Things to Do in Ahmedabad: Situated on the banks of the picturesque Sabarmati River in Gujarat, Ahmedabad is brimming with historical sites, replete with cacophonous markets, and is famous across India for its delicious street food. In 2017, the walled city of Ahmedabad was declared India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City. If you are interested in understanding the roots and culture of the city, check out our list of top things to do in Ahmedabad.
Top 19 Things to Do in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
- Join an Old City Heritage Walk
The most atmospheric part of Ahmedabad is the boundary wall or old city situated on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river. A heritage walk through the streets of the UNESCO-listed old town is a great way to discover aspects of the city that would otherwise be missed. One of the best is the morning heritage walk organized by the Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad. It lets you delve deeper into the local communities where you visit the pole (interconnected cluster dwellings characterized by wooden façades, canopied bird feeders, and expansive courtyards). This tour lasts for about two and a half hours.
To escape the crowds and enjoy a stunning view of Ahmedabad after dark, book a one-hour night tour organized by MG House. It is available throughout the year and takes you through the historical areas of the city. House of MG also offers a two-hour Breakfast Heritage Walk focusing on the Old City from October to March.
- Wander Around the Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaja
The beating heart of Ahmedabad in its time, the 15th-century Bhadra Fort, holds the distinction of being the city’s first Muslim structure. It was constructed as a royal complex by the ruler of the Gujarat Sultanate, Ahmed Shah I, the founder of the old city, and was progressively expanded and embellished by subsequent rulers. As a result, there are many structures to see inside the fort complex. Bhadrakali Temple, located within the Azam Khan Sarai Palace, is one of the most popular places in the fort complex. It houses a black stone idol of Goddess Bhadra Kali (a form of Goddess Shakti), who is believed to be the protector of the city. Then there is a 171-year-old belfry which is still functioning.
A short walk to the east will take you to the Teen Darwaza (three-arched entrance gate), which is an architectural landmark in itself. This ground served as the entrance to the royal square called Shah, and royal events were held there. Today, it is a huge market with shops offering everything from ethnic wear to handicrafts, electronics, and home goods. While you are here, do visit the nearby Bhatiyar Gali, a meat lover’s paradise. It is packed with bustling stalls and eateries specializing in non-vegetarian food – don’t miss the succulent mutton chaap at ZK Fry Centre, Keema Samosa at Bera Samosa House, and white chicken and Hyderabadi chicken at Akbari Hotel.
When you get tired of exploring, Victoria Gardens is a great place to recharge.
- Experience Serenity at a Mosque
Over 160 years of Gujarat Sultanate rule (1411–1573) in Ahmedabad, the domes of the mosques of Ahmedabad have left a legacy of exquisite architecture attesting to the diverse nature of the city. One of the most popular buildings is the 15th-century Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) in the old city area. Architecturally, it is a unique blend of Islamic, Jain, and Hindu styles, complete with lotus-like carvings and Arabic calligraphy. The 16th-century Sidi Sayyid Mosque, with its earthenware windows, is another interesting stop. It is about a 10-minute walk south of the Friday Mosque. The filigree window with the Tree of Life motif is particularly noteworthy and is considered the unofficial mascot of the city.
Two more prominent old mosques are less than 15 minutes away from Jama Masjid. These are the mosque of Ahmed Shah and the mosque of Rani Sipri. The first mosque is the oldest mosque in the city, built for the royal rulers in the early 1400s, while the latter was built by Queen Sipri in the early 16th century and has a room that houses her tomb. Both the mosques have lattice drapes. Be sure to dress decently.
- Marvel at the Shaking Minarets of Sidi Bashir Mosque
Although much of the Sidi Bashir Mosque in the 15th century was destroyed by war in the 18th century, this ancient structure still inspires awe. Among the remains is an arched central entrance flanked by two third-story minarets, which are said to be the tallest in the city. The towers located between Sarangpur Gate and Ahmedabad Railway Station are unique. When one is lightly pushed, the other starts to move on its own, hence the nickname Jhulta Minar. Visitors are not allowed to enter the minarets and test these claims but can take some time to see the richly carved minarets with balconies on each story and see if you are amazed by the architectural ingenuity of the ancient architects. are not.
- Enjoy a Street Food Feast at Manek Chowk
For the best food scene in Ahmedabad, visit Manek Chowk, located near Bhadra Fort. From 9 pm to 2 pm, this city square is packed with food and drink stalls serving a variety of delicious dishes. Locals swear by the pav bhaji (rich vegetable curry with buttered bread) at Mahalaxmi Pavbhaji Centre, chocolate pizza and sandwiches at Manek Pizza and Sandwich Center, and Gwalior Dosa at Balan Dosa Centre. Take one kulfi from Ashrafi Kulfi and have breakfast for the whole day.
When clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, fruits and vegetables, and other household items are sold in abundance, mornings and afternoons here are great for browsing the shopping markets. It is popular among locals as well as tourists.
- Visit One Too Many Hindu and Jain Temples
Ahmedabad has many impressive Jain and Hindu places of worship. Perhaps the most popular temple in the city is the 172-year-old Huthising Jain Temple. It was built in honor of the 15th Jain Tirthankara (spiritual teacher), Dharmanath. The temple complex includes the main temple with a marble statue of the presiding deity, more than 50 miniature shrines of various Jain saints, and a victory tower called Manastamba built in the Chittorgarh Fort in Rajasthan. However, the most striking feature of the structure is its front, which has jharokha balconies and lattice screens (jalis), which are exquisitely carved.
Another popular temple is the 19th century Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kalupur. It is dedicated to the Hindu deity Nar-Narayan Dev (a form of Lord Vishnu). The wooden carvings depicting everything from auspicious symbols, mythical animals, and religious icons to episodes of the 1857 rebellion are a highlight.
Other temples worth visiting include the Jagannath Temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath (a form of Lord Vishnu) and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Teerthdham, which is a replica of the original Vaishno Devi temple in Katra, Jammu, and Kashmir.
- Catch a Glimpse into Life and Times of Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram
The Sabarmati Ashram, located on the west bank of the Sabarmati River, is a perfect educational tool to learn about Mahatma Gandhi, one of India’s most revered and respected historical figures. It was from here that Gandhi led his movement for India’s independence through non-violence. In addition to the less furnished living quarters, the ashram houses a museum filled with written documents, photographs, and artifacts that give visitors a window into the life and teachings of Gandhi. There is also a library and a curio shop, where you can buy authentic khadi items, key chains, mini charkha (traditional spinning wheel), and books by and of Gandhi. On 2 October (Gandhi’s birthday), special events and cultural performances are held here.
- Get Educated at a Museum
Ahmedabad is steeped in history and culture, and the city’s museums are a fitting tribute to the rich heritage. To understand the rich textile history of the Indian subcontinent, visit the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum or the Calico Museum of Textiles to see thousands of years old Indian sculptures, manuscripts, miniature paintings, and coins, and much more. The latter can only be visited with a guided tour. There are two tours every day, six days a week, and it’s best to book ahead of time as spots are limited.
Then there is the fascinating Kite Kite Museum, which pays homage to Gujarat’s grand tradition of kite making and flying. It is housed within the Sanskar Kendra, a museum that focuses on the history, arts, crafts, and architecture of Ahmedabad.
If you are a fan of cars, then the Auto World Vintage Car Museum is a must-visit. It houses a mind-blowing collection of automotive vehicles, from early models from Rolls Royce, Mercedes, and Cadillac to classic motorcycles and cars from the old royal families.
- Detach Yourself from the Density of the City at Kankaria Lake
The 15th century Kankaria Lake is a very beautiful artificial body of water that has a lot to offer for sightseeing, activities, and experiences. The lake offers recreational activities such as boating, toy train rides, and tied balloon rides to visitors, while the surroundings include a zoo, a children’s park called Balvatika, a miniature children’s town, an amusement park, a Natural History Museum, and a garden called “One Tree Hill” containing Dutch tombs from the colonial era.
There is also an artificial island named Nagina Wadi in the middle of the lake, which can be reached by foot. Have a picnic there and enjoy the serene lakeside ambiance. There are food carts nearby in case you need to refuel. You can spend the whole day here with your family; Beware of the crowds during national holidays and weekends. Don’t miss the evening sound and light show. The pond is closed on Mondays.
If you’re around in December, be sure to attend the Kankaria Lake Carnival. It is a seven-day cultural festival that includes folk dances, music, activities for children, and much more.
- Eat a Meal to Remember
New Lucky Restaurant, just north of Sidi Sayyed Mosque, is a cemetery restaurant, an unusual choice for a restaurant. It’s built over a Muslim cemetery, and you eat your food among real graves, which according to owner Krishnan Kutty brings good luck. True or not, both locals and tourists flock here for its unique setting and delicious food. Do try its bun mask (soft bread with butter) and tea. The famous artist M.F. Hussain himself.
Prefer a rural setting for your meals? Head for Rajvadu or Vishala; Both are styled as local villages and serve authentic Gujarati cuisine. The latter also houses a museum of ancient pottery called Vechar, which is worth visiting.
- Admire the Carvings on Step Wells
In Gujarat, step-wells are known as vavs, and there are over 100 of these. While most are dilapidated, some—such as the little-known Dada Harir Vav to the east of the Ahmedabad old city in Asarwa and the popular Adalaj Ni Vav, located about 12 miles north of Ahmedabad in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar district—are better preserved. And worth seeing.
The 520-year-old Dada Harir Vav has a spiral staircase that leads to five levels, beautifully carved pillars, and arches. Sanskrit and Arabic scripts are engraved on the walls, and the terraced well looks especially attractive in the late morning when the carving-covered levels are bathed in the sun. At the rear of the terraced well is the 16th-century Dai Halima Mosque, which is separated by lattice screens. On the other hand, the five-storeyed Kadam Adalaj Ni Vav is known for its Indo-Islamic architecture. The walls are decorated with carvings of deities, decorative motifs, elephants, musicians, and dancers, as well as scenes from mythology and daily life.
- Shop to Your Heart’s Content
Ahmedabad is home to many colorful markets, and you should definitely aim to visit a few markets. Law Garden Night Market is one of the oldest markets in the city, where vendors stock ethnic outfits, handbags, antique jewelry, and home decor items crafted by skilled artisans in the villages of Gujarat. It is open daily from 7 pm onwards. Till midnight. Make sure you are hungry as it is almost impossible to resist the smell of street food such as ragda patis (mashed potato patties with white pea curry) or Pani puri (fried balls filled with water of potato and tamarind).
Dhalgarwad is less than two miles away. It is the place to buy traditional and handmade fabrics including prints and weavings from Patan, Jaipur, and many parts of South India.
The 125-year-old Chopra Bazar of Fernandes Bridge in the old city is one of the most famous places for those who are fond of first editions and rare books. Thousands of new and old books and novels in all genres (including academic books) are piled up for sale.
So, hone your bargaining skills and dive into it.
- Sleep in a Heritage Hotel
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Ahmedabad by staying at a heritage hotel. There’s a lot to choose from. If you want to be more active, book a suite at the House of MG, a boutique hotel built in a 20th-century mansion, or check-in at the 19th-century Diwan’s Bungalow. The former is celebrated for the authentic experiences it offers to its guests, which include several walking tours. To feel like a local, stay in a 150-year-old French mansion located in the heart of one of the old town’s poles.
- Catch a flick on the Outdoor Big Screen
Looking for a fun night out? Head to the Sunset Drive-in Cinema located on Drive-in Road. It’s been around since the 1970s, making it the oldest drive-in cinema in India, and it also boasts the title of “largest open-air screen in Asia” – so you know it’s a spectacular There is going to be an experience. It has a Dolby surround sound system and a massive screen with a 665-car capacity. They play movies most days of the week and have two shows a day at 7:30 pm. And at 10:30 p.m. visitors can watch the film outside in a shaded seating area or from the comfort of their own vehicle. Plus, there is a food court and a spacious garden, making it a fun place for the whole family.
- Check Out an Underground Art Gallery
Situated within the grounds of CEPT University, Amdavad ni Cave is a work of art in itself, thanks to its modern Blobitecture style. It is basically an art gallery which is situated below ground. The architect Balkrishna Doshi took inspiration from the Ajanta and Ellora caves for its design. Inside, this great Indian artist M.F. There is a cave-like space filled with artifacts by Hussain. Most of the works are painted on the walls and ceilings just like the cave paintings. It is open daily from 4 pm onwards, except Mondays and public holidays. Go for art and architecture by 8 p.m., but stop by for a light meal as the Zen Café upstairs is excellent.
- Stroll Along the Sabarmati Riverfront
Sabarmati Riverfront is a waterfront resort on the banks of the river of the same name. Tourists can walk, jog, or cycle this 7-mile stretch and enjoy people-watching and river views along the way. Plus, there are food kiosks, parks, gardens, and markets to visit around. The sunset or night view on the riverfront presents a fascinating photo opportunity. For the full experience, take a boat ride on the west bank of the river.
- Attend a Festival
For an added dose of local culture, visit Ahmedabad during a festival. The International Kite Festival in mid-January is one of the biggest events in Gujarat. It is part of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti (harvest festival) and is held on the Sabarmati Riverfront. There are kite flying and painting competitions, kite-making workshops, and aerial acrobatics. This popular festival attracts kite flyers from all over the world.
Other festivals worth a visit to Ahmedabad are the 13-day Saptak Annual Music Festival in January and the nine-day Sharad Navratri in late September or early October. The latter is a celebration of the nine forms of Goddess Durga, while the former is a celebration of Indian classical and folk music.
- Visit the Acropolis of Ahmedabad
In Makarba village, four miles southwest of Ahmedabad, is the Sarkhej Roja, a vast spread of periodic monuments dating back to the mid-15th century. It is popularly known as the ‘Acropolis of Ahmedabad’, and one of the notable features is its architecture, a stunning blend of Islamic, Hindu, Jain, and Persian influences.
Sightseeings include the dargah of the Sufi mystic Ahmad Khattu Ganj Baksh (spiritual advisor to Ahmad Shah I), with a massive central dome, the Jama Masjid located next to the dargah, and the royal tombs of the kings and queens of the Gujarat Sultanate. Their walls are adorned with intricately carved jaalis. It is open from 9 am to 6 pm. every day, and admission is free. Reach here by auto-rickshaw from Old City Center.
- Take a Day Trip
While Ahmedabad has a lot to keep visitors captivated, taking a day trip outside the city will add some variety to your trip. For a peaceful spiritual encounter, visit the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, less than 40 minutes from Ahmedabad. It is a huge temple complex that belongs to the Hindu Swaminarayan group. The main attractions are its five exhibition halls with high-tech multimedia displays on the life and teachings of the 18th-century mystic Swaminarayan and the Hindu epics.
Fascinated about dinosaurs? Make way for the dinosaur and fossil section of the Indroda Nature Park in Gandhinagar, less than 35 minutes north of Ahmedabad. It is full of dinosaur remains.
The Thol Bird Sanctuary, less than an hour away from Ahmedabad, and the Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, about an hour and 35 minutes south-west of Ahmedabad, are ideal for bird watching. More than 150 species of birds can be seen in Thol, while more than 250 species of migratory birds are found in Vol. Combine Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary with a visit to Lothal (25 miles south), one of Gujarat’s most extensively excavated Indus Valley Civilization sites. There is a museum on the site filled with objects from that period. It is open daily except for Friday. Find out more day trip options in our pick of the top attractions and places to visit in Gujarat.
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