The most interesting part about this café is that you can peruse and purchase various items – from the cutlery to the furniture – while sipping a robust masala chai. Located inside a vibrant yellow house in the Ambawadi neighbourhood, the quirky spot was founded by Drasty Shah who wanted to combine hospitality with design, food, retail and experiences. Try their special-blend coffee from Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters and snack on stuffed mushrooms or double-grilled naga chilli cheese toast. If you hang around long enough, you’ll even get to see a stand-up comic or musician take to the stage as part of their slate of regular performances.
A new name in Ahmedabad’s cultural scene, this arts hub opened in October 2018 and has an amphitheatre, gallery and garden within its premises. Founder Purva Damani had a vision to create a slick and modern centre for performing arts, and the angular structure was brought to life by Khushnu Panthaki Hoof, granddaughter of the Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect, Balkrishna Doshi. The name 079 comes from Ahmedabad’s STD code (or area code). Located in the western outskirts of Ahmedabad, 079|Stories may be a little out of the way, but the trek there is worth it for its creative writing workshops, stage shows, drum circles and abstract art exhibitions. April’s highlight is a sculpture exhibition from acclaimed local artist Vyom Mehta.
The Gujarati businessman for whom this museum is named wasn’t a collector, but purchased valuable and historic Indian art with the aim of keeping it within the country. It should come as no surprise then that his grandson, Sanjay Lalbhai, eventually converted their family home into a public museum that gives visitors an in-depth perspective on Indian art through the ages. A stately, cream-coloured colonial mansion, the museum features Mughal miniatures, paintings from the Persian, Deccan and Rajput schools of art, Tibetan thangkas (paintings depicting Buddhist deities) as well as painted postcards from pre-independence India. Next door, a simple building designed by English architect Claude Batley houses temporary exhibitions, retrospectives and work from young artists. Only 20 visitors are allowed per day, so prior booking is essential.
“Walking is the best way to explore the city, where you’ll find haveli hotels with exquisite wooden façades, medieval mosques, colourful temples, markets rich in textiles and jewellery and food streets” — Anil Mulchandani, Ahmedabad-based author and food critic
When Abhay Mangaldas launched House of MG – touted as the city’s best heritage hotel – he also created an exceptional dining experience for travellers at the hotel’s on-site restaurant Agashiye. It quickly became a talking point. Agashiye combines family recipes with a refined setting: stained-glass windows, cane furniture and an alfresco terrace that the restaurant is named after (agashiye means “terrace” in Gujarati). The food remains the centrepiece of the experience, however; their traditional Gujrati thali (platter) is served in dinnerware made out of kansa – an alloy that purportedly has wellness benefits. Standout dishes include an undhiyu made of winter vegetables; Gujarati curry; and jalebi, which is a popular Indian dessert.
This fashion boutique places a strong focus on handcrafted clothing and accessories, especially brands that support India’s talented artisan communities. Owner Sapna Patel wanted to bring conscious luxury to everyday living and has accordingly curated some of India’s most coveted eco-fashion labels. Opened in 2018, the minimalist, white- walled shop is the perfect backdrop for floral jackets by péro, Eka’s earthy separates and Lovebirds’ graphic dresses. The stellar accessories collection features Cord’s smart leather crossbody bags and Dhora’s dramatic gold chandelier earrings. Overall, it’s a great spot to find cool pieces that represent truly superlative Indian craftsmanship.
Singapore Airlines flies to Ahmedabad five times a week. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com