Ahmedabad - Travel and Touring Guide.

Various ways of travelling too and from Ahmedabad in India i.e. flying there, using Indian Railways or by car.

Flights to Ahmedabad.

The fastest way is obviously by air - there are several flights each day out of Mumbai and it's also worth noting that at time of writing there is a direct daily flight to Goa on Spicejet. (Check this for changes of course).
Other commercial domestic airlines which utilise the airport are Air India, IndiGo Goair and Jet Airways - offering direct flights to destinations such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Bangalore, Bhopal and Hyderabad. There are also several international airlines using the airport - Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways.
Busy Ahmedabad market by Three Arch Gate near Bhadra Fort, Ahmedabad, India.Ahmedabad's airport is very spacey, modern looking and clean and has the impressive name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport - it is situated around 8kms from the city centre.
Alternatives: Although flights between cities in India are still relatively cheap - perhaps surprisingly it can be even cheaper to hire a car and driver if there are two or more of you travelling. Considering that the roads are being improved all the time now in many parts of India this can be a good alternative and not make much difference in travel time if you are going maybe 300 or so kms. Also of course with a car and driver you can perhaps pick out a few places to stop and look around on the way.
Indian Railways: Ahmedabad actually has half a dozen railway stations but the main station is within the walled city to the east of the river at Kalupur - and is therefore known generally as Kalupur station. There are trains available to quite a few of India's cities - some of the trains even go relatively quickly! - amongst the cities served are Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata and of course Mumbai. Generally speaking travelling on Indian Railways remains quite a slow process but it certainly is a cheap way of getting somewhere. The more popular destinations are often heavily booked and the ticket booking process - if done online - is a little involved to start with as you have to set up a user id.

Ahmedabad India - Hotels and Restaurants.

There is a pretty good range of hotels to chose from in the city with prices varying from UKstg25 or so a night to quite modern comfortable hotels in the UKstg70 range - plus a few of course which are well over UKstg 100 a night. West of the Sabarmati River (which pretty much bisects the city) is a quiet area to stay in and you can easily go over Ellis Bridge or one of the other bridges to get to the older noisier part of the City. As far as eating out is concerned the city has quite a lot to chose from and the hotels often have pretty good and not too expensive restaurants.
Getting around the city is easy enough - there are buses of course but as seems normal in Indian cities these always seem to be packed out however there are plenty of auto-rickshaws around. Quite often hotels have auto-rickshaws waiting outside the entrances however as is often usual the drivers seem to think they have the right to charge much higher fares. Generally it is best to ignore these and just wander down the road a little way and flag one down and haggle your price - it will almost always be way cheaper.

What to do and see locally in Ahmedabad.

The old part of the city i.e. on the eastern side of the Sabarmati River - is pretty good for wandering about and sightseeing. There are several quite large markets which are sometimes clustered around the Old City Wall's Gates, various museums, lots of old buildings and temples. Bhadra Fort's roof is there for some good views and last but not least quite a number of really old mosques and some shaking minarets to look at.

A note about dress code when visiting Mosques and Temples in Ahmedabad. The mosques shown on this topic are mostly fine for women to visit however as is normal when visiting mosques women should be quite well covered up - shorts and short skirts are just not allowed and even sleeveless tops may be a problem. A good idea is to carry a fairly wide silk scarf - easily purchased from one of the markets. Men have access to most parts of mosques however women may not enter the Prayer Hall - also active mosques may be closed for a while during prayers (often between midday and 2 o'clock). In all cases shoes may not be worn inside mosques or for that matter temples and even some tomb areas - however usually it's not a problem to wear socks (useful if wandering over hot areas).
Kankaria Lake in the early evening, Ahmedabad, India.After a day of sightseeing and perhaps before settling down for an evening meal etc. taking an auto-rickshaw out to Kanaria Lake can be a good idea. The lake is one of the largest in Ahmedabad and it's more or less due east of Sardar Bridge - the main entrance gate to Kankaria Lake is located at the end of Kankaria Road.
The circular Lake was constructed during the reign of Sultan Qutbuddin during the 15th century - a quite wide walkway (2.3km long) goes right round the lake and there are various facilities such as food and drink stalls at regular intervals. There are rides available on a miniature railway plus paddle and power-boat rides and other children's activities and so on. This makes the lake extremely popular for Ahmedabad's residents who turn up in the early evening in huge numbers to take a stroll round and enjoy the activities.
By 1700hrs the queues for entrance tickets can be enormous - women have one ticket booth and men a different booth although tickets can be brought in one go for both sexes (tickets are 10rs). As dusk falls the entire edge of the lake is lit up with coloured lights - certainly worth the effort to go and see it all.
There is much more about touring in India via our India Travel and Touring Guide Home Page.

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