Travelling Camera in Gujarat || Exploring old Ahmedabad on foot

Last weekend happened to be a 4-day long weekend for me, so Vijay too took a day off and we planned an impromptu trip to Ahmedabad. A quick research on the Internet revealed quite a few interesting places to see in and around the city and possibility of excursions that could be planned. It seemed like a good enough place to cover in 4 days. We booked our tickets and the hotel for our first night in Ahmedabad and were soon off.

Last weekend happened to be a 4-day long weekend for me, so Vijay too took a day off and we planned an impromptu trip to Ahmedabad. A quick research on the Internet revealed quite a few interesting places to see in and around the city and possibility of excursions that could be planned. It seemed like a good enough place to cover in 4 days. We booked our tickets and the hotel for our first night in Ahmedabad and were soon off. 

We took an early morning flight and were in the city by 9:30am. After checking in to the hotel, which was on Khanpur Rd, we decided to explore the nearby attractions on foot. Many of the must-see places were at walking distance. What we didn't know then was that it was about to get very hot soon. We were hungry too, but we decided to choose a place to it during our walk.

We took an early morning flight and were in the city by 9:30am. After checking in to the hotel, which was on Khanpur Rd, we decided to explore the nearby attractions on foot. Many of the must-see places were at walking distance. What we didn't know then was that it was about to get very hot soon. We were hungry too, but we decided to choose a place to it during our walk. 

The first "attraction" we hit was the Sidi Sayyed Mosque, which is famous for its "jaali", which is apparently the unofficial symbol of Ahmedabad. The mosque is at a crossing, and you would probably pass it without really knowing that it is a significant landmark if you do not have it set as the destination on google map. The building is otherwise unremarkable. Only when you stop there for some time, you notice the jaali inside and that is indeed beautiful.


The first "attraction" we hit was the Sidi Sayyed Mosque, which is famous for its "jaali", which is apparently the unofficial symbol of Ahmedabad. The mosque is at a crossing, and you would probably pass it without really knowing that it is a significant landmark if you do not have it set as the destination on google map. The building is otherwise unremarkable. Only when you stop there for some time, you notice the jaali inside and that is indeed beautiful. 

Anyhow, from there we walked to the Bhadra Fort, which was built by the emperor Ahmed Shah in the year 1411. It is situated right next to the Bhadra Kali temple, from which it takes its name. The fort looked quite beautiful from the outside. Unfortunately, we could not go in because it was closed because of Navratras. A garba competition was planned during the night, and the tents where the participants would change into their dance outfits were being set up inside the fort's complex. So we took a few pictures from the outside and had to move on.


Anyhow, from there we walked to the Bhadra Fort, which was built by the emperor Ahmed Shah in the year 1411. It is situated right next to the Bhadra Kali temple, from which it takes its name. The fort looked quite beautiful from the outside. Unfortunately, we could not go in because it was closed because of Navratras. A garba competition was planned during the night, and the tents where the participants would change into their dance outfits were being set up inside the fort's complex. So we took a few pictures from the outside and had to move on. 

From there we headed to the CNI Church, which turned out to be a pretty pink building. However, luck wasn't really on our side and the Church was closed too. While we were heading outside, someone walked over to us and informed us of the service the next day. We didn't know then whether we would be in town for that or not. So we clicked the church from the outside and walked on.


From there we headed to the CNI Church, which turned out to be a pretty pink building. However, luck wasn't really on our side and the Church was closed too. While we were heading outside, someone walked over to us and informed us of the service the next day. We didn't know then whether we would be in town for that or not. So we clicked the church from the outside and walked on. 


Next was the Teen Darwazah, which really is the gateway into what is the actual old Ahmedabad. The feel of the city on one side of teen darwazah is very different from the city on the other side. The construction itself is solid, tall and with the classic arches of the Mughal times. The darwazah was constructed in the year 1415 and in those times used to serve as the gateway to Bhadra fort. On one side of it was the city, and there was a courtyard with a fountain between the Bhadra fort and the darwazah. Today the old city is overflowing out into the courtyard, with streetmarkets taking over the footpath and shopekeepers using the stairways in the darwazah to store their goods for the night.


Next was the Teen Darwazah, which really is the gateway into what is the actual old Ahmedabad. The feel of the city on one side of teen darwazah is very different from the city on the other side. The construction itself is solid, tall and with the classic arches of the Mughal times. The darwazah was constructed in the year 1415 and in those times used to serve as the gateway to Bhadra fort. On one side of it was the city, and there was a courtyard with a fountain between the Bhadra fort and the darwazah. Today the old city is overflowing out into the courtyard, with streetmarkets taking over the footpath and shopekeepers using the stairways in the darwazah to store their goods for the night. 




Once you cross the teen darwazah, you enter the actual old Ahmedabad. The feel of the city is very much like that of old Delhi or of Aminabad in Lucknow. Houses are built close together. In general there's a sense of extreme busy-ness. One difference though is the absence of cycle rickshaws. You will find a lot of autorickshaws though. Cars and taxis stay away from this area, because of the congestion. However, it is here that you come across real gems.


Once you cross the teen darwazah, you enter the actual old Ahmedabad. The feel of the city is very much like that of old Delhi or of Aminabad in Lucknow. Houses are built close together. In general there's a sense of extreme busy-ness. One difference though is the absence of cycle rickshaws. You will find a lot of autorickshaws though. Cars and taxis stay away from this area, because of the congestion. However, it is here that you come across real gems. 




Upon walking a few 100 metres from the Teen Darwazah towards the heart of the old Ahmedabad, we came upon the Jama Masjid. When compared to the Jama Masjid in Delhi, this one is a bit smaller, but no less beautiful. However, the Jama Masjid in Delhi is a little overwhelming in the sense that they would make you don an overall even if your wrist is showing. Here, you were okay if you had your legs covered (males and females) and had elbow length sleeves. And it is not so crowded as well. One can easily walk in, click pictures, appreciate architecture at one's own pace.


Upon walking a few 100 metres from the Teen Darwazah towards the heart of the old Ahmedabad, we came upon the Jama Masjid. When compared to the Jama Masjid in Delhi, this one is a bit smaller, but no less beautiful. However, the Jama Masjid in Delhi is a little overwhelming in the sense that they would make you don an overall even if your wrist is showing. Here, you were okay if you had your legs covered (males and females) and had elbow length sleeves. And it is not so crowded as well. One can easily walk in, click pictures, appreciate architecture at one's own pace. 




Even though during our walk we had forgotten that we had not had breakfast, we suddenly realized how hungry we were. We could see a restaurant called Sanman right across the city. Upon checking the ratings on the internet (Sanman had 3 stars) we decided to walk a little further to Chandravilas restaurant that had 4 stars. The restaurant itself was pretty basic and it served classic Gujarati Nasta - fafda kadi, poori bhaji, jalebi, samosa, etc. We had one plate of fafda kadi and one of poori bhaji. As expected, both kadi and bhaji were a little sweet, but not offensively so. Fafda was really tasty. Also, whatever you say against coke, it was extremely refreshing in the hot weather of Gujarat.


Even though during our walk we had forgotten that we had not had breakfast, we suddenly realized how hungry we were. We could see a restaurant called Sanman right across the city. Upon checking the ratings on the internet (Sanman had 3 stars) we decided to walk a little further to Chandravilas restaurant that had 4 stars. The restaurant itself was pretty basic and it served classic Gujarati Nasta - fafda kadi, poori bhaji, jalebi, samosa, etc. We had one plate of fafda kadi and one of poori bhaji. As expected, both kadi and bhaji were a little sweet, but not offensively so. Fafda was really tasty. Also, whatever you say against coke, it was extremely refreshing in the hot weather of Gujarat. 




After breakfast, we decided to explore a bit more. Google maps showed a monument by the name of "Rani no Hajiro" close by. We walked towards it. The map took us through long-wided, narrow streets and ended at a huge building that turned out to be the Old Stock Exchange of Ahmedabad. Though overshadowed by the surrounding shops, the stock exchange is a remarkable building. The stock exchange was established in 1896 and the building itself is about a 100 year old. This example of British architecture adds some variety to the otherwise, largely Mughal architecture.


After breakfast, we decided to explore a bit more. Google maps showed a monument by the name of "Rani no Hajiro" close by. We walked towards it. The map took us through long-wided, narrow streets and ended at a huge building that turned out to be the Old Stock Exchange of Ahmedabad. Though overshadowed by the surrounding shops, the stock exchange is a remarkable building. The stock exchange was established in 1896 and the building itself is about a 100 year old. This example of British architecture adds some variety to the otherwise, largely Mughal architecture. 



The map told us that we were right in front of Rani no Hajiro, though we clearly weren't. We asked some shopkeepers and they told us that we would need to go around the stock exchange to reach there. We did that and then walked a couple of narrow streets with shops that sold silver jewelry and hidden behind the shop was Rani no Hajiro. We climbed the stairs to reach the platform on which the main complex was built, only to find the door locked. We decided to walk around the building to click whatever photos we could click, when a bearded gentleman found us and opened the gates for us. He was the caretaker of the building and claimed that he had not been paid any salary for years to take care of the building. However, he said he continues to do it.


The map told us that we were right in front of Rani no Hajiro, though we clearly weren't. We asked some shopkeepers and they told us that we would need to go around the stock exchange to reach there. We did that and then walked a couple of narrow streets with shops that sold silver jewelry and hidden behind the shop was Rani no Hajiro. We climbed the stairs to reach the platform on which the main complex was built, only to find the door locked. We decided to walk around the building to click whatever photos we could click, when a bearded gentleman found us and opened the gates for us. He was the caretaker of the building and claimed that he had not been paid any salary for years to take care of the building. However, he said he continues to do it. 



Rani no Hajiro complex had the graves of the queen of Ahmed Shah and her sister. It also had the graves of some of the pet pigeons of the queen. It was quite a remarkable place indeed. We were glad that we had come across it. While we were there, a group of Japanese tourists too came over with their guide. They seemed to be quite overwhelmed by the place. Sad part though was that this beautiful building was almost hidden between the shops and on its raised platform, people had hung out their laundry to dry. The monument needed to be looked after much better.


Rani no Hajiro complex had the graves of the queen of Ahmed Shah and her sister. It also had the graves of some of the pet pigeons of the queen. It was quite a remarkable place indeed. We were glad that we had come across it. While we were there, a group of Japanese tourists too came over with their guide. They seemed to be quite overwhelmed by the place. Sad part though was that this beautiful building was almost hidden between the shops and on its raised platform, people had hung out their laundry to dry. The monument needed to be looked after much better. 




The last monument we walked to was Ahmed Shah's Tomb, or Raja no Hajiro. Women weren't allowed inside the building. Strange because men were allowed inside Rani no Hajiro. Anyways, Vijay went inside a clicked a few pictures. It seemed to be quite an interesting place. And we soon realized that it was right behind the Jama Masjid.


The last monument we walked to was Ahmed Shah's Tomb, or Raja no Hajiro. Women weren't allowed inside the building. Strange because men were allowed inside Rani no Hajiro. Anyways, Vijay went inside a clicked a few pictures. It seemed to be quite an interesting place. And we soon realized that it was right behind the Jama Masjid. 



After this, we walked towards the Jama Masjid to take an auto towards the Sabarmati Ashram. Our walk through the old Ahmedabad had been quite successful and was indeed a good start to the trip. We felt we were going about this in the right way. But the trip was about to turn quite interesting with each passing day. You will find out more as you read the other editions of "Travelling Camera in Gujarat".


After this, we walked towards the Jama Masjid to take an auto towards the Sabarmati Ashram. Our walk through the old Ahmedabad had been quite successful and was indeed a good start to the trip. We felt we were going about this in the right way. But the trip was about to turn quite interesting with each passing day. You will find out more as you read the other editions of "Travelling Camera in Gujarat".  

Comments

Trending Post Today !

How to reach Khajjiar and main things to do around Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh (India)

Nikon D3500 Vs Canon 1500D - A quick review & the best entry level DSLR

Weekend destinations around Delhi, India (2-3 Days Trip)