Lumpur to Ahmedabad and BIG members get to fly for RM199!

Booking is available online from now until Feb 16, 2020 at www.airasia.com ,with the travel period starting on April 29, 2020.

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