Ahmedabad was the city of everything until I moved to the US before 6 months. I am born, grown-up, have gained my education and worked in this city and so naturally this part of the earth is like mother’s womb!
Traveling and exploring different cultures, people and food is my hobby. It’s not that I have not explored thousand flavors of my own city but still the unlikely fact was that I always kept delaying the heritage walk until Ahmedabad was included in The List of World Heritage Cities published by UNESCO!
My friend and I finally managed to execute our long pending item in our To-Do List!
And the experience was Amazing!
An experience of knowing the unnoticed side of something you already know since edges!
An experience of higher value and pride for something which you have been breathing casually!
An experience of developing craving of digging deeper into those smaller but shiny elements that has embossed unique richness to this city!
And hence I couldn’t stop myself sharing few information about this experience.
There are a few Heritage Walk options available which obviously belongs to the old part of this city. We chose the Mandir – To – Masjid Walk on one fresh winter morning!
The assembling point is at Kalupur Swaminarayan Mandir @ 7:30 AM.
This 1st place itself may be an unknown fact for many local people that such a huge temple exists in one of the most crowded roads of the city!
The tour starts with a documentary film on Ahmedabad covering its history, tradition, key landmarks situated in different parts of the city. The film also mentions key people who laid foundation of the strong ethics, truth and non-violence, desire of independence, opportunities in the field of science & technology and textile & other industries
This particular walk covered the walk on the streets of Old Ahmedabad covering these landmarks:
- Kalupur Swaminarayan Temple
- Kavi Dalpatram Chowk
- Lambeshwar ni pole
- Calico Dome (previously held, but was destroyed during the earthquake of the year 2001)
- Haja patel ni Pol and Kala Ramji Mandir and Shantinathji Mandir on this pole
- Doshivada ni Pol and Kuvavala Khancha on this Pol
- Zaveri Vad
- Sambhavnath ni Khadki
- Chaumukhji ni Pol
- Astapadji ni Pol
- Harkunvar Shethani ni Haveli
- Fernandiz Road on Gandhi Bridge and old book market
- Chandla Ole – the continuous shops of wedding cards and other markets
- Muharat Pol – the first pol of the city
- Badshah-no-Haziro (Makbaro of Ahmed Shah Badshah – The founder of Ahmedabad city)
- Jami / Jumma Masjid
This old city has gradually built-up an amazing infrastructure of self-contained, continuous neighborhoods (pols), narrow streets, secret paths, protected gates, continuously build shops plus house combinations (oals), raised platforms specially for birds’ safety to have food and water (chabutro), well developed water harvesting, water reusing and drainage systems since the foundation was laid down in 14thcentury!
Experiencing Ahmedabad old city roads with clean air and less traffic before vehicles and people takes over the control itself is a worth taking experience! If you are living in Ahmedabad and you witness these same streets early morning; I can guarantee that you will have an entirely different experience!
You can feel that ‘savar no pahor’ (early morning period of three hours), Ahmedabadis and surroundings together are establishing the beautiful fresh ‘mahol’ (aura) of this place!
I have frequently travelled on these old streets with my dad when I was a kid but never noticed architectures of rich British, Persian and Chinese culture existed in neighborhood houses!
I had missed out the fact that ‘Relief Road’ was built to give relief to ever increasing traffic of the only and main city road – Gandhi Road!
Sadly, it was painful to see few new Morden houses and shops here that are built by destroying these invaluable heritage structures! This reminded us how preciously heritage is being preserved in countries like France and Italy!
Hope we learn quickly and stop more damage in the name of modernization!
I won’t write much here as ‘Seeing is Only Believing!’ and definitely encourage to go for it!
And yes, food lovers, not to be missed is the Gujarati breakfast with Indian Masala Chai @ The Green House, House of MG!
Here are some handy details to make your search quicker!
- Ahmedabad Heritage Walk – By Akshar Group of Navgujarat Samay
- D’Tours – An Audio Guided Walk by The House of MG
- Night Walk by The House of MG
- Breakfast Walk by The House of MG
So, before summers in the city takes over the control of your plans, don’t forget to execute this plan and this will bring a new unforgettable loving perspective for this place!
I’m sure it will be unforgettable for you too!