Mahatma Gandhi, the great saint of the Indian Freedom Struggle, decided to launch the freedom movement of Gujarat from this very place. Situated on peaceful stretch of the River Sabarmati, this was also the place where Gandhiji lived during the long struggle for freedom. The ashram is set up in most simple manner and is kept in the same tradition as was Gandhiji''s living style. It still produces handicraft items and the small room with basic amenities, where the great man stayed has been converted into a small museum depicting important events of his life.
Mosques of Ahemedabad
The Ahemed Shah''s Mosque was built in 1414 A.D. by the founder of the city, Ahemed Shah. One of the earliest mosques of the city, it is to the south-west of the Bhadra Fort, named after the Hindu goddess, Kali. The front of the mosque is now a garden. Named after the Hindu wife of Sultan Mohammad Beghara. The Rani Raupamati''s Mosque was built in between 1430 to 1440 A. D. The mosque has richly carved minarets, balcony windows and perforated stone lattices. Its three domes are linked together by a flat roof. As with so many of Ahemedabad''s early mosques, this one displays elements of both Hindu and Islamic design. Nearly every town and city with Islamic influence has a Jama Masjid. But The Jama Masjid of Ahemedabad is considered to be he most beautiful mosque of the east. It was build by Ahmad Shah in 1423 and is the principal mosque of the Islamic era situated in the centre of the city near Three Gates (Tran Darwaja). Built in Indo- Saracenic architectural style, it has 260 pillars supporting 15 domes arranged symmetrically. A special feature of the mosque is the Muluk-Khana, or the Royal Gallery, which is a platform standing on pillars and enclosed up to the roof with beautiful stone work. The Sidi Bashir Mosque is famed for its shaking minarets. This is a pair of minarets and is said that when one minaret is shaken, the other rocks in sympathy. The architecture was designed so to protect the monument against the earth quakes but even today the crucial mechanism that causes the vibration is still a mystery.
The Mosque of Siddi Saiyyed
It is located near Lal Darwaja and is world-famous for its magnificent stone tracery. The tracery is acclaimed for its splendid carved net screen of ten semi-circular windows. This unique architecture was built by the so-called slave of Ahmed Shah, Siddi Sayyed in the mid-16th century. The mosque is the best example of the Indo Saracenic architecture with delicate carvings which transform stones into filigree. The models in miniatures of this splendid structure are best to carry as souvenirs from the city.
The Step Wells
Besides mosques and tombs, the other most notable thing about the city are its step-wells (vav). The stepped well is one the finest example of Gujarati architecture. The main wells are reached through steps and all around them there are decoration of the columns, curved brackets and lintels, highly elaborate with repeated friezes and ornamentation of animal motifs and deities.
The Little Rann of Kutch
The Little Rann of Kutch is the most exciting place and probably comprising the largest wild life sanctuary in India. It is most famous for the extinct specie of the wild Ass, the last of India''s wild horse family which does not survive elsewhere in Indian lowlands. The 4950 sq ft in area houses a range of habitats from saline desert plains to arid grasslands and from rocky and thorn scrub to lakes and marshes.
Along with the galloping herds of handsome chestnut brown wild Ass, the sanctuary houses a thriving population of gazelle, blue bull, wolf, and Indian foxes. Birds like the bustard, spotted & Indian sand grouse, desert wheatear, species of eagles and vultures along with the beautiful flamingoes, pelicans, ducks, cranes and storks frequent this sanctuary.
On the way to the Rann of Kutch, the 11th century historic walled town of Patdi with intricately carved temples is worth a visit. The bird sanctuary of Nalsarovar, 40 kms from Ahemedabad is also worth a visit to watch the dances and frolics of the flaming flocks of Flamingoes and other birds.
The Calico museum of Textiles
One of the rarest museums and also the best in the world, the Calico museum of Textiles, was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1948. It is the finest museum of textiles and has one of the richest Collection of Indian textiles covering all regions of India. Exhibits include a wide range of embroidered shamianas, wall hangings, costumes, saris and embroideries. There are exhibits from historic era and the impression that the art and craft had during that period is quite evident. Various kinds and various designs of textiles ranging from the 12th century and even earlier leaves one spell bound.
The 11th century Sun Temple of Modhera is one of the finest examples of the prosperous era of Gujarat during the rule of the Solanki dynasty. The temple is dedicated to the Sun God who stands high on a plinth overlooking a deep stone-steeped tank. The carvings on each inch of the edifice are intricate and rich with various figures and natural objects. With a step well and many shrines around of Shiva, Ganesha and Vishnu the Sun temple is comparatively small one. Hardly 80 kms from Ahemedabad its worth a visit.