Things to do in Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad Heritage Walk
One of the best ways to experience Ahmedabad and its heritage is to embark on a well-organized Heritage Walk. Choose between a day walk and a night walk, a walk with a guide or a DIY Audio-guide walk.
Walk through the historic pols of Old Ahmedabad, worship at the temples, marvel at their intricate workmanship, venture into the by lanes and narrow alleys, discovering and experiencing the true spirit of Ahmedabad through the eyes of the locals. Most heritage walking tours include visits to historical and architectural landmarks such as the Jamma Masjid, Teen Darwaza and Manek Chowk, as well as some magnificent hawelis and historic pols.
The House of MG, one of the organizations conducting heritage walks, offers an interesting Heritage Night Walk. A guided walking tour, this night walk begins at a Mangaldas ni Haveli and goes on to Manek Chowk and includes a visit to Raja no Haziro for a firsthand experience of Naubat, a traditional orchestra of drums that marked the arrival and departure of kings, a birth or death announcement and the welcoming of dignitaries.
This centuries-old tradition of Naubat has continued from the past many centuries in remembrance of the city’s founder, Sultan Ahmed Shah. In these contemporary days, the descendants of the original Naubat players continue to play the drums to mark the setting of the sun and at night, to announce the closing of the Bhadra Fort’s magnificent doors, just the way, their ancestors did during the reign of the Sultans.
Shopping in Ahmedabad
As a city renowned for its textile industry, Ahmedabad is a shopper’s haven, especially when it comes to shopping for clothes, designer wear, bed covers, bags and clutches. Bandhini, tie-and-dye work, block prints, embroidered garments and patchworks, and appliqué works are some of the most popular designs available here.
Visitors to India will be enamoured by the vast range of lehenga cholis, chaniya cholis, odhnis, dupattas and turbans available across the city. In addition, visitors to the city would be impressed with the variety of handicrafts, woodcarvings and lacquered furnishings, and the huge jewellery market.
Like in any other popular tourist city, Ahmedabad too has an eclectic collection of shopping arcades, swanky malls and traditional markets with a good mix of big brands and small retailers. Visitors to the city are advised to exercise caution when dealing with small retailers, especially in the local shopping areas, as they tend to fleece anyone who seems to be a visitor. So, be prepared to haggle hard.
Visitors are advised to shop from state-run and/or state-approved shopping centres such as Gurjari, which is located in three locations across Ahmedabad (http://www.gurjari.co.in/), Hansiba (http://www.hansiba.in/) and Banascraft (http://www.banascraft.org/).
For a more localized experience, just head to Manek Chowk, a prominent city square next to the Jama Masjid. This square is bustling throughout the day and until late at night with shoppers. In the morning, Manek Chowk transforms into a vegetable market, by noon it becomes a stage for a flourishing jewellery market. Once it darkens and the clock ticks towards 9 PM, the Chowk becomes a famous street food market.
Rani na Hajiro is yet another local market that is popular with the locals and visitors alike. Dedicated for the needs of ladies, this market offers a wide collection of traditional clothes, shoes and accessories. Night owls will love the ambience of the Law Garden Night Market, where once again, one can shop for traditional Gujarati clothes, garba dresses, chaniya cholis, jewellery and other accessories, and sumptuous street food.