Ahmedabad is the industrial capital of the State of Gujarat. Lying on the banks of Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad is known for its rich past and its association with Mahatma Gandhi. It is India’s textile city having numerous cotton and textile mills. Ahmedabad has a mixture of ancient and modern culture with a large number of factories, mosques, temples and high-rise offices. The city offers a unique style of architecture, which is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles (Indo-Saracenic style of architecture).
Ahmedabad was the base camp for the Indian freedom struggle. Gandhiji built the Sabarmati Ashram on the outskirts of the city. During the freedom movement, this city of textiles became the nerve centre of the struggle. Ahmedabad boasts of the largest denim production in the world. It is also home to several interesting museums. Many of Ahmedabad's buildings bear the signatures of world-renowned architects like Le Corbusier, Louis Khan, Doshi and Correa. Ahmedabad is famous for the festival of Makar Sankranti, which is celebrated in the month of January with kite flying, folk music and dance.
Places of Interest in Ahmedabad
The Calico Museum of Textiles, widely regarded as one of the finest textile museums in the world was constructed in 1949. The Museum houses the finest fabrics spun, woven, printed and painted in different parts of India that date back to the 17th century. It also has a collection of marble, sandstone and bronze icons and busts split in two thematic sections-gallery for religious textiles and historical textiles. There is also an excellent reference library on textiles.
Shreyas Museum of Folk Art
The Museum has a unique collection of folk culture from Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch with displays of crafts and costumes from these areas.
Sardar Patel Museum
The musuem is housed in old Raj Bhavan, which was also a palace. Museum situated in Shahibaug exhibits Sardar's life and works.
Institute of Indology
The Institute contains some of the best collections of Jainism, illustrated manuscripts and miniatures.
Vishalla Vichar Museum
Vishalla is a restaurant with traditional Gujarati food in village surroundings. It has Vichar Utensil Museum worth visiting. The museum houses a unique collection of utensils.
The museum houses a wonderful variety of kites that depict their colourful history and regional flavours.
Founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1915, during the lifetime of Mahatma Gandhi it was known as Satyagraha Ashram and was the centre of the struggle for Independence. 'Hridaya Kunj', the simple cottage where he lived, is preserved as a National Monument. The cottage is now a small museum displaying his few possessions. A Gandhi Memorial Centre, a Library and a Sound-and-Light show offer indepth insight into the Mahatma's life and work.
A circular lake constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutubub-Din. At the centre of the lake is an island garden with a summer palace, known as Nagina Wadi. The lake is a popular recreation centre surrounded by parks, 'Bal Vatika', an aquarium, a boat club, a natural history museum and a zoo.
It is a gallery housing the collaborative efforts of artist M. F. Hussain and the architect B. V. Doshi. Here, art and architecture fuse to become a unique experience, both complementing each other magnificently. Located in the campus of the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology, the Gufa is a configuration of cave-like structures buried under the ground. This marvel of contemporary architecture was constructed using computer aided design and tribal initiative.
Built by Ahmad Shah in 1423, Jama Masjid is the principal mosque of the Islamic era, situated at the heart of the city. The mosque was built in the Indo- Saracenic architectural era and is said to be the most beautiful mosque in the East. The mosque has 260 pillars supporting 15 domes arranged symmetrically. A special feature of the mosque is the Muluk-Khana, or the Royal Gallery, which is a platform standing on pillars and enclosed upto the roof with beautiful stone work.
About 8 kms. from the city, Sarkhej comprises one of the most elegant architectural complexes of Ahmedabad. Grouped around a great stepped tank is the tomb to the saint, Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh (1445), the mosque, the tombs of Mehmud Shah Begada and his queen, and the palace and pavilions. The buildings are remarkable for the complete absence of arches and the use of pierced stone trellises throughout.
The triple-arched gateway was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah to serve as the royal entrance to the Maidan Shahi or the Royal Square. It is an imposing monument of perfect proportions and highly ornate buttresses.
The shaking minarets are two minarets located at the Siddhi Bashir mosque. They are uniquely designed in a way that when one minaret is shaken the other one shakes too.This is also known as Jhulta Minar.
Rani Rupmati's Mosque
Named after the Hindu wife of Sultan Mohammed Beghara, this mosque was built between 1430 to 1440 A. D. It has three domes supported by pillars with the central dome slightly elevated so as to allow natural light into the mosque. The mosque has richly carved minarets, balcony windows and perforated stone lattices. Its three domes are linked together by a flat roof. However, the mosque and tomb of Rani Sipri at Astodia surpasses it for its planning and structural arrangement. Popularly known as Masjid-e-Nagina, this mosque is the most exquisite gem of Ahmedabad.
A colossal monument raised in the memory of Syedna Qutubuddin Shaheed, the high priest of the Bohra community.
Built during the reign of Shah Jahan who, as Prince Khurram, spent the early years of his marriage in Ahmedabad as Viceroy of Gujarat. Rabindranath Tagore stayed here during his visit to Ahmedabad as a young man and the room where he wrote his famous work- 'Hungry Stones' - has been preserved as a memorial to the poet.
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. Built of pure white marble, it has a paved courtyard surrounded by an imposing row of cloisters containing 52 shrines, each with an image of a tirthankara, profusely decorated with rich carvings, one containing the marble image of the 15th tirthankar. The temple is a two storied structure with elaborate porches on three sides and front porch crowned by a large dome. It was designed by Premchand Salat and is dedicated to Dharmanath, the fifteenth Jina or Jain apostle.
Once housed royal palaces and beautiful gardens. It has the temple of Bhadrakali and was built in 1411 during the Maratha rule.
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