Nowadays everyone is busy in running after money or pursuing their career. Hectic daily routine or monotonous workload sometimes makes us depressed too. But, if we can balance our working schedule then we may add some fresh oxygen to our tedious life. Sometimes our responsibilities give us golden opportunity to explore new places.
It was around 12:00 am when I, along with my fellow team members reached Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (Ahmedabad). The connecting flight from Kolkata to Ahmedabad (via Lucknow) was already delayed by 1 hour. So, by the time the airport had lost its regular bustling chores.
Following the principles of ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan’, the airport premises along with its surrounding were neatly decorated and beautifully organised. As we came to Ahmedabad for a ‘Workshop on Data Analytics’ at Karnavati University, so the University authority already arranged both transportation and accommodation for us.
We were picked up from the airport and dropped at the guest apartments of Karnavati University campus.
Karnavati University is one of the renowned university of Gujarat.
It has a huge well maintained campus offering topmost facilities regarding various subjects and department, playground, cafeteria, gym, open auditorium, students’ canteen, hostels, fully furnished apartments for guest faculties, 24*7 tight security, peaceful environment and great hospitality.
The university is located in Gandhinagar- one of the important parts of Gujarat and the university is near about 18 km away from the airport.
Although we reached the campus at around 1:00 am but we were cordially welcomed by the security officials and all necessary arrangements were available there for us.
Off to Ahmedabad
Although we had a pre-planned tight schedule of training but we somehow managed an afternoon and dedicated it to Ahmedabad. Thanks to our updated technology, we just opened the Uber app in our smartphones and booked an ‘Uber go’ to reach Ahmedabad. One of the drawbacks of our destination was the communication problem. Being located in outskirts of the city, it was very tough and expensive to get any local transport from Karnavati University. Uber & Ola service have also not been frequent there till date. Fortunately, we got the cab within 10 minutes and headed towards Ahmedabad Law Garden – that’s the main market complex of Ahmedabad.
Well-constructed and neatly maintained way towards Ahmedabad didn’t let us feel the boredom of around 1 hour’s drive. Ahmedabad – the heart of Gujarat is one of major administrative and economic centers of the state. When we reached there, it was late afternoon and the Law Garden market complex was already bustled with daily chores.
In and around the Law garden, different colourful temporary shops are run by the local vendors. Clothing, accessories, shoes, home decors and much more are sold in these shops at reasonable price but we had to bargain a lot. As the Navaratri festival was already started then, so the whole market was beautified with traditional Gujarati dresses, Lehengas and accessories.
National Handloom Corporation Limited is one the renowned super market complex just adjacent to the Law Garden. We paid a visit there and bought some traditional dress materials from there at an affordable price.
A good number of local food items are available at the food stalls within the market complex. Gujarati Panipuri with eight differently flavoured Pani is a must try in Law Garden.
On the way back to Karnavati University we took a halt at Sabarmati Ashram – the holiest place of Ahmedabad.
Ashram’s gate was closed already as it was around 7:30 pm. We just wondered around the Ashram that was enlightened with sparkling lights and flowery garden. Sabarmati Riverfront in front of the Ashram is another spectacular place of the city.
Karnavati University is just 13 km away from Gandhinagar so next day we planned to explore the beauty of Gandhinagar. One of the senior faculties of University suggested us to take a tour around the historic Adalaj Step well.
The step well is located in village Adalaj within the periphery of Gandhinagar district. In 1498, Rani Rudadevi built this step well (locally called as ‘Vav’) in loving memory of Rana Veer Singh. The step well is well maintained by the state government and has become one of the popular attractions for tourists.
This five-storied construction around a rain fed deep dug well bears the significance of Solanki style of Architecture. Indian Hindu architecture has also blended here with the traditional Muslim architecture.
Being enchanted with such architectural creations, we moved forward to Infocity–the major commercial complex of Gandhinagar.
It’s basically a supermarket complex contained with branded companies’ outlets and showrooms. Although Gujarat is mostly dominated by pure vegetarian cuisine but at Infocity you would get non-vegetarian restaurants as well as good hangout places. Sector 21 is another economic hub of Gandhinagar. From daily essentials to traditional clothing items are sold here at an affordable price.
In Sector 16 of Gandhinagar, there is a huge outlet of Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan where authentic locally weaved Khadi items are exhibited and sold.
Places to be remembered
Unfortunately we had not much time to explore all eminent places of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar but last day we covered two most important places of Gandhinagar – Dandi Kutir and Akshardham Temple.
- Dandi Kutir– India’s largest museum dedicated to the life story of Father of Nation – Mahatma Gandhi. This large interactive museum is shaped in huge mound of Salt symbolizing the noteworthy freedom movement of Gandhiji.
This well-established profoundly maintained museum is run under tight security. Our bag and mobile phones were kept is separate counter. We entered the museum showing our pre-booked tickets (from the museum counter) and individual audio device was given us to enjoy the interactive shows arranged in the museum.
The museum is four-storied and each floor is equipped with latest graphical technology exhibiting the detailed life stories of Mahatma Gandhi. The visitors were taken to the pages of Gandhian history through the visual effects complemented with crystal clear narrative audio. It was indeed an unforgettable experience for us.
- Akshardham Temple- In Sector 20 of Gandhinagar, Akshardham Temple is situated as a pride of Gujarat. This 240 ft. long, 108 ft. high and 131 ft. wide temple is featured with 97 beautifully crafted pillars, 8 balconies, around 264 sculptures and 17 domes.
Photography is prohibited inside the temple but our eyes got stuck to its artistic beauty once we put first step inside the temple.
According to Vedic architecture, no iron or steel has been used in its construction rather the beams are made of pink stones and marbles. Core of this temple is enlightened with the 7 ft. tall gold-leafed sacred shrine of Swaminarayan.
First floor of Akshardham temple is named as Vibhuti Mandapam featuring lotus-shaped character of Sri Swaminarayan while its basement – Prasadi Mandapam is inscribed with different relics related to Swaminarayan’s life. About 2 hours’ roam around the temple gave us a bliss of solitude and eternal peace.
Although ‘The trip to Ahmedabad’ was basically a professional trip but still it gave us a bucket of memories to be cherished forever. Besides taking tour around the renowned places and collecting traditional Gujarati items, we were blessed to be a part of Navaratri festival – the Garba night, organised by Karnavati University.
The hospitality & management of the University as well as tradition & culture of the city undoubtedly touched our hearts.