The city has some of the best street food in India. Mornings here start with tea, fafda (deep-fried chickpea dough) and jalebi (deep-fried maida flour batter; above); try them at Oswal Restaurant (14 Ashram Rd). At night, head to city square Manek Chowk for snacks such as panipuri – a crisp semolina shell filled with chickpeas, onions, potatoes and tamarind chutney. You should also try the traditional Gujarati Thali (a platter of dishes) at Gordhan Thal, while non-vegetarian diners can enjoy the meaty delicacies sold along Bhatiyar Gali, a narrow lane at Khaas Bazaar.
People in Ahmedabad celebrate every festival with lots of happiness. The major ones are Diwali (November 7), the Hindu festival of lights, and Navratri (October 10 to 19), when Hindus honour the goddess Shakti by performing folk dances. Then there’s the International Kite Festival (January 7 to 15), where people mark the start of the harvest season by flying colourful kites.
Past but not least
In 2017, Ahmedabad became India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City. The best way to immerse yourself in its culture is through a self-guided walking tour. Stop at monuments such as Sidi Bashir Mosque (Kalupur Rd, Laxmi Bazar, Khadia), which was completed in 1452. If you don’t mind venturing a little further, take an auto rickshaw to the nearby village of Adalaj to see the intricately carved Adalaj Stepwell (below). Also not to be missed is Auto World Vintage Car Museum, which showcases a time in history when an automobile was not just a means of transport but also a symbol of wealth, power and style.
Ahmedabad has a long history as a trading city, and offers a variety of products at bazaars and in boutiques. Locals shop for wedding outfits at Lal Darwaja and Dhalgarwad, where you can also find ghagra cholis (the traditional three-piece attire for women), fancy shoes, and both gold and costume jewellery. Chimanlal Girdharlal Road is another favoured shopping destination for all, with everything from tailors to lifestyle stores.
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PHOTOS: ALAMY (CLICK PHOTOS), 123RF.COM
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.