Indulge in the food
Ahmedabad is known as the vegetarian heartland of Gujarat. Fear not though, the food is delicious. The city is also known as a ‘dry city’ as alcohol is severely restricted. There are a few hotels and restaurants that are allowed to sell alcoholic drinks but only in limited qualities.
The intimate Vishalla restaurant is probably the most well known in the city. It’s in an open-air area lit by lanterns, giving it a magical atmosphere. Gujarati dishes are served on leaf plates (above) while you enjoy folk music, dance performances and even puppet shows.
If you want to know where the locals hang out and get their dinner, then the Ratri Bazaar (Mangal Pandey Rd) is where you need to go. Dosa stalls line the crowded streets and these Indian pancakes made with fermented batter with a delicious variety of fillings will leave you spoilt for choice.
Chandra Villas (Gandhi Rd, near Ratan Pole) is Ahmedabad’s longest-running eatery and has been on the go since 1900. You’ll find it at its busiest during breakfast time as locals line up to get their assortment of breakfast goods.
Shop till you drop
Hansiba is the retail outlet of the Self-Employed Women’s Association, a trade union for poor and self-employed women who earn a living through their own small businesses. The sarees, tapestries and shawls are made by some of the women, while others take care of the sales.
Next to the Mausoleum of Ahmed Shah I, locally known as Badshah no Hajiro (King’s Mausoleum), Gamthiwala Fab is known for selling quality tie-dyed textiles and materials (below).
The Law Garden Night Market is where the locals shop for the best deals. You’ll find thousands of brightly coloured sarees and shawls (below) here at very good prices. This night market is also known for its goods from the Kachchh and Saurashtra areas, which are producing high-quality tapestries, carpets and clothing.
– TEXT BY JESSICA FARAH
PHOTOS: INSTAGRAM, 123RF.COM, GANDHI ASHRAM AT SABARMATI, SHREYAS FOUNDATION, HANSIBA FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.