This october after Durga Puja, I visited Gujarat. This was my third visit to the state as a tourist. I get a sense of exhilaration, overtime when car rolls westwards on Ahmedabad Rajkot highway leaving city of Ahmedabad behind. This time, I had a whirlwind tour of west Gujarat, covering : Ahmedabad – Jamnagar – Dwarka – Somnath – Rajkot – Ahmedabad.
The city of Ahmedabad is the commercial capital of Gujarat. City has many hotels to suit every pocket. I stayed at Ashish hotel, a budget hotel, close to Ahmedabad railway station. Hotel was booked through Goibibo.
Ahmedabad has many places for a tourist to visit. Most tour operators offer a package tour that covers 80 km and/or 8 hours in a day at a cost of Rs 8 – 12 / km (depending on size of car). Any extra mile or extra hour, over and above the agreed mileage and time, passengers have to pay for each extra km and each hour. On an average, an Ahmedabad sight seeing tour costs around Rs. 3600 using an Innova car. After a lot of bargain, I got a car for 2500 rupees, and we stuck to 80 Km and 8 hour formula.
Main sight seeing spots covered in the package are the following, not in the order of appearance:
1. Adalaj ki baoli,
2. Akshardham temple at Gandhi Nagar,
3. Kankariya lake,
4. Lal Darwaja Market,
5. Sabarmati Ashram,
6. Sabarmati river front walk,
7. Sidi Sayyad Masjid, and
8. An array of temples – Balaji temple, ISKON temple, Sai Narayan temple, Vaishno devi temple.
9. Sun Temple at Motera. This is not part of city tour because this temple is in Mehsana, which is around 100 km away from Ahmedabad.
Since I had come to Ahmedabad after touring all of Gujarat, I did not have much appetite to visit temples in Ahmedabad. I took some pictures of Adalaj ki baoli. Somehow, I do not remember visiting it in my earlier trips to the town.
Adalaj ki baoli is a step well used to collect rain water in a dry semi desert like place like Ahmedabad. The step well is five feet underground. At the bottom, temperature is at least 5 degree lower than the surface. It is believed that the stepwell was built in 1499 by Muslim king Mohammed Begda for his queen Rani Roopba.
|A View of the Well from Top Floor
I was initially reluctant to go down the stairs to the bottom of the well. Shown below are the stairs and different levels leading to the bottom of the well.
|A View of Stairs Leading to Top of the Well
As I reached the bottom, near the level of water, it was surprisingly pleasant temperature. Water was bluish green, clean enough to reflect the image of the arch.