Ahmedabad Trip Part 1

In April – May 2012, we made plan to visit Delhi to meet my sister and my cutest niece who were visiting India for the first time since her birth last year. We decided to include Ahmedabad, my SIL’s place, too in the itinerary. Visiting both the places in the months of April and May was going to be a real challenge due to the hot weather. Sight seeing and sun do not go together at all! But who knew the trip was going to be one of a kind experience for me!

So we went via flight to Ahmedabad from Bangalore….my first flight experience ever! The field of clouds, the farm lands, the miniature buildings, the streams, the lakes and the sun from high above in the sky…breathtaking experience!

Up in the clouds

Next day we visited these places :-

# Adalaj Ni Vav – It is located at Adalaj village, around 19 kms away from Ahmedabad on Gandhinagar road. A Vav in Gujarati, means a stepwell – a well that is accessed through many levels of steps. The step well was built in A.D. 1498 by Ruda, wife of Vaghela Chief Virasimha. The oblong step well runs from south to north. The entry to the step well is from south through stairs on three sides which descend into a spacious landing with octagonal opening supported on eight pillars. All the walls are covered with intricately carved and beautiful sculptures and frescos. The grand architecture of the step well really takes one back into that century and you can imagine women bearing water pots, sitting, resting and chatting at specially designed places at the step well. There are openings in the many ceilings which provide good ventilation for the octagonal well. Thankfully direct sunlight does not touch the flight of steps or landings and it is quite cool inside. The well is covered with a netted enclosure. After admiring the structure and the skill of the workers of yore, we went to inspect the roof. There were five tombs on the roof but there was no description of these tombs anywhere.

Adalaj Ni Vav

The Steps

 

Carved Door

The Well

The Unnamed Graves

After visiting Adalaj we came back home for lunch and afternoon siesta :) In the evening, we decided to visit Kankaria Lake at Ahmedabad.

# Kankaria Lake – It is a polygonal (though appears to be circular) lake situated on the south-eastern side of the Ahmedabad city. Apparently it was constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din. The lake and the surrounding area have five entrances/gates. Gate 6 leads one straight to an island-garden with a summer palace and musical fountain show known as Nagina Wadi, right in the center of the lake. The lake is a very popular recreational centre and it is difficult to find parking!! It is surrounded by trees, plants, benches along with nice pathway for those who like walking. There are facilities like ‘Bal Vatika'( children’s garden), boating, aquarium, balloon safari, dirt track racing, natural history museum, a zoo, joyrides on toy train (Atal Express and Swarnim Jayanti Express)and a colorful bus. It was quite late and most of the facilities were closing for the day. But it was enjoyable seeing the place at the evening time because of special lighting of the lake in evening. We decided to go for the “Balloon Safari”. The tickets were priced at Rs 100 per person!! Since it was weekend, there was a long queue. It had got dark by the time our turn came. The balloon safari is a ride up on a securely tethered hot air balloon upto a height of around 50 m and then it comes down. But the view of the Ahmedabad city from above was wonderful! There is an entrance fee to the lake and for various rides and shows. Closed on Mondays.

One of the Entrance Gates of Kankaria Lake

The Layout

Kankaria Lake

Toy Train

Bus Ride around the Lake

Evening Lighting

Balloon Ride

The next day plans were made to visit the Science City at Ahmedabad post lunch.

# Science City – This is situated at Thaltej off the Sarkhej – Gandhinagar Highway. After having visited Science City at Kolkata and Digha, we were keen to see the one at Ahmedabad. The mission of the Science City, in their words, from their website is

Gujarat Science City is envisioned to be an impact-making science appreciation and entertainment experience for the common citizen while providing special offerings to the educated and the gifted. the Government of Gujarat is keen to create such Gujarat Science City as will be become a role model for the developing world.

Science City covers around 107 hectares and has attractions like Hall of Space (where you can also take your photo wearing a spacesuit!), Hall of Science, Thrill Ride/Simulator (where people can enjoy simulations of riding a roller coaster, flying in an aerobatic aircraft, a journey into space etc inside a closed capsule), Energy Park (where people can see solar panels, solar water heating system, solar lantern, wind turbine, water mobile, working models of Nuclear Power Plant etc), IMAX 3D theater, an LED screen having dimension of 20′ x 12′ size as an outdoor exhibit, a musical fountain ( which is spread over an area of 9000 sq.m in hexagonal grid pattern and is claimed to be the Asia’s largest one) and an Electrodome to explore various realms of electricity which we didn’t get time to visit sadly. Moreover we found Bangalore’s musical fountain to be far better than the one at Ahmedabad. But still, it was a great place to visit and we enjoyed a lot. There is a small curios shop where one can buy some science and other hobby related stuff. The Musical Fountain shows timings are Monday-Sunday – 7.00 pm, 7.30 pm, 8.00 pm and 8.30 pm. The center is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. Other show timings are available at their website.

Science City Attarctions

Amphitheatre

Science City Monument

Flight Simulator

The Surroundings

Fountain Show

After the musical fountain show, we came back home. The next day being Monday I and D decided to explore the city further on our own…..To be continued…….

P.S. Shocking to find there has been no post on Ahmedabad at Ghummakar!!

18 Comments

  • Wow! Thanks.
    I visited Ahmadabad twice but never knew if anything of any significance exists there except the walled old city.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Great log Reema.

    It is so heartening to see that the “Adalaj ni Vav” is so well preserved. Kudos to ASI (guessing that it is under their control) as well the state government. I liked the concept behind ‘Kankaria Lake’. I guess a lot of ancient heritage can be carefully restored and nurtured by adding some bits of modern infrastructure. May be turning every monument into a amusement park would be stretching it too far but at least the old water bodies which are seeing neglect can be better used. Only the other day, I read a beautiful log by Nirdesh on Mehrauli.

    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2013/07/02/mehrauli-the-second-city-of-delhi/
    Please read as your time permits.

    In your log, it says that Sultan Qutub-din-aibak constructed Kankaria in 1451, so this appears to be a different Sultan then the more famous one of Delhi.

    It is indeed shocking to see no posts of Ahmedabad here. Thank you. Its a FOG (First on Ghumakkar)

    • Reema says:

      very good question! as per Gujarat tourism website that is the information but reading about Aibak’s sultanate I feel he never ruled Gujarat region. and there has been only one Aibak. Hmm need to dig deeper into this.
      Thanks.

  • Amitava Chatterjee says:

    A well written travelogue.
    Kankaria Lake is stunning and how I wished such lake around us in Gurgaon.
    Scinece City is good…it reminds my trip to Science City, Kolkata few years back…though we thought to go there last month, but due to heavy rain, we had to postpone our trip…

  • Thanks for refreshing my trip. On the way to Adalaj you can visit Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram & replica of Vaishnu devi temple.

    Kankaria Lake is nice place to hang out in evening.

    Not able to write as I was not carrying camera & my mobile battery was low. :-(

  • abheeruchi says:

    Hi Reema,
    Very nice post with beautiful pictures.As regards to Kankaria lake and its sorrounding,i had seen all about it in Ty prog Taarak mehta ka ooltah chashmah.I had seen place in prog and detail got in ur post.thanks for sharing.
    Waiting for next post.
    Keep travelling keep sharing.

  • Rakesh Bawa says:

    Reema Ji, nice post and Ahmedabad is really a nice city as I have found it to be recently. Heritage walk which starts from old Swaminarayan mandir and takes you to 2 hour walk through different poles of the city is worth.

  • amit goda says:

    The graves are built by Begda for their masons, as Begda asked the masons if they can make another one just like this, “Yes” is the answer and also instant deaths for masons. Because Begda did not want its replica to be built.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Reema,

    Adalaj Ni Vav is really pretty with all those levels and the carvings. The cool depths of stepwells came in handy during the long summer days. In palaces they would build tehkhanas for the same purpose. Apparently the builder Qutbuddin belonged to the Gujarat Sultanate.

    Kankaria photos look pretty in the evening. I hope they do something similar around the Signature Bridge they are building in NE Delhi over Yamuna.

    Gujarat has lots of attractions which I hope to catch soon. It is indeed surprising Ahmedabad has been missing on Ghumakkar until now.

    Lovely read!

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Reema,

    Nice take on Ahmedabad (yep, shocking indeed if no posts were written on it yet). We spent a few years in Gujarat and Ahd was standard part of our touring itinerary, but yes – never thought about presenting it.

    Nice to read about the interesting developments/ details and guess articles like this will help highlight such burgeoning genres of Indian tourism.

    Thanks for spreading ‘Khubshoo Gujarat ki’ -)

  • Sharmistha Dan says:

    So well written piece Reema. I had never thought of visiting Ahemdabad, but now I really do. I particularly liked the “Adalaj ni Vav” and the balloon ride. I suppose from the photos that Ahmedabad is a very clean city and also not very crowded. Thanks for providing us with such good information.

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