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Sightseeing in Ahmedabad

Sightseeing in Ahmedabad includes visiting and exploring the beautiful mosques, manors, bazaars and the old walled city with its various pols.

One of the most beautiful mosques in western India, the superbly proportioned Jumma Masjid (1423 AD), is constructed in yellow sandstone and has 15 domes resting on approximately 250 columns of various heights. Its excellent workmanship and grand scale make it truly outstanding.

The Sidi Sayyad Mosque is famous for its ten semi-circular delicately carved stone windows; one of them shows the intricately entwined branches of a tree, depicting the ‘Tree of Life’. The Sidi Bashir Mosque with its twin ‘jhulta minars’ (shaking minarets) has been one of the city’s prime attractions for centuries. With no parallel in the world, the minarets have been so designed that when one is shaken the other sways in sympathy. The shaking minarets were damaged in the earthquake, but efforts are on to restore as much as is possible.

The Rani Sipri Masjid is a small, exquisitely designed mosque, while the Rani Rupmati Mosque named after the Sultan’s Hindu wife, has a dome that is slightly raised to permit light to come in around its base.

For a close look at old Ahmedabad, try the walking tour of the city organised by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) that takes you through the ‘pols’ (byways and alleys) of the city, revealing crowded bazaars, ‘havelis’ (manors) with exquisitely carved house fronts and lavish courtyards. These tours are run daily from 8am to 10am starting at the Swaminarayan Temple, Kalupur.

Ahmedabad’s Museums are also noteworthy -- the Calico Museum of Textiles has one of the world’s finest collections of textiles, antique tapestries, wall hangings, costumes and antique looms. There are also the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology, Auto World Vintage Car Museum, Museum of Miniatures, Shreyas Folk Museum, Utensils Museum, and even a Kite Museum which reflects the city’s fascination with kites.

Adalaj ni Vav (Step Well) is another interesting place to visit in Ahmedabad. A fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture Adalaj Step Well a five-storey step well and is the only step well in Gujarat, which has three entrance stairs that meet at the first storey, underground in a huge square platform.

Other places to see and visit in Ahmedabad include the Sabarmati Ashram where Gandhiji’s cottage "Hridaykunj", has been preserved much as he left it over 50 years ago; the intricately carved, white marble Hutheesing Jain Temple; the triple arched gateway Teen Darwaja; the elaborately carved wooden Swaminarayan Temple; the elegant architectural complex Sarkhej Roza, and the 34-sided Kankaria Lake.

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