Gujarat, the state on the western edge of India is one of the best destinations for tourist. The reason being its cultural diversity, remarkable heritage sites, tremendous wildlife and exemplary hospitality. Gujarat, has many things in offering whether its colourful festivals, delicious varieties in dining and not to forget its traditional handicrafts, embroidery and some of the finest textiles.
I had a chance to visit this land of legends during the much celebrated festival of Navratri and one could sense the vibrancy of this festival immediately after landing in the capital city of Ahmedabad.
Vibrance of the colourful festival of Navratri
The festival of Navratri is widely-celebrated not only in Ahmedabad, but across India. However, in Gujarat this festival is celebrated with supreme zest and zeal. Cities remain illuminated till late in the evening and the festival goes on over nine days (essentially nine nights). People remain busy in puja. Throughout these days boys and girls, young and old put on the traditional attire and absorb themselves in traditional Gujarati dances called Sheri Garba and Dandiya Raas. This is the best time to visit the Gujarat and have the first hand experience of the states cultural ethos.
Ahmedabad’s rich and vivid traditions make the destination worth unravelling. One who travels the length and breadth of this city will be left captivated by its tranquil beauty, sumptuous food and memorable hospitality but the real treasure remains in the form of heritage sites like that of Adalaj Ki Vav, a 14th century stepwell.
Visiting the 14th century marvel of Architecture
After enjoying the traditional dance and Gujarati music it was time to track some of the cities historical sites and there could be no better option than to visit Adalaj Ki Vav a traditional well.
The beautiful seven-story Indo-islamic architecture, set in the quiet village of Adalaj, at the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Historically, the well used to serve as a resting place for hundreds of pilgrims and caravans who travelled along the trade routes.
It is believed that Queen Rudabai, the wife of Vaghela chief Veersinh build this well with the help of Muslim king, Sultan Abu’l Fath Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah, popularly known as Mahmud Begada in 1499.
After the completion of the well in, villagers used to come every morning to fill water and offer prayers. Also, the travellers would stop their caravans here, drink water, have some rest and leave for their respective destinations.
This is a one of the unique stepwell’s which has three entrance stairs, meeting at its first storey leading to a huge square platform. It also has a hefty octagonal opening as its top.
One can find verses of Quran and the nine planets inscribed on its walls, which the people believe, protects the monument from evil spirits. The place remains one of the favourite places for tourists in Ahmedabad.
Re-imprinting the footsteps of Mahatma Ghandhi at Dandi Kutir
Gujarat has a very special relation with the father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi as he was born here. So, the next place worth visiting is the the heart of Gujarat, the capital city of Gandhinagar.
Gandhinagar is approximately 23 kms from Ahmedabad and the famous place remains the epitome of Gandhi called as Dandi Kutir. It takes you through the life and times of the Mahatma.
Dandi Kutir is in the shape of a salt dune, which resembles and remembers the Mahatma’s Satyagraha movement, an act of civil disobedience to protest British rule in India. Mahatma Gandhi was born in Gandhinagar and the city has embedded a special relationship with the life and work of Gandhi. In the city, his legacy remains a vibrant part of public discourse and private lives.
Dandi Kutir is a modern state of-the-art with the combination of science and technology. The structure is equipped with all the modern gadgets to guide tourists digitally and tell the story of Mahatma’s life.
If you want to know the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi Dandi Kutir also know as Ghandhi Ashram is the best place to visit. Here the entire life of Mahatma Gandhi is being shown to visitors through 3D mapping, 360 view graphics and simulation.