Ahmedabad is known to be the perfect mixture of the old and the new. Its rich history involving the rule of the Shahs, the Maratha Empire and the independence movement is balanced perfectly with the government’s decision to turn it into a smart city to prepare it for the future. Ahmedabad has also rapidly become one of the best tourism attractions of Gujarat for the same reasons and a lot of people are visiting it to find out about its historical secrets and its rapidly developing modern architecture.
With the Gandhis’ Sabarmati Ashram acting as a counter to the ultra-chic garden restaurants in Ahmedabad, here are a few things you can do in a day in the historic city of Karnavati/Ahmedabad!
Jumma Masjid, or Jama Masjid is one of the best examples of yesteryear architecture in the city. The mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the year 1423 to render the Muslim devotees a place for their Friday prayers. The mosque has a chequered past though, as the yellow sandstone that has been used on it is supposed to have come from Hindu and Jain temples that have been vandalised. While the exterior of the mosque consists of 260 pillars that are covered with intricate carvings, the interior of the shrine is an ingenuous work of construction, which is illuminated by natural lights that filter through latticework screens.
Sabarmati Ashram is synonymous with two things – Mahatma Gandhi and his Dandi March of 1930. Also known as the Salt Satyagraha, the Dandi March was conducted to protest against salt taxes that were imposed by the Britishers. It was also one of the biggest acts comprising of Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement and the Ashram has also acted as accommodation for a lot of Gandhi followers, who wanted to learn from the man himself. It is now a museum comprising of Gandhi’s prized possessions and photos of the Independence movement. Do not miss out on this place at all!
Long before any kind of bungalows in Ahmedabad were constructed in the city, pols were the only housing structures for a really long time. Pols were made around the 18th century where a lot of families of a particular caste or religion would stay together, initially to save themselves from communal riots common around the time of the Mughal-Maratha rule. Pols generally have more than one entrance and a lot of secret entrances known only to the people living inside it. You can find these intricate and beautiful structures in Old Ahmedabad, with the famous ones located in Manek Chowk. While they may not be as well-preserved as the other monuments they still are fascinating to look at.