Historic places in Ahmedabad for a tour of India’s past

Ahmedabad is one of the most important cities in Gujarat. The culturally vibrant place has had a rich past, evidence of which can still be seen today in its many structures. So here are the historical places in Ahmedabad that you must visit for a history lesson. By Anouchka Goel

Historical places in Ahmedabad that you must visit

Sabarmati Ashram

Located on the banks of the Sabarmati River, the ashram was once the home of Mahatma Gandhi. The place is a haven of peace, exuding a sense of calm that you might not find elsewhere in the city. The ashram also holds an important place in history, having been the starting point of the non-violent freedom struggle that the father of the nation launched.

Now housing a museum, the heritage site houses several artifacts from the era, including Mahatma Gandhi’s desk, personal photographs, letters, charkha (spinning wheel), and more.

Best time to visit: Monsoon and winters, to be away from the scorching heat
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: You can book taxis, autorickshaws or buses from anywhere in the city to reach

Book your stay at ITC Narmada here

jami masjid

Among the greatest architectural marvels of the city is Jami Masjid, also called Jummah or Jama Masjid. One of the many historic places in Ahmedabad, the masjid was built in 1424 by Ahmad Shah I and is located in the old city outside Bhadra Fort. The complex of the place evokes a sense of serene calm, while the exterior is chaotic, with bustling markets, restaurants, and more.

Best time to visit: March April
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: The place is easily accessible by autorickshaws

Swaminarayana Temple

Akshardham Temple, also called Swaminarayana Temple, was the first of the Swaminarayana sect and sees a large number of visitors every day. The temple complex is immaculate and clean, with bright hues and intricate artwork. The complex is revered for its calm, and is also among the starting points for heritage walks around the city.

Best time to visit: September – February
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: The temple is about 30 minutes from Ahmedabad airport and about 45 minutes from the railway station, and can be reached via autos and taxis

Book your stay at Hyatt Ahmedabad here

Bhadra Fort

Built by Sultan Ahmad Shah in 1411, Bhadra Fort is one of the historical places of Ahmedabad which houses lavish gardens, open spaces, huge gates and much more. Besides its royal palaces and mosques, the place has a shrine dedicated to Bhadra Kali as well as a clock tower installed by the British in 1878.

Best time to visit: Morning and evening
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: Cars and buses are the best ways to reach the tourist spot

Rani No Hajiro

Manek Chowk is one of the most popular places for those looking for garba dresses, accessories and more. What the place also has are the tombs of the wives of Sultan Ahmad Shah (hence the name Rani no Hajiro). The complex, also called Mughali Bibi tomb, is different from others and has tombs placed in an open courtyard covered with rich brocades. The architecture is a mix of Hindu, Islamic and Jain styles, and is a sight to behold!

Best time to visit: Monsoon and winters
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: Hop in a car wherever you are, or if you have a two-wheeler, it will make getting around town easier

Book your stay at Novotel Ahmedabad here

Adalaj Ni Vav

Step wells are found in many places across India and served as water storage tanks during Mughal times. And among the historical places in Ahmedabad not to be missed is Adalaj Ni Vav, or Adalaj Stepwell. The place features intricate carvings, steps leading to the bottom, and nooks and crannies that were all used to store water. It is definitely a scenic place to see!

Best time to visit: Winters
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: Hire a taxi to take you there or hop in a car

Hutheesing Jain Temple

Among the most important Jain temples in Ahmedabad, the Hutheesing Jain temple is dedicated to the 15th Tirthankara, Lord Dharmanatha. The temple was built in 1848 and is one of the many historical places in Ahmedabad that you must visit. The architecture here is similar to the Dilwara Jain temples of Rajasthan, and the intricate carvings will enchant you!

Best time to visit: Morning and evening tour, just before the temple closes
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: Hail a taxi or car at the temple

Jhulta Minara

Your trip to the historical places of Ahmedabad must include Jhulta Minaret. The two minarets, which still stand in the city, were once the gateway to the Sidi Bashir Mosque, another place to visit. What makes them unique (and gives them the name ‘jhulta’, or swaying) is that when you shake one minaret, the other also moves. However, the passage that connects them both remains stable and does not undergo any vibration!

Best time to visit: All seasons
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: Hail a taxi, bus or car to Sakar Bazar, where the minarets are.

Dada Harir Vav

Dada Harir Vav is another stepwell you must visit in Ahmedabad. The intricate structure was built in 1485 by Dhai Harir, and is a marvel of sandstone built with intricate carvings and more.

Best time to visit: Monsoon and winters
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: Book a taxi to Haripura

Lal Darwaja

Lal Darwaja is an important site in Ahmedabad and is an important historical landmark. Today, the place is full of markets and street food stalls, and it is also a beautiful structure to see in the city. You can easily walk past the area or walk down here and wander around, soak up the market and explore the local restaurants.

Best time to visit: Winters
Trip cost: Free admission
How to reach: Ride a bus or car to the location

Hero and featured image: Courtesy of Satyajeet Mazumdar/Unsplash

Related: Our guide to shopping destinations in Ahmedabad for some traditional and quirky purchases



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Patrick F. Williams