Archive for the ‘Ahmedabad’ Category
The most convenient entry point into Gujarat is through the metropolis of Ahmedabad. The city contains some very fine museums, the Calico Museum of Textiles being considered among the world’s finest. Ahmedabad’s walled city is a living testimony to its heritage of crafts as women walk by in dazzling embroidered garments and flashing ethnic silver jewellery. Traditional Ahmedabad combines mosques of inspired workmanship, wooden Jain temples, unique stone stepwells and houses with ornately carved wooden balconies and window screens.
Modern Ahmedabad, just across the River Sabarmati spanned by four bridges, is a showpiece of contemporary architecture with designs by Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and the best known Indian architects. Ahmedabad is a convenient base for a number of excursions, Modhera being the best known. 106 km away, this is one of the very few sun temples in the country.
The major part of Gujarat tourism forms the many forts and palaces that stand as live witnesses to the golden era in the history of India.
Some of the Major Tourist Attractions In Gujarat are :
1. Dabhoi Fort : Dabhoi Fort of Gujarat is a 13th century Rajput fort. It is one of the greatest forts in India with four magnificent gateways. It is a superb example of Hindu military architecture and is notable for the architectural expertise of its four gateways, particularly Hira Bhagol. Dabhoi Fort at Gujarat was founded in the early 6th century AD by great king of Gujarat, Siddhraj Jaisinh(1093-1143 AD).
2. Gandhi Museum : A collection of rare photographs relating to the life of Mahatma Gandhi are on view at the Gandhi Museum. These recreate the significant events of Gandhiji’s life. Also displayed are documents, letters and his personal relics. The collection of audio-visual material includes microfilms, a voice library, prayers and lecture records.
3. Akshardham Temple : The Akshardham Temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, the father of Swaminarayan Faith. You will find a big idol of Lord Swaminarayan inside this grand temple.
The beautiful Akshardham Temple celebrates the commandments of Swaminarayan faith. You will be amazed to see the unique sandstone carvings which proves to be the unique example of great craftsmanship, which is in fact an architectural marvel of the century. The architectural masterpiece of Akshardham Temple is the symbol of humanity in Gujarat. The design of the Akshardham Temple glorify the Indian culture.
4. Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya : The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya is run by a public trust established in 1951. The museum’s new premises were built in 1963. The museum’s main objective was to house the personal memorabilia of Mahatma Gandhi. Consequently the exhibits on view depict the vivid and historic events of Gandhiji’s life.
There are books, manuscripts and photostat copies of his correspondence, photographs of Gandhiji with his wife Kasturba and other ashram associates, life size oil paintings and actual relics like his writing desk and spinning wheel.
Sabarmati Ashram, formerly known as ‘Satyagraha Ashram”, situated in Ahmedabad at the Kocharab Bungalow of Jivanlal Desai, a barrister. Later on it was shifted to the banks of Sabarmati river and then it came to be known as ‘Sabarmati Ashram’. Gandhi stayed at the Ashram from 1915 to 1933 later on the Ashram was disbanded. The Ashram is a witness to many important historical events.
“This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for Truth and develop Fearlessness- for on one side, are the iron bolts of the foreigners, and on the other, thunderbolts of Mother Nature”.- This is how Gandhiji described the site of Sabarmati Ashram when he first visited the place for assessing if it was suitable for carrying out his work.
The site of 36 acres was a waste land full of snakes, but the order was not to kill them.
The Satyagraha Ashram, later renamed as Harijan Ashram, was started in all earnest with a two-fold purpose- one was to carry on the search for Truth, and the other was to create a non-violent group of workers, who would create a non-violent group of workers, who would organize and help to secure freedom for the country.
A View Of The Ashram :
It is on the right hand side of ‘Hridaya Kunj’. It is an old Ashram guest house, where guests from India and abroad are put up.
Named after Acharya Vinoba Bhave who stayed here, and also known as Mira Kutir after Mirabahen, Gandhiji’s disciple, daughter of a British Admiral.
It is an open -air prayer ground, situated between ‘Hridaya Kunj’ and ‘Magan Kutir’ (the hut where Maganlal Gandhi, the ashram manager, used to stay).
Here, Gandhiji used to refer to individual questions after prayers and as the head of the family analysed and gave his solutions.
Here are the details of some places of interest for tourists in Ahmedabad….
Tombs of Ahmed Shah and His Queens
The tomb( Badshah-no Hajiro) of Ahmed Shah; the founder of the city is situated in the east of the Jama Masjid.The tomb is square in shape.It has porticos on each side and has perforated stone windows.Women are not allowed into the central chamber. Rani-no Hajiro is the place where the queens of subsequent Sultans were buried.it is located opposite the Hajiro.
Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaja
Bhadra Fort was built in the year1411 by Ahmed Shah,the founder of the city .it was later renamed Bhadra after the goddess with the same, an incarnation of Kali. The fort has royal palaces and a garden . It now houses government offices. The triple gateway or Teen Darwaja, is located to the east of the fort .It is used as standsfrom by sultans to watch processions from the palace to the Jama Masjid. The royal entrance is triple arched and richly carved.
Ahmedbad also contains a number of Hindu and Jain temples. The Jain shrine, known as the Huthising temple, is one of them. This temple is named after Shri Kesarising Huthising who constructed it in 1848.the temple serves as dedication to Dharmanath, the 15th Jain Tirtankra
The Narayan Temple is enclosed in a large courtyard, it dates from 1850. To the south of this Hindu Temple are the nine tombs known as the Nau Gaz Pir, or Nine Yard Saints.The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
Shahi Bag (the royal garden) was constructed by the great builder, Shah Jahan in the year 1622 A.D.Shahi Bag is now used as a royal residence to the State Governer, .The palace is also associated with the poet Rabindranath Tagore who as a boy stayed here with his elder brother ,before leaving his famous story “The hungry stones “(Kshudhit Pashan)
Kankaria Lake is in the southern part of the city.it is the biggest lake in Ahmedabad. Sultan Ahmed Shah laid the foundation of Kankaria.The garden Nagina Wadi (means beautiful garden in Urdu) is located in the center of the lake. Kankaria Zoo & Balvatika. Zoo are well known entertainment spots .The best time to visit the place is evening. Lightings and special effects in the walkway and sumptuous food of the restaurants in the central garden often attract the tourist worldwide . Kankaria is renowned for its junk food in the entire province of Gujarat.
Your trip to Ahmedabad will be incomplete without a visit to The Dada Hari Vav. In era of the Sultanate, the authorities use to develop wells for travelers as a place to rest or to drink water. The finest example are Dada Hari ni Vav and the Adalaj ni Vav. It has intricately carved walls, pillars and the steps lead down to different levels and ends in a small well.The interiors of these caves are paved with beautiful carvings in stone.
Sabarmati Ashram lies on the tranquil stretch of the Sabarmati river and is referred to as the Satyagraha Ashram.Mahatma Gandhi began his famous ‘Dandi March’ to protest against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. Mahatma Gandhi is credited for laying the foundation of this Ashram in the year 1915. It is a very peaceful place with simple rooms exhibiting the great man’s biography,photographs, quotes and paintings .The Gandhi Ashram has a memorial centre, library and a Sound-and-Light (Son et Lumiere) spectacle to offer to its visitors. There’s also a bookshop selling books by and about Mahatma. The small house in the Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi lived ‘Hridaya Kunj’ is preserved as a national monument.The ashram remains open from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm.
Ahmedabad is located at 23.03° N 72.58° E in a sandy and dry area. The climate is dry aside from the monsoon season.The weather is hot through the months of March to June. From November to February,the climate is extremely dry. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a mild chill in January.
Ahmedabad contains a number of architectural monuments of historical importance. Jama Masjid was built in 1424 by Sultan Ahmed Shah I.It is one of the biggest and oldest mosque for Friday Prayers. It is one of the finest mosques in India with 256 pillars supporting 15 domes at different elevations. There is a spacious courtyard in marble. There are intricate Hindu carvings on the pillars.The mosque had minarets which were destroyed in an earthquake.
Rani Rupmati’s Mosque
Rani Rupmati’s mosque is situated in the north of city.The mosque is named after the Hindu wife of Sultan Mahmud Begado. The mosque was built between 1430 and 1440 and represents a harmonious synthesis of Hindu and Muslim styles. It has three domes supported by pillars with the central domes slightly elevated which allows natural light into the mosque. The mosque lost its minarets in the earthquake of 1818.
Rani Sipri’s mosque
Rani Sipri’s mosque is situated on Sardar Patel Road.This mosque is also known as the Masjid – e- Nagira, or jewel of a mosque. It has ornamented minarets and a tomb of Rani Sipri, who had the mosque built after her son was executed for a minor crimel. It is another beautiful specimen of Hindu art in a Muslim monument.
Sidi Saiyad’s Mosque
Sidi Saiyad’s Mosque was constructed i n the year 1573 by Sidi Saiyad, a slave of Ahmed Shah.The mosque has ten screen windows (jalis)of pierced stone, worked in style of a tree with palm leaves and curving tendrils. A superb and peerless example of delicate carving that transforms stone into filigree. Wooden models of these windows, a fine example of Indo-Sarcenic architecture are kept in the New York and Kensington museums.
Sidi Bashirs mosque
Sidi Bashirs mosque is one of the most popular monuments in Ahemdabad .It is also known as Jhulta minars or shaking minarets .The minarets have three floors, adorned by carved stones. The style is a complete innovation. The mosque is designed as such that the response to vibration is transmitted to the other via a stone bridge joining both .The massive earth quake of 2001 had an impact on the monument.
Raj Babri Mosque
The Raj Babri Mosqueis situated in the suburb of Gomtipur,the main feature of the moqque is that it has shaking minarets.
Ahmedabad is the largest city of Gujarat with the population of 51 lakhs.The city is
located to the East of Sabarmati.It was the capital of Gujarat from 1960 to 1970; the capital was shifted to Gandhinagar thereafter.
HISTORY OF AHMEDABAD
According to the datas of archaeological records , the area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashapalli or Ashaval. At that time, Karandev I, the Solanki ruler of Anhilwara (modern Patan), waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval. Soon after the victory, he established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati at the site of modern Ahmedabad..In 1411 Sultan Ahmed Shah conquered Karnavati,and therefore the city’s name was changed from Karnavati to Ahemdabad.
The city was fortified with an outer wall 10 km (6 miles) in circumference and consisting of twelve gates, Shahjahan constructed the Moti Shahi Mahal in Shahibaug.A famine in 1630 and the constant conflicts between the Peshwa and the Gaekwad armies virtually destroyed many parts of the city, causing its population to flee.Mahatama Gandhi established two ashrams- the the Kochrab Ashram near Paldi in 1915 and the Satyagraha Ashram on the banks of the Sabarmati in 1917.