his ashram was Sabarmati Ashram Gandhi's headquarters during the long struggle for Indian independence. His ashram was founded in 1915 and still makes handicraft, handmade paper and spinning wheels. Gandhi's spartan living quarter are preserved as a small museum and there is a pictorial record of the major events in his life. The ashram is open from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm (7 pm between April and September). Admission is free.
There is a sound-and-light show for a small charge at 6:30 pm (in Gujarati) and 8:30 pm (in English on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday and in Hindi on the other nights. The beautiful ashram complex of Ahmedabad, with it's shady trees populated by thousands of parakeets, beeeaters, sunbirds and squirells, offers a refuge from the loud streets of the city, and is one the foremost tourist attractions of Ahmedabad.
South-east of the city, this artificial lake, complete with an island summer palace, was constructed in 1415 and has 34 sides, each 60m long. Once frequented by Emperor Jehangir and Empress Nur Jahan, it is now a local picnic spot. There's a huge zoo and children's park by the lake, and the Ghattamendal pavilion in the center houses an aquarium.
The Jama Masjid Jama Masjid, built in 1423 by Ahmed Shah, is beside Mahatma Gandhi Rd, to the east of the Teen Darwaja. Although 260 columns support the roof, the two 'shaking' minarets lost half their height in the great earthquake of 1819, and another tremor in 1957 completed their demolition. Much of this early Ahmedabad mosque was built using items salvaged from the demolished Hindu and Jain temples. It is said that a large black slab by the main arch is actually the base of a Jain idol, buried upside down for the Muslim faithful to tread on.
This small mosque outh-east of the city is also known as the Masjid-e-Nagira (Jewel of a Mosque) because of its extremely graceful and well-executed design. Its slender minarets again blend Hindu and Islamic style. The mosque is said to have been commissioned in 1514 by the wife of Sultan Mahmud Begada after he executed their son for some minor misdemeanour and she is in fact buried here
Rani Sipri's Mosque
Travel south along he highway, and a short day tour will bring you to the Sarkhej complex, a cluster of monuments dating from the Sultanate. Sarkhej was the home of the Muslim religious leader Ahmed Shaik, who was a spiritual guide of Sultan Ahmed Shah. In 1411, he was one of the 4 Ahmeds who laid the foundation of the city. The Rauza or Maqbara (mausoleum) of Shaik Ahmed Gunj Baksh - 140 ft in area is one of the largest mausolea in India, rivalling the Taj Mahal.
The fort presents a good sampling of their favoured architectural styles. Akbar drew on Islamic and Hindu traditions and the result is eclectic. By Shah Jahan's time the style had become so homogenized that it is impossible to seprate the Hindu and Muslim strands. The Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall), the beautiful Diwan-i-Khas (private audience hall) and the magnificent Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) were also added by Shah Jahan.
Dada Hari Vav (Stepped Well) - This well was built to provide cool resting place and water to the travellers. The stepped well is one the finest example of Gujarati architecture. Even on the hottest days the well is cool. This well was built in 1501. It has a flight of steps leading down to lower and lower platform terminating at a small, octagonal well. The best time to visit and photograph the well is between 10 and 11 am; at other times the sun doesn't penetrate to the various levels.
Dada Hari Vav
Hathee Singh Jain Temple was 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 and profusely decorated with rich carvings, the Hathee Singh Temple is dedicated to Dharamanath.
Hathee Singh Jain Temple
Lothal lies 85 km southwest of Ahmedabad. This place near Ahmedabad is an ancient dock belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. The Indus Valley Civilisation at Lothal Ahmedabad district was a hub centre for the Indus valley civilisation when it moved down from Sindh to the Saurashtra coast to establish trading zones. Rangpur and Lothal, both around 75 kms south from Ahmedabad, were among the first 2 places where the Indus valley civilisation was discovered in India. Lothal
The rulers home is no longer a grand palace, but the foundations show signs of it having been a 2 or 3 storeyed mansion. The rooms of the upper town were obviously built for ruling classes, as they had private paved baths, and a remarkable network of drains and cess pools. An ivory workshop at the acropolis suggests that elephants may have been domesticated for the purpose
An 11th century Sun Temple, rivalling Konark in architecture an sculpture, with pillars depicting traditional erotic sculpture and scenes from the Hindu epics can be seen here. One of the finest temples of the 11th century period in the country, the Sun temple of Modhera has spectacular carvings, fine architecture and traditional erotic sculpture.
54 km away and connected the the city, the sanctuary offers a pleasant trip. The sanctuary mainly comprises a lake and marshes where you can see flamingos, pelicans, ducks, geese, cranes, storks, ibises, spoonbills, wading birds, kingfishers, swallows, fishing eagles, osprey, harriers and falcons in great numbers.
Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary is best known for its herds of chestnut-brown Asiatic onager (wild ass), last surviving species of India's wild horses. Also home of the gazelle, blue bull, wolf, desert and Indian fox, jackal, jungle cat, hare and birds like the houbara bustard, sandgrouse, courser, francolin, quail, eagle, falcon, harrier, vulture, lark, warbler. The 11th century sandstone fortress at Patdi, temples around Munsar Tank at Viramgam and Darbargadh of Dasada can be visited en route.
The Rann Of Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
27 km away and on the way to Baroda, is another interesting day trip. The Stepwell of Mehmedabad and Jumma Masjid mosques are architectural achievements. From here you can go to Sojali by rickshaw to see the 1515 A.D. mausoleum or Chandra Suraj Mahal, a ruined garden palace.