Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ahmedabad Miscellany

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Ahmedabad rarely makes the tourist itinerary in India, but I think the city has a lot to offer. Lon came to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar several times on business -- Ahmedabad is the commercial heart of Gujarat, and nearby Gandhinagar is the capital of Gujarat. It would be easy to spend 4 or 5 days visiting Ahmedabad and environs.

Our evening excursion took us to old Ahmedabad -- narrow streets and centuries-old buildings. There’s a wonderful “Heritage Walk” most mornings -- when it’s cooler and not crowded. Evenings this area is just about impassible.

Ahmedabad’s large Jumma Masjid. Since it was evening prayers, we didn’t stay long and didn’t go into the prayer halls. Since Mecca is to the west of India, the mosque faces east and the setting sun made it difficult to photograph.
On the other hand, the back wall of the Siddi Sailed Masjid was bathed in a golden glow. These are the mosque's famous “jalis” (stone screens). The bottom one, the “Tree of Life” has become an unofficial emblem for Ahmedabad.
We finished the day on the promenade along the Sabarmati River. A lot of effort has done into sprucing up Ahmedabad’s waterfront. Unfortunately, on hot days like today (43 C, 109 F), the concrete is almost too hot to touch, and it radiates heat back at pedestrians.
Also unfortunate is the continued pollution from coal-burning industry in India.
This time of year, the Sabarmati in Ahmedabad should be a dry riverbed like it is in this photo near Gandhinagar. But Ahmedabad has a small dam, and a canal has diverted water from the Narmada River (further south in Gujarat) to provide an 8 km long lake and better aesthetics!
Finally, nothing says “Gujarat” better than fried whole chilis -- for breakfast! Indian food is known for its spiciness and “heat”, but Gujarati food takes chili spice to a whole new level.

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